Guest

Primary tabs

Guest's picture

For China, Climate Change Is No Hoax – It’s a Business and Political Opportunity

Chinese wind farm

By , University of Southern California  

In mid-November, while Americans were preoccupied with election returns, China sent some of its clearest signals yet that it will continue to pursue an international leadership role on issues including climate.

At an international climate change summit in Marrakech, the Chinese government reasserted its commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. The government announced that its aggregate emissions will peak by 2030 or earlier, and that its emissions per dollar of economic output will decline sharply.

Can Legal Activist Scott Pruitt Undo Clean Air and Water Protections as Head of EPA?

Scott Pruitt

By University of Maryland, Baltimore

Donald Trump’s election has jolted environmentalists and voters who care about conservation. Trump has called for abolishing or greatly shrinking the Environmental Protection Agency; declared climate change a Chinese hoax; and promised to “cancel” the Paris climate agreement.

Though Trump appears to have backed off his pledge to “get rid of [EPA] in almost every form,” his choice of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the agency set off alarms in the environmental community.

Environmentalists were quick to denounce Pruitt, calling him an opponent of EPA who built his reputation by doing the bidding of fossil fuel industries. Is his appointment really like putting “an arsonist in charge of fighting fires,” as the Sierra Club argues?

These 5 Companies Are Showing Trump, a Climate Denier, the Value of Investing in the Climate

Ben and Jerry's ice cream van

By Brooke Cary

Since reaching the historic Paris climate agreement in 2015, global leaders have stressed the need to make even stronger commitments to limit the impacts of climate change. And while U.S. President-elect Donald Trump is making promises to bring back coal jobs and “unleash” fossil fuel production., U.S. businesses are forging the kind of low-carbon economy envisioned in the Paris Agreement.

Hundreds (yes, hundreds) of U.S. corporations and investors have made their own commitments to uphold the international climate accord.  

Yes, the Arctic's Freakishly Warm Winter is Due to Humans' Climate Influence

Iceberg

By Andrew King, University of Melbourne

For the Arctic, like the globe as a whole, 2016 has been exceptionally warm. For much of the year, Arctic temperatures have been much higher than normal, and sea ice concentrations have been at record low levels.

The Arctic’s seasonal cycle means that the lowest sea ice concentrations occur in September each year. But while September 2012 had less ice than September 2016, this year the ice coverage has not increased as expected as we moved into the northern winter. As a result, since late October, Arctic sea ice extent has been at record low levels for the time of year.

Arctic Drilling Ban Reveals Crucial Difference Between Obama and Trudeau on Climate

By Adam Scott for Oil Change International.

The historic announcement by President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau that both countries would ban oil and gas development in Arctic and Atlantic waters was a major victory to protect our oceans and the people who depend on them, and a real victory for our climate.

But the difference between how the White House and the Prime Minister’s Office explained this announcement reveals a major rift between the leaders in their understanding of how to address the climate threat.

At the end of November, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau failed a key test of his understanding of what is required to stop climate change by approving the Kinder Morgan and Line 3 pipelines. During his speech he defended his actions:

Follow the Money Behind Attacks on Clean Energy in Ohio

Welcome to Ohio sign.

By Dave Anderson

Fossil fuel and utility interests have used lobbyists and 2016 campaign contributions to influence state legislators in Ohio, and drive renewed attacks on clean energy policies in the Buckeye State.

State legislators will soon vote on companion bills — SB 320 and HB 554 — that would effectively continue the controversial freeze on Ohio’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards until 2020.

There has been no shortage of public support for unfreezing Ohio’s clean energy standards, but behind the scenes, fossil fuel and utility interests have been using money to influence the debate in Columbus. 

Rudy Giuliani — And His Numerous Fossil Fuel Industry Connections — Out for Potential Post in Trump Admin

Rudy Giuliani at Trump event

By Branko Marcetic

On Friday, Rudy Giuliani made a surprise announcement that he was pulling out of consideration for a cabinet post in the Trump administration. His decision marks a major bullet dodged for anyone concerned about the environment and climate change. 

For the better part of a month, Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, had been one of the contenders for the position of Trump’s secretary of state. His appointment would have meant that a figure who had enriched himself by greasing the wheels for numerous fossil fuel companies would have been in charge of approving cross-border pipelines and other fossil fuel infrastructure, as well as advancing the administration’s energy and climate policy on the world stage. 

Renewable Energy in the Age of Trump: Open for Business

Solar panel installation in Oregon

By Joel Stronberg

“I am white…a woman…pro-choice…educated…The government needs to run like a corporation, simple as that.”
—Trump supporter

In the age of Trump, all sustainability programs and policies will not be equal. Proven technologies and designs will surely be easier to market to the incoming administration than environmental regulation.

Trump’s surrogates would have us believe that he follows in the footsteps of Ronald Reagan. In fact, he patters the path of our 30th president: Calvin Coolidge. 

Eyes in the Sky: Cutting NASA Earth Observations Would Be a Costly Mistake

NASA sea surface temperature

By Pennsylvania State University

Donald Trump’s election is generating much speculation about how his administration may or may not reshape the federal government. On space issues, a senior Trump advisor, former Pennsylvania Rep. Bob Walker, has called for ending NASA earth science research, including work related to climate change. Walker contends that NASA’s proper role is deep-space research and exploration, not “politically correct environmental monitoring.”

This proposal has caused deep concern for many in the climate science community, including people who work directly for NASA and others who rely heavily on NASA-produced data for their research. Elections have consequences, and it is an executive branch prerogative to set priorities and propose budgets for federal agencies.

However, President-elect Trump and his team should think very carefully before they recommend canceling or defunding any of NASA’s current Earth-observing missions.

Army Corps Commander Ordering Evacuation of Standing Rock Protesters Has Conflicting Heroes in Ayn Rand, Martin Luther King

Left, Ayn Rand. Right, Martin Luther King, Jr. mug shot

By Branko Marcetic

Colonel John W. Henderson has some peculiar heroes.

Little is known about the head of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Omaha District, whose name has been in the news following his original Friday decision to evict Standing Rock protesters from the Oceti Sakowin camp set up on the Corps’ property north of the Cannonball River. On Sunday, he appeared to reverse any plans for the forced removal of protesters, but reinforced that the camp would still be closed.

Yet in an interview conducted last year, Henderson revealed an incongruous pair of personal idols: radical pro-free market author Ayn Rand and civil rights hero Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Pages