Offering asides, recommended links, blogworthy quotations, and more, In Brief is the Northwest Progressive Institute's microblog of world, national, and local politics.

Tag Archives: Climate Crisis

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Science under attack: How Trump is sidelining researchers and their work

In three years, the administration has diminished the role of science in policymaking while disrupting research projects nationwide.
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As Australia burns, its right wing prime minister Scott Morrison refuses to act on climate

“I really don’t see how this governmental attack on genuine concerns, coupled with a lack of action on both emissions and adaptation policies, can stand for much longer — especially in the face of increasing disasters and emergencies,” David Schlosberg, director of the Sydney Environment Institute at the University of Sydney, told The New York Times.


It’s become our new reality… I don’t like to say “normal,” because that sounds like a plateau, and we’re on a trajectory where we’ll get more and more fire.

— Mike Flannigan, a professor of wildland science at the University of Alberta (Canada’s wildfire season is off to a ferocious start – The Washington Post)

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Trump regime renews its attack on climate science

There is a real Republican war on science going on and it’s hurting the United States’ efforts to combat climate damage. This war started during the Bush years and is now being escalated by Donald “It’s freezing out, give me some of that global warming” Trump.

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Trump’s executive order to open Arctic waters to oil drilling was unlawful, federal judge rules

A victory for clean water and climate justice, via The New York Times: “In a major legal blow to [Donald] Trump’s push to expand offshore oil and gas development, a federal judge ruled that an executive order by Mr. Trump that lifted an Obama-era ban on oil and gas drilling in the Arctic Ocean and parts of the North Atlantic coast was unlawful.”


I overcame my doubts. I support 1631. I will contribute to the Yes on 1631 campaign, I will vote yes when I fill out my ballot, and I am encouraging others to do the same.

— Bill Gates: Why I’m for Washington state’s pollution fee


Although the Trump administration forces try to deny it, the science of climate change and its impacts are clear — and accepted by the vast majority of knowledgeable scientists. And the impact of coal dust on marine life is fairly well established. The Department of Ecology should therefore take a firm stand on behalf of sound science and strike a resounding blow against unreason by denying the permit for this unpopular, poorly conceived project.

— Michael Riordan: Say no to Longview coal terminal

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Hurricane Harvey: The link to climate change

The BBC talks to climate scientists about the connection between the catastrophic flooding in Texas and Earth’s warming climate. Global warming has resulted in an atmosphere that can hold more moisture and hotter seas, conditions which are making storms like Harvey much more severe.

Weather Channel trolls Trump

Chris Matyszczyk: “After Donald Trump’s staged announcement that the US would be withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord, the people who sometimes give you the right weather reacted with a coruscating collage of disbelief. was headlined by an image of Trump and the words: ‘Trump Pulls US Out Of Paris Climate Agreement; What That Means.’ Beneath, however, was a series of links that piddled squalls of derision on the president. Sample: ‘Fact Check: Trump’s Shaky Claims On Climate Accord.’ Then there was: ”Sad Day: Global Reaction To Trump’s Decision.’ This all seemed borderline polite. Until there was: ‘Don’t Care? Proof You Should…’, as well as ‘…and More Proof,’ ‘and ‘Even More Proof’.”

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ExxonMobil shareholders pass resolution demanding accounting of climate damage policy risks

In a groundbreaking rebuke of the company’s management, a supermajority of ExxonMobil shareholders approved a nonbinding resolution that calls for an open, transparent accounting of the risks posed to its business by policies aimed at reversing climate damage. BlackRock and Vanguard, two of the largest ExxonMobil investors, backed the resolution, bucking Exxon’s board, who wanted a no vote.


Meanwhile, the nation that landed men on the moon and pioneered so many scientific breakthroughs has pulled into a shell of selfishness and denial. Future generations will curse us.

On climate damage, the cost of leaving Paris (Jon Talton)


If the Legislature is not prepared to create a carbon tax that is scaled to meet the challenges we face, it will be up to the citizenry to live up to our great state’s rich heritage of environmental leadership and take decisive action to address climate change.

— Fawn Sharp and Matthew Randazzo V: Don’t bolster education funding by selling out our environment

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Great Barrier Reef: Two-thirds damaged in ‘unprecedented’ bleaching

The BBC recaps the bad news: “Unprecedented coral bleaching in consecutive years has damaged two-thirds of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, aerial surveys have shown. The bleaching – or loss of algae – affects a 1,500 km stretch of the reef, according to scientists.”

Video Clip

Al Gore is back! Watch the new trailer for An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, the sequel to An Inconvenient Truth. In theaters July 28, 2017.


We advocate that you reject misguided advice that the Clean Power Plan be discarded; advice that, if followed, would assuredly lead to more litigation. Instead, we urge you to support the defense of this critically-important rule and the implementation of its carefully constructed strategies to reduce emissions from the nation’s largest sources.

— Excerpt from a letter to Donald Trump from attorneys general representing New York, California, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, the District of Columbia, Boulder (CO), New York City, Broward County (FL), and South Miami (FL).

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Christmas Arctic heatwave could break records

Via the BBC: “Temperatures at the North Pole could be up to twenty degrees higher than average this Christmas Eve, in what scientists say is a record-breaking heatwave.” Science reporter Victoria Gill has more.

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Big win for Earth’s climate: 170 nations agree to reduce use of planet-warming HFCs

Negotiators representing most of the world’s nations have agreed to a new legally binding accord that would significantly cut down on use of hydrofluorocarbons, a chemical coolant used in air conditioners and refrigerators. HFCs are a highly potent heat-trapping gas, considered to be a thousand times as potent as carbon dioxide. The new accord is an extension of the landmark Montreal Protocol negotiated in the 1980s, which phased out ozone-depleting CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons).

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Flooding of coast, caused by damage to the climate, has already begun

“For decades, as the global warming created by human emissions caused land ice to melt and ocean water to expand, scientists warned that the accelerating rise of the sea would eventually imperil the United States’ coastline. Now, those warnings are no longer theoretical: The inundation of the coast has begun. The sea has crept up to the point that a high tide and a brisk wind are all it takes to send water pouring into streets and homes,” the New York Times reports.

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Earth’s relentless climate crisis just hit a terrible new threshold

“The number of climate records broken in the last few years is stunning. But here’s a new measure of misery: Not only did we just experience the hottest April in 137 years of record keeping, but it was the 12th consecutive month to set a new record,” Bloomberg reports.

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Six maps that will make you rethink the world

“We don’t often question the typical world map that hangs on the walls of classrooms — a patchwork of yellow, pink and green that separates the world into more than 200 nations. But Parag Khanna, a global strategist, says that this map is, essentially, obsolete,” writes Ana Swanson.

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Here’s how electric cars will cause the next oil crisis

“A shift is under way that will lead to widespread adoption of electric vehicles in the next decade,” writes Bloomberg’s Tom Randall.