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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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. Weather.com 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.

Quotation

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)

Quotation

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.

Quotation

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.

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Seas are rising at fastest rate in last twenty-eight centuries

While Republicans deny the science of the climate crisis, the consequences continue to felt. This just in from the New York Times: “The oceans are rising faster than at any point in the last 28 centuries, and human emissions of greenhouse gases are primarily responsible, scientists reported Monday.”

Quotation

The idea that some trade agreement should force us to overheat the planet’s atmosphere is, quite simply, insane. But the oil industry is so used to always winning that I fear this kind of tantrum is predictable.

— 350.org’s Bill McKibben, responding to the news that oil giant TransCanada is suing the United States under NAFTA for $15 billion in damages following the rejection of its Keystone XL pipeline bid by President Barack Obama.

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White Christmas? Not a chance in an unusually balmy New York

America’s largest city has been experiencing an unusually warm December, along with other places on the Eastern seaboard, leading to altered habits and sharply reduced sales of winter clothing. The Christmas Eve forecast for New York calls for a shocking, record-breaking high of 72° Fahrenheit.

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The Marshall Islands are disappearing

The New York Times has published a must-read special report documenting the devastating impact of the climate crisis on the Marshall Islands, a tiny nation in the South Pacific that is struggling to cope with rising seas.

Quotation

Paris will be a watershed… It will be a dividing point in time between the fossil-fuel economy and the renewables era .

— Steve Howard, chief sustainability officer of the Swedish furniture retailer IKEA (Momentum is growing for an agreement to combat the climate crisis in Paris).

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TransCanada requests suspension of Keystone XL permit

Oil giant TransCanada has sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry asking it to “pause” its review of the Keystone XL pipeline, just days after Canadian voters swept Stephen Harper’s Conservative government out of power.

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Americans have never been so sure about climate change — even Republicans

“Three-quarters of Americans now accept the scientific consensus on climate change, the highest level in four years of surveys conducted by the University of Texas at Austin,” Bloomberg News reports. “The biggest shocker is what’s happening inside the GOP. In a remarkable turnabout, 59 percent of Republicans now say climate change is happening, up from 47 percent just six months ago.”

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Shell says it’s ending Alaska offshore oil exploration

In a huge victory for the environment, Royal Dutch Shell PLC says it has decided to cease searching for oil in the frigid Arctic “for the foreseeable future” after it didn’t get promising results from an exploratory offshore well.