Trump Meets With Al Gore on Climate Change

UPDATED 12:41 PM

President-elect Donald J. Trump and his daughter Ivanka met with former Vice President Al Gore on Monday to discuss human-caused climate change.

A meeting on climate change.

Continue reading the main story

Photo

Al Gore, the former vice president, arrived at Trump Tower in Manhattan on Monday.CreditHilary Swift for The New York Times

Al Gore thought he would be bending the ear of the adviser Mr. Trump trusts most, his daughter Ivanka.

Instead, the man bearing “The Inconvenient Truth” went straight to the source: the president-elect himself.

“I had a lengthy and very productive session with the president-elect,” Mr. Gore, the former vice president, told reporters at Trump Tower. “It was a sincere search for areas of common ground. I had a meeting beforehand with Ivanka Trump. The bulk of the time was with the president-elect, Donald Trump. I found it an extremely interesting conversation, and to be continued.”

Full Story: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/05/us/politics/donald-trump-transition.html?_r=0

Cat alerts Tennessee man to Gatlinburg fires

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2016/12/05/gatlinburg-fires-cat-alerts-man/94983594/

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A Tennessee man who owns a store in Gatlinburg is so naturally laid back, the first word that wildfires were near the communitydidn’t unnerve him.

Mark Burger, 60, figured his cellphone would get an evacuation alert if the situation became dangerous, he said.

After inquiries, officials have since said no evacuation alert was sent to mobile devices.

Tennessee’s monthslong drought and wildfire emergency culminated Nov. 28 when hurricane-force winds sent unpredictable fires racing through the Gatlinburg area.

On Nov. 28, Burger was relaxing in his mountainside Gatlinburg condo with Tiger, his Siamese cat, for company. Burger’s son, Tanner, found Tiger as a kitten abandoned. Tanner rescued Tiger and gave him to Burger as a gift.

Now, it seems Tiger has repaid Burger for his life.

More: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2016/12/05/gatlinburg-fires-cat-alerts-man/94983594/

Ecological Drought in the South Central United States: Time is Not on Our Side

Drought is not uncommon in the South Central U.S. Encompassing the states of New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana, the region has experienced its share of multi-year droughts – including the infamous Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Yet while the South Central is no stranger to drought, the summer of 2011 was the hottest ever recorded in the region, and conditions like these may become the new norm.

As climate changes, the South Central U.S. is expected to experience more frequent and severe droughts. In light of these projected future conditions, the Department of Interior South Central Climate Science Center (CSC) is working to identify how drought will manifest itself in the region, and what these changing conditions will mean for both people and nature. In March 2016, a group of climate and ecological experts met to discuss the issue, and agreed on several core challenges that drought poses in the region:

 
1. Forecasted climatic changes will vary across this diverse region  Photo of the Pecos River, TX
The South Central region is comprised of a variety of ecosystems, from deserts in New Mexico to coastal marshes in Texas and Louisiana. Forecasted changes in temperature and precipitation are expected to vary across this diverse region. For example, the spring of 2011 was the wettest on record in the northern Great Plains, but was exceptionally dry in the southern Great Plains.
 
2. Reduced water availability will affect wildlife, ecosystems, and people
From coastal ecosystems that provide critical habitat to wildlife, sequester carbon, and support fisheries, to agriculture in the High Plains, reduced flows of freshwater will have wide-reaching ecological, economic, and cultural impacts. For example, reduced soil moisture can impact agriculture, while reduced river flow can increase the salinity of sensitive coastal ecosystems.
 
3. Land management practices will need to adapt to changing conditions
Image of the newsletter produced as a result of the workshop
Innovations in land management will be required to address the range of drought-related impacts. Management solutions will be challenged by the need to consider the cultural, economic, and ecological diversity of the region, but are vital if the cascading impacts of drought are to be mitigated. For example, in New Mexico, drought could result in increased tree mortality, providing additional fuel for wildfires. Areas impacted by fire are then at higher risk for flash floods, which transport large amounts of sediment downstream and can impact ecological and human communities alike.
 
This workshop was hosted in partnership by the South Central CSC (Climate Science Center), the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Integration & Application Network, and the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center.
 
The workshop was the fourth in a series of eight workshops being held across the U.S., each in a different region. Each workshop results in a brief informational document that synthesizes the current understanding of ecological drought in the region. Click the graphic on the right to view the informational document from the South Central workshop.

Weathering the Trump Climate

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/38435-weathering-the-trump-climate

Sunday, 20 November 2016 00:00

By Emily Schwartz Greco

Yes, there are reasons to fear an impending environmental disaster: Donald Trump has spent much of his campaign claiming the mantle of climate-change-denier-in-chief, and his vice-presidential running mate isn’t much better. Now they are mulling their picks for key Cabinet posts: Interior Secretary Sarah “Drill, baby drill” Palin, if elephant hunter Donald Trump Jr. doesn’t get that gig? Energy Secretary Harold Hamm, if the oil and gas mogul decides he is willing to spend the Trump administration outside the private sector? Environmental Protection Administrator Myron Ebell, unless the fringe-hugging climate skeptic dismantles the agency instead?

And yes, Trump often airs unfounded concerns about wind and solar energy related to bird safety and outdated notions of how long it takes for investments in renewable power to pay off. But even if the fossil-fuel fanatics on Team Trump rev up coal mining, gas fracking and oil drilling in national parks, greenlight the Keystone XL pipeline and tell automakers to forget about stringent new mileage standards, many experts doubt the 45th president can stop the fossil-free economy’s evolution.

To see more stories like this, visit Moyers & Company at Truthout.

“Market forces, not the government” are responsible for the fact that wind and solar power are starting to take their own bite out of coal’s market share, says Daniel Cohan, a Rice University associate professor and atmospheric scientist who studies the relationship between climate and energy. “Federal action has not been the leading driver of the improvements that we’ve had.”

What improvements? After soaring since the early 1990s worldwide carbon dioxide emissionshave plateaued. That’s in part because the US power sector’s contribution slid to the lowest level in 25 years. As of last year, US carbon pollution from power generation had fallen by 21 percent from where it was in 2005. That’s most of the way to the goal of a 32 percent reduction called for in President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan (which Trump vows to scrap, along with the Paris climate deal).

“The only way to make coal viable again is to stop the growth of renewables, which isn’t going to happen” because of their increasing affordability, says Cohan.

Bullish on Solar

Indeed, a major Trump donor quoted anonymously by the trade publication Utility Dive is signaling that The Donald won’t black out renewable-energy tax credits. “Everything with renewables continues; the credits will remain in place,” the unnamed source said.

Even before that news was reported, many industry experts were expressing confidence that Trump would not nix renewable-energy tax credits that Congress passed a year ago.

“For the most part most Republicans and Democrats, they may not have supported the extension, but they also don’t like changing the rules midstream on businesses,” Christopher Mansour, vice president of federal affairs for Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), told PV Magazine. “They set this policy in place, and businesses are making investment decisions based on five-year extensions of the (solar tax credits), and I think most Republicans and most members of Congress in general are loathe to change the rules on companies as they are making these decisions.”

SEIA foresees the tax credits helping to triple the amount of nation’s sun-powered electricity by 2020.

Garvin Jabusch, chief investment officer and co-founder of Green Alpha Advisors investment firm, sounded more optimistic about the long-term outlook than you would expect given the changed climate for his business model. The $75 million in assets that Green Alpha manages are free of exposure to fossil fuels and he goes out of his way to invest in alternatives to oil, gas and coal.

“We have every chance of competitive longterm returns. But in the short term, it’s buckle up watch for buying opportunities,” Jabusch says. “My main hope is that Trump will surprise us and not hate solar as much as (House Speaker) Paul Ryan.”

Shares in solar and wind power companies plunged last week on news of the election’s unexpected outcome. Some solar stocks rallied Monday as investment firms said they could notch big gains in the near term.

The Market’s War on Coal

“The outcome will be a mosaic” if and when Trump rolls back the automotive efficiency standards that were originally supposed to rise to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 Jarbusch predicts. “Some companies with their eye on the future will continue to try to meet those standards and keep developing electric vehicles. Others won’t. They will profit in the short term and be destroyed by market forces in the medium term.”

In the meantime, Trump’s team will grapple with the inconvenient fact that two of his top energy aspirations are irreconcilable. He wants Washington to revive sagging domestic demand for coal, a fossil fuel with a bleak global future, while goosing the ongoing oil and natural-gas booms. Trouble is, competition from cheap natural gas sparked most of coal’s woes. If the government goes out of its way to encourage an increase in natural-gas production, that could make gas cheaper, making way for more coal-fired power plant closures.

Americans will draw slightly more electricity from natural gas than coal in 2016, according to the Energy Information Administration, a federal agency, and the nation now relies on both for about a third of its power. That’s a major change. Only a decade ago, about half of US electricity came from burning coal and only 20 percent relied on natural gas.

Not even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican who loudly blamed the supposed “war on coal” for the industry’s troubles, trusts that Trump can make a difference.

Speaking at the University of Louisville after the election, McConnell said Republicans would encourage Trump to dismantle coal regulations. But, he admitted, “Whether that immediately brings business back is hard to tell because it’s a private sector activity.”

(To be sure, truly safeguarding the climate would require phasing out the consumption of natural gas, which like oil and coal contributes to global warming.)

States’ Rights

Because Obama failed to get Congress to sign off on a comprehensive climate plan, much of the support for renewable energy is enmeshed in state-level and municipal and even corporate practices over which Trump will have little, if any, influence, Cohan predicts.

Forty percent of Americans live in states where doing away with the Clean Power Plan and Paris climate agreement might not make a big difference, Obama suggested.

“It’s not just a bunch of rules that we’ve set up,” he said at his first Trump-era press conference. “You’ve got utilities that are putting in solar panels and creating jobs…You’ve got some of the country’s biggest companies like Google and Walmart all pursuing energy efficiency because it’s good for their bottom line”

Where wind and solar have gained the biggest footholds (including states as politically disparate as California, Texas and Iowa), green-energy growth is likely to continue apace. Undercutting this growth with national policies could prove harder than it sounds.

Clinton and Trump backers alike support the growth of solar and wind energy, Pew’s pollsters found. Clear majorities of both candidates’ supporters said they wanted to see more solar and wind farms despite a sharp partisan divide Pew’s researchers detected in an earlier survey regarding the existence of manmade climate change and the need to take climate action.

Any growth in green power is likely to reduce fossil-fuel consumption. In recent years, US economic growth has proceeded as demand for energy ticked downward.

There’s also this glimmer of hope Dot Earth blog blogger Andrew Revkin — who will soon become a Pro Publica senior reporter — found in Trump’s response to a climate question from the Science Debate organization:

“Perhaps we should be focused on developing energy sources and power production that alleviates the need for dependence on fossil fuels.”

“That’s a statement I plan to hold him accountable on,” Revkin promised.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

‘Things are getting weird in the polar regions’

As extraordinarily warm temperatures continue in the Arctic — temperatures tens of degrees Fahrenheit above normal for this time of year in some locations — Arctic sea ice, a key indicator of the overall state of this system, seems to be responding in kind.

It is kind of unbelievable: On Nov. 19, the extent of Arctic sea ice was nearly 1 million square kilometers lower (8.633 million vs 9.504 million) than it was on that date during the prior record low year of 2012, according to data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center. On Nov. 20, the gap widened further, with 8.625 million square kilometers in 2016 versus 9.632 million in 2012.

This is happening in a time of year when ice is supposed to be spreading across the polar ocean — yet instead, it is flat or even declining a little lately.

“I think that it’s fair to say that the very slow ice growth is a response to the extreme warmth (still ongoing as of today),” said Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, by email on Sunday. “Over the past few days, extent has actually decreased in the Arctic, and while I don’t think that such a short term decline is unprecedented for this time of year,  it is highly unusual, for November is a month when we normally see a quite rapid ice growth.”

It may be time for a refresher on why this matters and why it is so consistent with climate change research going back many decades. The fear (and it’s not just a fear any longer, really) is that there is something called a “feedback” in the Arctic climate system.

As the climate warms, there should be less sea ice covering the Arctic ocean – and indeed, we’ve seen great declines. But as sea ice falls, the darker ocean should also absorb more energy from sunlight in the summer, energy that the lighter colored ice would have reflected away. This heat, contained in the ocean, would also prevent sea ice formation.

Recent trends in the Arctic seem heavily consistent with this idea.

And as if the Arctic data isn’t enough, at the very same time, ice around Antarctica is also pushing surprising new lows:

Antarctic sea ice extent on Nov. 19 also represented a record low for this time of year, based on the center’s data. The dataset in question goes back to the year 1979.

“Why Antarctic extent is also very low right now is something we are still puzzling over,” said Serreze. “However, there’s really no connection between the extreme mutual anomalies in the two hemispheres that we are aware of. We have to wait and see what happens. Having said this, things are getting weird in the polar regions.”

The Antarctic decline is particularly bewildering because just a few years ago, the debate was instead over why floating Antarctic sea ice was pushing record highs, not record lows — and why this was happening even as the continent’s glaciers were losing considerable mass. Despite a major lack of clarity about what this phenomena meant, many climate change doubters seized on the Antarctic sea ice behavior as a key reason for pushing their contrary message. Now, that argument seems to be vanishing for them.

More: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/11/21/things-are-getting-weird-in-the-polar-regions/?utm_term=.23f18a3f9e05

The White House Just Made a Huge New Climate Commitment That President Trump Will Definitely Ignore

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2016/11/john-kerry-marrakech-donald-trump-climate?google_editors_picks=true

This story was originally published by the Huffington Post and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

The United States on Wednesday announced an ambitious new goal to rapidly reduce planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century, despite the incoming presidency of Donald Trump, a man who has called the phenomenon a “hoax” invented by the Chinese.

“It’s abundantly clear we have the ability to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. But again we’re forced to ask: Do we have the collective will? Because our success is not going to happen by accident.”

Secretary of State John Kerry said at a news conference in Marrakech, Morocco, that he couldn’t “speculate about what policies our president-elect will pursue.” But he noted that “some issues look a little bit different when you’re actually in office compared to when you’re on the campaign trail,” adding that climate change should cease being a partisan issue.

“It’s abundantly clear we have the ability to prevent the worst impacts of climate change,” Kerry said during the United Nation’s annual climate summit. “But again we’re forced to ask: Do we have the collective will? Because our success is not going to happen by accident.”

Under the newly released strategy, which aims to rapidly “decarbonize” America, emissions would be slashed about 80 percent by 2050, compared with levels set in 2005. The United States has already promised a 26 percent to 28 percent cut in emissions by 2025 and would build on those pledges through a transition to renewable energy production, carbon removal technology, and efforts to curb emissions from agriculture and other sources.

But many of these commitments will be in doubt once President Barack Obama leaves office. President-elect Trump has threatened to withdraw from last year’s landmark Paris agreement, end all funding on the issue and significantly increase domestic production of fossil fuels. While some have hoped the businessman would do an about-face once in office, his current short list to lead the country’s environmental agencies doesn’t bode well.

Nearly 200 nations are signed on to the Paris climate agreement, which aims to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, the level scientists say the planet must stay beneath to avoid the worst effects of climate change. World leaders have been assuaging the public since the election, vowing to continue plans to curb emissions with or without the United States.

Kerry used his speech to urge those in power to “do your own due diligence before making irrevocable choices.”

“No one has a right to make decisions that affect billions of people based solely on ideology or without proper input,” he said. “Anyone who has these conversations, who takes the time to learn from these experts, who gets the full picture of what we’re facing―I believe they can only come to one legitimate decision, and that is to act boldly on climate change and encourage others to do the same.”

The US goal for 2050 drew praise from leading environmental groups, as well as promises of condemnation should Trump scale back America’s role in the climate change fight. The United States is the second-largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, behind China and ahead of the European Union.

“No matter who is in the White House, any leader that wants to create jobs, protect our communities and be taken seriously in the international community must build on the climate legacy of President Obama and Secretary Kerry,” Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, said in a statement. “Anyone who fails to realize that not only poses a very real danger to our economy, our families, and our planet but simply cannot call themselves a global leader.”

Others, including the Union for Concerned Scientists, said the 2050 plan was a “good start” but stressed that the world will need to reach “net zero emissions by midcentury” to avoid the rising seas, melting glaciers and extreme weather of a warmer world.

A recent report from the United Nations Environment Programme found that, even with the world’s ambitious climate pledges, leaders would need to slash emissions 25 percent more, on top of existing plans, to avoid the 2-degree threshold.

“It’s still not good enough if we are to stand a chance of avoiding serious climate change,” Erik Solheim, the head of the UNEP, said earlier this month.

 

 

Breaking: In an organized stunt, a lackey of Myron Ebell – the head of Trump’s EPA transition – just ripped up a copy of the Paris Climate deal next to a cardboard cutout of Trump. These people are laughing about the future of our planet. We cannot let them win. Fight back.

Why Fighting Donald Trump On Climate Change Is A Waste

MIKE SEGAR / REUTERS

Before everyone gets overly upset about Donald Trump and climate change consider this one thing: Donald Trump’s denial of climate change is irrelevant.

Climate change is a scientific reality and the denial of climate change as a problem does not make the threat go away. The reality cannot be changed by the personal beliefs of the President of the United States. This is akin to King Canute demanding that the tide cease to rise. When he failed to force the Ocean to his will, he proclaimed, “let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings.”

Presidents, like kings, have no authority over Nature.

And when you really think about, just what is the difference between a president that denies climate change and a Prime Minister who acknowledges it, yet acts as if he is denying it?

It is of course the politically correct thing to acknowledge climate change as a reality but none of these world leaders are actually doing the ecologically correct thing and doing something about it.

Greenpeace sent me, and thousands of others, a message yesterday. They see Trump as an opportunity to raise funds. This was the Greenpeace message:

This week, so many people have reached out about how they can help — and there are many ways you can get involved, but one of the most direct ways for us to prepare for the threats to our climate, communities, and planet is by making a donation to Greenpeace today. The road ahead will not be easy. Trump’s upcoming presidency poses a direct and real danger to our climate, our environment, and our democracy. But, Greenpeace is not going anywhere. We’re not giving up — and we are ready for this fight.

Today I received this message from the Environmental Defense Fund:

Everything that we’ve fought so hard to accomplish in the past eight years is under attack, and we must not waste any time fighting back. Join the fight to protect our environmental legacy by making your first online gift to EDF this weekend.

Also today, there was a message from the Sierra Club:

The next four years will be decided by how hard we fight right now. We are launching an emergency campaign to stop Trump’s efforts to derail everything we’ve achieved. Monthly giving is the best way to support our fight. Become a Wilderness Guardian today.

I’m not sure how making contributions to Greenpeace, the Sierra Club and EDF is going to stop Trump. Not much was accomplished over the last eight years outside of promises on paper and some nice speeches by some politicians.

What will people receive in return for their donations? Certainly not any influence over Trump or the Republican Congress.

My question is this. Just how is President-elect Donald Trump any different than Prime Minister Justin Trudeau?

There is this myth that Trudeau is doing something to address climate change. He’s not. His energy policies are not much different than former Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Trudeau has not stopped development and extraction in the Tar Sands, he’s pro-pipeline, pro West Coast tanker traffic and pretty much pro anything that is going to profit the energy corporations. He even denied that the devastating fires earlier this year in Alberta were linked to climate change and chastised Canadian Green Party leader Elizabeth May for suggesting that it was.

But at COP 21 he said he was going to take real action on climate change…. like someday — maybe, or maybe not.

What has the U.S. under Obama done? I mean really! Trump will not diminish the Obama, Bush and Clinton efforts. He would actually have to try hard to do less than they did.

I very vividly remember that it was Al Gore who refused to sign the Kyoto Accord and I also remember everyone in Canada and Australia giving the Americans hell for not signing that accord, yet the Canadians and the Australians were creating more greenhouse gas emissions per capita than the Americans at the time and continued to do so.

So it seems that signing a climate change agreement is more important than actually doing something about the problem and acknowledging climate change and doing nothing about it appears to be more significant than denying it and doing nothing about it.

Many people will now throw their energies into fighting Trump on this issue and this will make leaders like Turnbull in Australia and Trudeau in Canada look relatively good while they do nothing more substantial than Trump in reality.

We humans do love our illusions.

Fighting Trump on this issue will also serve to send a message to all those who voted for him that he’s their man. Making the Libs, the Greenies and the Lefties angry is something that will endear him even more in their minds. They want him to be seen as the climate change denying hero. Instead we need to ignore him because climate change deniers are irrelevant to reality. By challenging the deniers, we validate them, we engage them and thus they are taken even more seriously.

“Climate change deniers are irrelevant to reality.” – Captain Paul Watson

Donald Trump is not really a stupid man, although he plays the role quite well. He knows damn well that climate change is real but he needs to tell his base what they want to hear and challenging him on this helps him to send that message even stronger.

Trump is not a scientist and therefore does not need to score any points with science. He is a politician wooing people who he knew wanted to hear the message that climate change is a hoax and, as is his way, he embellished it with a silly explanation that the Chinese created it. Does he really believe that? Of course not, but he wanted the people who want to hear him deny climate change to think that he does. It’s called politics, also known as the ‘art of the possible’.

Confronting Trump on climate change achieves less traction than ignoring him. Saying he is a dunce with the science does not hurt him, in fact it only makes him stronger with his base and his base has demonstrated that science pulls very little weight when it comes to their self interested priorities.

What he and his climate change denying constituents will not be able to ignore is when Mother Nature continues to slap them in the face harder and harder than the year before. They can only ignore super-storms, floods, drought, rising sea levels, devastating fires, etc., for so long until the realization that something is not quite right sinks through their hard skulls into that area of their brain that can comprehend consequences

Trying to get a politician, any politician, to actually withdraw from energy addiction is akin to trying to get a hardcore junkie to lay off the needle.

The Greenpeace, Sierra Club and EDF message state that Trump poses a direct and real danger to our climate, our environment, and our democracy.

But does he? The threats to our climate, our environment and our democracy have been the same threats for decades, well before Trump. He did not just jump out of the bushes to scare us with these threats. Are the Native Americans at Standing Rock being pepper sprayed and beaten because of Trump? Did the Deepwater Horizon disaster happen because of Trump? And what could be a greater threat to our environment than BP’s disaster in the Gulf and the fact that they were never really punished. If I deliberately or even accidentally poured just one barrel of oil into the harbor I would be in jail. This double standard is not Trump’s creation.

I think the oligarchs would love nothing better than to scapegoat Donald Trump for their sins. He is, after all, a loose cannon in their eyes. They would much rather replace him and most likely they will. Mike Pence would be a better fit for them and they know it. Not as good as Hillary Clinton, but more manageable than Trump.

These COP conferences are accomplishing absolutely nothing but talk, talk, talk and more freaking talk. We’re up to COP 22 now with this recent meeting in Morocco and without the charisma and energy of a Nichola Hulot with COP 21, hardly anyone has even heard of COP 22.

How many COP’S will there be before anything substantial is actually done. COP 33? COP 57? These charades are simply cop-outs from action.

Not one of these COP gab-fests has shut down a single coal fired generating plant or a single pipeline. Not one.

The only thing that excites any government appears to be the possibility of imposing a tax. Politicians love taxes and carbon taxes are just another scam to secure tax dollars. Carbon trading is yet another scam.

“The threats to our climate, our environment and our democracy have been the same threats for decades, well before Trump.” – Captain Paul Watson

There is not a single nation that is undertaking the effort to realistically and effectively address climate change.

Is anyone shutting down fracking, drilling, open pit mining, deep water exploration? No. Is there a single nation cutting subsidies to energy companies or to the destructive fishing industries? No. Will we stop slaughtering 65 billion animals a year to reduce a carbon footprint that is even greater than that of transportation? Hell no, “I like my hamburger” is the answer.

Is there a single world leader ready to make economic sacrifices for the environment? Absolutely not.

“Oh but….,” say my critics, “there are great educational programs underway.” How’s that working? Not that great?

Some want us to waste our energies battling Trump The climate change Denier as if that’s going to accomplish anything. It won’t. When will we stop reacting to the circuses so we can actually focus on taking the initiative?

My point is that Donald Trump simply is no worse and no better than all the rest of these so-called leaders whose agenda is to serve the corporations and to enrich themselves.

He won’t do much but he will most likely do just as much meaning very little as Trudeau, Turnbull and May have done, or will do.

The North American Free Trade Deal happened under Clinton. The Trans-Pacific Trade Deal was an Obama goal. Trump is against it. Fracking was initiated and supported by Obama and Clinton. The embarrassment of the Dakota Access Pipeline is happening under the Obama administration.

Would Hillary Clinton have stopped it if elected? Would she actually do a damn thing to address climate change if she had won? The evidence indicates that she would have done everything to maintain the status quo which has brought all these problems to us and will present much greater problems in the near future.

I did not vote for Trump but I’m not going to pretend that on this issue, i.e. climate change, anyone else would mean anything different.

I can see fighting Trump on women’s issues, LGBT+ issues, immigration issues and many more important social issues. I will support any such efforts with both passion and action BUT I have no intention of fighting Trump on climate change. To do so would simply be a distraction away from the fact that not one goddamn world leader is actually doing anything at all to address the problem. I have no intention of contributing to making them all look good compared to Trump.

Because when it comes to climate change Trump is on par with Trudeau, Turnbull, May, Hollande, Abe, Putin, and the leaders of China, Brazil, Mexico and everyone else meaning that they all are pursuing agendas that are contrary to the reality of climate change.

So where do we look for answers?

People of passion, of imagination, courage and commitment. People like Elon Musk, Gildo Pastor, Leonardo DiCaprio, James Cameron, Ethan Brown, Cyrill Gutch, John Paul DiJoria, Chief Raoni, Dale Vince, Naomi Klein, Jasmine Thomas, Wangari Maathai and so many others.

Individual passion. Individual imagination. Individual initiative. Individual courage. These are the keys to our survival.

Depending on a politician to solve any of these problems is like depending on an oil executive to promote solar energy. It is simply not in their interest or as Bill Clinton once put it, “It’s the economy stupid.”

That is a fact. Politicians serve the economy. They do not serve the Environment. It’s like asking a high school history teacher to teach advanced math. They won’t do it because they can’t do it.

We need to look beyond the limited horizons of elected officials because the answers are to be found well beyond their restricted and blinkered worldview.

To paraphrase Matthew in Matthew 22:21 “Render to the Donald the things that are the Donald’s.”

Climate change is not one of his things and never will be. It is our thing, those of us who understand the consequences and thus it is our responsibility to explore and invent alternatives and to fight the technologies, not the hired mouthpieces of these destructive technologies.

Before Trump can wreck the climate

from the group Avaaz:

In 67 days, President Trump could go to war with climate action. But governments are at their annual climate summit right now. If we act fast, we could get them to lock in progress before he can destroy everything we worked for.

Germany, China, India, Brazil, the climate vulnerable countries, and others are reasserting their commitment to the Paris climate deal. But if enough of us call for it we could get them to urgently lock in the way to zero climate pollution, demand the US keeps its Paris promise, and commit to advance faster towards climate solutions that Trump won’t be able to stop.

Let’s ask them to make an unequivocal statement for climate action, regardless of what Trump does. Avaaz has staff inside the summit — let’s make this the biggest public call ever to show we will fight like hell for everything we love — it’ll be delivered directly to governments.

Sign the Paris protection petition, and forward this email to everyone!

Trump has called climate change a hoax, dismissed the Paris agreement, and just gave a climate denier with ties to Big Oil the job of determining his environmental policy in the next few months!

But over 100 countries have signed up and Paris is already in force. Now the world’s most vulnerable countries are leading the charge for urgent climate action. Yesterday, Germany announced a bold new plan to radically cut carbon and, crucially, China is shutting down coal and breaking records on renewable energy. India too.

Trump could pull the US out of the UN climate convention when he comes to power — and as the world’s largest per capita emitter, that will have huge impact not only on the people of the US, but on all of us. But such a withdrawal is a bureaucratic nightmare that could take years. If enough of us join together now with a roar of NO! we can find ways to stop it, and ensure the rest of the world speeds up if the US slows down.

We simply can’t let this ignorant billionaire destroy the only path to save our planet. Let’s go all out now to keep the world on track when Trump takes office.

Sign now to get our leaders to recommit to our planet and forward this on!

Together, we helped make the landmark Paris climate agreement possible. We marched, donated, signed, and called. In the end, we helped push good leaders to be champions and made it difficult for anyone trying to block progress. Paris was always a starting point. We still have a long way to go to save everything we love from climate change. But if we lose it now, this shot at global cooperation is gone. This week we must act.

With hope,

Iain, Alice, Pascal, Risalat, Fatima, Ricken and the whole Avaaz team

MORE INFORMATION:

Paris climate deal thrown into uncertainty by US election result (The Guardian)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/nov/09/us-election-result-throws-paris-climate-deal-int…

Donald Trump Could Put Climate Change on Course for ‘Danger Zone’ (NYTimes)
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/11/us/politics/donald-trump-climate-change.html

U.S. Leadership and the Historic Paris Agreement to Combat Climate Change (White House)
https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/12/12/us-leadership-and-historic-paris-agreement-combat-climate-change

Environmental leaders mourn Trump’s win and prepare for battle

http://www.hcn.org/articles/environmental-leaders-mourn-president-elect-trumps-win-and-prepare-for-battle?utm_source=wcn1&utm_medium=email

GOP leaders see Trump’s triumph as mandate to promote fossil fuels.

Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune wore an expression of indignation as he articulated a post-election message for Sierra Club’s 2.4 million members: Acknowledge the pain and alienation you feel over Donald Trump’s victory and then gird yourself for a fight.

Brune gathered with other national environmental leaders at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday. When they scheduled the press conference before the election, they expected it to be a celebration of Hillary Clinton, who had pledged to make clean energy and addressing climate change a priority. Instead they mourned the major threat the environment faces. “Make no mistake; the election of Donald Trump could be devastating for our climate and our future,” said Brune, after declaring solidarity with women, minorities and religious groups who were similarly dismayed by Trump’s win.

Like many other people, environmental leaders were stunned by a presidential election that defied the polls and put into power a man who calls climate change a hoax and has vowed to do away with the Environmental Protection Agency, take the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement and cancel President Obama’s Clean Power Plan and much of the rest of his climate legacy.


Environmentalists prepare for battle against a Trump presidency that they believe puts the planet at peril. From left, Sky Gallegos, Executive Vice President of Political Strategy, NextGen Climate Action, Michael Brune, Executive Director, Sierra Club, Anna Aurilio, D.C. Director, Environment America, Kevin Curtis, Executive Director, NRDC Action Fund.
Elizabeth Shogren

Despite a huge gap between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on climate change, the issue was not prominent during the campaign. Journalists moderating the presidential debates failed to ask even one question about it. Trump has yet to articulate his environmental agenda. As a result, “we don’t know what he stands for,” said Kevin Curtis, executive director, NRDC Action Fund, the political arm of Natural Resources Defense Council.

Perhaps the clearest view of Trump’s energy and environmental agenda came on the day in July when he seized the nomination. He made a contradictory pledge to save coal while also bolstering natural gas—the main reason for coal’s downturn.

Despite the lack of detail from the president-elect, GOP Congressional leaders assert that Trump’s election is a mandate to undo President Obama’s environmental initiatives. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla, chairman of the Senate Environment Committee, said in a statement that the election proves that Americans reject the Paris Agreement and the rest of Obama’s climate change legacy. He predicts Trump will fill the vacant Supreme Court seat with a conservative who will help kill the Clean Power Plan. After Tuesday’s election it’s guaranteed that President Obama’s climate legacy “will be remembered for being built on hollow commitments,” Inhofe says.

But environmental leaders underscore that Trump’s pronouncements cannot change the fact that the planet is heating up – intensifying wild fires and floods, making habitats inhospitable for plants and animals, raising sea levels and threatening public health. Nor can the election change the fact that coal is being outcompeted in the marketplace by wind and solar power. And states such as California, Washington, Oregon and Colorado are moving forward on clean energy and climate policies.

The environmental leaders make no attempt to sugarcoat their defeat. League of Conservation Voters, NextGen Climate Action, the Sierra Club, EDF Action, the NRDC Action Fund and Environment America collectively spent more than $100 million on the 2016 election in large part to elect Clinton and help green-minded Democrats take control of the Senate. Still, the environmental leaders claim some important victories in the election and reelection of governors who are committed to lead their states to combat climate change—Montana’s Democratic Governor Steve Bullock was re-elected even though his state went for Trump. Washington GovernorJay Inslee also was re-elected. Roy Cooper, the Democratic candidate for governor of North Carolina, has declared victory, although his lead is so slight that a recount has been called. These governors will continue the trend of recent years, with states and localities taking the lead on climate action as the U.S. Congress has been gridlocked, environmentalists say.

With Republicans retaining control of the House and Senate, the environmental leaders do not expect any near-term legislative wins but they stress that the Democrats they helped to elect to the Senate — including Nevada Senator-elect Catherine Cortez Masto, who will be the first Latina senator, and California Senator-elect Kamala Harris — will block legislation that would be damaging to the planet.

Some hold out hope that once in power, Trump will drop his anti-environment agenda. Anna Aurilio, the D.C. director for Environment America, urged Trump to work with environmentalists to promote clean energy, and the good jobs it will bring, and help America meet its commitments under the Paris Agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions 26 to 28 percent by 2025 from 2005 levels.

But if he doesn’t, Aurilio said, environmentalists will do what they did after the 1994 elections, when Republicans took charge of the U.S. House. Led by then-Speaker Newt Gingrich, who is now rumored to be a top pick for Secretary of State, they tried to do away with the EPA and weaken protections for clean air, clean water and public lands. Aurilio brought along a prop from that battle: a small red stop sign with the words “stop the rollbacks.”

Aurilio recalled how environmentalists went to congressional districts of House Republicans, educated people about the GOP onslaught on the environment and helped then-President Clinton force Republicans to give up their anti-environment agenda. “This election, nobody went to the ballot box voting for dirtier air and dirtier water,” she said. As in the mid-1990s, people will not support an effort by Trump and the Republicans to weaken environmental protections, she says. “So we have to mobilize.”

Trump Picks Top Climate Skeptic to Lead EPA Transition

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/trump-picks-top-climate-skeptic-to-lead-epa-transition/?wt.mc=SA_Twitter-Share

Choosing Myron Ebell means Trump plans to drastically reshape climate policies

 Donald Trump has selected one of the best-known climate skeptics to lead his U.S. EPA transition team, according to two sources close to the campaign.

Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute, is spearheading Trump’s transition plans for EPA, the sources said.

The Trump team has also lined up leaders for its Energy Department and Interior Department teams. Republican energy lobbyist Mike McKenna is heading the DOE team; former Interior Department solicitor David Bernhardt is leading the effort for that agency, according to sources close to the campaign.

Ebell is a well-known and polarizing figure in the energy and environment realm. His participation in the EPA transition signals that the Trump team is looking to drastically reshape the climate policies the agency has pursued under the Obama administration. Ebell’s role is likely to infuriate environmentalists and Democrats but buoy critics of Obama’s climate rules.

Ebell, who was dubbed an “elegant nerd” and a “policy wonk” by Vanity Fair, is known for his prolific writings that question what he calls climate change “alarmism.” He appears frequently in the media and before Congress. He’s also chairman of the Cooler Heads Coalition, a group of nonprofits that “question global warming alarmism and oppose energy-rationing policies.”

Ebell appears to relish criticism from the left.

In a biography submitted when he testified before Congress, he listed among his recognitions that he had been featured in a Greenpeace “Field Guide to Climate Criminals,” dubbed a “misleader” on global warming by Rolling Stone and was the subject of a motion to censure in the British House of Commons after Ebell criticized the United Kingdom’s chief scientific adviser for his views on global warming.

More recently, Ebell has called the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan for greenhouse gases illegal and said that Obama joining the Paris climate treaty “is clearly an unconstitutional usurpation of the Senate’s authority.”

He told Vanity Fair in 2007, “There has been a little bit of warming … but it’s been very modest and well within the range for natural variability, and whether it’s caused by human beings or not, it’s nothing to worry about.”

Ebell’s views appear to square with Trump’s when it comes to EPA’s agenda. Trump has called global warming “bullshit” and he has said he would “cancel” the Paris global warming accord and roll back President Obama’s executive actions on climate change (ClimateWire, May 27).

Leading the Trump DOE team: GOP hired gun McKenna.

The president of MWR Strategies is well known in Republican energy circles. He was director of policy and external affairs for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality under then-Gov. George Allen (R) and was an external relations specialist at the Energy Department during the George H.W. Bush administration.

His lobbying clients in 2016 include Koch Companies Public Sector LLC, Southern Company Services, Dow Chemical Co. and Competitive Power Ventures Inc., according to public disclosures.

And heading Interior’s transition effort is Bernhardt, co-chairman of the Natural Resources Department at the law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck.

He served as Interior’s solicitor during the George W. Bush administration after holding several other high-ranking jobs at the department.

In addition to the EPA, Interior and DOE team leaders, GOP energy expert Mike Catanzaro is also working on energy policy for the Trump transition team (Greenwire, Sept. 14).

During the Obama transition in 2008, a relatively small team was assembled ahead of the election in order to map out broad policy goals.

Following the election, the operation expanded dramatically and teams were dispatched to work out of agencies to gather information from political staffers and career officials, write flurries of memos and compile thick binders of intelligence to hand over to the incoming leadership (Greenwire, Aug. 19, 2016).

Should Trump win in November, Ebell, McKenna and Bernhardt will likely be leading similar efforts to reform their respective agencies.

Ebell and McKenna directed questions about their roles to the Trump transition team. The Trump campaign and Bernhardt did not respond to requests for comment.

This story also appears in E&E Daily.

Reprinted from ClimateWire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. E&E provides daily coverage of essential energy and environmental news at www.eenews.net. Click here for theoriginal story.