Join the Resistance to Trump’s Attack on Our Environment and Civil Rights

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/earth2trump/index.html
The Earth2Trump Roadshow is coming to a town near you in January.

The roadshow is rallying and empowering defenders of civil rights and the environment to resist Trump’s dangerous agenda. Stopping in 16 cities on its way to Washington, D.C., it will bring thousands of people to protest at the presidential inauguration.

Click on the map below to RSVP for an event near you. Invite your friends, family and activist networks. Forward this webpage widely on Facebook, Twitter and email.

Beginning in Oakland and Seattle on Jan. 2, the Earth2Trump Roadshow will tour the country bringing speakers, musicians, outrage, fun and hope to 16 cities as it progresses toward the presidential inauguration on Jan. 20.

The shows will feature national and local speakers, great musicians, and an opportunity to join a growing movement of resistance to all forms of oppression and all attacks on our environment. We must stand and oppose every Trump policy that hurts wildlife; poisons our air and water; destroys our climate; promotes racism, misogyny or homophobia; and marginalizes entire segments of our society.

At each show, you can:

  • Sign the national Pledge of Resistance to Trump’s dangerous agenda.
  • Write a personalized #Earth2Trump message that will be carried to D.C. inside a massive three-dimensional globe and delivered to Trump.
  • Create a huge, viral social media #Earth2Trump messaging campaign.
  • Connect with people in your community resisting oppression and find out how to join the million people who will protest in Washington, D.C., on Inauguration Day.

Join us in your community to send a powerful, unwavering #Earth2Trump message that oppression and environmental destruction must not be tolerated.

Click on locations in the map below to RSVP so we know you’re coming and then share this page with your family, friends and social networks.

Trump is a threat to the Paris agreement. Can states like California defend it?

Mayors could override Trump on the Paris climate accord — here’s how (Business Insider)
http://www.businessinsider.com/mayors-could-override-trump-on-paris-accord-2016-11?IR=T

American Mayors Pledge Climate Leadership In Response To United States Presidential Election (C40 Cities)
http://www.c40.org/blog_posts/american-mayors-pledge-climate-leadership-in-response-to-united-states…

Trump is a threat to the Paris agreement. Can states like California defend it? (The Guardian)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/21/trump-threat-paris-agreement-california-climate-change

Google says it will hit 100% renewable energy by 2017 (TechCrunch)
https://techcrunch.com/2016/12/06/google-says-it-will-hit-100-renewable-energy-by-2017/

India’s silence on Trump noted at Marrakech climate talks (Climate Change News)
http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/11/18/indias-silence-on-trump-noted-at-marrakech-climate-talks/

Trump, Putin, and ExxonMobil team up to destroy the planet (Think Progress)
https://thinkprogress.org/trump-putin-and-exxonmobil-team-up-to-destroy-the-planet-fb88650acfa1#.ghwab1ulw

Just look at some of the Trump cabinet choices

from Dfenders.org:

  • Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT) was tapped, just yesterday, to head up the Department of the Interior. Zinke is a fervent supporter of coal, oil and gas exploration. He’s voted for Congressional measures that would gut the Endangered Species Act and is a strong backer of building the Keystone XL pipeline.
  • Rick Perry, chosen to run the Department of Energy – an agency he once stated he would like to eliminate. Perry, yet another climate change denier, also serves on the board of directors of Energy Transfer Partners, the company developing the Dakota Access Pipeline.
  • Rex Tillerson, the CEO of Exxon Mobile has been nominated to lead the State Department. Tillerson has used his leadership at Exxon Mobil, the firm at fault for the devastating Exxon-Valdez oil spill in Alaska, to promote fossil fuel development here and around the world.
  • Scott Pruitt, known climate change denier to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt is well known for suing the agency he is now set to lead and has worked to dismantle basic protections for our nation’s air and water.

Climate Change Is Starving North Pole Reindeer

Scientists say while there are more reindeer, they are much smaller in size

The Guardian reports the reindeer are losing access to plants because warmer winter temps mean less snowfall. Without snow, the precipitation that falls is often rain which eventually freezes the ground; the ice sheets serve as a barrier between the reindeer and their food. The changes in temperature also mean reindeer have more food in the warmer months, a change that has led to a population boom. So while the reindeer are smaller, there are more of them.

323 Reindeer Killed by Bolt of Lightning in Norway
A single lightning strike is believed to have killed more than 300 reindeer in Norway.

“Warmer summers are great for reindeer but winters are getting increasingly tough,” the Guardian reports Professor Steve Albon, an who led the reindeer study in conjunction with Norwegian researchers, said. “So far we have more but smaller reindeer.”

The Christian Science Monitor reports the past decade has been hard on the reindeer population. In 2006 and 2013, the Monitor says, over 80,000 reindeer died of starvation linked to warm winters.

[Guardian] full story: http://time.com/4597865/climate-change-is-starving-north-pole-reindeer/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+time%2Ftopstories+%28TIME%3A+Top+Stories%29

Leonardo DiCaprio, Trump talk climate change

http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/08/politics/leonardo-dicaprio-trump-climate-change-meeting/index.html

(CNN) Leonardo DiCaprio met with President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday to discuss climate change — adding to the mixed signals from the President-elect on the environment.

“We presented the President-elect and his advisors with a framework … that details how to unleash a major economic revival across the United States that is centered on investments in sustainable infrastructure,” Terry Tamminen, CEO of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, said in a statement. “Our conversation focused on how to create millions of secure, American jobs in the construction and operation of commercial and residential clean, renewable energy generation.
DiCaprio’s meeting with Trump only added to the mixed messages coming out of Trump Tower, particularly on the issue of climate change.
On the same day of his meeting with DiCaprio, Trump tapped Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt — a climate change denier — to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt is an opponent of many of the Obama EPA’s environmental regulations, and sued the agency over its regulations of power plants in his capacity as attorney general.
Coupled with Trump’s own history of climate change skepticism, environmentalists see dim prospects for action that scientists say is necessary to avert the most devastating consequences of climate change. Trump has called climate change a “hoax” but in a recent interview allowed for the possibility that human activity may be contributing to global warming.
Trump held a separate meeting this week with another high-profile environmental activist — former Vice President Al Gore, who has also championed the fight against climate change in his career after politics.
DiCaprio has used his celebrity to champion environmental causes. He emphasized the threat of climate change in his 2016 Academy Awards acceptance speech — “Climate change is real, it is happening right now,” he said — and produced a documentary on the subject, titled “Before the Flood,” which was released this year. According to “The Independent,” DiCaprio gave Ivanka Trump a copy of the documentary at the meeting.
The statement from his foundation added that “climate change is bigger than politics, and the disastrous effects on our planet and our civilization will continue regardless of what party holds majorities in Congress or occupies the White House.”
And according to the foundation, there may be another meeting.
“The President-elect expressed his desire for a follow up meeting in January, and we look forward to continuing the conversation with the incoming administration as we work to stop the dangerous march of climate change, while putting millions of people to work at the same time,” Tamminen said in the statement.
The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment on the DiCaprio meeting.
How drastic might Trump’s climate change policy changes be? A report released in Novemberby the International Energy Agency (IEA) outlines two key scenarios for emissions and global warming in the coming decades.
The first scenario assumes world leaders keep the promises made in Paris last year at the United Nation’s COP21 summit. The agreement between more than 175 countries introduced environmentally friendly policies to slow the increase in emissions and global warming.
The second scenario assumes no real action is taken and agreements are brushed aside, resulting in a 36% surge in carbon dioxide emissions by 2040, nearly three times the increase expected under the first scenario. While that would be a nightmare for environmentalists, it’s unlikely that all Paris signatories would abandon their pledges.
Still, according to a recent United Nations Environment report, the world is still heading for a temperature rise of 2.9 to 3.4 degrees Celsius this century, even with the Paris pledges.

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