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Trump’s Attack on Clean Power Threatens Livable Climate, Public Health, and Hundreds of Thousands of Energy Jobs

Decades of progress on cleaning up our dirty air took a significant hit on Tuesday, along with hopes for a livable future climate, when President Trump issued his Energy Independence Executive Order. Most seriously, the order attacks the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Clean Power Plan, which requires a 32 percent reduction in CO2 emissions from existing power plants by 2030 (compared to 2005 emission rates.)  — Dr Jeff Masters

*****

Yesterday, Donald Trump, much like that famous Luddite Don Quixote, decided to go to war with clean energy. But unlike Don Quixote, Trump did so with full knowledge that he was also fighting to rob us of our best hopes of putting millions of Americans to work for clean air and a livable climate.

(Where would you want to live? Downwind of a toxin spewing coal plant, or near solar panels and wind turbines? Poor coal miners basically a set piece in Trump’s effort to save coal profits at the cost of the environment. Coal company CEOs have already signaled that the coal jobs aren’t coming back due to automation.)

With executive order #18 from his administration, he began to lay the groundwork to start to unravel Obama’s Clean Power Plan — which made a decent first shot at removing the worst U.S. polluters, prevented about 4,500 premature deaths each year (which is like preventing a pollution 9/11 every six months), promoted a jobs-growing renewable energy revolution, and put the U.S. on track to become a global leader in the fight to prevent some of the worst impacts of climate change.

Trump’s latest move, yet one more promotion of policies harmful to the American people, drew fierce opposition. Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) called Trump’s actions “a declaration of war on American leadership on climate change and our clean energy future.” The states of California and New York, representing 20 percent of the U.S. population and more than 20 percent of the U.S. economy, have vowed to oppose Trump’s order even as they provide more funds for clean energy development. Ten senators from various states immediately asked Trump to rescind the order on account that it would do substantial harm to their constituent economies (which are rapidly moving to adopt clean energy). And the National Resources Defense Council and others have vowed to oppose Trump’s measure every step of the way in court.

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) said of Trump’s move:

“Today Donald Trump is shirking our nation’s responsibilities, disregarding clear science and undoing the significant progress that we’ve made to ensure we leave a better, more sustainable planet for generations to come with the stroke of his pen. Despite all the rhetoric, this order clearly proves that this administration is not serious about protecting jobs or the environment.”

And though Trump claimed that his attack on The Clean Power Plan was meant to help save jobs, the numbers just don’t add up.

(If you want to grow jobs in the U.S., replacing dirty energy with clean energy is a good way to do it. But Trump is doing just the opposite. Source: Political Economy Research Institute.)

As Trump favors coal over renewable energy, and since every dollar spent on renewable energy creates twice the number of jobs for every dollar spent on fossil fuels, his action will almost certainly result in job losses across the energy sector. In West Virginia, for example, many coal jobs have already been replaced by automation and even coal executives now say those jobs aren’t coming back.

Meanwhile, the Clean Power Plan would have provided West Virginia with the opportunity to diversify its economy, to shift away from dependence on dwindling coal jobs, and to add renewable energy jobs if it were to pursue building wind turbines or solar farms, for example. Replacing coal jobs with renewable energy jobs would add about 70,000 jobs to the U.S. economy as a whole. And switching fossil fuel generation to renewable energy provides a prospect of almost doubling the 2.2 million jobs in today’s energy sector. Attack clean power, as Trump has, and we risk losing that jobs growth.

(The cost of utility scale renewable energy is now dramatically lower than utility scale fossil fuels. Considering both cost and jobs growth potential, it’s nonsensical to attack renewable energy — as Trump just did. Image source: Solar and Wind Crush Coal and Natural Gas on Price.)

Attempting to dismantle the Clean Power Plan, therefore, threatens renewable energy jobs across America even as it promotes the continuation of dirty coal burning which is so harmful to both the health of American citizens and to the stability of our climate. If Trump were truly serious about helping West Virginia coal miners he would, as the Chinese have for their own ailing coal workers, provide substantial funds for training and assistance to miners who have lost their jobs. Trump has pushed no such bill.

Ultimately, the only people with the potential to substantially benefit from Trump’s attacks on the Clean Power Plan are the owners of coal mines and coal-burning power plants. But this action is little more than an anti-competitive, anti-capitalist policy of wealthcare for the wealthy industry investors and execs on the losing side of the energy transition. Trump’s action would, in effect, extend the life of these dirty plants and mines — securing profits for a few wealthy individuals for a few more years to come. But even this paltry ‘benefit’ would tend to fade as the superior economics of renewable energy out-compete coal as time moves forward. Already, solar is less expensive than existing coal-fired power plants. And wind energy has long been a competitive source on the basis of price.

paris-emissions-chart-columbia (1)

(The Trump Administration shows every intent of trying to put the U.S. back on a business as usual carbon emissions path. The Clean Power Plan would dramatically reduce U.S. emissions thereby also reducing catastrophic climate outcomes. Image source: Weather Underground and The Earth Institute.)

But the worst impact of the Clean Power Plan’s removal will probably be the locking in of an ever-worsening climate catastrophe for U.S. citizens and the people of the world. Already sea level rise is threatening key cities like Miami even as worsening droughts, wildfires, floods and storms are causing substantial harm from the Washington D.C. area through the heartland and on to the U.S. West Coast. But the climate change related impacts that we see now are minor and easy in comparison to the harm that is coming in the future if we fail to rapidly reduce carbon emissions now. And Trump’s policy is a set-back to those necessary carbon reductions that we can ill-afford.

So the obvious choice is clear. The Clean Power Plan is a big benefit to the U.S. economy and to the health and well-being of the people who live in this great nation. And fighting to remove it basically boils down to a madman tilting at the very windmills that will help to save us from a terrible future.

(UPDATED)

Credits:

Hat tip to Ryan in New England

Hat tip to Naturalfx

Hat tip to Timothy Thalen

Hat tip to Colorado Bob

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83 Comments

  1. coloradobob

     /  March 29, 2017

    Trump’s Executive Order Threatens to Wreck Earth as a Livable Planet for Humans
    By: Jeff Masters , 1:13 PM GMT on March 29, 2017

    Decades of progress on cleaning up our dirty air took a significant hit on Tuesday, along with hopes for a livable future climate, when President Trump issued his Energy Independence Executive Order. Most seriously, the order attacks the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Clean Power Plan, which requires a 32 percent reduction in CO2 emissions from existing power plants by 2030 (compared to 2005 emission rates.)

    Link

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  2. coloradobob

     /  March 29, 2017

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Xcel Energy has announced plans to invest $1.6 billion to build two wind farms in eastern New Mexico and West Texas over the next three years. ……………….. Taken together, the two new facilities and the agreement with NextEra will provide a total of 1.23 gigawatts of electricity, or enough to power about 440,000 average homes annually. ……………………… The wind projects will help lower the cost of Xcel’s energy, saving the company’s Texas and New Mexico customers about $2.8 billion over the next 30 years, said Xcel spokesman Wes Reeves.

    “We’re doing it primarily because it’s the cheapest energy resource we can buy now, even lower than our coal generation,” Reeves told the Journal. “We can lock in a good price now to predict and know where that price will be for the future.”

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    • The number of U.S. cities pushing for 100 percent renewable energy has now risen to 25: https://cleantechnica.com/2017/03/28/total-25-us-cities-now-committed-100-renewables/

      Trump is fighting against the tide. We just have to give him hell, hold him accountable, and make sure the growth in renewables keeps sticking.

      In any case, a good related LA Times Editorial:

      Actually would make a good addition.

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      • Edward Miessner

         /  March 30, 2017

        Yes, all those promised coal-mining jobs will go to ROBOTS… run on fossil fuels and by algorhythms. Right now people are employed in both mountain top removal, strip mining and underground mining, but the fossil fuel magnates are working on the removal of the remaining worlers from the equation.

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  3. Wilson McKenna

     /  March 29, 2017

    Unfortunately Trump is rigid in his thinking so there is no way (in my opinion) to change that viewpoint at least for the four years he’ll be in there and maybe 8 if the voters can be flimflammed again. If you think I’m wrong, remember he met with Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio and neither one of them evidently made a dent in his perspective. Now Congress is suggesting ‘Red Teams’ to question climate scientists conclusions on the topic of GW. To act as ‘Devil Advocates’ is how it’s termed. As one scientist said, it’s ridiculous to take this approach at this point. But hopefully renewables will continue to be installed on an increasing scale, essentially acting as a way of ignoring rejections of the science of GW.

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    • Resistance at every level is the best policy at this point.

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    • Abel Adamski

       /  March 29, 2017

      Interestingly I have a thought (I know shock horror)
      Trump was on record some years ago as concerned re AGW.
      What if the Mexican Wall has nothing in reality to do with Illegal Immigrants except as political justification. Rather in preparation for the coming flood of Climate Refugees, keep them out. Let them die, their suffering does not matter. After all Mercer has stated and Bannon has indicated he is of like mind that a persons value is directly proportional to their wealth and income, they are of Negative value and like in a Corporation negative value sections are exised

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  4. Erik Frederiksen

     /  March 29, 2017

    This apparently puts the Paris targets for the US out of reach, from one article I read. We were supposed to beat the insufficient Paris targets, not miss them.

    If William D. Nordhaus is correct when he says ”A target of 2½ °C is technically feasible but would require extreme virtually universal global policy measures” then we are very quickly running out of time before we take this climate beyond human experience.

    https://www.scribd.com/document/335688297/Nordhaus-climate-economics?

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  5. bostonblorp

     /  March 29, 2017

    RS, please remove if you feel it’s inappropriate. Thought this gif summed it up nicely.

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  6. Abel Adamski

     /  March 29, 2017

    Referring back to Goebells, to paraphrase.
    When the basis of your power is the Big Lie, it’s enemy is the Truth and all actions must be taken to ensure that does not become public.
    In Confress and the media. What hope have the scientists got when all the research and Data over centuries is destroyed, why just the word of and the hypothesis (not even theories – they have some factual support) of the “true Scientists” applying their scientific method of destroying data and evidence that exposes their lies or incompetence

    A must read and pass on

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/28/arctic-researcher-donald-trump-deleting-my-citations?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+AUS+v1+-+AUS+morning+mail+callout&utm_term=219408&subid=21049740&CMP=ema_632

    I am an Arctic researcher. Donald Trump is deleting my citations
    Victoria Herrmann

    s an Arctic researcher, I’m used to gaps in data. Just over 1% of US Arctic waters have been surveyed to modern standards. In truth, some of the maps we use today haven’t been updated since the second world war. Navigating uncharted waters can prove difficult, but it comes with the territory of working in such a remote part of the world.

    Over the past two months though, I’ve been navigating a different type of uncharted territory: the deleting of what little data we have by the Trump administration.

    At first, the distress flare of lost data came as a surge of defunct links on 21 January. The US National Strategy for the Arctic, the Implementation Plan for the Strategy, and the report on our progress all gone within a matter of minutes. As I watched more and more links turned red, I frantically combed the internet for archived versions of our country’s most important polar policies.

    I had no idea then that this disappearing act had just begun.

    Since January, the surge has transformed into a slow, incessant march of deleting datasets, webpages and policies about the Arctic. I now come to expect a weekly email request to replace invalid citations, hoping that someone had the foresight to download statistics about Arctic permafrost thaw or renewable energy in advance of the purge.

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    • “Referring back to Goebells, to paraphrase.
      When the basis of your power is the Big Lie, it’s enemy is the Truth and all actions must be taken to ensure that does not become public.”

      Which is why these scandals just won’t go away. People instinctively know there’s something going on. In the end, it may just be the free press that saves our democracy from these guys.

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  7. Abel Adamski

     /  March 29, 2017

    Just for follow up
    http://gizmodo.com/todays-congressional-hearing-on-climate-change-was-a-co-1793787320?IR=T

    Today’s Congressional Hearing on Climate Change Was a Colossal Train Wreck

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  8. Ryan in New England

     /  March 30, 2017

    Great post, Robert! And thank you for the hat tip, it’s truly an honor for me. I should apologize for my comment on the last thread about the US populace being troglodytes…I know that more than half this country supports clean energy and wants change. And we have some of the hardest fighting individuals and groups on the planet. And the readers of this blog are especially enlightened and passionate and courageous. It’s only the minority that support Trump, but they’re a very vocal and especially nasty bunch, and sometimes I let them get to me and I feel like the whole country is against me. That’s how I was feeling when I made that previous comment.

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    • Cate

       /  March 30, 2017

      Ryan, no worries, my friend. I think we all here share your frustrations and your impatience with those who refuse to see the—dare I say it—-truth of what is coming at us. .

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    • Hey Ryan. Thanks so much for the kind words and perspective.

      I certainly understand the frustration. But we should do our best not to make blanket generalizations for the whole country. Painting America in a negative light or attacking democracy (which you didn’t do, but some here have) is not helpful in the present situation where we have a foreign power that is preying on extremes on both the left and the right in an attempt to heighten divisions, erode democratic institutions, and force our fragmentation.

      And to be clear, Trump job approval is presently at 35 percent. The guy never had much approval. He lost the popular vote by the largest margin in modern history. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by about as much as Obama did in 2012.

      With regards to climate change, despite all the constant and loud misinformation, Americans are more and more aware of what’s happening.

      Though it’s not in line with the high level of certainty among the sciences, this is not the sentiment of a troglodyte nation.

      If you’re online a lot — and most of us are these days — you can often fall prey to intentionally manufactured false impressions. In one example, a recent twitter meme sought to raise awareness of climate change solutions through the hashtag #stepstoreverseclimatechange. The meme was then invaded by climate change denier trolls aiming to attack these solutions. The hashtag thread got flooded with bots and political operatives. And the effect was basically an internet megaphone trying to shout down concerned citizens. But the truth is that only a rather small group of people were involved in this, authoritarian-style, shout-down effort. The effect was outsized, though, creating the false impression that there were more climate change deniers than there really are. Giving an inappropriately large weight to the denial segment. If you’re not a veteran in the climate wars that have been ongoing in the electronic sphere for years and years, when you saw this you might succumb to despair and think that we really are a nation of trogs. But the amazing thing is that, despite all the efforts to shout down people who are concerned about climate change, climate change awareness is rising and people are more and more concerned.

      The appropriate response at this time is to not lose faith and to hold America up. She is under attack in so many ways (climate change denial being just one). We now need to stand together. To unite. To stand for our shared liberal democratic values (we are, after all, a liberal democracy in a liberal democratic west) Indivisible.

      http://player.theplatform.com/p/7wvmTC/MSNBCEmbeddedOffSite?guid=n_maddow_cnato_170329

      But this does not mean that we should give climate change deniers or what appear to be petrostate (Putin) sympathizers an out. In this country, they’re the cause of the problem.

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  9. Erik Frederiksen

     /  March 30, 2017

    Regarding this part of your headline “Attack on Clean Power Threatens Livable Climate”, from a recent paper from PNAS, “Communicating the deadly consequences of global warming for human heat stress” http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/03/21/1617526114.short?rss=1

    “our results confirm that global mean air temperature is nonlinearly related to heat stress, meaning that the same future warming as realized to date could trigger larger increases in societal impacts than historically experienced. This nonlinearity is higher for heat stress metrics that integrate the effect of rising humidity. We show that, even in a climate held to 2 °C above PI, Karachi (Pakistan) and Kolkata (India) could expect conditions equivalent to their deadly 2015 heatwaves every year.”

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    • If we hit near 2 C we start to get significant instances where wet bulbs exceed the human survivability threshold of 35 C. Hansen, one of the authors of this, very pertinent, study (thank you for linking it) has now been highlighting this risk for some time.

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      • Edward Miessner

         /  March 30, 2017

        Well we need to figure out what to do before 2020 and then do it between 2020 and 2050. This involves total decarbonisation of the economy and development of technologies to remove excess carbon out of the atmosphere at at least 5gT per year to reach the 2100 goal of 2 C is what I’ve read. Trump and the GOP in the places they’re in makes this very impossible (Indian immigrant lingo for extremely difficult) now.

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  10. Andy_in_SD

     /  March 30, 2017

    In the vein of CB adding songs that seem so appropriate to Roberts postings….
    (One of my Fav Australian bands).

    The Screaming Jets – Fat Rich C**ts….

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  11. Andy_in_SD

     /  March 30, 2017

    The behavior is endemic of “today’s gain, tomorrows peril”

    Clean energy IS the future, period. He who manufactures it, owns the future. The Chinese understand this.

    Those companies / countries / individuals who embrace it own the economy of tomorrow. What value being the last one who can build and deploy a coal plant? It makes me think of the last company (Staedtler) who made slide rules. They made the best slide rules of all, and how is that going today? Last year? Last Decade?

    We are farting around trying to bring back coal? Charles Dickens is laughing at us now, we have become Greater Expectations, but in a bad way.

    We are being turned into a nation called “Staedtler”.

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    • Andy_in_SD

       /  March 30, 2017

      And when I say “He who manufactures it, owns the future. The Chinese understand this.”….

      I also imply the flip side, he who impedes this, is acting in a treasonous manner. The leader down to the blowhard supporter. They are treasonous towards this nation, and far more (the species).

      For the trolls that Robert has to sweep up in here, you are treasonous. Your behavior will relegate this nation to the back of the pile. You hate America, you love YOUR own perceived convenience over your nation. YOU are not the greatest generation, and you prove it every day. Congrats, you gave the win to others because you couldn’t be bothered to look beyond the convenient headline that dovetails with your laziness. That takes effort, you are too busy for that “effort” thing.

      Cheers.

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    • Slide rule, coal powered nation. We don’t want to go back to that. Really.

      Your comment made me think of a recent report that explored the arising synergy between powerful computer networking capabilities and the potential to solve the climate crisis.

      https://cleantechnica.com/2017/03/29/artificial-intelligence-cloud-computing-keys-climate-change-challenges/

      A bit open-ended and speculative. But the central point is absolutely valid. Smarter systems can provide higher energy efficiency, better designs, and provide nimble power sharing infrastructure that synergize well with renewable energy capabilities. In addition, it’s worth noting that solar power and electric vehicles are an outgrowth of the electronic technology revolution and have now seen a similar scaling growth curve to what we’ve seen in computer chips. Together this represents a very capable set of technologies that can be pointed at the climate change problem. And it’s emerging just when we need it the most.

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  12. Vic

     /  March 30, 2017

    “Debbie the Cyclone Cockatoo” died. ☹

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  13. Vic

     /  March 30, 2017

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  14. coloradobob

     /  March 30, 2017

    Schools closed, evacuations ordered as ‘nightmare’ Debbie stalks south

    At nearby Springbrook, in the Gold Coast hinterland, a massive 380mm had fallen by midday, with as much as 500mm predicted — more than four times the average monthly rainfall in Brisbane for March.

    Link

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  15. coloradobob

     /  March 30, 2017

    Report: The Energy Department’s Climate Office Just Banned the Phrase ‘Climate Change’

    A lot of commentary on the dangers that President Trump poses to the American republic have focused on everything that makes him an extraordinary figure in our politics — his fondness for conspiracy theories, unapologetic contempt for the Fourth Estate, singular incompetence, and unprecedented flouting of norms against leveraging public office for personal profit (to name just a few).

    But for all his ignominious idiosyncrasies, it’s quite possible that Trump’s most dangerous quality is one that he shares with virtually every elected Republican — a depraved indifference to the reality of climate change.

    This week, Trump offered a potent reminder that his most damaging legacy may be his most conventionally Republican, when he signed an executive order reversing a large swath of the Obama administration’s climate agenda.

    And, as he did, his deputies in the Department of Energy began implementing the Grand Old Party’s tried-and-true strategy for regulating the emission of inconvenient scientific facts:

    A supervisor at the Energy Department’s international climate office told staff this week not to use the phrases “climate change,” “emissions reduction” or “Paris Agreement” in written memos, briefings or other written communication, sources have told POLITICO… At the meeting, senior officials told staff the words would cause a “visceral reaction” with Energy Secretary Rick Perry, his immediate staff, and the cadre of White House advisers at the top of the department.

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    • entropicman

       /  March 30, 2017

      I gather that sales of “1984” have increased since Trump arrived. Readers will recognise this tactic.

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    • “But for all his ignominious idiosyncrasies, it’s quite possible that Trump’s most dangerous quality is one that he shares with virtually every elected Republican — a depraved indifference to the reality of climate change.”

      People talk about the credibility gap. This is where it starts for me. Climate change. If you’re the modern version of a flat-earther then you shouldn’t be involved in the governing of a nation that is entering a very round earth situation that is hitting the level of a pretty serious crisis short term and that of an existential threat long term.

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  16. coloradobob

     /  March 30, 2017

    Scott Wagner explains climate change: ‘We’re moving closer to the sun’

    Good Wednesday Morning, Fellow Seekers.
    Republican 2018 guv candidate Scott Wagner keynoted an event for natural gas advocates in Harrisburg on Tuesday, offering an … ah … novel explanation for the scientific phenomenon known as climate change:

    “I haven’t been in a science class in a long time, but the earth moves closer to the sun every year-you know the rotation of the earth,” Wagner, a York County state senator, said, according to StateImpact Pennsylvania. “We’re moving closer to the sun.”

    Link

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    • It certainly is like moving closer to the sun. Some people have explained it that way before 😉 But the metaphor is not the reality. To somehow claim that the Earth is falling into the sun is yet one more pretty ridiculous statement by climate change deniers.

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      • Robert E Prue

         /  March 30, 2017

        Oh yeah. I’m wondering who went back in time to shoot the dinosaur and stepped on the butterfly?

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        • Yep. Not to mention how much force it would take to blow Earth out of its orbit to the degree that it would alter global temperatures as much as what we see now from greenhouse gas forcing…

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  17. coloradobob

     /  March 30, 2017

    Fiji –

    Vanishing land

    NAKOROTUBU district in the Ra Province is laden with picturesque landscapes, some of the most beautiful and peaceful scenery in Fiji.

    But it is beauty that is fragile.

    Threatened by climate change, the appeal of this coastal region can be lost in the not too distant future.

    The adverse change in weather is already impacting the lives of the thousands who live there.

    Some communities, however, are refusing to give in, making efforts to adapt to the weather patterns rather than let it overtake their lives.

    A team from this newspaper, visited the district which is home to more than 20 villages.

    Some dot the coastline — while the rest are further inland.

    http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=394752

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  18. Ryan in New England

     /  March 30, 2017

    And the Ministry of Truth has forbidden anyone from even using the words “climate change”…

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/03/energy-department-climate-change-phrases-banned-236655

    A supervisor at the Energy Department’s international climate office told staff this week not to use the phrases “climate change,” “emissions reduction” or “Paris Agreement” in written memos, briefings or other written communication, sources have told POLITICO.

    Employees of DOE’s Office of International Climate and Clean Energy learned of the ban at a meeting Tuesday, the same day President Donald Trump signed an executive order at EPA headquarters to reverse most of former President Barack Obama’s climate regulatory initiatives. Officials at the State Department and in other DOE offices said they had not been given a banned words list, but they had started avoiding climate-related terms in their memos and briefings given the new administration’s direction on climate change.

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    • This is what tyrants do — they first attempt to erase knowledge. And when that knowledge is a requirement for human civilization survival, then we have a problem not just of tyranny, which is terrible enough, but of a tyrant involved in a self-inflicted genocide.

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  19. entropicman

     /  March 30, 2017

    The Energy Department’s excursion into newspeak has depressing implications.

    Whatever happened to “Speak truth to power” ?

    America will not be well served if Trump’s officials only listen to things they want to hear, not things they need to know

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    • Cate

       /  March 30, 2017

      Trump and his cronies are not interested in serving America. They are interested only in serving themselves.

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    • So the Energy Department is under the auspice of the president. The administration runs the department. Scientists are being fired, deniers are being promoted, and the politicization of the agency is now ongoing. The only legal recourse members of the agency have is to go to court with the Administration for malfeasance and to charge political operatives with the same. I can say that there are other active resistances going on at DOE. So the resistance is ongoing. It’s just a tough situation when your boss is basically trying to wreck your organization’s ability to communicate critical scientific information.

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  20. coloradobob

     /  March 30, 2017

    Impact of global warming on Siachen glacier

    Siachen glacier is deemed to be the world’s highest and the strenuous battlefield. Located in the eastern lap of Himalayan mountains in Karakoram range, it is the second largest glacier in the non-polar areas of the world, which is being increasingly affected by global warming. An increase in the temperature due to continuous global warming is gradually having an adverse impact on it, which is exacerbating the precarious situation soldiers face from unfavourable weather conditions. An increase in the global warming is melting the snow at an accelerating rate, resulting in dangerous avalanches. …………………….. The impact of the global warming on Siachen glacier is further confirmed by the fact that rain had been a rare phenomenon in the past few decades but at present light drizzling is frequently witnessed. This has resulted in the plantation and greenery on even at 15,000 feet height whereas previously it was not even possible at 12,000 feet height.

    Link

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  21. Ryan in New England

     /  March 30, 2017

    China takes the moral high ground from the US…

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/30/climate-change-china-us-selfish-trump-coal

    Chinese state media has lambasted Donald Trump’s efforts to roll back many Obama-era environmental regulations, with a state-run tabloid saying that: “No matter how hard Beijing tries, it won’t be able to take on all the responsibilities that Washington refuses to take.”

    In an editorial highly critical of Trump’s retreat on environmental regulation, the Global Times made it clear Beijing was uncomfortable taking over leadership of the fight against climate change and could not fill the vacuum left by the US.

    “Western opinion should continue to pressure the Trump administration on climate change. Washington’s political selfishness must be discouraged,” the editorial said. “China will remain the world’s biggest developing country for a long time. How can it be expected to sacrifice its own development space for those developed western powerhouses?”

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    • Good for China — holding Trump to account.

      Under Obama, we forged an amazing partnership with China regarding climate change policy. Trump is now trying to wreck that and China is doing the moral thing by speaking up.

      We should be clear that Trump’s actions do not benefit the U.S. so much as they benefit fossil fuel corporations and petrostates (like Putin’s Russia — which worked so hard to get him elected). This interest group and set of foreign bad actor regimes clearly colluded to get Trump elected and now they’re getting a pay-off. Whether it’s successful in wrecking the larger switch to renewable energy is still up in the air. But it is absolutely having a deleterious and destructive effect on global climate policy through Trump’s bad actions.

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  22. Abel Adamski

     /  March 30, 2017

    It is the cities and the states kicking butt
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/mar/30/renewables-roadshow-how-canberra-took-lead-in-renewable-energy-race

    Renewables roadshow: how Canberra took lead in renewable energy race

    As Australia remains mired in a broken debate about the supposed dangers of renewable energy, some states and territories are ignoring the controversy and steaming ahead.

    While Australia is far from the renewable capital of the world, the Australian Capital Territory may soon be among the world’s top renewable energy regions. And as it transitions, the ACT is demonstrating the benefits of the renewables boom to the rest of the country.

    In 2016 the ACT government legislated the target of sourcing 100% renewable energy by the end of this decade. It is the most ambitious renewable plan in the country, although Victoria is pushing ahead with a target of 40% by 2025. New South Wales has lagged behind other states, and doesn’t have a specific renewable energy target, but it aims to have net-zero emissions by 2050.

    As part of the ACT renewable energy plan, the government has run a smaller-scale community solar scheme,says Lawrence McIntosh, project leader of SolarShare, a member-owned company building solar projects in and around the ACT.

    The growth of local community owned energy schemes

    “Motivations for backing the project are varied. McIntosh himself is doing it because he thinks community ownership of electricity supply is important. He sees it as a form of participatory democracy. “I think that’s important because it means people get to take part economically in the way our energy system is changing,” he says.
    China builds world’s biggest solar farm in journey to become green superpower
    Read more

    A local resident, David Osmondlin, plans to invest in the SolarShare project. He’s been involved in a number of renewables projects, and sitting on his veranda underneath a wind-powered Ikea light, he says he’s passionate about the political role community-owned renewable energy can play.

    “Having community ownership really builds social license in a community,” he says. “It gets all the community behind it. It makes it much more likely for the politicians to support it if there’s a groundswell of community support behind it.”

    But he is also in it for the money. “Interest rates are very low at the moment and most of these community renewable projects are making a better return than putting your money in the bank,” he says.”

    The return is better

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  23. Abel Adamski

     /  March 30, 2017

    http://www.sciencealert.com/the-arctic-is-turning-green-at-an-alarming-rate-and-scientists-finally-know-why

    Arctic sea ice is turning progressively greener, and for years now, scientists couldn’t for the life of them figure out what was going on.

    They knew the green had to come from blooms of microscopic marine plants called phytoplankton growing under the sea ice, but that didn’t make sense – phytoplankton need light to photosynthesise, and it should have been far too dark for them to survive down there, let alone thrive.

    Now, an international team of researchers has cracked the mystery, and the truth is pretty unsettling.

    The record low levels of sea ice we now see in the Arctic have worn down the barrier for sunlight, so instead of being reflected, it’s being absorbed by dark melt pools that are proliferating on the surface.

    The ice that remains is now darker and thinner than ever before, and below, phytoplankton colonies are booming as light penetrates the ocean below.

    “[W]e went from a state where there wasn’t any potential for plankton blooms to massive regions of the Arctic being susceptible to these types of growth,” says one of the team, Chris Horvat from Harvard University.

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  24. Well done to all the people on this board. Trump is ignorant and will wreck the planet if his power continues! Vic from Suffolk UK

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  25. Abel Adamski

     /  March 30, 2017

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/heartland-institute-climate-pack_us_58db4c63e4b05463706323d4

    One of America’s most prominent climate-denying groups, galvanized by the Trump administration listening to their claims, has set it sights on a new target: teachers.

    The Heartland Institute, a conservative think tank that’s become one of the loudest voices when it comes to climate denial, has sent more than 25,000 science teachers across the country a package of material it hopes they’ll use in the classroom, according to a report from PBS Frontline. Alongside a note from Lennie Jarratt, the group’s project manager for transforming education, the package contains a book called Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming and a 10-minute video about using their guidance.

    “I’m writing to ask you to consider the possibility that the science in fact is not ‘settled,’” Jarratt says in the memo. “If that’s the case, then students would be better served by letting them know a vibrant debate is taking place among scientists on how big the human impact on climate is, and whether or not we should be worried about it.”

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  26. Abel Adamski

     /  March 30, 2017

    A little more on The brilliance of Trump and his puppet masters, Mercer, Pence, Pruitt and Bannon
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-27/trump-said-to-toss-obama-s-orders-to-prepare-for-extreme-weather

    Trump to Toss Obama’s Orders to Prepare for Extreme Weather

    As part of Tuesday’s order on energy independence, Trump will repeal two of Obama’s orders aimed at focusing the government on addressing those risks. Among them is one directing federal agencies to plan for climate change and to coordinate with other offices to reduce its impact.

    That proposal is “the cornerstone for adaptation planning throughout the government,” according to Christy Goldfuss, managing director for the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality under Obama and now a vice president at the Center for American Progress.

    Its effects ranged from the mundane to the radical. For example, the order directed the General Services Administration, which manages federal buildings, to make sure the government wasn’t signing long-term leases in areas likely to get inundated with floods, Goldfuss said. It also allowed different federal agencies to coordinate more far-reaching programs, like the relocation of communities most threatened by climate change.

    Trump’s executive order will also revoke a memorandum Obama signed last September directing the Department of Defense to account for climate change in its national security planning and policies.

    It told the military to account for climate risks when deciding where to build new facilities and also in how it prepares for future threats, according to Sharon Burke, who was assistant secretary of Defense for operational energy under Obama.

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    • Cate

       /  March 30, 2017

      Self-described Leninist Bannon is on the record as wanting to “bring everything crashing down” in his mission “to destroy the state….and all of today’s establishment.”

      What better way to create conditions favourable to chaos than to downplay planning and preparedness.

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  27. Cate

     /  March 30, 2017

    Meanwhile, in Lalaland North:

    https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/03/27/environment-canada-report-says-we-are-on-pace-to-miss-emissions-target.html

    “OTTAWA—Environment Canada is projecting that, based on policies in place last November, the country was on pace to miss its reduction target for greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, pumping out at least 30 per cent more than promised that year.

    The projections, which were compiled in February and published online this month, are not a forecast of how emissions will change in the coming years. The report describes the projections more as an educated guess based on policies in place as of Nov. 1, 2016…..

    December’s Pan-Canadian Framework included an outline of how the government plans tomeet the 2030 emissions target. The government estimates greenhouse gas output will drop by 89 megatonnes by 2030 because of policies in place before Nov. 1, 2016. Emissions would drop another 86 megatonnes based on new measures in the framework. A remaining 44 megatonnes would be cut based on “additional measures” in the coming years.”

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    • Meanwhile, the global situation for renewable energy looks considerably better:

      https://cleantechnica.com/2017/03/30/global-renewable-energy-capacity-increased-161-gw-record-2016-irena/

      161 gigawatts of renewable energy installed is a huge gain for a single year. We are closing in on the range where net global carbon emissions reliably start falling at a substantial rate. If we hit 250 gw of new renewables each year, we will be actively replacing a significant portion of the fossil fuel based system. We’re getting close to that mark and we need a good push to make it happen.

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      • Of that, nearly half was from China – averaging about 15% capacity growth per year for the past few years. Doubling about every 5 years at that rate, seems they may very well beat their 2020 targets.

        Europe and the US is more like half that growth rate, with Trump adding his dead weight to the U.S. At this rate China will be in a much better position when the world truly wakes up and tries to rapidly cut emissions, not exactly “Making America Great Again!”

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        • I think Trump looks fondly at those pictures of smog filled American cities and rivers burning and thinks — gee, that was great… Another WTF moment from this Administration. Sure makes me think fondly of the Obama years.

          Like

  28. Abel Adamski

     /  March 30, 2017

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/donald-trump-tom-crowther-climate-change-speed-up-destroy-jobs-global-warming-a7656996.html

    Includes this paragraph
    “But also indirectly, continued use of fossil fuels drives climate change, which causes degradation of land, and of agricultural, forestry, and fishery industries, which rely on millions of jobs. So I would say it’s ridiculously short term and short sighted to progress with coal industries.”

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  29. coloradobob

     /  March 30, 2017

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    • Fantastic work by Gore here. Seems like he’s finally got the fire in the belly.

      This trailer brought another relevant video to mind. In my opinion, a good way to confront climate skeptics. From a guy who actually, unlike deniers, understand how to do threat analysis:

      We should be very clear though that climate change is absolutely real and that the choice we should be making is column A and that if we make the column B choice it is guaranteed that we lock in climate catastrophes. We should also be clear that the economic benefits of an energy transition alone far outweigh the costs. We are not looking at a global recession risk if we switch away from fossil fuels. We are looking at the removal from power of various harmful corporations and fossil fuel based dictators — which death throes are causing political upheaval, but whose removal will be beneficial to everyone.

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  30. coloradobob

     /  March 30, 2017

    Big companies defy Trump on climate change

    Two years ago, 365 companies and investors — including Nestlé, General Mills, Mars, Staples, Unilever, and Timberland and North Face maker VF Corp. — signed a petition to state governors urging them to implement the Clean Power Plan in what the environmental nonprofit Ceres described as “an unprecedented show of business support for tackling climate change.”

    “Our support is firmly grounded in economic reality,” the petition stated. “Increasingly, businesses rely on renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions to cut costs and improve corporate performance.”

    Link

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  1. Trump’s Attack on Clean Power Threatens Livable Climate, Public Health, and Hundreds of Thousands of Energy Jobs | GarryRogers Nature Conservation
  2. Full speed ahead: Why states are pushing ahead with clean energy despite Trump’s embrace of coal - ساز بلاگ مرجع اتفاقات و اخبار بروز ایران

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