This week’s must listen: Katharine Hayhoe talks about winning over climate change skeptics (The New Yorker)
This week’s must read: The Nightmare Scenario for Florida’s Coastal Homeowners (Bloomberg)
This week in climate change, in a two-hour raucous town hall meeting, Nevada Sen. Dean Heller affirmed he is “not a climate denier” amid concerns expressed by attendees over his vote to confirm EPA administrator Scott Pruitt. “There is no Republican in DC who has done more for clean energy than me,” Heller said. In both the House and the Senate, he has supported clean energy policies. He also assured the crowd, “When Scott Pruitt is right, I’ll support him. When he isn’t right, I’ll change his mind.” The meeting was co-hosted by Rep. Mark Amodei, a member of the House Climate Solutions Caucus.
Likewise, Virginia Congressman Scott Taylor, whose district includes Virginia Beach, an area susceptible to climate change-induced sea level rise, rejects claims that climate change is just theory. “Do we have an issue with flooding and recurrent sea level rising? Yeah, absolutely. And data shows that… there’s a different sea level you know over the past 90 years. So I certainly acknowledge that it is an issue and it certainly is for us in that area.” Due to his concern for sea level rise, Taylor says it would be a “mistake” to reduce funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as President Donald Trump has proposed. “We have to do something” about climate change, he says. “Whether you agree or disagree with how much man contributed, man didn’t contribute, nature contributed, nature didn’t contribute. It’s clearly an issue and we have to address it.”
In other news, an expected meeting in the White House on the fate of U.S. participation in the Paris Climate Agreement was postponed.
And finally, this week’s climate jester is Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, who in a question and answer period with high schoolers in his state, said he doesn’t see cause for alarm over climate change. “I’m skeptical that we can do much about it,” he said. He argued that billions of dollars in funding wouldn’t have kept the Ice Age at bay. Last year, Johnson compared those who advocate for climate solutions to infamous dictators such as Fidel Castro, Josef Stalin, and “the nutcases in Korea.”
On this Earth Day Eve, don’t forget to spend time outdoors and report good ecoright news to your favorite climate updater.