Happy Friday! Only nine days until my birthday, in case you’re counting. All I want this year (it can be a joint birthday-Christmas present since that’s what everyone in my family gives) is a free market, revenue neutral solution to climate change. Thanks!
This week’s must watch: Climate change, that’s just a money grab for scientists, right? Katharine Hayhoe debunks the myth that she’s not making millions as a climate scientist. “There’s over twenty six and a half thousand indicators of a warming world, many of them in our own backyards. Climate change is real. It’s us and it’s serious. Shooting the messenger won’t make it go away.”
This week’s must read: How fossil fuel donors shaped the anti-climate agenda of a powerful Congressional committee. Bob Inglis, a former member of the profiled House Science Committee, once upon a time changed his climate perspective after a committee-sponsored trip to Antarctica. “My most enduring heresy was saying that climate change was real…It had appeared that I had crossed to the other side and had become unfaithful to the tribe.”
One good egg: Timothy Petty, the Trump Administration’s nominee to serve as Department of Interior assistant secretary of water and science told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that the agency’s positions and actions should reflect the findings of climate scientists. “I think it’s very important that you get the scientific data in the hands of decision makers.” (Yes, the bar is low for good news this week.)
Public opinion maps: Geek out over the latest public opinion maps generated by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communications. Are we seeing some thawing in public opinion? (I’m here all day…)
Jester testifies: In his first congressional testimony since taking the helm at the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt told the House Energy and Commerce Committee that “red team-blue team” debate on climate science may happen “as early as January.” Pruitt has tried to cast doubt on the scientific consensus that carbon dioxide from human consumption of fossil fuels is driving climate change. He also said there was a “breach of process” in the drafting of the “endangerment finding” that greenhouse gases are harming the planet but did not say whether he will try to undo the finding.
ALEC withdraws resolution: Speaking of the endangerment finding, at a national summit this week the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) withdrew a resolution which would have called upon EPA to withdraw the greenhouse gas finding. “So long as the endangerment finding remains in place, efforts to roll back unnecessary environmental regulations adopted in the name of fighting global warming will likely fail,” the resolution read. ALEC is comprised of member companies and trade associations, many of which expressed opposition to the resolution. ExxonMobil sent a letter opposing the measure, and a joint letter was also sent by Edison Electric Institute, the primary trade association for investor-owned electric utilities; the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association; Chevron; Honeywell; and UPS. More than 100 companiesincluding General Motors, Ford, and Googlehave cut ties with ALEC in recent years over the organization’s anti-climate policies.
Long week, short update. Get your holiday shopping done and don’t forget that carbon tax!