For once, I’m siding with the groundhog seeing his shadow. It’s supposed to be winter, people!
Beehive climate buzz: In Utah, two state lawmakers are pushing resolutions that would acknowledge climate change is real and urge the state to take action. The resolution offered by Rep. Becky Edwards (R-North Salt Lake) specifically express commitment to “conservative environmental stewardship” and the need to address climate change as a matter of national security. The version offered by Rep. Ray Ward (R-Bountiful) “urges individuals and corporation to conserve energy.” Ward noted that the last time the state addressed a climate change resolution was 2010, when it called for EPA to end its carbon dioxide reduction regulations until climate data and global warming science are substantiated. “Given that that was our last statement, to me that means it’s time to think about it again,” Ward said.
Mr. Clean: Former EPA Administrator Bill Ruckelshaus, the first to hold that position after the agency’s creation, called GOP resistance to climate science “a threat to the country.” Given the nickname “Mr. Clean” when he returned to the EPA under President Reagan in 1983, he warned of the detrimental impacts of the agency under current Administrator Scott Pruitt losing its climate scientists. “If your position is, ‘I don’t believe the science, therefore I’m going to get rid of all the scientists studying this, and let’s not mention it in any public announcement,’ that’s just crazy,” Ruckelshaus said. ” What you want to do is more science.”
Meet the future: Former presidential candidate and Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, addressing farmers in Utah last week, prognosticated that “in about 10 years, I’ll bet 90 percent of the cars we buy are electric.” Last year, Romney said he believes the climate is changing and that “humans contribute to it in a substantial way.”
DoD reports: A survey submitted to Congress last Friday and conducted by the Pentagon found U.S. military facilities are vulnerable to extreme weather caused by climate change. The Defense Department studied climate risks to all 3,500 U.S. military sites around the world. Nearly 800 have been affected by droughts, 350 by extreme temperatures, 225 by storm surge-related flooding and more than 200 by wildfires, among other weather events. “If extreme weather makes our critical facilities unusable or necessitate costly or manpower-intensive workarounds, that is an unacceptable impact,” according to the report. While Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has spoken openly about the threat climate change poses to national security, President Donald Trump has mocked the link. The Pentagon is also required under the National Defense Authorization Act passed last year to report to Congress in coming months which military sites are vulnerable to “rising sea tides, increased flooding, drought, desertification, wildfires, thawing permafrost.” The report will also address whether the military faces increased requests for disaster and humanitarian assistance.
Climate jester: We had so many choices, but how could we not point to President Donald Trump, who in a TV interview displayed a frightening lack of understanding of climate change, climate science, or how to maintain a healthy environment. “There is a cooling, and there’s a heating. I mean, look, it used to not be climate change, it used to be global warming. That wasn’t working too well because it was getting too cold all over the place” he said, contrasting his own agencies, which called 2017 one of the hottest on record.
ICYMI: 2017 was the third warmest year on record. It’s now been 41 years since we’ve had a colder than average year. @NCEINOAAclimate https://t.co/OkHapW5Uf0 pic.twitter.com/b6kWaXCIC8
NOAA Climate.gov (@NOAAClimate) January 20, 2018
The president also said, in defending his climate position, the polar icecaps “were going to be gone by now, but now they’re setting records. They’re at a record level.” And in reciting a line popular on the campaign trail, Trump said he believes in clean air. “I believe in crystal-clear, beautiful I believe in just having good cleanliness in all. Now, with that being said, if somebody said go back into the Paris accord, it would have to be a completely different deal because we had a horrible deal.”
May your seas be smooth and at the historically right levels.