It’s the last Friday before Memorial Day and we are brimming with rain, I mean, climate news for, from and by the EcoRight.
In case you missed it last week: The piece written by our spokesperson Chris Casey was republished in the Fort Worth Star Telegram. (Re)read it here. “Christian’s condescending bluster is offensive. Perhaps the reason Millennials (not to mention Generation X and post-Millennials) care about climate change is that no one born after 1964 has experienced a cooler-than-average year. Given that we are likely to be saddled with the ramifications, we don’t wish to inherit a crushing public debt nor a crippling environmental debt. We understand the need to reduce human-generated greenhouse gas emissions. Now.”
EcoRight rocks Utah: Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed into law a landmark climate change resolution, HCR 007 Concurrent Resolution on Environmental and Economic Stewardship, which recognizes the reality of climate change, the impact of human activity, and the state’s opportunities to respond. At the signing, he was joined by the student coalitions, local advocacy organizations, and Utah businesses. The measure was championed by EcoRighter Rep. Rebecca Edwards at the behest of student groups who had advocated for her leadership. She and her Senate sponsor, Sen. Todd Weiler, worked tirelessly to assure the climate change resolution would pass. “This resolution shows us that climate change is a nonpartisan issue that can no longer be ignored,” Edwards said, calling the climate change resolution “groundbreaking for our state, but to successfully tackle the effects that a changing climate has on our economy and health, we need to continue to collaborate across party lines.” Supporters included: Rocky Mountain Power, Rio Tinto, Utah Solar Energy Association, Ski Utah, the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, the Utah Technology Council, and the Citizens Climate Lobby. The resolution reverses a 2010 measure implying that climate change science was a conspiracy and urging the Environmental Protection Agency to stop all carbon dioxide reduction policies and programs. Watch the report below. Congrats, Utahns!
Alaska: don’t melt on me: As the State of Alaska confronts climate change in ways not experienced by other U.S. states, policymakers are crafting plans for how to address the problem. Ideas on the table include emissions cuts and tax on companies that emit carbon dioxide. “Climate change is affecting Alaskans right now,” Gov. Bill Walker and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott wrote in a March op-ed. “From erosion forcing entire villages to relocate to infrastructure damage from thawing permafrost, the physical and economic impacts of climate change are hitting Alaska faster and with more severity than most other areas of the world.” The governor created a climate change task force in October 2017, headed by Mallott, and their recommendations are due in September of this year. An early draft proposed the state derive 50 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2025 and even cut emissions from “natural resources development.” To that point, both lawmakers acknowledge the state’s role as an oil and gas producer. “However, we will not ignore the fact that resource development contributes to climate change through greenhouse gas emissions. We should not use our role as an energy producer to justify inaction or complacency in our response to the complex challenge of climate change.”
Give me a V: Speaking from a green energy summit in Austria, Arnold Schwarzenegger called on President Donald Trump to go green, suggesting he’d experience “a lot of victories.”
“Those of you who resist because you can’t imagine success without fossil fuels: we ask you to join us. Everyone. Also you, President Trump: Join us.” Referring to a comment Trump made on the campaign trail about Americans getting sick of winning, the former California governor added: “You said … you want to have so many victories that the American people will get sick and tired of winning. Well, if that’s really what you want then join us, because then you will have a lot of victories.” This suggestion comes amid new Pew polling showing Millennials Republicansborn between 1981 and 1996for the most part disagree with elder Republicans on a slate of issues, including the environment and climate change. More than one-third (36 percent) of GOP Millennials say the Earth is warming mostly due to human activity, double the share of Republicans in the Baby Boomer or older generations.
“For millennials, the realities of climate change are much starker, the consequences are much more severe, they may be one of the first generations who can look out and see actual climate impacts happening around them.” @YECAction @KyleSchaap #S4CD https://t.co/j5s3UiBhMH
S4CarbonDividends (@SforCD) May 17, 2018
Stop skipping rocks: In a hearing of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology focused on how technology could be deployed for climate change adaptation, climate deniers spouted off old and new talking points, including this climate jester-worthy assertion by Alabama’s Rep. Mo Brooks: “Every time you have that soil or rock or whatever it is that is deposited into the seas, that forces the sea levels to rise, because now you have less space in those oceans, because the bottom is moving up,” Brooks said. He pointed to the White Cliffs of Dover and the California coastline as examples of where this is happening. In response, climate expert Philip Duffy, president of the Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts and former senior adviser to the U.S. Global Change Research Program, noted that “on human time scales, those are minuscule effects.” Brooks went on to insist that the data he has seen shows Antarctic ice is growing. Earlier this year, NASA researchers determined that Antarctica’s ice loss has accelerated in the last decade.
Save the science: Particularly given the above story, we are thankful the House Appropriations committee with jurisdiction over NASA voted to restore funding to the climate monitoring program that studies “biogeochemical processes to better understand the major factors driving short and long term climate change.” The program was axed in Trump’s budget. The amendment was offered by Texas’s Rep. John Culberson, chairman of the spending panel, who cited the climate program’s importance as part of the agency’s efforts to track all sources of greenhouse gas emissions.
House caucus swells: Congratulations to Minnesota’s Rep. Erik Paulsen, New Jersey’s Rep. Tom MacArthur, and Illinois’s Rep. Peter Roskam for joining the House Climate Solutions Caucus and bringing the total number to 78. “We have one earth and it’s up to all of us to take care of it,” Roskam said. “Being a good steward of our planet bears great significance. It is incumbent upon each and every one of us to understand the impacts and challenges that come from a changing climate. The Climate Solutions Caucus is a bipartisan venue to enact common sense solutions.” The caucus met with business leaders yesterday.
Productive & informative #climate solutions caucus meeting. Heard directly from American companies like @McDonalds, @Microsoft, @JNJCares, about how we can work together to reduce our carbon footprint while still maintaining economic prosperity. pic.twitter.com/yIWPdwsMil
Rep. Carlos Curbelo (@RepCurbelo) May 17, 2018
That’s it. If I don’t float away in all this rain, I’ll see you next week.