Happy Friday and our deepest appreciation to all the veterans who have served our great nation.
This week’s must read: It’s time for conservatives to take the lead on climate change (Georgia Political Review)
This week’s must watch: The oceans are so big climate change surely won’t affect them, right? (Global Weirding)
Caucus member speaks out: Pennsylvania’s Rep. Ryan Costello, a member of the House Climate Solutions Caucus, called President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord “unfortunate” and called on Congress “to chart an alternative course, or to reaffirm what the emission reductions should be in the next 15 to 20 years on our country.” At a conference sponsored by our cohorts at Clear Path, Costello said China is “cleaning our clock” on clean energy and “wining the clean energy race.” Costello called for a long-term strategy to secure innovation and advanced forms of energy.
The U.S. stands alone: Speaking of the Paris Climate Accord, Syria signed on, leaving the United States as the only country in the world to not be a party. A French official said President Donald Trump is not among the more than 100 world leaders invited to the Paris climate summit next month on the anniversary of the 2015 international agreement, as the invited heads of state are “especially committed” to the agreement.
Miami passes measure, elects new mayor: In an update to yesterday’s post, Miami voters passed a measure to finance projects intended to protect the city from the ravages of climate change, and also elected a new mayor. Mayor-elect Francis Suarez (R) will take the reins from Mayor Tomas Regalado, an outspoken advocate for climate action. About climate change, Suarez says “the city has to do a better job understanding climatic events and how to deal with them.”
Speaking of Miami: Retiring Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen reflected on her 35-year public service career, noting that on climate change, “It used to be thought of that Hispanics did not care about climate change, but look, it’s Carlos Curbelo, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and [see above] Tomasito Regalado, I mean, we’re pretty Hispanic. I think we’re showing the world that those stereotypes are no longer valid.” Delegation mate Curbleo is a co-founder of the House Climate Solutions Caucus, of which she is also an active member.
Florida trifecta: On November 16th, Rep. Carlos Curbelo will be awarded the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award for taking on the “greatest challenge facing the world today climate change.”
DoD and climate: The final version of the National Defense Authorization Act requires the Department of Defense to conduct a study on national security threats tied to climate change. Defense Secretary James Mattis and other agency officials have made several statements about the impact of climate change on the military, and earlier this year the House Climate Solutions Caucus rallied to defeat an amendment that would have struck this language.
Climate jester: Kathleen Hartnett White, nominated to take the reins at the Council on Environmental Quality, earns the jester designation for comments made during her confirmation hearing in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. In response to questioning, the former head of the Texas Council on Environmental Quality said carbon dioxide has “none of the characteristics of a pollutant” and also reiterated her belief that carbon is best understood as a “plant nutrient.” White also said she is “not a scientist” but that for her, many questions “remain unanswered” about climate change. “I think we indeed need to have more precise explanations of the human role and the natural role,” she said. Her nomination remains in peril over a dispute with farm-state lawmakers on the Renewable Fuels Standard.
Warmest wishes for the weekend.