Welcome to Friday. It’s been a busy week for the ecoright. Let’s jump in.

This week’s must watch: we’ve highlighted these Utah students before for their no nonsense commitment to addressing climate change. Watch them in action, uniting rivalries behind climate action.

Today’s must read, in honor of the Empire State: New York Republicans are taking the lead on confronting climate change

Encourage Tour: This week marked the kick off of the Encourage Tour, a ten-city, ten-week whistle stop tour to honor and inspire courageous conservative climate leadership. The tour started in upstate New York on Tuesday with an event at Houghton College and then made way to Syracuse. It will conclude at Rice University in Houston, Texas on November 16. “We choose New York because the growing Climate Solutions Caucus includes several conservative Members from New York and we want to celebrate their leadership,” said former Rep. Bob Inglis. “We chose Houston to culminate the Tour because that’s wherePresident Kennedy called America to win the race to the moon.”

A couple of highlights from this week’s events:

All hail the carbon tax: South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham asserted his support for a “price on carbon” at a climate change conference this week. “I’m a Republican. I believe that the greenhouse effect is real, that CO2 emissions generated by man is creating our greenhouse gas effect that traps heat, and the planet is warming,” he said. “A price on carbon—that’s the way to go in my view.”

Oui ou non?: White House economic advisor Gary Cohn clarified the President’s intent to exit the Paris Climate Accord. According to a White House official, “we are withdrawing from the Paris Agreement unless we can reengage on terms more favorable to the United States.” This position was “made very clear during the breakfast” hosted by Cohn this week for climate and energy ministers. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and national security advisor H.R. McMaster made remarks indicating flexibility “under the right conditions.” Tillerson said President Donald Trump “is open to finding those conditions where we can remain engaged with others on what we all agree is still a challenging issue,” while McMaster said, “If there’s an agreement that benefits the American people, certainly.”

And then there were two: Speaking of the Paris climate deal, Nicaragua, which initially declined to sign the 2015 Paris climate accord because it considered the terms too weak, now plans to endorse the international agreement. The Central American nation and Syria were the only two countries to initially reject the international deal. Nicaragua’s change of heart leaves the U.S. and Syria as the only dissenting nations. British Prime Minister Theresa May rebuked Trump for withdrawing the U.S. from the international accord.

Save the Date: Citizens for Responsible Energy is sponsoring Clean Energy Week, September 25-29. Events are slated for Washington DC and across the U.S. Check into see how you can participate.

Climate realism rises: In a Morning Consult/Politico poll conducted as Hurricane Irma was battering Florida, 57 percent of GOP registered voters said they were concerned about climate change and its impact on the environment. This is up seven percent from a similar poll taken in April.

We need to talk: Republican political commentator and Floridian Ana Navarro took to twitter to express frustration with the GOP’s unwillingness to discuss climate change in the aftermath of a major storm.

Some of my GOP brethren said talking climate change w/Irma about to hit US, wasn’t right timing. Is in between hurricanes the right time? https://t.co/3FF9dmjYHO
— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) September 17, 2017Happy Monday!

Climate jester poses existential threat: Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt called climate change an “existential threat” while dismissing that we know enough to jump to action. “We know the climate’s always changing. We know that humans contribute to it in some way,” he said on Fox News. “To what degree, to measure that with precision is very difficult, but we don’t know is, are we in a situation where it’s an existential threat.” In the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma Pruitt rejected as “insensitive” discussing linking climate change to increased storm activity and impacts. “Now isn’t the time to talk about climate change,” he said.

Our thoughts and prayers remain with those in Puerto Rico, where the power isn’t expected to be restored for months after Hurricane Maria ravaged the island. The end of Hurricane season can’t come soon enough.