The kids are back in school! The kids are back in school! Did you hear? The kids are back in school. Obviously, this EcoRighter is thrilled to no longer have to field daily complaints of “I’m bored” or my favorite quote of summer, “Do I have to take out the garbage, Mom? I already had to work three days in a row this week.”

This week’s must reads:

Could the GOP take the lead on climate change? Bob Inglis thinks so. (Charleston Post and Courier) “‘There’s going to be a climate champion here [South Carolina’s first congressional district] at some point,’ [Bob Inglis] said, adding that this new champion will likely be a conservative.”

How much hotter is your hometown than when you were born? This fun but scary New York Times interactive allows you to type in your hometown and the year you were born to compare the number of 90 plus degrees day then, now, and into the future. For example, the year I was born, Washington, DC could expect 12 days of 90+ degree weather. Today, we can expect 30 days at or above 90 degrees. By the time I’m 80, the likely range is 35-61 such days. Related: someone please tell summer that summer is over.

Mitt’s bit: “I happen to believe that the global climate change that you are seeing is going to continue even if we see all of the nations of the world abide by the Paris Accord,” former Massachusetts governor and one-time Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said, reacting to rampant fires in the west. “We’re still going to get warmer and warmer as a planet.”

Come together: Pennsylvania’s Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick called for bipartisanship at an event sponsored by The Hill and the Bipartisan Policy Center. “It’s not a question of ‘can,’ the parties have to come together,” Fitzpatrick said.”These purely partisan solutions are never going to work, because you’re never going to get the votes you need to pass. We’re trying to get something across the finish line to advance the goal.” Fitzpatrick is co-sponsor of Rep. Carlos Curbelo’s carbon tax bill, the MARKET Choice Act, and is also a member of the House Climate Solutions Caucus.

“I agree with John”: In a tribute given from the Senate floor, Alaska’s Sen. Lisa Murkowski recognized her longtime colleague Sen. John McCain for his “passion” and “legendary arguments.” Highlighting his early work on climate change, Murkowski pointed to the climate impacts Alaska is experiencing, noting that the late Senator “visited Alaska, and it helped validate his view that climate change is real and something that we have to deal with, that we have to take practical steps to address it. And I agree with John.” She added, “He had remarkable intellect. He had an iron will, most certainly. Unquestionable integrity. Courage that was absolutely unwavering.”

Her full speech:

Climate denier assumes emerging tech, climate jester roles: President Donald Trump named Princeton atomic physicist and “prominent climate change skeptic” William Happer as the senior director for emerging technologies for the National Security Council. The 79-year old Happer called climate science a “cult movement” and requested that the American Physical Society change its position on climate change to one that “raised doubts about global warming.” In an interview in 2017, he posed this question about climate change: “If it’s this important, why haven’t we had a public review of it?” His climate record leaves us slapping our heads a bit and leads me to designate him climate jester of the week. Related: perhaps someone with a modern take on science would better fill the emerging technology role.

Dear Leaders: Have you signed our letter to leadership? Add you name to our letter to the GOP leaders of Congress expressing your belief that conservatives should stand for climate solutions.

EnCourage Tour update: We’re heading to Northern Illinois and Buffalo, New York this week! If we’re in your neck of the woods, come see us.

As always, thanks for reading. Have a restful weekend!