SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A U.S. appeals court has again rejected a challenge by the oil and gas industry to a key part of California's efforts to fight climate change. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday unanimously upheld the state's 2015 low carbon fuel standard requiring fuel producers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. State officials recently amended the standard to mandate a 20 percent reduction by 2030 in the carbon output of fuels used for transportation in California. Fuel producers argued that the standard discriminates against some producers. The 9th Circuit in previously rejected a similar challenge. It said Friday that California had attempted to address
It won't pay the bills for furloughed government workers, but it was a thoughtful gesture, anyway, by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. The BPO offered free tickets to Thursday's performance to federal employees who are out of work because of the government shutdown, and to members of the military, including veterans. The stresses are growing on furloughed workers who get no exemption from paying the mortgage, buying food for their families and heating their homes. While the orchestra's generosity didn't help with that, it surely offered a welcome respite from the burden of worry. For those who aren't worried about melting icecaps, rising sea levels and increasingly violent storms, we call
Thousands of school children and university students across Switzerland skipped class on Friday to march in the streets and demand climate action, telling politicians "There is no planet B". The protest was inspired by Greta Thunberg, a 15-year-old Swedish girl who since last August has been ditching school each Friday to protest in front of Sweden's parliament demanding concrete action from politicians to halt climate change. After she garnered international headlines with a fiery speech before world leaders at last month's COP24 climate talks in Poland, thousands of students have followed in her footsteps, staging "climate strikes" in several countries, including Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, Japan and the United States.
"Spain is ready to contribute to creating a global economy that is prosperous, fair and ecological," says prime minister MADRID, Jan 18 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Spain's prime minister vowed on Friday to make up for a decade of inaction on climate change brought on by a harsh economic recession during which he said the country lost its passion and creativity to tackle the issue. Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez, who came into power in June, said the low-carbon transition Spain is now aiming for must be "socially just", and not leave anyone behind, including coal miners set to lose their jobs in the shift from fossil fuels. "Spain is ready to contribute to creating a global economy that is
Marine Antarctic animals closely associated with sea ice for food or breeding, such the humpback whale and emperor penguin, are most at risk from the predicted effects of climate change, finds a new study published in Frontiers in Marine Science. Using risk assessments like those used for setting occupational safety limits in the workplace, scientists from the British Antarctic Survey determined the winners and losers of Antarctic climate-change impacts, which includes temperature rise, sea-ice reduction and changes in food availability. They show that seafloor predators and open-water feeding animals, like starfish and jellyfish, will benefit from the opening up of new habitat. “One of the strongest
On January 17th, 1994 at 4:55am, this city shook from its foundations for 20 seconds. The Northridge quake that hit 25 years ago was catastrophic and changed millions of lives in an instant – an immutable act of nature. But much of the chaos that followed – days without water, fires caused by ruptured gas pipes, and the shutdown of the local economy – could have been prevented. Our city has responded to some of its structural vulnerabilities well, but we know more can and should be done because the big earthquake of the next 25 years could be much worse. Our contention is simple: a key to improving earthquake safety is combating climate change. The water and fossil fuels we use every day affect
People who delay cutting their carbon emissions will be left behind in a changing world, the environment minister has warned. Richard Bruton said that “hard choices” needed to be made as Ireland responded to climate change. He said people had not broken the link between economic prosperity and carbon. “This is a fundamental structure change in the way we live and if we want to be prosperous and healthy in 15 or 20 years' time then we have to do this, but it can't all be funded by government,” he said. “The decisions we take now will define the next century.” Mr Bruton said this applied to all industries. “The future of sectors will be tied up with whether they can be competitive in a…
In 2018, Gallup's annual environment survey found that overall concern about climate change in the US was roughly stable. But within that stability was a growing divide. The 87 percent of Democrats who reported in 2017 that they believe global warming is a result of human activity bumped up slightly to 89 percent in 2018. Meanwhile, for Republicans, that number dipped from 40 percent in 2017 to 35 percent in 2018. How can the misinformation campaign driving this divide be fought? Just reporting and reiterating the facts of anthropogenic climate change doesn't seem to work. A paper in Nature Climate Change this week argues that attempts to counter misinformation need to draw on the research that
Because climate change is such a complex, globe-spanning problem, it's hard to really wrap your head around possible future scenarios. A future where no action is taken to slow greenhouse gas emissions is easy enough to grok, but what exactly does a “middle-of-the-road emissions world” entail? These scenarios work well for outlining the range of futures available to us, but it can be hard to understand the steps necessary to get to that future. “What if?” scenarios are often easier to think about. What if we eliminated all greenhouse gas emissions tomorrow? Or, if those rainbow unicorns are too impractical for you, what if we didn't replace fossil fuel infrastructure when it reached the end of
As the effects of climate change intensify, Flagstaff's snow-covered natural winters have started to melt. Walk around the Capitol, and much of the talk is about an oil boom that is buoying the state's finances, providing more money for schools and whatever else. But for an hour Thursday, a climate scientist urged one committee of legislators to look past all of that. "The world will be moving away from fossil fuel production," David Gutzler, a professor at the University of New Mexico and member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, told members of the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee. Gutzler went on to paint a stark picture of New Mexico in a changing climate.
Just as a new study says that ocean warming is much worse than previously thought, there are growing fears that Brazil's new President Jair Bolsonaro will further worsen global climate change by authorizing the Amazon's mass deforestation. Bolsonaro's name came up during my interview with Zeke Hausfather, one of the leading authors of the recent Science magazine article warning that oceans are heating up 40 percent faster than a United Nations climate panel estimated five years ago. When I asked Hausfather why oceans are warming faster than anticipated, he said that China is now burning about as much coal as the rest of the world combined. China and the United States are the world's leading polluters, with China taking the lead in recent years, he said.
Our daily media diet is chock-full of alarming expert opinions on climate issues. But truth is, I don't need every scientist on the planet to tell me that climate issues are a problem. I can see that for myself every day at Jubilee Blueberry Orchards. Farmers are accustomed to challenges. Organic growers like Jubilee Orchards must combat heat, insects, weeds and plant diseases without using pesticides or herbicides. But increasingly climate issues pose our biggest challenge and the deepest risk to our fruit. Cases in point: • The last two growing seasons have ushered in dramatic swings in temperature during critical periods of our fruit development. February was so warm you could go swimming
It's easy to turn apathetic when faced with impending cataclysmic climate change, especially when half the country already doesn't believe that it'll impact them. Climate policy think-tank Influence Map found business lobbyist efforts on U.S. energy discourse to have an equal, if not larger, impact on climate change compared to their greenhouse gas emissions. It also documented a multi-million dollar lobbying campaign funded by U.S. automotive industry giants with the primary goal of dismantling energy standards, in stark contrast with their eco-friendly public relations rhetoric. A recent peer-reviewed scientific paper published in the journal Nature Communications estimated that current fossil fuel infrastructure will make even the modestly compromised goal of 1.5° Celsius an uphill battle, though not yet impossible.
The Environmental Protection Agency is responding to criticism that the agency is lax in enforcing regulations like the Clean Water Act. Click 'play' to hear the audio version of this story. The critical analysis comes from the nonprofit Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. It shows the federal government referred significantly fewer cases to the Department of Justice than it has in years past. "Under the Trump Administration enforcement has fallen pretty drastically," says Kyla Bennett with PEER. She says the crimes the EPA investigates can be pretty serious. "Purposefully dumping some kind of hazardous waste into waterways. Allowing waste from a coal mine to enter a waterway,
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) has disappointingly sidetracked the buzz-generating, urgently needed Green New Deal, but Washington's likely failure to nurture the idea presents an opening for California. The Green New Deal is an audacious, ambitious proposal to treat the climate threat with the radical seriousness that it requires, while also reversing economic inequality and injustice. Although it is, so far, more concept than concrete plan, it proposes — like Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal during the Depression — a society-wide mobilization, with jobs and government investment as incentives to turn the nation's energy infrastructure and economy toward sustainable energy. The term Green New Deal has occasionally been used over the last decade, but the idea took off among blue wave Democrats and their supporters after the midterm campaign.