In the News

Some things I’ve noticed in the news:


The Guardian has an excellent essay from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

USA Today seems to have pretty good climate coverage overall, including a note about last four years = four hottest years. It’s interesting that they give all their temperatures in degrees Fahrenheit (it is USA Today, after all) without even mentioning units.

The Washington Post and others report that Al Gore, appearing on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, pointed out that Trump is the global warming denier-in-chief. As Al said, “It’s really significant, Trevor, that Donald Trump is now the face of climate denial.”

Down under, with summer arriving, ABC (Australian) reports that Australian students are on strike for climate action. Denier politicians do the usual: insult them.

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13 responses to “In the News

  1. Also interesting is the lawsuit filed in the U.S. by a group of young people, called Juliana v. U.S. (https://www.ourchildrenstrust.org/us/federal-lawsuit/). It was filed in the U.S., District Court for the District of Oregon in 2015. Their complaint asserts that, through the government’s affirmative actions that cause climate change, it has violated the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property, as well as failed to protect essential public trust resources.

    The government has been trying to have the case dismissed for some time. Most recently, the Supreme Court denied the Trump administration’s application for a stay (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-refuses-to-block-kids-climate-lawsuit-against-us-government/2018/11/02/34bd7ee6-d7af-11e8-83a2-d1c3da28d6b6_story.html?utm_term=.7db3026f9d01).

    The recent issuance of the National Climate Assessment by the U.S. government may well have an impact on how the courts deal with this. It may become a difficult case to dismiss (although, I am not a lawyer, so don’t really know the implications). May be an interesting case to follow.

    • We’ve talked some here about the various climate suits, mostly IIRC the one by San Francisco and Oakland, in which they tried to recover damages from the oil majors.

      The tough part seems not to be the merits of the case in terms of science, or of potential harm, but rather the diffuse nature of the problem both geographically, in terms of victims, and terms of responsibility. But maybe this case will be a little different, since the federal government would seem to have a special duty of care. We’ll see!

  2. ABC (Australian) linking climate change to Queensland’s ‘abnormal’ bushfires, something no doubt close to the hearts if folk in California.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-01/why-qld-bushfires-have-been-described-as-abnormal-unprecedented/10571122

  3. I don’t know if this cut-and-paste will work, but (I hope!) here are the direct links for the various regional chapters of NCA 4, the report Trump, Milloy, et al. don’t want you to read.

    Regional Chapters

    Northeast:
    https://nca2018.globalchange.gov/chapter/18/

    Southeast:
    https://nca2018.globalchange.gov/chapter/19/

    U.S. Caribbean:
    https://nca2018.globalchange.gov/chapter/20/

    Midwest:
    https://nca2018.globalchange.gov/chapter/21/

    Northern Great Plains:
    https://nca2018.globalchange.gov/chapter/22/

    Southern Great Plains:
    https://nca2018.globalchange.gov/chapter/23/

    Northwest:
    https://nca2018.globalchange.gov/chapter/24/

    Southwest:
    https://nca2018.globalchange.gov/chapter/25/

    Alaska:
    https://nca2018.globalchange.gov/chapter/26/

    Hawai‘i & U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands:
    https://nca2018.globalchange.gov/chapter/27/

    Living in South Carolina, I naturally checked out the Southeast. Some highlights (or lowlights) that were meaningful to me for one reason or another:

    –talks about Tamino’s ‘warm-hole’ (though not with that term)
    –examines SLR in Charleston as a case study; leading factoid: tidal flooding by 2045 expected to reach 180 occurences/year!
    –almost complete loss of Atlantic salt marshes as this ecosystem transitions to mangrove swamps
    –aedes egyptii!

  4. I can say that the Australian pollies did more than insult the schoolkids. But the kids were witter.
    The Prime Minister simply stated they should be in school learning and should leave Government to those elected.
    Matt Canavan, the resources minister, a coal tout, from Central Queensland – during the record heat wave – and while the coalfields were under fire threat – and while fire-fighters from four states were employed controlling the out of season fires with the states first ever fires rated as “catastrophic”, stated, “They should be at school learning to mine.”

    Kids placards.
    “I’ve seen smarter cabinets at Ikea”
    “I missed science class for this”
    “Schools have to be parliament when parliament is a schoolyard”

    You have to know that at the time the Queensland fires peaked, the federal government announced that the Adani mine would be going ahead, describing that corrupt Indian megalith as a “little Aussie battler” – a monumental insult.

    And our politics is *still* not as chaotic as the USA

    • Not so much chaotic–despite the best (worst) and far from inconsiderable efforts of our so-called president–as subverted by an oligarchy that was worked strategically for decades to impose their quasi-Libertarian corporatist ideology on the country. (Cf., Jane Meyer’s Pulitzer Prize-winning expose, “Dark Money”.)

      “Dysfunctional”, maybe?

    • And the particularly pleasing: ‘We’ll be less activist if you’ll be less shit”.
      Really good to see that the Australian youth get it. And Extinction Rebellion in the UK, who are doing good work.

  5. Methane madness

    Australia has a denialist government, the prime minister has brought a lump of coal into Parliament, but they are about to get their arses kicked out.
    The denier in chief in Murdoch, without Murdoch Trump wouldn’t be any where. Add all the other anti science but jobs that work for Murdoch and he is the planet killer #1.
    My sister works for the dark lord and won’t talk to me because I talk about climate. It’s hilarious, once the weather was considered a boring subject of conversation but now it’s a radical, scary subject, abhorred by upholders of the status quo and fossil fuel sycophants.