Trump’s Attack on Clean Power Threatens Livable Climate, Public Health, and Hundreds of Thousands of Energy Jobs

GR: Here’s a review of the national benefits Trump is scrapping along with the Clean Power Plan. The con game run by the fossil-fuel industry is bearing fat fruit with this new president.

“Decades of progress on cleaning up our dirty air took a significant hit on Tuesday, along with hopes for a livable future climate, when President Trump issued his Energy Independence Executive Order. Most seriously, the order attacks the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Clean Power Plan, which requires a 32 percent reduction in CO2 emissions from existing power plants by 2030 (compared to 2005 emission rates.) — Dr Jeff Masters

“Yesterday, Donald Trump, much like that famous Luddite Don Quixote, decided to go to war with clean energy. But unlike Don Quixote, Trump did so with full knowledge that he was also fighting to rob us of our best hopes of putting millions of Americans to work for clean air and a livable climate.

Where would you want to live? Downwind of a toxin spewing coal plant, or near solar panels and wind turbines? Poor coal miners basically a set piece in Trump’s effort to save coal profits at the cost of the environment. Coal company CEOs have already signaled that the coal jobs aren’t coming back due to automation.

“With executive order #18 from his administration, he began to lay the groundwork to start to unravel Obama’s Clean Power Plan — which made a decent first shot at removing the worst U.S. polluters, prevented about 4,500 premature deaths each year (which is like preventing a pollution 9/11 every six months), promoted a jobs-growing renewable energy revolution, and put the U.S. on track to become a global leader in the fight to prevent some of the worst impacts of climate change.

If you want to grow jobs in the U.S., replacing dirty energy with clean energy is a good way to do it. But Trump is doing just the opposite. Source: Political Economy Research Institute.

“As Trump favors coal over renewable energy, and since every dollar spent on renewable energy creates twice the number of jobs for every dollar spent on fossil fuels, his action will almost certainly result in job losses across the energy sector. In West Virginia, for example, many coal jobs have already been replaced by automation and even coal executives now say those jobs aren’t coming back.” –Robert Scribbler (Continue: Trump’s Attack on Clean Power Threatens Livable Climate, Public Health, and Hundreds of Thousands of Energy Jobs | robertscribbler.)

Humans responsible for weather extremes in summer: Study | ANI News

GR:  Still ringing the alarm, but no one is pouring into the streets. CO2 levels are rising, farms are expanding, forests are disappearing, population is rising, and the oceans–the oceans are getting warmer, deeper, and more acidic. Plants and animals are dying. (Here’s another story on extremes.)

This story focuses on the extremes that are beginning.

“New Delhi [India], Mar. 27 (ANI): The increase of devastating weather extremes in summer is likely linked to human-made climate change, mounting evidence shows.

“Giant airstreams are circling the Earth, waving up and down between the Arctic and the tropics. These planetary waves transport heat and moisture. When these planetary waves stall, droughts or floods can occur.

“Warming caused by greenhouse-gases from fossil fuels creates favorable conditions for such events, an international team of scientists now finds.

“The unprecedented 2016 California drought, the 2011 U.S. heatwave and 2010 Pakistan flood as well as the 2003 European hot spell all belong to a most worrying series of extremes,” says Michael Mann from the Pennsylvania State University in the U.S., lead-author of the study now to be published in Scientific Reports.

“The increased incidence of these events exceeds what we would expect from the direct effects of global warming alone, so there must be an additional climate change effect. In data from computer simulations as well as observations, we identify changes that favor unusually persistent, extreme meanders of the jet stream that support such extreme weather events. Human activity has been suspected of contributing to this pattern before, but now we uncover a clear fingerprint of human activity.”

How sunny days can turn into a serious heat wave: “If the same weather persists for weeks on end in one region, then sunny days can turn into a serious heat wave and drought, or lasting rains can lead to flooding”, explains co-author Stefan Rahmstorf from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Germany.” –ANI News (Continue reading: Humans responsible for weather extremes in summer: Study | ANI News.)

How Broadcast Networks Covered Climate Change In 2016

GR: So focused on our navels last year, we had no time for the building climate disaster. The Media Matters story below included fine graphics with full commentary. Here’s a sketch and some of the graphs. Once again, Bernie Sanders showed his broad perspective on critical issues. He brought up climate change four times as much as hosts did on ABC, CBS, and NBC Sunday shows. Mainstream media failed, but there was certainly good coverage of climate change across the Internet. I reported on it on this blog more than 200 times. Here’s an example (https://garryrogers.com/category/climate-change/). Other blogs have mentioned the poor 2016 coverage.

“In 2016, evening newscasts and Sunday shows on ABC, CBS, and NBC, as well as Fox Broadcast Co.’s Fox News Sunday, collectively decreased their total coverage of climate change by 66 percent compared to 2015, even though there were a host of important climate-related stories, including the announcement of 2015 as the hottest year on record, the signing of the Paris climate agreement, and numerous climate-related extreme weather events.

“There were also two presidential candidates to cover, and they held diametrically opposed positions on the Clean Power Plan, the Paris climate agreement, and even on whether climate change is a real, human-caused phenomenon.

“Apart from PBS, the networks also failed to devote significant coverage to climate-related policies, but they still found the time to uncritically air climate denial — the majority of which came from now-President Donald Trump and his team.” –Media Matters (Continue reading:  How Broadcast Networks Covered Climate Change In 2016.)

GR: Kate Yoder of Grist covered this story too:

“The networks can’t claim there was a shortage of important climate stories to cover. Hurricane Matthew, the Great Barrier Reef’s continued slow death, record-shattering heat, and the official beginning of the Paris climate deal all took place last year.

“Other insights from the study:

  • “Together, the networks aired five segments of climate science denial from Trump and his team — without rebuttal.
  • “No network covered climate change’s impact on national security or the economy.
  • “And none of them aired a single segment on the effect a Trump or Clinton presidency would have on the climate — until after the election.

“Great to know that TV news is taking the defining issue of our time so seriously.” –Kate Yoder.

Trump Repeal of Climate Rules Means U.S. Paris Target Now Out of Reach

GR: Ignoring recent weather extremes, thinning sea ice, disappearing wildlife, and more, our leaders are rushing to help their masters take a little more profit before the Earth becomes uninhabitable. Do they think their children will get to go along to the mountain retreats or to Mars when temperature extremes, floods, and fires have made life unendurable across much of the planet?

“The U.S. would have had to ramp up its climate ambitions to help slow global warming to the 2 degrees C goal, but under Trump, it’s going in the opposite direction.

President Trump may not have waved goodbye formally to the Paris agreement, but his policies are keeping the U.S. from meeting its goals. Credit: Reuters/Joshua Roberts

“Whether the U.S. meets its emissions-reduction commitments under the Paris climate accord is pivotal to the success of the global agreement, but the Trump administration’s policies have all but ensured the U.S. will fall far short. One recent analysis says the country will miss its target by more than 1 billion metric tons.

“Under President Barack Obama, the United States pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 26-28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025. That means emissions must be cut about 1.7 billion metric tons, according to figures from the Environmental Protection Agency’s latest greenhouse gas inventory. The nation is a third of the way to that target, but the rest was to be achieved via an array of regulations, especially the Clean Power Plan, that are now targeted for elimination by President Donald Trump. Not only was the goal dependent on those rules, it would have also required even more rigorous policies from Obama’s successor because reductions from those rules would not have been enough, numerous studies have found.

“David Bookbinder, a longtime environmental lawyer and a fellow at the libertarian think tank the Niskanen Center, released a new analysis that puts the shortfall at 1 billion metric tons if Trump succeeds in undoing most of the Obama-era climate rules. Meaning, emissions from the world’s second-largest carbon polluter would be virtually unchanged from today. That would jeopardize any chance the world has to set a course of deep and rapid decarbonization over the next critical few years.

“There were people at the [EPA] hard at work on 2.0 [of climate policy], and they were going to ratchet it up, and it was going to be justified by Paris. It all would have worked, except for that whole election thing,” Bookbinder said. “Now, it’s all over…We’re at square zero.” –Marianne Lavelle (Continue reading: Trump Repeal of Climate Rules Means U.S. Paris Target Now Out of Reach | InsideClimate News.)