Politics
Pipeline and LNG Terminal Project Puts Oregon Governor On the Spot

Pipeline and LNG Terminal Project Puts Oregon Governor On the Spot

In Oregon, there is a fossil fuel infrastructure project undergoing permitting and approval that is stirring up controversy, putting the newly re-elected Governor of the state, Kate Brown, on the spot over her campaign promise to tackle the issue of climate change.  The Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal and its Pacific Connector Gas pipeline would transport fracked natural gas from Colorado all the way to Oregon’s coast, where it would be super-cooled into liquid form and loaded on ships in the terminal bound for international markets.  A huge crowd of protesters attended a state hearing on the project expressed grave concerns about the large quantities of soil that would need to be displaced in order to install the proposed three-foot wide pipeline, spanning 229 miles, 78 wetlands, and 485 waterways across the state through four Oregon Counties.  

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Dems Slam DoD Report on Climate Risks to U.S. National Security

Dems Slam DoD Report on Climate Risks to U.S. National Security

The government last Friday made public another report warning of the dangers that climate change poses to our nation — this one details the risks to our national security as a result of more than two-thirds of our military installations being at increased risk in the next 20 years of flooding, drought and fire damage related to climate. 

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Out of this world candidate being recruited for Senate race

Out of this world candidate being recruited for Senate race

314 Action, a nonprofit political action committee that recruits and supports scientists and candidates with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) backgrounds to run for office has launched a campaign to recruit retired astronaut Mark Kelly to run for the Democratic nomination for Arizona’s 2020 Senate race. As the Arizona Republic reported, Kelly, the husband of former U.S. […]

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Wheeler Denies Climate Crisis in his Confirmation Hearing

Andrew Wheeler, the Acting EPA  Administrator, appeared before the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee yesterday for his confirmation hearing and was greeted by protesters and angry questioning by the Committee’s Democratic members.  The protesters began shouting “Shutdown Wheeler” just as he began to read his opening statement, and were quickly removed, as he raised his eyebrows in disdain (see video above.)  Drawing fire from the Democrats on the Committee, Wheeler said that climate change is a “global issue” but “not the greatest crisis,” and did not even mention climate change in his opening statement. 

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Changing climate mentality

Changing climate mentality

Our good friends at the Yale Program for Climate Communication along with the George Mason Center for Climate Change Communication analyzed in their most recent survey the percentage of people who have changed their opinions about climate change and it turns out about 8% of surveyed Americans indeed had changed their attitude. Overall 84% of respondents said that they were MORE concerned than in the previous two years about global warming.

So what happens once you do accept climate change and begin worrying about the state of our planet? It turns out that, as UnDark reported, a growing body of evidence demonstrates that climate change and its effects are linked to elevated rates of depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, post-traumatic stress, and a host of negative emotions including anger, hopelessness, despair, and a feeling of loss. Researchers have dubbed these feelings “ecological grief.”

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Rep. Ted Lieu’s march to 100% renewables

Rep. Ted Lieu’s march to 100% renewables

This week, California Congressman Ted Lieu introduced the first major climate bill of the 116th Congress. In a statement, Lieu said that: “There is no threat greater to our nation’s security than climate change. Failing to protect our planet will endanger the lives of millions, hurt our economy and jeopardize our children’s future. The wildfires […]

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Government shutdown negatively impacting weather forecasts

Government shutdown negatively impacting weather forecasts

Among the most consequential impacts of the government shutdown are the strain and diminution of capacity to the National Weather Service (NWS) operations, upon which all public and private daily weather forecasts are based. 

Why This Matters: One-third of the U.S. economy is impacted by the weather.  Indeed, as The Post points out, that means many sectors such as transportation, energy, national security, agriculture, the stock market, not to mention forecasts of extreme weather — are now operating on less than the highly accurate forecasts they usually can rely upon. And imagine if we have a “billion dollar” storm such as a “snowmaggedon” while the shutdown drags on, with lives and profits at risk, which seems increasingly probable as we are now squarely in winter snow season.  Offices like the one that Saha works in are down to skeleton staff — only one or two rather than dozens.  This weather forecasting degradation is much riskier to the general public than any risk we face from the lack of a feckless border wall segment.  

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Climate change back on the agenda in Washington

Climate change back on the agenda in Washington

The new Democratic majority in the House of Representatives was sworn in last week and they’ve already set an agenda for hearings addressing climate change. Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) as well as Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) have already scheduled hearings that will put climate change back into the political dialogue on Capitol Hill.

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Shutdown Leaves National Parks a Mess

Shutdown Leaves National Parks a Mess

As of last Friday, the government shutdown has gone on for 13 days, with no end in sight. The shutdown has meant that national parks have been severely understaffed as trash and restroom waste have been allowed to pile up. As the Washington Post explained, no one is at the gate. No one is collecting a fee. The visitor centers are closed. There are some law enforcement and emergency personnel on site, but certainly nothing as standard as a park ranger who can answer a question.

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