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Why This Matters: Each of these actions alone would represent a significant setback, but when combined these policies reverse years of progress by prior administrations on taking action to confront the climate crisis. Each one will require time and resources to return to where the U.S. would have been but for the Trump Administration’s climate denial. The Secretary of Agriculture is just the latest to make dubious remarks – in an interview with CNN he dismissed the climate crisis as just “weather patterns.” This administration just does not stop making it worse. And the President continues to mislead about the state of our country’s environment. In his campaign kickoff rally a week ago, the Presdent said, “We have among the cleanest and sharpest — crystal clean, you’ve heard me say it, I want it crystal clean — air and water anywhere on Earth.” He repeated this claim in an interview with Sean Hannity, excerpted by The Washington Post above. As The New York Times pointed out afterward, in 2018 the US ranked 27th out of 180 countries in an environmental performance review, compiled by Yale and Columbia University researchers in collaboration with the World Economic Forum.
Department of Agriculture Is Latest Climate Denying Agency. Secretary Sonny Purdue’s remarks are hard to believe. He reportedly said to CNN:
“It rained yesterday, it’s a nice pretty day today. So the climate does change in short increments and in long increments.”
“I think the president feels that I do, he’s a golfer, so sometimes he knows he gets rained out and sometimes it doesn’t, but the long-term consequences, I don’t know.”
According to Politico, the studies that the Department of Agriculture has made sure do not get seen by the public include “a groundbreaking discovery that rice loses vitamins in a carbon-rich environment — a potentially serious health concern for the 600 million people worldwide whose diet consists mostly of rice” and a “finding that climate change could exacerbate allergy seasons to a warning to farmers about the reduction in quality of grasses important for raising cattle.” None of the studies focused on the causes of climate change, but instead on the wide-ranging impacts it will have on agriculture.
As for the NEPA proposal, environmental groups are very concerned because the guidance would no longer require federal agencies to “weigh the effects of various alternatives in NEPA in a monetary cost-benefit analysis using any monetized Social Cost of Carbon … or other similar cost metrics.”
Yesterday at the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to achieve “carbon neutrality before 2060” with the aim of hitting peak emissions before 2030. China had choice words for the Trump administration and its complete lack of international leadership on climate change action. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang […]
The world’s richest one percent cause more than double the CO2 of the poorest 50% according to a new study from Oxfam. From 1990 to 2015, CO2 emissions rose by 60%; experts saw the wealthiest one percent’s emissions rise three times more than those of the poorest half during that period.
Why this matters: While the wealthiest indulge in luxuries that contribute more to climate change, a federal report found that the poor will be among the earliest victims of climate crises and will be impacted the most.
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