California And Florida Governors Duel On Climate Denial

by KATIE VALENTINE – When it comes to climate change — and climate-denying politicians — California Gov. Jerry Brown doesn’t mince words. Brown sent a letter to Florida Gov. Rick Scott Monday, in time for Scott’s visit to California — a trip in which Scott aims to convince West Coast businesses to consider moving to Florida. But Brown had some business advice of his own for Scott, who’s long been known for his climate-denying, anti-clean energy record. “If you’re truly serious about Florida’s economic wellbeing, it’s time to stop the silly political stunts and start doing something about climate change — two words you won’t even let state officials say,” Brown wrote in the letter. “The threat is real and so too will be the devastating impacts.” Brown isn’t exaggerating. Last year, the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting published a story that claimed the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) had...

Read More...


Leading Climate Scientists: ‘We Have A Global Emergency,’ Must Slash CO2 ASAP

by JOE ROMM – James Hansen and 18 leading climate experts have published a peer-reviewed version of their 2015 discussion paper on the dangers posed by unrestricted carbon pollution. The study adds to the growing body of evidence that the current global target or defense line embraced by the world — 2°C (3.6°F) total global warming — “could be dangerous” to humanity. That 2°C warming should be avoided at all costs is not news to people who pay attention to climate science, though it may be news to people who only follow the popular media. The warning is, after all, very similar to the one found in an embarrassingly underreported report last year from 70 leading climate experts, who had been asked by the world’s leading nations to review the adequacy of the 2°C target. Specifically, the new Hansen et al study — titled “Ice melt, sea level rise and...

Read More...


Florida Mayors Call Out Marco Rubio And Jeb Bush On Climate Denial

by KATIE VALENTINE – South Florida is one of the most vulnerable regions in the nation to the effects of climate change. But you wouldn’t know that listening to the two Republican presidential candidates who have held office in Florida, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. Now, a group of Florida mayors are taking Florida Senator Rubio and former Governor Bush to task on their climate denial. Fifteen mayors from cities in South Florida — including Miami, West Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale — sent letters to Rubio and Bush this week, calling on them to “acknowledge the reality and urgency of climate change and to address the upcoming crisis it presents our communities” and to meet with them within the next month to discuss climate change. “Ignoring climate science and doubling down on fossil fuels will only make the climate crisis more rapid and expensive,” the mayors write in their...

Read More...


Study: We’re Already In The ‘Worst Case Scenario’ For Sea Level Rise

by ARI PHILLIPS – A major new analysis on the impact melting polar ice sheets could have on sea level rise has given rise to some worrisome conclusions. Researchers found that sea levels increased some 20 feet during three warming periods of 1.8 to 3.6°F (1 to 2°C) that took place at different interglacial periods over the past three million years. The study’s findings mean that the planet could be in for major sea level rise even if warming is kept to 2°C — a limit that the world is set to exceed without major action on climate change. Published in the journal Science, the review compiled more than 30 years of research from scientists around the world to show that changes in the planet’s climate and sea levels are closely linked. It found that even a small amount of warming can lead to significant sea level rise. Andrea Dutton, a...

Read More...


Keeping the Lights On: The Clean Power Plan and the Real Threat to Grid Reliability

By Myriam Alexander-Kearns, Center for American Progress – The Environmental Protection Agency’s, or EPA’s, Clean Power Plan — proposed in June 2014 and expected to be finalized this summer — will require significant changes to the United States’ electricity generation mix in order to cut carbon pollution. The Clean Power Plan sets limits on the amount of carbon emissions from existing power plants in each state. Limits vary based on considerations such as each state’s estimated ability to switch from coal to natural gas for electricity generation; increase efficiency in the remaining coal-fired plants; generate more electricity from renewable sources; and reduce demand through energy efficiency. Some critics have raised concerns over whether changes to the electricity generation mix — which are necessary in order to meet the plan’s emissions targets — will affect the reliability of the U.S. electricity grid. Grid reliability is paramount, which is why the EPA is...

Read More...


From Risk to Resilience: Preparing U.S. Coasts for Climate Change

By Shiva Polefka & Michael Conathan, Center for American Progress – America’s coastal cities are global centers of innovation, output, employment, and trade. The communities built around the country’s beaches and working harbors capitalize on marine natural resources to promote fishing, tourism, aquaculture, and other industries. As a result, America’s coastal counties produce nearly half of U.S. economic output while taking up less than 10 percent of its land area. And they continue to grow faster in population than the nation as a whole. Put simply, America’s coasts are a pillar of success and vitality for the entire nation. Yet even as population and production continue to concentrate along U.S. coasts, overwhelming physical evidence shows that coastal counties sit squarely in the destructive path of climate change. Intensifying storms, accelerating sea-level rise, chronic “nuisance” flooding, and the intrusion of salt water into aquifers and wastewater infrastructure are all prime...

Read More...