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- Thu Feb 14, 2019 - What's Keeping Trump from Ratifying a Climate Treaty Even Republicans Support?
Republican senators and the Chamber of Commerce have urged Trump to back the Kigali Amendment on HFCs, saying it's in the U.S.'s economic interest.
An international agreement to reduce the use of potent greenhouse gases in air conditioning and refrigeration went into effect this year, with more than 60 countries ratifying it. U.S. manufacturers say the agreement could create tens of thousands of jobs and generate billions of dollars in U.S. exports---and that failing to join will hurt U.S. industry.
More than a dozen Republican senators and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have supported it, and a State Department official said over a year ago that the Trump administration had \'initiated the process to consider U.S. ratification.\'
Yet the U.S. president has yet to ratify the agreement, known as the Kigali Amendment.
So, what's holding it up?
Three Theories and a Pointed Finger
The Kigali Amendment is about global warming. That may help explain the delay, said Georg
- Thu Feb 14, 2019 - If not the Green New Deal, then what?
As momentum for the Green New Deal grows, so do its detractors. The ambitious plan to fight climate change introduced by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey last week has been called everything from \'brainless\' to \'delusional\' by conservatives. President Donald Trump said it sounded like \'a high school term paper that got a low mark.\' Some Democrats have criticized the Green New Deal, too, saying that its goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2030 is unachievable. Others believe the plan doesn't go far enough.
What, then, do these critics propose instead? What should America do to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and slow catastrophic global warming?
Most Republicans don't have an answer to that question because they deny that anything needs to be done at all. But as New Yorker staff writer Osita Nwanevu noted on Twitter, those who accept the dire reality of climate change aren't helping by offering empty critiques.
Some conservatives are get
- Thu Feb 14, 2019 - Love in the time of climate change - the Valentine's traditions under threat
As lovers around the world celebrate Valentine's Day on Thursday, few will be thinking of the environment.
Yet they may soon have to - from rising seas that could engulf the world's honeymoon island resorts to changing weather patterns hitting the vineyards of France's Champagne region, climate change poses a threat to many romantic traditions.
Here are five that are in jeopardy.
1. HONEYMOON ISLANDS: Sandy golden beaches are a popular escape for honeymooning couples, but romantic destinations such as Bali and the Maldives are under threat from rising seas.
Ocean warming is also causing coral bleaching and scientists say pollution and over-fishing could contribute to the loss of as much as 90 percent of global reefs by 2050.
Plastic pollution is also affecting many island nations, with Vanuatu and the Seychelles introducing locally managed marine reserves or banning plastic bags and straws.
2. CITY OF LOVE: Paris is the quintessential city of love. But i
- Thu Feb 14, 2019 - How to cut U.S. emissions faster? Do what these countries are doing
The United States is reducing its greenhouse gas emissions far too slowly to help avert the worst effects of global warming. But what would happen if the country adopted seven of the most ambitious climate policies already in place around the world?
U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are currently projected to stay fairly flat. Reducing them faster would require major advances in clean technology or big shifts in policy. Or both.
The U.S. made a pledge under the Paris climate agreement to cut emissions by 2025. It also laid out broad goals for 2050.
If the United States adopted an economy-wide carbon tax similar to British Columbia's, which started small and is set to rise to $37.50 per ton, emissions would start to fall, according to modeling by Energy Innovation, an energy policy firm.
The nation could also require utilities to produce all their electricity from zero-carbon sources --- like wind, solar or nuclear --- by mid-century, following states like New York and Californi
- Wed Feb 13, 2019 - Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Captured the Horror of the State of the Union
All of the blithe, occasionally lethal childishness of American political culture was on display Tuesday night during Donald Trump's second State of the Union address. Most of what's wrong with the speech predates the current Administration---you can't blame Trump for the cowardly game of who claps when, or the emphasis, amid intractable ideological conflict, on \'unity,\' or the persistent presence of Rick Santorum on CNN, or the tacky, exploitative tradition of dragging, say, sick kids, belatedly emancipated prisoners, and the families of recently murdered Americans onto the balcony of the chamber of the House of Representatives to be mentioned less as people than as momentary props. Each practice is longstanding; nobody deserves credit for noticing their fraudulence only when the guy behind the podium is a racist, and a liar, and a creep. The whole thing feels like a sick game, except for the fact---and here is one of our deepest national paradoxes---that the ideas expressed, no matte
- Wed Feb 13, 2019 - The Story Behind the Instant Classic "Bezos Exposes Pecker" Headline
In the tabloid tradition, a good headline must do three things: it must communicate the news; it must commit some act of wordplay; and it must trigger a certain popping of the eyes in its reader, ideally accompanied by some kind of involuntary subverbal response---a squawk, a snort, a guffaw, a gasp. On Thursday, just minutes after Jeff Bezos revealed that American Media, Inc., had threatened to publish explicit photographs of him unless he acquiesced to certain demands, tabloid-headline excellence was achieved, when HuffPost declared, on its home page, \'Bezos Exposes Pecker.\' \'Pecker,\' of course, referred to David Pecker, the chairman and C.E.O. of A.M.I.---the same Pecker who, during the 2016 Presidential election, facilitated a payment to a woman who had a story to tell about an affair with Donald Trump. \'What a day,\' HuffPost's editor-in-chief, Lydia Polgreen, tweeted, soon after the headline appeared, along with a screen shot of the home page.
The headline was the work of Hayle
- Wed Feb 13, 2019 - Mitch McConnell tests the Green New Deal
On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he intends to put the Green New Deal resolution, proposed last week by Senator Ed Markey and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, up for a vote. \'I've noted with great interest the Green New Deal,\' he said during a press conference. \'We're going to be voting on that in the Senate. We'll give everybody an opportunity to go on record and see how they feel about the Green New Deal.\'
Republicans, of course, have made no secret of how they feel about the resolution, which envisions both a dramatic transformation of the American energy economy and the creation of expansive new social-welfare commitments, including a federal job guarantee. In his El Paso speech last night, President Trump said, falsely, that Democrats would ban cows and air travel, repeating claims that have been circulating in conservative media.
Here McConnell seems to be acting more out of habit than in line with any grand strategy. Republicans hav
- Wed Feb 13, 2019 - Global warming: By 2080, New York City will feel like Arkansas
\'Heading south\' will have a whole new meaning in a few decades.
New York City, welcome to Arkansas. Minneapolis, say hello to Kansas. And San Francisco, your new home is L.A.
Because of global warming, hundreds of millions of Americans will have to adapt to dramatically new climates by 2080, a study published Tuesday suggests.
\'The children alive today, like my daughter who is 12, they're going to see a dramatic transformation of climate. It's already underway,\' said study lead author Matt Fitzpatrick of the University of Maryland's Center for Environmental Science.
By 2080, for example, folks who live in New York City will see a climate similar to that of northern Arkansas today. And people in Minneapolis will live in a climate that's equivalent to that of southern Kansas today.
On average, city's climates will move 528 miles to the south if carbon emissions keep soaring at their current levels. If the world cuts back, the cities move on average of 319 miles to the sou
- Tue Feb 12, 2019 - The tiny Swiss company that thinks it can help stop climate change
Just over a century ago in Ludwigshafen, Germany, a scientist named Carl Bosch assembled a team of engineers to exploit a new technique in chemistry. A year earlier, another German chemist, Fritz Haber, hit upon a process to pull nitrogen (N) from the air and combine it with hydrogen (H) to produce tiny amounts of ammonia (NH3). But Haber's process was delicate, requiring the maintenance of high temperatures and high pressure. Bosch wanted to figure out how to adapt Haber's discovery for commercial purposes --- as we would say today, to \'scale it up.\' Anyone looking at the state of manufacturing in Europe around 1910, Bosch observed, could see that the task was daunting: The technology simply didn't exist.
Over the next decade, however, Bosch and his team overcame a multitude of technological and metallurgical challenges. He chronicled them in his 1932 acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize for Chemistry --- an honor he won because the Haber-Bosch process, as it came to be known, cha
- Tue Feb 12, 2019 - Climate change concern rising, but plastics top of mind for Kiwis
For the first time in 10 years, New Zealanders' concern about climate change has tipped 50%, according to new research by Colmar Brunton.
The latest Colmar Brunton Better Futures report surveyed 1,000 New Zealanders in December 2018 on a wide range of environmental and social issues and has been released in partnership with the Sustainable Business Council.
\'For the first time in a decade, more than half of those surveyed expressed a high level of concern about climate change. The challenge now for government and businesses alike is to make climate actions as tangible for New Zealanders as reducing plastics,\' says Head of Colmar Brunton Sarah Bolger.
Top 10 concerns for New Zealanders
- Build-up of plastic in the environment, 72% (up 9 points from last year)
- The cost of living, 68% (no change)
- Protection of New Zealand children, 67% (down 1 point)
- Suicide rates, 67% (up 3 points)
- Violence in society, 65% (down 4 points)
- Pollution of lakes, ri