Check out this page from Bill Moyer for his compendium of interesting interviews with environmental leaders, scientists and activists about climate change to better understand the path we are on, and what we need to do to save our planet
Read here and watch the video of about Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s response to Sen. Jim Inofe’s claim that climate change is not real. Inofe blocked a resolution declaring that climate change is real. As a result, the Senate still has not taken an official position on whether climate change is happening or if it poses a threat to the U.S.
About 1,500 gallons of used motor oil leaked from an aboveground storage tank into Sulphur Creek and the Yakima River March 1, 2015. Crews from Yakama Nation, EPA and Washington departments of Ecology and Fish and Wildlife are trying to contain the spilled oil with booms and vacuums.
The spill happened in a region that according to Washington’s Department of Ecology is “home to hundreds of species of fish and wildlife,” including river otters, beavers, fish, muskrats, as well as wintering and migrating birds.
Read more from Climate Progress here.
President Obama directly rebuked attempts to deny the existence of human-induced climate change in yesterday’s State of the Union address. Below are his full remarks on climate and energy issues, as released before the speech:
We believed we could reduce our dependence on foreign oil and protect our planet. And today, America is number one in oil and gas. America is number one in wind power. Every three weeks, we bring online as much solar power as we did in all of 2008. And thanks to lower gas prices and higher fuel standards, the typical family this year should save $750 at the pump…
So let’s set our sights higher than a single oil pipeline. Let’s pass a bipartisan infrastructure plan that could create more than thirty times as many jobs per year, and make this country stronger for decades to come…
And no challenge—no challenge—poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.
2014 was the planet’s warmest year on record. Now, one year doesn’t make a trend, but this does—14 of the 15 warmest years on record have all fallen in the first 15 years of this century.
I’ve heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they’re not scientists; that we don’t have enough information to act. Well, I’m not a scientist, either. But you know what—I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA, and NOAA, and at our major universities. The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we do not act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe. The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security. We should act like it.
That’s why, over the past six years, we’ve done more than ever before to combat climate change, from the way we produce energy, to the way we use it. That’s why we’ve set aside more public lands and waters than any administration in history. And that’s why I will not let this Congress endanger the health of our children by turning back the clock on our efforts. I am determined to make sure American leadership drives international action. In Beijing, we made an historic announcement—the United States will double the pace at which we cut carbon pollution, and China committed, for the first time, to limiting their emissions. And because the world’s two largest economies came together, other nations are now stepping up, and offering hope that, this year, the world will finally reach an agreement to protect the one planet we’ve got.
For the 2014 top 10 climate denier quotes from politicians (and the contributions from the fossil fuel industry to their campaigns), see this piece from ACT, a climate change adaptation think tank at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia.
The News Tribune has published a series of photographs highlighting glacier recession and other impacts at Mt. Rainier National Park.
Gov. Jay Inslee introduced his plan to bring Washington State into alignment with the goals for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that were set into state law in 2008. His proposal is to develop a system for cap-and-trade of GHG pollution that would be “the most comprehensive and probably the most progressive carbon-pollution regulation system anywhere in the world,” according to Alan Durning, executive director of the Sightline Institute, as quoted by the Seattle Times. Inslee’s plan would raise $947 million in 2017 and the money would be allocated to the following programs:
- $400 million on transportation projects.
- $380 million on education.
- $163 million on tax rebates and other help for low-income communities.
- $3.5 million on administering the program.
Read more from the Seattle Times here.
The crabapple is harvested by 37 Native cultures from Alaska to Oregon and Victoria Wyllie de Echeverria, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Oxford, has studied climate change on the Pacific Coast through changes to to the harvest and use of the fruit. She is now interviewing dozens of Alaska Native and Canadian First Nation elders to get a cultural and historical perspective on changes to the broader ecosystems. Read more here.
Check out this article in Mother Jones for some very interesting facts about solar energy. For example, by 2016 solar power will be as cheap or cheaper than conventional electricity in every state except three. Also, in the past decade, the amount of solar power produced in the United States has increased by 139 times. But solar still only produces less than one half of 1 percent of the energy produced in the US, even though it could power the entire country 100 times over.
Yesterday, the Twentieth Conference of the Parties (COP-20) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) concluded. After 2 weeks of meetings, climate negotiators from 195 countries have crafted an agreement for all countries to develop plans for limiting greenhouse gas emissions.
The plans are due to the UN climate committee by October 1. At that point the UN will analyze the impact the plans have on slowing climate change. Negotiators will begin working on an introductory document to all the plans at meetings in early 2015 in Bonn, Germany, and Geneva, Switzerland. The document will be presented and (it is hoped) approved at the next Conference of the Parties in Paris.