grist.org
7 signs that China is serious about combatting climate change
Some conservatives say that China isn’t doing anything about CO2 emissions, but they’re flat-out wrong.

Since China has enormous low-lying cities that will be largely underwater in a century if climate change continues spinning out of control, the country has plenty of reason to curb its emissions and has shown that it is serious about doing it. That’s true whether Republican politicians in Washington choose to believe it or not.

It already seems safe to conclude that we won’t be seeing a monthly value below 400 ppm this year ― or ever again for the indefinite future.
—  Ralph Keeling, director of the CO2 program at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Read more.
awarenessact.com
Navajo Water Supply is More Horrific than Flint, But No One Cares Because they’re Native American

The news out of Flint, Michigan brought the issue of contaminated drinking water into sharp focus, as it was revealed that officials at every level—local, state and federal—knew about lead-poisoned water for months but did nothing to address the problem.

Under state-run systems like utilities and roads, poorer communities are the last to receive attention from government plagued by inefficiencies and corrupt politicians. Perhaps no group knows this better than Native Americans, who have been victimized by government for centuries.

In the western U.S., water contamination has been a way of life for many tribes. The advocacy group Clean Up The Mines! describes the situation in Navajo country, which is far worse than in Flint, Michigan.

Since the 1950s, their water has been poisoned by uranium mining to fuel the nuclear industry and the making of atomic bombs for the U.S. military. Coal mining and coal-fired power plants have added to the mix. The latest assault on Navajo water was carried out by the massive toxic spills into the Animas and San Juan rivers when the EPA recklessly attempted to address the abandoned Gold King mine.

“In 2015 the Gold King Mine spill was a wake-up call to address dangers of abandoned mines, but there are currently more than 15,000 toxic uranium mines that remain abandoned throughout the US,” said Charmaine White Face from the South Dakota based organization Defenders of the Black Hills. “For more than 50 years, many of these hazardous sites have been contaminating the land, air, water, and national monuments such as Mt. Rushmore and the Grand Canyon. Each one of these thousands of abandoned uranium mines is a potential Gold King mine disaster with the greater added threat of radioactive pollution. For the sake of our health, air, land, and water, we can’t let that happen.”

There is no comprehensive law requiring cleanup of abandoned uranium mines, meaning corporations and government can walk away from them after exploiting their resources. 75 percent of abandoned uranium mines are on federal and Tribal lands.

Leona Morgan of Diné No Nukes points out one example: “The United Nuclear Corporation mill tailings spill of 1979, north of Churchrock, New Mexico left an immense amount of radioactive contamination that down-streamers, today, are currently receiving in their drinking water. A mostly-Navajo community in Sanders, Arizona has been exposed to twice the legal limit allowable for uranium through their tap.”

Last week, Diné No Nukes participated in protests in Washington, D.C. to raise awareness of past and ongoing contamination of water supplies in the west, which disproportionately affects Indian country.

“These uranium mines cause radioactive contamination, and as a result all the residents in their vicinity are becoming nuclear radiation victims,” said Petuuche Gilbert of the Laguna Acoma Coalition for a Safe Environment, the Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment and Indigenous World Association. “New Mexico and the federal government have provided little funding for widespread clean up and only occasionally are old mines remediated.  The governments of New Mexico and the United States have a duty to clean up these radioactive mines and mills and, furthermore, to perform health studies to determine the effects of radioactive poisoning. The MASE and LACSE organizations oppose new uranium mining and demand legacy uranium mines to be cleaned up,” said Mr. Gilbert.

Politicians continue to take advantage of Native Americans, making deals with mining companies that would continue polluting their water supplies. Senator John McCain sneaked a resolution into the last defense bill which gave land to Resolution Copper. Their planned copper mining would poison waters that Apaches rely on and would desecrate the ceremonial grounds at Oak Flat.

While EPA and local officials have been forced to address the poisoned water in Flint, the contamination of Indian country water supplies continues. A bill called the Uranium Exploration and Mining Accountability Act, introduced by Arizona Congressman Raúl Grijalva, has languished in Congress for two years.

huffingtonpost.com
Mike Pence's Kinder, Gentler Climate Change Denial
Climate change isn't a hoax! It's just that we can't and shouldn't do anything about it.

Pence wavered between two slightly different forms of climate-change denial here ― first arguing that even if it is real, there are no policies that can be enacted to affect it, and then arguing that we can still burn all the fossil fuels we want anyway. But at least he doesn’t say it’s not real! That seems to make him only slightly more reality-based than Trump.

newyorker.com
Donald Trump and the Climate-Change Countdown - The New Yorker
Trump, who has called climate change a “hoax,” has said he would “rescind” the Clean Power Plan if he is elected President.

If the next four years are spent rolling back whatever progress has been made on emissions, then almost certainly the temperatures targets that world leaders set last year in Paris will be breached. In fact, even if the next four years are spent making more progress, it’s likely that the targets will be breached. 

bit.ly
Why Is the World's Largest Association of Earth Scientists Funded by Climate-Denying Exxon?
With so much at stake, the American Geophysical Union should be standing up for climate science and scientific integrity—not Exxon.

In the words of Dr. Elisabeth Holland:

“The AGU’s decision puts those of us here in the imperiled Pacific Islands in a difficult position. As a professor of climate change, I teach my students to stand for scientific integrity—that the power of science emerges from careful evaluation of the data and drawing conclusions based on the data. I tell my students that we need to lead by example, with integrity, to speak the truths that are revealed by the data, even when it is politically inconvenient.”

Join 61,000 signers. Take action: climatetruth.org/agu