Swedish leaders troll Trump without saying a word

  • Swedish Deputy Prime Minister Isabella Lövin on Friday signed sweeping new climate change legislation while posing for a photograph which appeared unambiguously to be a dig at Trump’s administration.
  • The ambitious new climate change law promises zero net greenhouse gas emissions in Sweden by 2045.
  • Lövin appeared to replicate the now-viral photo of Trump, surrounded by men, signing an anti-abortion executive order. Instead, her photo exclusively featured women. Read more.

Humans are destroying the planet 170x faster than natural forces, scientists say

  • Surprise! Humans are turning the earth into a garbage fire a lot quicker than previously thought.
  • According to Australian National University researchers, humans are speeding up climate change 170 times faster than natural forces.
  • “Human-caused greenhouse gas emissions over the past 45 years have increased the rate of temperature rise to 1.7 degrees Celsius per century, dwarfing the natural background rate,” ANU climate professor Will Steffen said in a statement on the university’s news page. Read more (2/13/17 3:31 PM)

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India plans nearly 60% of electricity capacity from non-fossil fuels by 2027
Expansion of solar and wind power will help exceed Paris targets by almost half and negate need for new coal-fired power stations
By Michael Safi

The Indian government has forecast that it will exceed the renewable energy targets set in Paris last year by nearly half and three years ahead of schedule.

A man with a nasty habit of suing the EPA now leads it, because why not?

Congrats, America: We now have a Senate-confirmed administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) again. 

Oh, except that administrator is Scott Pruitt, the former Oklahoma attorney general who sued the EPA multiple times over what he sees as its overly aggressive environmental regulations. Plus, he denies the mainstream scientific conclusion that human emissions of greenhouse gases are the primary cause of global warming. 

So, there are those little caveats.

SEE ALSO: Exxon’s former CEO is now our secretary of state. So, there’s that.

Pruitt has also questioned the dangers of mercury contamination and other hazardous substances the EPA is in charge of regulating. His record is so one-sided that the Sierra Club calls him simply, “… The most dangerous EPA Administrator in the history of our country.”

Pruitt’s reputation as an agency foe eager to give states more autonomy in regulating air and water pollution, combined with the EPA transition team’s gag order of the agency, has instilled so much fear among the EPA rank-and-file that agency scientists were among the thousands of people calling their senators on Thursday urging them to vote no on the nomination, a rare step for federal employees to take. 

Pruitt, along with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Energy secretary nominee Rick Perry, all have expressed views doubting climate science findings, and each of them are in charge of agencies deeply involved with the U.S. response to the global issue.

EPA administrator Scott Pruitt.

Image: AP/REX/Shutterstock

During his confirmation hearing, Pruitt said he does not quite agree with the vast majority of climate scientists whose work has shown that greenhouse gases are causing global warming. 

“I believe the ability to measure with precision the degree of human activity’s impact on the climate is subject to more debate on whether the climate is changing or whether human activity contributes to it,” he said.

“If you don’t believe in climate science, you don’t belong at the EPA,“ said May Boeve, executive director of the climate advocacy group, in a statement on Friday. 

What happens now?

Pruitt is expected to try to dismantle large parts of the EPA’s portfolio of regulations and science research put in place under prior presidents, particularly the Clean Power Plan, which aims to cut carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants. Without that plan, the U.S. cannot live up to its commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement. 

However, Trump may be poised to pull the U.S. out of that pact entirely, which would make dismantling the Clean Power Plan easier. Trump is also expected to sign executive orders as early as Friday that would begin rolling back the EPA’s climate change work, though it’s easier to order that than it is to actually accomplish it.

Remarkably, Pruitt was confirmed only hours after a judge in Oklahoma ordered the release of nearly 3,000 emails between Pruitt and fossil fuel companies from his time as attorney general. 

We’d like to congratulate Mr. Pruitt on his confirmation! We look forward to welcoming him to EPA.

— U.S. EPA (@EPA) February 17, 2017

Senators never got a chance to factor those into their decision-making. 

Senate Democrats tried in vain to delay the vote to allow senators to see the emails, which stemmed from a state lawsuit filed by the Center for Media and Democracy and the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma. Those organizations were concerned about Pruitt’s cozy relationship with the oil and gas industry there. 

Pruitt’s backers, including mainstream Republican groups like FreedomWorks, see him as an administrator to will try to get red tape off the backs of business owners, despite studies showing that the EPA’s regulations don’t stifle job growth.

A 2014 New York Times investigation already established that Pruitt often did favors for the oil and gas industry, particularly for major donors to the Republican Attorneys General Association. These included writing letters to lawmakers and the EPA seeking regulatory changes.

In the end, Pruitt won confirmation narrowly, on a 52 to 46 vote, garnering the most "no” votes of any EPA nominee since the agency was founded in 1970. 

BONUS: NASA timelapse shows just how quickly our Arctic sea ice is disappearing


Here’s how hospitals can heal through sustainability

  • According to a June 2016 study, if the U.S. health care industry were a nation, it would rank 13th in greenhouse gas emissions.
  • While a previous study found the health care industry caused 8% of the country’s carbon emissions, the new study found these emissions caused 12% of acid rain, 10% of smog formation and 9% of respiratory disease from particulate matter in 2013.
  • Moreover, hospitals are among the top 10 in their communities for water use and the single largest users of chemical agents. The volume of hospital waste is staggering — more than 2.3 million tons per year.
  • By taking steps to limit these environmental impacts, the health care industry can promote the long-term health of our communities, particularly the most vulnerable populations. Read more

In collaboration with Dignity Health
Canada Aims to Fully Phase Out Coal Power by 2030
Country will work with the four provinces that still burn coal to reach its goal
By Paul Vieira and Judy McKinnon

Canada plans to completely phase out traditional coal power by 2030 and will work with the country’s four remaining provinces that still burn the fossil fuel to reach the overall goal, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said Monday.

The move is the latest measure Canada is taking to meet greenhouse-gas reduction targets by 2030, and follows the earlier introduction of a nationwide carbon levy that starts in 2018. The new plan also comes amid a pledge by President-elect Donald Trump to revive the U.S. coal industry’s fortunes.

Ms. McKenna, just back from a United Nations-sponsored climate-change conference in Morocco, said coal power in Canada currently represents close to 10% of greenhouse gas emissions coming from four provinces—Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Provinces will have the option to choose between phasing out coal entirely and replacing it with lower emitting sources, or using carbon capture and storage technology, the minister said.

Data indicate the western Canadian province of Alberta is by far the biggest user of coal as a source of electricity generation, and is home to five of the six biggest coal-fueled power plants in Canada. The province’s left-leaning government has already signaled its intent to phase out coal-fired generation, also by 2030. Canada’s largest province, Ontario, phased out coal-fired electricity in 2014.

In Canada, provincial governments have jurisdiction over the generation and transmission of electricity.

Canada is the world’s 12th-largest coal producer, according to government data, and roughly three-quarters of the coal it imports originates in the U.S.

Continue Reading.

Archive: EPA Climate Change

Below is a collection of archived EPA pdfs regarding climate change indicators and their technically documentation. Technical Documentation Overview can be found here.

These pdfs were taken from the EPA website as of 1/26/17 and are unaltered.

These links below are all you need to see the PDFs. I have the collection, and they will remain up as long as necessary, and are archived in case the information is removed for the public.

Ocean Acidity  (Technical Documentation)

Antarctic Sea Ice  (Technical Documentation)

Arctic Sea Ice  (Technical Documentation)

Bird Wintering Ranges  (Technical Documentation)

Cherry Blossom Bloom Dates in DC   (Technical Documentation)

Climate Forcing  (Technical Documentation)

Coastal Flooding  (Technical Documentation)

Tropical Cyclone Activity  (Technical Documentation)

Drought  (Technical Documentation)

Atmospheric Concentrations of Greenhouse Gases  (Technical Documentation)

Glaciers  (Technical Documentation)

Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions   (Technical Documentation)

Great Lakes Water Levels and Temperatures  (Technical Documentation)

Length of Growing Season  (Technical Documentation)

Heat-Related Deaths  (Technical Documentation)

Heat-Related Illnesses  (Technical Documentation)

Heating and Cooling Degree Days  (Technical Documentation)

Heavy Precipitation  (Technical Documentation)

High and Low Temperatures   (Technical Documentation)

Lake Ice  (Technical Documentation)

Land Loss Along the Atlantic Coast  (Technical Documentation)

Leaf and Bloom Dates  (Technical Documentation)

Lyme Disease  (Technical Documentation)

Marine Species Distribution  (Technical Documentation)

Ocean Heat  (Technical Documentation)

U.S. and Global Precipitation   (Technical Documentation)

Ragweed Pollen Season  (Technical Documentation)

River Flooding  (Technical Documentation)

Ice Breakup in Two Alaskan Rivers  (Technical Documentation)

Sea Level  (Technical Documentation)

Sea Surface Temperature  (Technical Documentation)

Trends in Stream Temperature in the Snake River  (Technical Documentation)

Snow Cover  (Technical Documentation)

Snowfall  (Technical Documentation)

Snowpack  (Technical Documentation)

Temperature and Drought in the Southwest  (Technical Documentation)

Steam Temperature  (Technical Documentation)

Streamflow  (Technical Documentation)

U.S. and Global Temperature  (Technical Documentation)

U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions  (Technical Documentation)

West Nile Virus (Technical Documentation)

Wildfires (Technical Documentation)

When you hear the term “global warming,” you probably picture a freeway packed with bumper-to-bumper traffic, the commuters collectively belching a cloud of deadly gas directly up Mother Nature’s nostrils. The fact of the matter, however, is that transportation emissions account for just 14 percent of human-made greenhouse gas emissions.

As a point of comparison, agriculture is responsible for much more – nearly a quarter of said emissions, all told. In fact, livestock alone is responsible for at least 14.5 percent of the planet-baking gases being released worldwide, and you know what they say: You can lead a man to a Prius, but asking him to give up prime rib is a good way to get a motherfucker shanked.

See, modern livestock are fed a grain-based diet that, while efficient, results in greatly increasing the animals’ gas production. The animals simply didn’t evolve to efficiently digest such a rich diet, and this results in the continuous release of methane, which has as much as 36 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. Meanwhile, demand for meat, while stable in the developed world, is steadily increasing in developing countries – there are now 1.5 billion cows on earth.

And much like your trucker-hat-loving uncle whom you only see at Thanksgiving dinner, the burps and farts of our livestock are spoiling the environment for everyone.

The solution isn’t metric shit-tons of Beano, but it’s close. Australian researchers discovered a species of seaweed (Asparagopsis taxiformis, which sounds like a spell Harry Potter would cast to make Voldemort’s pee smell bad) that, when fed to livestock in amounts as little as two percent of their diet, almost magically slashes the animals’ methane production by 50 to 70 percent.

6 Incredibly Overlooked Scientific Breakthroughs From 2016

This may surprise you, because it surprised me when I found out, but the single biggest thing that an individual can do to combat climate change is to stop eating animals. Because of the huge, huge carbon footprint of animal agriculture. I was shocked to find out that animal agriculture directly or indirectly accounts for 14.5% of all greenhouse gas emissions, compared to all transportation – every ship, car, truck, plane on the planet only accounts for 13%. Less than animal agriculture. So most people think that buying a Prius is the answer, and it’s certainly not wrong, but it’s not the biggest agent of climate change.
—  James Cameron, from an “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit; as quoted in “Director James Cameron on Vegan Diet: Like I’ve Set the Clock Back 15 Years”, in Ecorazzi (12 April 2014)
Trump to roll back Obama’s climate, water rules through executive action
President Trump is preparing executive orders aimed at reversing Obama-era policies on climate and water pollution, according to individuals briefed on the matter.

One executive order will instruct the Environmental Protection Agency to begin rewriting the 2015 regulation that limits greenhouse-gas emissions from existing electric utilities. It also instructs the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to lift a moratorium on federal coal leasing.

A second order will instruct the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to revamp a 2015 rule, known as the Waters of the United States rule, that applies to 60 percent of the water bodies in the country. That regulation was issued under the 1972 Clean Water Act, which gives the federal government authority over not only major water bodies but also the wetlands, rivers and streams that feed into them. It affects development as well as some farming operations on the grounds that these activities could pollute the smaller or intermittent bodies of water that flow into major ones.

Bottom line: Republicans aim to a allow:

- Coal mining national parks, allowing foreign mining companies to pollute parks and not pay for clean up.
- Increase air pollution from power plants
- Dump industrial chemicals, pesticides, and livestock waste into US rivers and streams.

Zero objective analysis provided this will MAGA or create jobs.
25 earth day tips to save the planet:
  • go vegan.
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  • hey, have you considered going vegan?
  • yes? go vegan.
  • no? you should think about it, and then go vegan.
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  • you could go vegan.
  • save water, go vegan.
  • save the soil, go vegan,
  • cut greenhouse gas emissions, go vegan.
  • improve air quality, go vegan.
  • go vegan.
  • go vegan.
We may be closer than we thought to dangerous climate thresholds | John Abraham
John Abraham: A new study identifies an extra 0.1°C of human-caused warming
By John Abraham

The more we learn about climate change, the more apparent it becomes that we need to act with HASTE if we are going to achieve a sustainable condition.