Climate Week En Review August 11, 2017

4 months ago

This week's must read: Climate report contradicts statements made by president, administration (Business Insider)

This week's must watch: George Shultz is worried about two issues—nuclear weapons and climate change (CNN)

This week's must listen: Katharine Hayhoe gives advice on how to talk about climate change (fast forward to 6:40 if you don't want all the top news from nature's frontlines)

This week in climate change, a 600-page Congressionally mandated report drafted by scientists from 13 federal agencies concludes the U.S. is already experiencing the negative impacts of climate change. The report, which is part of the National Climate Assessment, calls the long-term evidence that global warming is being driven by human activities "unambiguous." Hayhoe posted this summary:

The entire draft report is linked here. The report awaits final approval by President Trump.

In other news:

Gone with the Wind: In an op-ed in The Hill, Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds touted Iowa as a "red state with a blueprint for the United States' next steps" on renewable energy. "Last year, nearly 37 percent of Iowa's power came from wind. Wind energy brings 9,000 jobs and more than $13.5 billion in investments—and we've done it all without sacrificing price or reliability," she writes. "In fact, Iowa has the most reliable electric grid in the country, and the average energy cost for all sectors here is the sixth cheapest in the nation." She goes on to cite the wind energy statistics in other red states like Texas and South Dakota.

#ThatGreenville: Greenville, South Carolina Mayor Knox White, who signed his city onto the Paris Climate Agreement, said Greenville spends about a million dollars a year to encourage residents to walk or bike over driving for short trips. He also highlighted the neighborhood trolley that travels in and out of the downtown area to "encourage people not to use their car on weekends." Efforts to make Greenville more environmentally friendly align with the mission to create jobs and attract more businesses. "We think we prove again and again that being attentive to green space and the environment is good for economic development," the mayor said.

Climate jester: The Administration at large is this week's climate jester. Between the official letter from the State Department notifying the U.N. of the United States' intention to withdraw from Paris (and issuing talking points to envoys, encouraging vague responses to climate questions) to reports that U.S. Department of Agriculture staff have been instructed to use the phrase "extreme weather" for "climate change." While insiders report President Trump will not try to stifle the unpublished National Climate Assessment report, the Administration's to-date lackluster sense of urgency underscores their lack of commitment to addressing this pressing issue.

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