Climate Week En Review, December 14, 2018
Coming at you from Seattle, where my body thinks the time is three hours later than it really is and the sky really is always gray except I caught a glimpse of blue just an hour after my arrival.
This week's must read: Here's how to win on climate change policy (Washington Post) Climate Leadership Council chief executive Ted Halstead writes, "As long as the public perceives a carbon tax as an increase in its energy costs and, therefore, a reduction in its living standards, chances of success are low. By contrast, a winning carbon tax strategy would return all the money raised directly to citizens, making the majority of families better off."
This week's must watch: Is carbon dioxide really a pollutant? (Global Weirding) In the latest installment of atmospheric scientist Katharine Hayhoe's informative video series, she answers why carbon dioxide is considered a pollutant even though humans constantly breathe it out.
The EcoRight Speaks: He's a scientist. He's passionate advocate for climate action. He embodies what it means to be EcoRight. In case you missed it, check out this clip of our friend and spokesperson, Tyler Gillette.
Governors, they get the job done: Maryland's Governor Larry Hogan co-authored an opinion piece with Virginia's Governor Ralph Northam on state leadership on climate change. "Our most important job as governors is ensuring the safety of our constituents," the regionally close governors write. "So when we face a threat to people's livelihood and way of life, showing leadership means acknowledging the risk and addressing it. Climate change hits Democrats and Republicans alike, and we need to work together, despite our differences, to stop it." Maryland and Virginia are both part of the U.S. Climate Alliance, a group of 17 state leaders who have committed to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris agreement. "Our states will continue to develop our clean- and renewable-energy supplies. We will reduce emissions from fossil fuels. And we will make plans to adapt and protect our citizens and our coastlines. These steps will help slow climate change, but we need help. We call on leaders of all political persuasions to get to work and cooperate across aisles and across borders- both national and international- to meet the challenge of climate change," the governors write.
Full steam ahead: New York Rep. Elise Stefanik said she hopes to continue to be an "active member" of the House Climate Solutions Caucus, which saw its GOP ranks greatly diminish as a result of the 2018 election. "I hope to recruit new members to join the caucus," she added. "I'm optimistic we will recruit new members." Likewise, Rep. Dave Trott (R-Michigan) jumped onto the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act as a co-sponsor.
The Great Alone*: Alaska's Senator Lisa Murkowski is again pointing to the rapid changes her home state is experiencing due to climate change. Speaking at the American Geophysical Union's fall meeting, she called the impacts in Alaska "real," emphasizing "it is happening, it is now, and almost none of these changes are for the better for us." Murkowski hasn't been shy about calling out the reluctance of other lawmakers to take the matter seriously. In Congress, "sometimes it's a hard conversation to have with people who have said, 'we don't need to deal with it' or 'I don't know what the issue is,'" Murkowski said. "Well, I can tell you what the issue is: that when the Arctic starts to thaw, that is not good for the planet." The chairman of the Senate Natural Resources Committee, she said she's trying to find common ground for action. "For those of us in the Arctic, we need to have that freezer kept cold. We need it for us, but you all need it for you here in the lower 48," she said. "For those of you who are from other parts of the world, we all need the Arctic to stay cool."
That's it for me! May your weekend be filled with holiday cheer.
*If you need a book recommendation, The Great Alone, which is set in Alaska, was one of my favorites of 2018.