Climate Week En Review: Thanksgiving edition

November 21, 2018

Finally, tomorrow is Thanksgiving, the best holiday of the year. I'll keep it short so you can get on with your drive and/or kitchen prep.

This week's must watch: FOOTBALL! Or the Macy's parade. Or my new favorite, the Great British Bake Off. Everyone needs a break.

Beehive buzz: Senator-elect Mitt Romney, who will represent Utah come January, is signaling climate change could be a priority when he gets to Capitol Hill. In an interview with E&E News, he pointed to climate change as a "critical area" that needs addressing. Looking at recent activity, he'd have support back home from key policymakers.

In May, Gov. Gary Herbert signed into law a landmark climate resolution which recognizes the reality of climate change, the impact of human activity, and the state's opportunities to respond. The measure was championed by EcoRighter Rep. Rebecca Edwards at the behest of student groups who had advocated for her leadership. She and her Senate sponsor, Sen. Todd Weiler, worked tirelessly to assure the climate change resolution would pass, indicating a warming in the state legislature toward climate action.

Moreover, in Utah's 4th Congressional District, Rep. Mia Love (who just lost her tough reelection) has been a member of the House Climate Solutions Caucus. "I take no shame in [admitting climate change is caused by human activity," she said last year, "and I hope that you're okay with that also." In August, Rep. John Curtis took a hike (literally) with our spokesperson Nick Huey and discussed climate change with Brigham Young University scientists and students.

With these strong allies, the EcoRight feels optimistic about Utah's prospects for courageous climate leadership and hope to see Romney take an early lead in the U.S. Senate next year.


Not backing down: Florida's Rep.Carlos Curbelo, who distinguished himself as a leader in the GOP on climate change, rejected criticism from Americans for Tax Reform's Grover Norquist that he lost his reelection because of his introduction of a carbon tax bill.

"Those are fraudulent claims," Curbelo told the Washington Examiner. "Those groups are as disingenuous and dishonest and corrosive to our politics as groups on the Left." Calling climate change "a winning issue for me," he took aim at the environmental groups that did not support his candidacy. "These disingenuous environmental groups need to decide if they want a climate solution or if they want a political solution."

Curbelo was a strong advocate for the House Climate Solutions Caucus he helped co-found, and under his leadership, the ranks grew and so did the level of understanding of this critical issue. More than half of the GOP members of the bipartisan group retired or lost their reelection. However, he remains optimistic: "we also have great champions on our side of the aisle who are going to keep working on this."

Related: You can still help us thank Mr. Curbelo (if you haven't already) for his dedication to climate action.

Fun (but scary) fact: If you were born after February 1985, you have never experienced a colder-than-average month. (h/t Axios and Washington Post.)

On that note...

Gratitude: There is much to be grateful for, but here are a few at the top of our list. Our team is feeling all the gratitude that Mitt Romney is going to be a Senator. We hope he brings a steadying presence to the upper chamber and we have high hopes for his taking the lead on climate change. As if you couldn't tell, we also can't express enough thanks to Carlos Curbelo, and we're happy to hear he intends to stay focused on climate change when he shifts to life in the private sector. We are also grateful to you, our readers. I get such a jolt of happiness when I see how many people open this email every week.

Thank you! And enjoy your holiday!