The fate of our planet has considerably worsened in the last 24 hours. Donald Trump has taken his first steps towards unwinding his predecessor Barack Obama’s hard-won climate change legacy. In his inaugural budget on Thursday, the tycoon tweeter proposed slashing the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget by some 2.7 billion dollars. Such a move would scrap funding for a string of environmental programs, including Obama’s landmark plan to fight climate change by reining in emissions from America’s vast fleet of power plants. “Literally and figuratively, this is a scorched-earth budget that represents an all-out assault on clean air, water, and land,” said Gina McCarthy, Obama’s last EPA chief. […]
The United States population hovers around 320 million people. We represent less than 5 percent of the world’s population – 7.4 billion people, yet, use roughly 25 percent of the world’s resources. […]
Halfway through the first 100 days of Donald Trump’s chaotic, scandal-plagued, reality-challenged presidency, the organic fertilizer is really hitting the fan. He has issued executive orders to undermine the Clean Water Actand roll back fuel-economy standards. Expected any day now are orders to expand federal coal leasing and dismantle the Clean Power Plan.Meanwhile, his proposed federal budget would gut the EPA. As for bad legislation currently in Congress that Trump could sign?—?which ranges from stripping environmental protections to making it legal to shoot wolves and bears from helicopters in Alaskan wildlife refuges?—?there is simply too much to list. And that’s only the environment. Even as Trump’s job approval rating hits new lows, just keeping up with the craziness can be exhausting. Even so, the question I get asked the most is “what more can we do to stop this?” The obvious answer is that we can keep on doing what we already are?—?resisting. Specifically, that means challenging regressive federal policies and legislation in the courts, holding legislators accountable, and participating in organized protests like the upcoming Peoples Climate March. We can donate to and volunteer with groups we support (like your local Sierra Club chapter or other local group), and vote with our dollars?—?by choosing to buy our food, bank our money, and otherwise do business with companies whose values we share. Perhaps most important of all, we have to join with our allies on building a movement that can turn the kind of outrage we saw at congressional town hall meetings all over America this winter into electoral power […]
(Left to right) Reps.Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.), Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) and Ryan Costello (R-Pa.) lead the Republican climate resolution. Just when you think that the environmental conversation is going down the drain (think climate deniers in the Presidential cabinet and budget cuts designed to gut the EPA), a group of Republican Congressional members have joined forces to put forth a resolution “expressing the commitment of the House of Representatives to conservative environmental stewardship.” The action is spearheaded by Rep. Carlos Curbelo (FLA), Rep. Elise Stefanik (NY), and Rep. Ryan Costello (PA). The lawmakers were joined by fourteen other Members of Congress: Reps. Mark Amodei (NV), Don Bacon (NE), Barbara Comstock (VA), John Faso (NY), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA), John Katko (NY), Mia Love (UT), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL), Frank LoBiondo (NJ), Brian Mast (FL), Pat Meehan (PA), Tom Reed (NY), David Reichert (WA), and Mark Sanford (SC). I read a copy of the resolution. […]
President Trump’s first budget completely disregards our environment and the public lands which millions of American families use for recreation. If enacted by Congress, these cuts and program eliminations would wreak havoc on our outdoor economy and the millions of jobs it supports in local communities, and will undermine towns and cities working now to create a clean and healthy future. The President has declared these programs ‘unnecessary.’ We could not disagree more. There is absolutely no economic justification for pulling the rug out from ongoing collaborative local, state and federal efforts aimed at supporting parks, trails and other outdoor recreation needs, all of which sustain a burgeoning $646 billion economy that supports 6.1 million American jobs. Local leaders and communities are on their own as they work for a safe, healthy future for the families who live there. For example, by gutting funds for land protection through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), America’s most effective conservation program, the Trump plan will harm our national parks. A good example of how LWCF helps came just this week, when we transferred 42 acres of land inside Rocky Mountain National Park to the park. […]
Recent Episodes in Trump’s New Government Trump’s New Government 1:50 Who Trump Wants in His Cabinet Politics 1:07 Bernie Sanders Gets Tough on Tom Price U.S. 1:27 Haley’s Confirmation Hearing as U.N. Ambassador U.S. & Politics 1:14 Trump Welcomes Mattis as Defense Secretary U.S. 3:24 Rex Tillerson’s Confirmation Hearing Politics 3:27 James Mattis’s Confirmation Hearing Trump’s New Government 2:37 Jeff Sessions: Consistently Conservative Trump’s New Government 3:05 Flynn’s Controversies: Islam, Russia and More U.S […]
According to the cover article in today’s issue of the journal Nature, the iconic reef off the coast of Australia suffered unprecedented coral die-off after last year’s record-breaking bleaching event. Now, as the Southern Hemisphere hits late summer temperatures, central and southern sections of the reef — areas which avoided the worst of last year’s bleaching — are in trouble.
“We didn’t expect to see this level of destruction to the Great Barrier Reef for another 30 years,” coral researcher Terry Hughes told the New York Times. Hughes led the team that conducted aerial surveys to document the bleaching last year, as well as subsequent surveys to assess just how much of that bleaching turned into dying.
Bleached corals don’t always turn into dead corals — some are able to recover when temperatures drop. Er, if temperatures drop. If water temperatures stay high and corals stay bleached, they will eventually starve to death. Without coral building reefs, whole ecosystems may disappear, along with the food, tourism, and jobs they support.
Hughes and his coauthors found that even corals in pristine, protected water were likely to be suffering from heat stress, meaning the only thing left to do to protect corals is, you know, address climate change.