- ACTION ALERT: Please write by September 20 to keep BLM from selling oil leases in Stillwater County
- Do mineral rights have anything to do with citizen initiated zones in Montana?
- Stillwater County Beartooth Front Zoning District update
- New federal report shows the extent and likely impact of climate change
- New long-term study shows 40% decline in native Wyoming deer population due to oil and gas drilling
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Category Archives: Climate change
A new draft report developed by scientists from thirteen federal government agencies and released this week states that the average temperature in the United States has risen rapidly and substantially since 1980, and that it is “extremely likely” that nearly all of the global mean temperature increase since 1951 has been caused by human activity.
The report directly contradicts statements by the Trump Administration that the causes of global warming are uncertain, and that the impacts of climate change are impossible to predict.
According to the report, global annual temperature has increased by more than 1.6°F from 1880-2015, and average temperatures are higher than at any time in the last 1700 years. The report states that from 1951-2010 the average global mean temperature increased was 1.2°F, and the human contribution to warming during the same period was 1.1° to 1.3°F.
To read more and download a copy of the report, click the link. Continue reading
President Trump announced today that the United States will withdraw from the 2015 Paris Agreement, a landmark agreement in which 195 countries, representing 95% of the world’s carbon emissions, agreed to voluntarily reduce emissions to control global warming. The US joins Syria and Nicaragua as the only three nations in the world not participating. Nice company.
There is no question why Trump took this course. It has nothing to do with science (or he wouldn’t have taken this action). It has nothing to do with an “America First” foreign policy doctrine.
It’s about money. Continue reading
Most of us bemoan the lack of civility, negotiation, and compromise in politics. We’re so polarized that government does almost nothing to solve our most critical problems.
What’s particularly frustrating to those of us who see climate change as a major threat to the future of human civilization is that the clock is ticking. Global temperatures have risen about 1.5° Celsius since the beginning of the industrial age and are continuing to rise. The impacts will accelerate with each uptick in temperature: rising seas and coastal flooding, longer and more damaging wildfire seasons, more extreme and destructive weather, more frequent and intense heat waves, widespread forest death, costly and growing health impacts, severe drought, stress on clean water systems, disruption of food supplies, and much more.
What makes this so frustrating is that simple and elegant bipartisan solutions to this problem exist. Just last week a group of conservative Republicans proposed such a solution. The proposers aren’t ideologues or hacks, they’re Republicans with impeccable credentials.
To read about their solution and why it could make sense, click the link.
President Elect Trump has selected Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt is a close ally of the fossil fuel industry who has been a leader of efforts to block President Obama’s climate change rules.
Pruitt has put himself at the forefront of an alliance among state attorneys general, including Montana’s Tim Fox, who are working with energy companies and other corporate interests, which are in turn contributing large amounts of money for their political campaigns.
Don’t believe it when Trump tells reporters he has an “open mind” about climate change. Actions speak louder than words.
To find out more about Pruitt’s intentions, click the link. Continue reading
Yesterday I looked at the potential environmental policy direction of the Trump Administration. Today I offer some additional thoughts about what this might mean for political action. Republicans own climate change Conservative Republicans now own climate change, with all its consequences. Over … Continue reading
Regardless of where you stand politically, Donald Trump’s election yesterday was an unexpected shock. There is no way to know all the environmental implications of his election, but we can expect significant deviation from the policies of the last eight years, and a return to the environmentally ruinous policies of the Bush/Cheney era.
This occurs at a time when public understanding and acceptance of the need to combat climate change is growing. We should be moving quickly to transition from fossil fuels to clean energy to reduce carbon emissions; instead it appears we will moving back to the era of “drill baby drill.”
Based on what I have heard and read, here are some of the known positions and statements of Donald Trump on the environment.
We have now been through four debates in this election cycle — three for president and one for vice president — and there has not been a single question posed to either candidate on energy and climate change.
At Preserve the Beartooth Front, we believe that this is the key issue facing the United States over the next 20-30 years. It is central not only to energy policy, but to economic development, national security, immigration, infrastructure, and much more.
It is deeply concerning that these issues have not taken center stage in the campaign. Failure to debate them publicly lessens our chances of coming to consensus about a course of action that will enable the US to become an effective leader in reducing the impacts of climate change, and to transform our economy to take advantage of the dramatic shifts in energy technology that will occur in the coming decades.
We have tracked the candidates’ positions on energy and climate change for over a year, and have many questions we would pose to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump if we had the chance. Here are ten. Continue reading
As a killer hurricane descends on Florida, a reminder that it is time to act on global warming in Montana
As I write this, Hurricane Matthew is bearing down on Florida’s eastern coast. It is a killer Category 4 storm, with 140 mph winds. It has already caused extreme devastation in Haiti, leaving over 100 people dead and many more homeless. According to the National Weather Service on Thursday afternoon, “Extremely dangerous, life-threatening weather conditions are forecast in the next 24 hours. Airborne debris lofted by extreme winds will be capable of breaching structures, unprotected windows and vehicles.”
The Governor of Florida has told 1.5 million people to leave their homes, saying, “You need to leave. Evacuate, evacuate, evacuate.”
Tropical storms are the norm in Florida, but as the ocean warms, we can expect more and more devastating hurricanes like Matthew. Recent research has shown that we are experiencing more storms with higher wind speeds, and these storms will be more destructive, last longer and make landfall more frequently than in the past.
There are obviously no tropical storms in Montana, we have seen many impacts here due to global warming, and can expect more in the future.
We are all connected. It is time to act now to reduce carbon emissions. As Florida is devastated by a storm fueled by warmer oceans, we can no longer afford ourselves the luxury of complaining about “a war on coal” or allow our government agencies to permit oil and gas companies to operate with minimal regulation.
We can move quickly if we act together to move toward a carbon-free future rather than clinging to the devastating impacts of our energy past.
To read more, click the link. Continue reading
A new credible study warns of an impending climate disaster, you should take notice. The study argues that the serious effects of climate change — sea level rise of several feet, followed by increases so large they would force humanity to flee the coasts — will occur over the next 50 years, not over the course of centuries as climate scientists currently believe.
Lead author in the study is Dr. James Hansen, retired NASA scientist and director of the Columbia University Climate Center. The paper, published in the European journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, was co-authored with 18 other scientists. Dr. Hansen has been right before. He gained fame in 1988 when he warned Congress that global warming had already begun. He was ahead of the scientific consensus at the time, but he was right.
This is big news. Dr. Hansen’s study will dominate scientific debate on climate change for years to come. To read more, and watch Dr. Hansen’s 15 minute video overview of the study, click the link. Continue reading
Stop me if you’ve heard this before…
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in a press release issued today:
“During 2015, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.62°F (0.90°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest among all years in the 1880-2015 record, surpassing the previous record set last year by 0.29°F (0.16°C). This is also the largest margin by which the annual global temperature record has been broken. Ten months had record high temperatures for their respective months during the year. The five highest monthly departures from average for any month on record all occurred during 2015. Since 1997, which at the time was the warmest year on record, 16 of the subsequent 18 years have been warmer than that year.”
The issue of global warming has taken on increasing importance in this presidential election year, since the candidates hold widely divergent positions on whether warming actually exists, and, if it does, what humans should do about it. Continue reading