- PLEASE NOTE: Change in Zoom access code for today’s hearing
- Action alert: Watch court hearing on Zoom, Thursday, 2:00 pm
- Action alert: Stillwater County Planning Board meeting, Wed, 9/4, 7pm
- Must attend! Stillwater County Planning Board: Wednesday, August 7, 7pm
- Stillwater County News: “Workable framework” adopted for potential southern county zone
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Category Archives: Climate change
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
Representatives of 195 countries, representing more than 95% of global greenhouse gas emissions, today reached a landmark climate agreement that will, for the first time, commit nearly every country to lowering planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions to help stave off the most drastic effects of climate change. The goal of the agreement is to limit global temperature rise to less than 2° Celcius, along with a stretch goal of 1.5°. Continue reading
Beginning today 40,000 world leaders, diplomats, experts and partisans will meet in Paris to begin 12 days of climate talks that could very well decide the future of our planet.
The conference is called Conference of the Parties 21, or COP 21, which refers to the countries that have signed up to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). UNFCCC is an international treaty now signed by 195 parties, with the aim of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions to control climate change. This is the 21st meeting since 1992, hence COP 21.
The goal is a new global climate treaty, involving all nations, that would take effect in 2020 to help the world avoid the worst consequences of manmade global warming. According to the UNFCCC, this means limiting global warming in 2100 to less than 2°C, or 3.7°F, above pre-industrial levels.
According to recent data, we’re already halfway there. In 2015, global temperatures have reached 1°C higher than pre-industrial levels. Without action, temperatures are expected to increase by 3.7 – 4.8°C by 2100.
To learn more about what can be accomplished in Paris, and why we should feel great urgency about acting now, read on. Continue reading
Developing countries are moving fast to create clean energy capacity. Time for the US — and Montana — to step up
Some politicians characterize policies to address climate change as a choice between economic growth and the environment. What’s more, even if we were to take action on climate change, anything we do will make no difference because countries like China are “drilling a hole and digging anywhere in the world that they can get a hold of.”
Problem is, that just isn’t true.
New data just released shows that developing countries, most notably China, are far outstripping the United States in investing in and developing clean energy capacity. This trend is expected to continue and intensify over the next 25 years.
In advance of the critical international climate meeting about to take place in Paris, it’s time for the United States to step up its commitment to controlling carbon emissions. And in Montana, where our leaders blithely promote an “all of the above” energy policy, it’s time to wake up. The future is going to be built around transitioning to clean energy, not extracting fossil fuels from the shale underneath the Beartooth Front..
They understand this in Pakistan, Tunisia and Mexico. Why not Helena and Washington DC? Continue reading
American acceptance of the problem of climate change and the need for action is growing rapidly. A New National Survey on Energy and the Environment (NSEE) from the Gerald Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan shows acceptance of mainstream science near an all time high. For the first time since 2008, at least 7 out of 10 Americans indicate that they believe there is solid evidence of global warming over the past four decades.
For a discussion of the findings and their implications, go to the post. Continue reading