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CLIMATE CHANGE

Who will speak for the natural world, which has no voice to protect it but ours? Facts on climate change, from NASA.

Worldwide temperature anomalies animation since 1900

(Scroll down to take immediate action)

UPDATE 9/13: Harvey. Irma. Jose. Katia. Warmer water = more hurricanes. Wildfires across the West. Global warming = drought, weakened trees, beetles & disease. 8/11: NOAA confirms 2016 was the warmest year on record. 7/12: Largest iceberg ever recorded breaks off from Antarctic (BBC). Clear scientific analysis, with data and many pics: (UK Daily Mail - Science) (see below to take action).7/10: EPA chief wants to hold televised forum on climate change with "scientists" who will "debate" it, despite it being agreed upon as fact by nearly all of the world's actual scientists (NASA). 6/29: Trump plans to open Arctic and Atlantic to more oil drilling (Washington Post). 6/15: Pruitt explains proposed ~1/3 cut to EPA budget. Rep. Nita Lowey responds, saying the EPA budget is a "disaster": "it's surprising you didn't propose to eliminate the EPA altogether." (see below, and Stop Trump section to take action) 6/2: Bucking Trump, these cities, states, and counties commit to the Paris Accord (NY Times) (and see below and Stop Trump section to take action) 5/19: Tell the Trump administration to continue the protection of Bears Ears National Monument just south of Moab, UT by 5/26. More info. here! (and see #1 & #7 below to take action) 5/16: Trump administration is still reviewing Obama national monument designations to delist for possible deforestation/lumber harvesting, drilling, and mining (National Geographic summary). Check back for those in danger. Our pushback is making a difference, but wildlife protections are already being revoked (see Endangered Species section). 3/24: Trump administration just approved permits allowing the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline to move forward. The NRDC is filing suit to stop it: "The tar sands oil that the Keystone XL pipeline would carry is one of the dirtiest fuels on the planet — from the tar sands mine to the gas tank, it generates 81% more carbon pollution than conventional crude." 3/9: EPA head Scott Pruitt says he "believes" carbon dioxide does not drive climate change (NBC News). (see Take Action, below) 2/17: Well-known climate change denier, Scott Pruitt, confirmed as head of EPA amidst court order to release thousands of emails between he and fossil fuel companies. He considers himself an enemy of environmental activists, and is unlikely to uphold environmental regulations (see Environment section for legislators voting for and against him). 2/3: Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) introduced H.R. 861 to terminate the Environmental Protection Agency (should HR 861 come to a vote, go immediately to Take Action: Stop Trump).

LEARN: Here is a running list on how the Trump Administration is changing the environment, from National Geographic, and the news is not good. According to CBS News, Trump is the only head of state in the world not to accept the basic science of human-driven global warming. Stop and think about that a moment…

Therefore, what is Trump likely to do about climate change? It does not look good for the climate (see Live Science, 12/30/16, and New York Times, 11/11/16). Intimidating climate scientists and advocates, Trump advisors took the names of those in the Obama administration who supported climate change prevention legislation, evoking memories of the McCarthy era, when the government made a list of those who might sympathize with Communists, then blacklisted them. Trump has now decided to pull out of the Paris Accord. A movement is afoot for companies, cities, and counties to pledge to uphold the Paris Accord, even though the Administration will not. Global Dismay at US Climate Deal Pull Out (BBC).

Is Trump likely to be successful in trying to gut climate change legislation domestically? Probably not, says Andrew Revkin, in this comforting piece:

…many of the targets set by Obama, and built on in Clinton campaign pledges, were based on shifts in energy use that are largely being driven by market forces or longstanding environmental laws that are relatively immune to the influence of any particular occupant of the White House. (Climate Change News, 12/30/16)

The National Resources Defense Council is not taking any chances, however: “NRDC is gearing up to fight the Trump administration's disastrous anti-environment agenda at every turn—in the courtroom, in Washington and on the global stage.” Neither is EarthJustice.org, which is litigating almost 400 active environmental cases, because, “the Earth needs a good lawyer.” California has acted quickly to reinforce its environmental legislation by hiring former Obama Attorney General, Eric Holder, to fight the Trump administration on climate change. It’s heartening to see how many people are stepping up to uphold our right to a clean, healthy, sustainable environment. You can help, too! Each of us matters.

Resources. This 15-minute TED Talk by David Roberts, staff writer at grist.org, explains climate change: Climate Change is Simple.  ThinkProgress' Climate Progress blog offers successes and insight. You can look up your own state's climate change impact here. Visit @ClimateNPS (you can access the tweets even if you're not on twitter; just search on @ClimateNPS) to learn how climate change is affecting our National Parks and what the Park Service is doing about it.

TAKE ACTION

(1) Governmental climate change action is crucial now. Besides voting for politicians who support effective climate policies in the 2018 midterm elections and beyond, take a few minutes to contact your political representatives to express outrage at Trump's ~1/3 cut to the EPA, and his decision to pull out of the Paris Accord. Who are your representatives? General House of Representatives number in DC: 866-948-8977 General Senate number in DC: 866-985-2543 Don't know your Congressman's phone number? Call 202/224-3121, put in your zip. You’ll be transferred. Shy to call? Don’t be concerned. You’ll likely be sent to voicemail. Tell them you want immediate action on climate change and are concerned about the administration’s stance. Remind them that reducing greenhouse gas emissions improves physical health, adds to local and state economies, and creates jobs. Phone calls have been found to be more effective than letters and emails, and more effective than social media contacts (on effectiveness of emails). As the Indivisible Guide notes, Congress members are MOST concerned about their own re-election (all House representatives and half of the Senate are up in 2018). If they get the sense people will vote based on their position on an issue, they will listen! It really does take only a handful of phone calls on a given topic from a representative's own constituents to influence that member of Congress.

(2) 10 things individuals can do about global warming by the Union of Concerned Scientists. 7 Things you can do to fight Trump's agenda, NRDC.

(3) Want to get your town involved? Check out kyotousa.org for how.

(4) Are you in the San Francisco Bay Area or Los Angeles and seeking impactful work? SF = Rising Sun Energy offers Bay Area jobs for 15-22 year olds, and adult career training opportunities in energy efficiency, as well as energy upgrades: “We operate two highly impactful programs fighting climate change and working to provide economic opportunity to those who are most in need in our communities.” L.A. = Climate Cents has specific projects in the L.A. area with which you can get involved right away. Live in neither place? Search your local area for sites specific to where you are. They are popping up all over the country!

(5) In response to global climate change, “…probably the one [thing] that is going to have the greatest impact is…choice of diet,” said Nicole Darnall, an ASU professor of management and public policy at the School of Public Affairs and the School of Sustainability, as quoted on 350.org. According to Darnall, the climate effects of animal husbandry are greater than those of, for example, transportation or petroleum, and so eliminating meat from one’s diet has a large positive impact. Studies estimate [as reported by the Worldwatch Institute] that 18% - 51% of greenhouse gas emissions are attributable to animal husbandry.

(6) Do you teach, lead youth, or are you a student? On the United Nations site, scroll down to, “Youth in action on climate change: Inspirations from around the world,” which highlights concrete actions young people are leading around the world, with inspirational an pdf in several languages. Here it is in English, Arabic, French, Spanish, and Chinese.

(7) Monitor actions taken by the EPA and be ready to immediately contact your representative to express strong concerns about loosening protections! (See #10 for how)

(8) Join environmental groups like Greenpeace, Sierra Club, Audubon Society, John Muir Society, World Wildlife Fund, EarthJustice, Nature Conservancy, National Resources Defense Council and others, sign up for their action alerts, donate and/or volunteer where you can. Because we can expect environmental preservation funding to be slashed, these groups are more reliant on citizen donations than ever before in our history. Also search out local groups in your own town, including Land Trusts and local conservancy groups. Before giving, use charitynavigator.org to check out any foundation or nonprofit you don’t know well.

(9) Use the EPA's 5-minute Household Carbon Footprint Calculator to discover how your own carbon footprint compares with the average US household, and what specific actions you take will result in reductions in your emissions and financial savings! This is awesome!

(10) Join the Citizens Climate Lobby (there are many local chapters). Consider going to their annual conference in Washington, DC, in June, 2017, and check out their “take action” section—lots of options!

 

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Endangered Species Act

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