Authorities have urged children and older people to stay indoors and issued severe warnings against dehydration and heatstroke as an unprecedented week-long heatwave begins its advance across continental Europe. Meteorologists said temperatures would exceed 110 degrees from Spain to Switzerland as hot air was sucked up from the Sahara by the combination of a storm stalling over the Atlantic and high pressure over central Europe.
At the end of a week in which the Trump administration rolled back Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, Mike Pence declined repeated invitations to say the human-induced climate crisis is a threat to US national security. Pence did not answer the question, complaining instead that “other nations like China and India absolutely do nothing or make illusory promises decades down the road.” He also praised US focus on natural gas and the imaginary “clean coal technology.”
The Oregon statehouse was shut down Saturday due to a “militia threat” posed by right-wing demonstrators protesting a landmark climate change bill that would significantly lower the use of fossil fuels in the state. Last week, Gov. Kate Brown called on state police to bring GOP lawmakers back to Salem after several had fled the state to avoid a potential vote on the bill. They are reportedly facing $500 fines for every day they don’t return. The two sessions canceled Saturday will be rescheduled. The bill is set to pass the Democratic-led legislature whenever enough lawmakers show up to hold a vote.
A new report has predicted that the U.S. will have to spend $416 billion on seawalls in the next 20 years in order to protect itself from rising seas. “I don’t think anybody’s thought about the magnitude of this one small portion of overall adaptation costs and it’s a huge number,” said Richard Wiles, executive director of the Center for Climate Integrity.
The Environmental Protection Agency plans to repeal the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, which sought to regulate emissions by some of America’s biggest power-plant polluters. The move would mean that power plants would be regulated on a case-by-case basis rather than being held to industry-wide regulations, allowing older plants to continue operations as they move toward more efficient technology.
The U.S. ships hundreds of thousands of tons of plastic to poorly regulated developing countries around the globe every year, according to a new investigation by the Guardian. The equivalent of 68,000 shipping containers of American plastic was reportedly sent from the U.S. to developing countries last year, with new hot spots including Bangladesh, Laos, Ethiopia, and Senegal.
Rostin Behnam, who sits on the powerful five-member Commodity Futures Trading Commission, told the New York Times in an interview Monday that the financial risks from climate change are akin to those posed by the mortgage meltdown that caused the 2008 financial crisis. What? A Trump official who believes in climate change? Yep. Given the difficulty Trump would face in trying to get rid of Behnam, it’s likely he’s in for some unhinged attacks from the president.
Plastic cutlery, straws, and other items may not have a future in Canada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced plans to ban single-use plastic items by 2021.
As a response to the criticism, a senior Trump National Security Council official commented on the State Department scientific testimony by saying “a consensus of peer-reviewed literature has nothing to do with the truth.”
“A state visit, with all the pomp and ceremony of a banquet hosted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace, is the highest diplomatic accolade this country can offer. That doesn’t mean Britain has been choosy about who gets this honor. There’s an embarrassing list of world leaders, from Zaire’s homicidal dictator Mobutu Sese Seko to Romania’s communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, who have all been hosted at Buckingham Palace. American presidents, though, are not supposed to be part of this tradition of embarrassing guests. But Donald Trump fits right in. His two-and-a-half years in office have shown him to be a bigot, a bully, a racist, a misogynist, and a fantasist.”
Nature is in more trouble now than at any other time in human history, with extinction looming over 1 million species of plants and animals, scientists said Monday in the United Nations’ first comprehensive report on biodiversity. Species loss is accelerating to a rate tens or hundreds of times faster than in the past, with more than half a million land species likely to go extinct within decades.
The climate deal would require that the Trump administration remain in the Paris Climate Agreement. The bill would also require the president to make a long-term climate plan to reach the goals set in the Paris Climate Agreement.
Former Secretary of State John Kerry, the man who negotiated and signed the landmark Paris climate accord on behalf of the United States, is working on a new initiative that will seek to punish President Trump and other politicians for failing to combat climate change. “Regrettably, President Trump has eliminated American leadership and replaced it with know-nothing denial,” Kerry said in an interview.