Tag Archive for climate change

Fighting Back: “Democrats won’t stand by and let shortsighted Republican policies destroy our planet and our future.”

 
 

Yesterday, in the Fridumpiest of Friday news dumps, the government released the FOURTH NATIONAL CLIMATE ASSESSMENT a document required by law to be prepared by agencies of the federal government. For Democrats, it is a call to arms: we must stand up to shortsighted Republican policies that threaten to destroy our planet and our future.

The news for humans was not good. The first four bullet points in the Summary Findings highlight that:

1. Communities

Climate change creates new risks and exacerbates existing vulnerabilities in communities across the United States, presenting growing challenges to human health and safety, quality of life, and the rate of economic growth.

2. Economy

Without substantial and sustained global mitigation and regional adaptation efforts, climate change is expected to cause growing losses to American infrastructure and property and impede the rate of economic growth over this century.

3. Interconnected Impacts

Climate change affects the natural, built, and social systems we rely on individually and through their connections to one another. These interconnected systems are increasingly vulnerable to cascading impacts that are often difficult to predict, threatening essential services within and beyond the Nation’s borders.

4. Actions to Reduce Risks

Communities, governments, and businesses are working to reduce risks from and costs associated with climate change by taking action to lower greenhouse gas emissions and implement adaptation strategies. While mitigation and adaptation efforts have expanded substantially in the last four years, they do not yet approach the scale considered necessary to avoid substantial damages to the economy, environment, and human health over the coming decades.

That bears repeating: “The [current mitigation and adaptation efforts] do not approach the scale considered necessary to avoid substantial damages to the economy, environment, and human health over the coming decades.”

#WeMustDoMore

Report downloads, saved in Moose archives:
– Summary Findings: PDF
– Report in Brief: PDF

Fighting Back: Rep. Eric Swalwell: “Democrats are committed to expanding your family’s freedom to dream”

The weekly Fighting Back post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

Found on the Internets

The Weekly Democratic Party Address is by Congressman Eric Swalwell of California, speaking about the Republican Party’s education budget and its devastating effect on the American Dream.

Congressman Swalwell:

Today, and especially with President Trump’s proposed budget, the American Dream is becoming further out of reach.

For too many Americans, college’s cost has grown too prohibitive. And for those who get to and through college, the crushing burden of debt leaves millions in financial quicksand, making it harder to start a family, buy a home, or turn a good idea into a business. […]

In 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt outlined four freedoms on which every man, woman, and child should be able to rely: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, freedom from fear.

Our challenge in Congress now is to restore a fifth, uniquely American freedom: the freedom to dream. The dream that our parents dreamed for us, and that we all dream for our own kids.

With all of our hands and all of our hearts, House Democrats are committed to expand your family’s freedom to dream.

(Complete transcript below)

Congressman Swalwell formed a House caucus called “Future Forum”:

#FutureForum, chaired by Congressman Eric Swalwell, is a group of 26 young Democratic Members of the House of Representatives who are focused on issues and opportunities for millennial Americans. #FutureForum is a pillar of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee (DPCC), an initiative overseen by Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

The millennial generation is facing challenges that Congress can’t afford to ignore. From the crisis of ever-increasing student loan debt to the decline of entrepreneurship among young Americans compared to previous generations, these challenges are impacting the overall health of our economy.

#FutureForum believes Congress can’t just talk to millennials but needs to talk with millennials to create solutions to our growing challenges. Through opportunities on the Floor of the House of Representatives and visits to cities across the country, #FutureForum is crowdsourcing ideas and meeting members of our generation where they are: community colleges and universities, workforce training centers, start-ups and established companies.

~

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

(Link to Nancy Pelosi Newsroom here)

Al Gore: “Hillary Clinton will make solving the climate crisis a top national priority”

On Tuesday afternoon, Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and former Vice President Al Gore spoke to a crowd in Miami. The topic was climate change and how every vote matters:

Former Vice President Al Gore:

Hillary Clinton will make solving the climate crisis a top national priority. Her opponent, based on the ideas he has presented, would take us toward a climate catastrophe.

Vice President Gore also spoke out about local issues, calling for the election of Patrick Murphy to the U.S. Senate instead of re-electing climate change denier Marco Rubio and urging a NO vote on an amendment that will discourage renewable energy:

Here is something else you can do — vote no on initiative one on your ballot.

Hillary mentioned that there are fewer solar jobs in the sunshine state, Florida, then there are in New Jersey. Actually, Florida also lags behind Massachusetts, which is even farther north. Despite having three times the population of Massachusetts, Florida has less than half of the solar jobs that have been created in Massachusetts. Massachusetts installed more solar energy last year alone than Florida has installed in its entire history. [AUDIENCE MEMBER: That’s ridiculous] Yes, it is ridiculous, that is exactly right. The head of one of the fossil fuel-burning utilities here actually said last year, yes, Florida is the Sunshine State, but remember it is also be partly cloudy state. Well, they are trying to cloud the truth by putting forward a phony baloney initiative that sounds like protects solar. It does not protect solar. The things they claim to protect solar are protections you already have. They are trying to fully you into amending your state constitution in a way that gives them the authority to shut down net metering and do in Florida what they did in Nevada and killed the solar industry. This is a question — our democracy has been hacked and the fossil utilities here have spent more than $20 million to try to pull the wool over your eyes. $20 million can buy a lot of wool. Amendment one would make it harder for homeowners to go solar.

The choice could not be more clear.

President Obama: “History may well judge today as a turning point for our planet.”

From the White House, yesterday:
“President Obama announced that enough countries have acted to bring the Paris Agreement into force — a historic step forward in saving the one planet we’ve got.”

President Obama:

Ten months ago, in Paris, I said before the world that we needed a strong global agreement to reduce carbon pollution and to set the world on a low-carbon course. The result was the Paris Agreement. Last month, the United States and China — the world’s two largest economies and largest emitters — formally joined that agreement together. And today, the world has officially crossed the threshold for the Paris Agreement to take effect.

Today, the world meets the moment. And if we follow through on the commitments that this agreement embodies, history may well judge it as a turning point for our planet.[…]

I also want to thank the people of every nation that has moved quickly to bring the Paris Agreement into force. I encourage folks who have not yet submitted their documentation to enter into this agreement to do so as soon as possible. And in the coming days, let’s help finish additional agreements to limit aviation emissions, to phase down dangerous use of hydrofluorocarbons — all of which will help build a world that is safer, and more prosperous, and more secure, and more free than the one that was left for us.

That’s our most important mission, to make sure our kids and our grandkids have at least as beautiful a planet, and hopefully more beautiful, than the one that we have. And today, I’m a little more confident that we can get the job done.

President Barack Obama delivers a statement regarding the Paris Agreement on climate change, in the Rose Garden of the White House, Oct. 5, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

President Barack Obama delivers a statement regarding the Paris Agreement on climate change, in the Rose Garden of the White House, Oct. 5, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Full transcript of President Obama’s remarks and a statement from Secretary of State John Kerry are below.

Weekly Address: President Obama – Providing a Better, Cleaner, Safer Future for Our Children

The President’s Weekly Address post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

From the White HouseWeekly Address

In this week’s address, President Obama discussed the progress we have made to combat global climate change. During the Obama Administration, we have made ambitious investments in clean energy and achieved reductions in carbon emissions – increasing wind power and solar power, and decreasing the amount of carbon pollution from our energy sector to its lowest level in 25 years. We have also set standards to increase the distance cars and light trucks can travel on a gallon of gas every year through 2025. The President noted that although America has become a global leader in the fight against climate change, there’s still work to do. Together, we must continue to work domestically and build upon the progress we’ve made along with other countries – such as the Paris Agreement, the most ambitious climate change agreement in history. President Obama said if we continue to work together, we will leave a better, cleaner, safer future for our children.

President Obama: “Our two countries are joined in our commitment to the dignity of every human being”

Yesterday, President Barack Obama ended his visit to Ottawa for the North American Leaders’ Summit with an address to Canada’s Parliament. It was profound, funny, and statesmanlike – and was a reminder of what we share with our neighbor to the north.

President Obama:

[In] a world where too many borders are a source of conflict, our two countries are joined by the longest border of peace on Earth. (Applause.) And what makes our relationship so unique is not just proximity. It’s our enduring commitment to a set of values — a spirit, alluded to by Justin, that says no matter who we are, where we come from, what our last names are, what faith we practice, here we can make of our lives what we will.

It was the grit of pioneers and prospectors who pushed West across a forbidding frontier. The dreams of generations — immigrants, refugees — that we’ve welcomed to these shores. The hope of run-away slaves who went north on an underground railroad. “Deep in our history of struggle,” said Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Canada was the north star… The freedom road links us together.”

He spoke of old hatreds and new hatreds and the threats that they pose to the world and to our nations.

He also spoke of the threats from climate change:

There is one threat, however, that we cannot solve militarily, nor can we solve alone — and that is the threat of climate change. Now, climate change is no longer an abstraction.

And for too long, we’ve heard that confronting climate change means destroying our own economies. But let me just say, carbon emissions in the United States are back to where they were two decades ago, even as we’ve grown our economy dramatically over the same period. Alberta, the oil country of Canada, is working hard to reduce emissions while still promoting growth. (Applause.)

So if Canada can do it, and the United States can do it, the whole world can unleash economic growth and protect our planet. We can do this. (Applause.) We can do it. We can do this. We can help lead the world to meet this threat.

On immigration:

Just as we are joined in our commitment to protecting the planet, we are also joined in our commitment to the dignity of every human being. We believe in the right of all people to participate in society. We believe in the right of all people to be treated equally, to have an equal shot at success. That is in our DNA, the basic premise of our democracies. […]

In the end, it is this respect for the dignity of all people, especially the most vulnerable among us, that perhaps more than anything else binds our two countries together. Being Canadian, being American is not about what we look like or where our families came from. It is about our commitment to a common creed. And that’s why, together, we must not waver in embracing our values, our best selves. And that includes our history as a nation of immigrants, and we must continue to welcome people from around the world. (Applause.)

Full transcript below as well as video, and link to transcript, of the Tri-lateral news conference from the three North American leaders.

Weekly Address: President Obama – Doubling Our Clean Energy Funding to Address the Challenge of Climate Change

The President’s Weekly Address post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

From the White HouseWeekly Address

In this week’s address, the President discussed climate change and how the most ambitious climate agreement in history is creating private sector partnerships that are advancing the latest technologies in clean power. Reiterating his State of the Union call to invest in the future rather than subsidize the past, the President said the budget he will present to Congress on Tuesday will double funding for clean energy research and development by 2020 in an effort to help private sector job creation and lower the cost of clean energy. The President also highlighted ways American entrepreneurship is addressing one of the greatest challenges of our time, and called on leaders in Washington to do the same.

President Obama from COP21: “We recognize our role in creating this problem and we embrace our responsibility to do something about it.”

President Obama spoke to those gathered at the COP21 Climate Change Summit in Paris on Monday.

(President Obama delivers remarks at COP21 in Paris on the global community’s need to address the threat of climate change. November 30, 2015.)

PRESIDENT OBAMA:

Nearly 200 nations have assembled here this week — a declaration that for all the challenges we face, the growing threat of climate change could define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other. What should give us hope that this is a turning point, that this is the moment we finally determined we would save our planet, is the fact that our nations share a sense of urgency about this challenge and a growing realization that it is within our power to do something about it. […] [What I saw in Alaska] was a preview of one possible future — a glimpse of our children’s fate if the climate keeps changing faster than our efforts to address it. Submerged countries. Abandoned cities. Fields that no longer grow. Political disruptions that trigger new conflict, and even more floods of desperate peoples seeking the sanctuary of nations not their own. […]

I’ve come here personally, as the leader of the world’s largest economy and the second-largest emitter, to say that the United States of America not only recognizes our role in creating this problem, we embrace our responsibility to do something about it.

I believe, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., that there is such a thing as being too late. And when it comes to climate change, that hour is almost upon us. But if we act here, if we act now, if we place our own short-term interests behind the air that our young people will breathe, and the food that they will eat, and the water that they will drink, and the hopes and dreams that sustain their lives, then we won’t be too late for them.

COP21 – UN Climate Summit Begins in Paris on November 30 – UPDATED with Photos from #ClimateMarch

Monday marks the start of a two-week long gathering of the planet’s political leaders and representatives at the COP21 summit in Paris.

What is COP21? From the BBC:

COP21 is short for the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

That long winded title was created in Rio in 1992 where countries concerned about the impacts of climate change came together under the United Nations to do something about it.

They signed a convention that came into force in 1994 and has now been ratified by 195 countries, including the United States.

The key aim is the “stabilisation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”. […]

… the world’s governments have already committed to curbing human activities such as burning fossil fuels that release the gases that interfere with the climate.

But that isn’t problem solved.

The difficulty comes when you try to get 195 countries to agree on how to deal with the issue of climate change. Every year since 1992 the Conference of the Parties has taken place with negotiators trying to put together a practical plan of action.

This year’s COP21 in Paris is the last chance for this process. Negotiators agreed in 2011 that a deal had to be done by the end of 2015.

On November 30, heads of state will gather and other events will follow:

The Leaders Event will start at 11 a.m. with speeches by François Hollande, Ban Ki-moon and Laurent Fabius. […]

At 4 p.m.: launch of the Mission Innovation (Clean Tech) initiative, in the presence of Barack Obama and Bill Gates. This is a commitment by States to double their research and development budgets by 2020 and by private investors to increase their own investments. It is being organized in liaison with the White House, the United States Department of Energy headed by Ernest Moniz, and Bill Gates.

It’s time to get engaged … links and shareables below.

President Obama: “We are going to lead by example””

Today, President Obama has announced his decision to not approve the building of the Keystone XL pipeline:

President Obama announces that his Administration is rejecting the Keystone XL Pipeline. November 6, 2015.
President Obama:

This morning, Secretary Kerry informed me that, after extensive public outreach and consultation with other Cabinet agencies, the State Department has decided that the Keystone XL Pipeline would not serve the national interest of the United States. I agree with that decision. […]

America is now a global leader when it comes to taking serious action to fight climate change. And frankly, approving this project would have undercut that global leadership. And that’s the biggest risk we face — not acting.

Today, we’re continuing to lead by example. Because ultimately, if we’re going to prevent large parts of this Earth from becoming not only inhospitable but uninhabitable in our lifetimes, we’re going to have to keep some fossil fuels in the ground rather than burn them and release more dangerous pollution into the sky.