Climate change

Republicans tell states to break the law and ignore Obama’s climate rules

Read the full story in Grist.

Earlier this month, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) proposed a bold solution for any state that doesn’t like President Barack Obama’s flagship plan to slash carbon emissions: Just ignore it. The new rule, issued under the Clean Air Act, aims to reduce the nation’s carbon footprint 30 percent by 2030. It would require every state to devise a plan to cut the carbon intensity (pollution per unit of energy) of its power sector. By simply ignoring the mandate, McConnell reasoned, states could delay taking steps like shuttering or retrofitting coal-fired power plants until the rules get killed by the Supreme Court (even though the chances of that happening are pretty remote).

Climate denial is a rejection of God’s gift of knowledge, says Episcopal leader

Read the full story in Grist.

The highest ranking woman in the Anglican Communion has said climate denial is a “blind” and immoral position which rejects God’s gift of knowledge.

Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church and one of the most powerful women in Christianity, said that climate change was a moral imperative akin to that of the civil rights movement. She said it was already a threat to the livelihoods and survival of people in the developing world.

These scientists studied journalists covering science. Whoa, meta.

Read the full post in Grist.

Shortly after part one of the latest IPCC report came out back in September 2013, scientists gathered at the Royal Society in London to discuss the 1,552-page opus like a bunch of gossips around the latest People Magazine. Journalist Leo Hickman was at the two-day conference and, as he writes in this month’s Nature Climate Change, recalls the U.K. chief scientific advisor at one point standing in front of the crowd and saying, “Science is not finished until it’s communicated.”

Indeed, as complicated as climate science is, the problem of how to communicate said science can sometimes seem even more complicated — which is a pretty big problem, considering that the fate of our species rests on how well we understand this stuff.

So to get a sense of how the media’s doing with its coverage of climate change, a group of researchers from the University of Exeter (plus one dude from the University of Colorado-Boulder) decided to assess how various news outlets in both the U.S. and the U.K. covered the latest 3-part IPCC report (parts two and three came out in March and April of 2014, respectively).

Here’s the short version of their results: The U.K. had way more coverage than the U.S.; both countries appeared to lose interest by the third installment of the report; the Guardian was the overall shining star, which is maybe not surprising given its recent declaration of war on climate change; news outlets are drawn to dramatic narratives (but isn’t this all just one big dramatic narrative?) and human interest angles (ditto); and there’s been a notable lack of interest in the media on how climate change will impact human health.

Fishermen discuss warming waters in this lovely short film

Read the full post at Grist.

When you are tired of talking to climate deniers, it can be a relief to hear from a fisherman instead.

“The waters are changing,” says Michigan fisherman Ed John in this short, moody video that follows a Native couple fishing the Great Lakes. “We’ve got algae, we’ve got invasive species, we got all of these pollutants we don’t know about going into the water.”

IBM, Honeywell, CH2M Hill join White House on emissions cuts

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

The notion of confronting environmental risks embedded in complex global supply chains got a big endorsement last week; President Barack Obama made a pledge that the federal government will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent within a decade, simultaneously wresting related pledges from 14 major federal suppliers.

Beer Brewers Unite To Call For Action On Climate Change

Read the full story in the Huffington Post. And lift a real green beer to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

A group of 24 brewers from across the country have come together to cut greenhouse gas emissions from their operations and call for strong national action to address climate change.

The breweries, which include Smuttynose Brewing Company, Guinness and Allagash Brewing Company, have signed onto the Climate Declaration organized through the sustainable business group Ceres. The declaration pledges that each company will take its own action to reduce emissions from its business, and will also support political action at the national level.

Public Libraries, U. Wisconsin–Madison Team Up on Climate Change MOOC

Read the full story in Library Journal.

The University of Wisconsin–Madison (UWM) is offering a new four-week massive open online course (MOOC) on Changing Weather and Climate in the Great Lakes Region. What’s different about this endeavor, besides the strong local interest angle, is that the university, in coordination with Wisconsin Library Services (WiLS), is partnering with 21 public libraries across the state. The collaborative venture will share scientific information about global warming via video, readings, an online discussion board, and quizzes, as well as in-person discussions at the libraries with scientists, staff, and graduate students from UWM, the National Weather Service, and the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.