Trump country is flooding, and climate ideas are shifting

Read the full story at E&E News.

Outside Illinois and Minnesota, the Mississippi’s 10-state path through the central United States is largely a red one. With the exception of major cities like St. Louis; Memphis, Tenn.; and New Orleans, the river runs through states where people voted for a president who has declared climate change a hoax and who, since his election, has done nearly everything within his powers to dismantle globally agreed-to limits on emissions and other efforts to reduce greenhouse gases that lead to global warming.

Yet along the Mississippi’s banks, even in some conservative quarters, people have begun to wonder about the consequences of the man-made changes occurring not just to the path of the river and its tributaries, but to the atmosphere itself. The National Climate Assessment says that the Midwest faces many threats from climate change, including heat waves, drought and flooding. One has already arrived: heavier precipitation caused by a warmer atmosphere capable of holding more moisture.

Fighting Trump on Climate, California Becomes a Global Force

Read the full story in the New York Times.

The environmental ministers of Canada and Mexico went to San Francisco last month to sign a global pact — drafted largely by California — to lower planet-warming greenhouse pollution. Gov. Jerry Brown flies to China next month to meet with climate leaders there on a campaign to curb global warming. And a battery of state lawyers is preparing to battle any attempt by Washington to weaken California’s automobile pollution emission standards.

As President Trump moves to reverse the Obama administration’s policies on climate change, California is emerging as the nation’s de facto negotiator with the world on the environment. The state is pushing back on everything from White House efforts to roll back pollution rules on tailpipes and smokestacks, to plans to withdraw or weaken the United States’ commitments under the Paris climate change accord.

In the process, California is not only fighting to protect its legacy of sweeping environmental protection, but also holding itself out as a model to other states — and to nations — on how to fight climate change.

Scientists really aren’t the best champions of climate science

Facts and data alone won’t inspire people to take action in the fight against global warming. So what will?

This is the sixth episode of Climate Lab, a six-part series produced by the University of California in partnership with Vox. Hosted by Emmy-nominated conservation scientist Dr. M. Sanjayan, the videos explore the surprising elements of our lives that contribute to climate change and the groundbreaking work being done to fight back. Featuring conversations with experts, scientists, thought leaders and activists, the series takes what can seem like an overwhelming problem and breaks it down into manageable parts: from clean energy to food waste, religion to smartphones. Sanjayan is an alum of UC Santa Cruz and a Visiting Researcher at UCLA. Taking action on global warming doesn’t stop here.

Nation’s Largest Industrial Trade Association Wants Out of Kids Climate Lawsuit

Read the full story at Ecowatch.

After numerous legal efforts trying to get a federal district court in Oregon to throw out a climate lawsuit brought by 21 young people, a defeated National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) filed a motion Monday requesting the court’s permission to withdraw from the litigation.

The Status of Climate Change Litigation – A Global Review

Download the document.

Today, the Sabin Center and UN Environment have officially launched The Status of Climate Change Litigation – A Global Review. The report offers a (relatively) concise survey of decided and ongoing cases, an overview of salient trends, and descriptions of key issues that courts must resolve in the course of deciding different sorts of climate change cases. In addition to acting as a primer for those encountering climate change litigation for the first time, the report is also meant to provide researchers and practitioners with a basic conceptual framework and common source of terminology.

How to break the political logjam on climate change

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

When the Trump Administration blocked federal climate action by undercutting the Clean Power Plan, the outlook was bleak. But climate protection has won new allies from an interesting direction: the right.

“Conservation” and “conservative” share the root “conserve,” and four key sectors have made the connection with climate change. Religious conservatives cite an obligation of stewardship over unbridled exploitation of God-given resources. Hunters and anglers see disrupted breeding, migration and other threats to wildlife. The military sees national security imperiled by flooded coastal installations and disrupted worldwide food and water supplies. Business faces extreme weather-related damage and costlier insurance. These sectors are bridging partisan gaps to inform lawmakers.

Don’t panic, humanity’s ‘doomsday’ seed vault is probably still safe

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

On Friday, a slew of alarming headlines emerged regarding the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. Water had apparently breached this “fail-safe” trove of the planet’s seeds that is supposed to protect earth’s food supply in the event of a “doomsday” scenario.

The alleged failure of the vault, buried deep into an Arctic mountainside, had occurred after warmer than usual temperatures had caused a layer of permafrost to thaw, “sending meltwater gushing into the entrance tunnel” and presumably putting the world’s most diverse collection of crop seeds at risk, according to the Guardian.

“Arctic stronghold of world’s seeds flooded after permafrost melts,” the newspaper announced.

“The Arctic Doomsday Seed Vault Flooded. Thanks, Global Warming,” Wired stated.

Though water did get past the vault’s threshold, none of the seeds had been damaged. But a spokeswoman for Statsbygg — a group that advises the Norwegian government, which owns the vault — cautioned that it might only be a matter of time before they were.