Trump Administration Watch
Bless the New York Times for taking the time to research and record all the dismal environmental rollbacks the Trump Administration has put in motion since taking office. To date, 52 environmental laws and regulations have been weakened with many rollbacks pertaining to climate change. Not only has the Administration targeted climate change polices, but it is aiming to push through previously denied projects such as the Dakota Pipeline, the Keystone Xl Pipeline, increasing offshore oil drilling and other projects that will exacerbate climate change. Of course, the Administration’s recent repeal of the Clean Power Plan prompted the ire of climate advocates and scientists who believe repealing emission efforts could push our climate past the tipping point. Go here to see an easy-to-read graphic and synopsis of all the environmental rollbacks.
Continuing Climate Censorship?
Over the weekend, the EPA pulled scientists from speaking at a conference where a new 500-page climate change report will be released and discussed. The two EPA scientists were originally scheduled to speak about present and future climate change impacts, yet were removed at the last minute. This is the second time in two months that federal agencies have removed scientists from events where climate change would be discussed. Remember back in August when we wrote about the Dept. of Interior pulling staff scientists who were scheduled to attend a tour of Glacier National Park with Facebook Mark Zuckerberg? The continual censorship of climate change by the Administration is increasingly worrisome—whether it is removing climate change from the EPA website or booting scientists from speaking engagements.
Climate Change Denier Nominated for Council on Environmental Quality
The continual attempts by the Administration to deny climate change is no longer surprising. Last week, President Trump nominated Kathleen Hartnett to head up the White House Council on Environmental Quality, a post requiring Senate approval. In 2016 Ms. Hartnett said that believing in "global warming" is a type of "paganism" for "secular elites." She has also denied climate science by saying carbon dioxide is a not a pollutant, but is "the gas of life on this planet." The Council on Environmental Quality is an important branch of the White House that manages federal environmental efforts by working with agencies to develop environmental policies and energy initiatives. Surfrider plans on launching an action alert urging Senators to not approve the nomination—stay tuned.
Study Proves Renewable Energy is Saving Lives
A new study from Nature concluded that wind and solar projects in the United States helped prevent the premature deaths of 12,700 people between 2007 and 2015. The study analyzed how the reduction of harmful, fossil fuel emissions improved life expectancy for those exposed to pollution. The study also concluded that a reduction in greenhouse gases provides a significant social and economic benefit to local communities—which makes perfect sense—a reduction of harmful pollution means fewer people will become ill and in turn will improve the quality of life for local communities.
Rounding Out the Funny
At Surfrider we are always seeking levity! Prepare to laugh about why some old people don’t care about climate change.