CC9C. Staying Current-What Are Governments Doing About Climate Change?

Articles from 2022 (most recent articles)

Stay current index page for Chapter 9

{ Climate Change Contents }

2022-09-21. Senate Ratifies Pact to Curb a Broad Category of Potent Greenhouse Gases. [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/21/climate/hydrofluorocarbons-hfcs-kigali-amendment.html] By Lisa Friedman and Coral Davenport, The New york Times. Excerpt: WASHINGTON — The Senate voted on Wednesday to approve an international climate treaty for the first time in 30 years, agreeing in a rare bipartisan deal to phase out of the use of planet-warming industrial chemicals commonly found in refrigerators and air-conditioners. By a vote of 69 to 27 the United States joined the 2016 Kigali Amendment, along with 137 other nations that have agreed to sharply reduce the production and use of hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs. The chemicals are potent greenhouse gases, warming the planet with 1,000 times the heat-trapping strength of carbon dioxide.…

2022-09-19. What I Saw as the Country’s First National Climate Adviser. [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/19/opinion/environment/biden-gina-mccarthy-climate.html] New York Times opinion piece by Gina McCarthy, departing national climate adviser and a former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Excerpt: This week, as the world’s leaders gather in New York for the U.N. General Assembly, the United States will deliver a message many thought was not possible: We are going to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, and zero them out by 2050. Over the past 20 months as America’s first-ever national climate adviser, I have witnessed a paradigm shift: The private sector no longer sees climate action as a source of job losses, but rather as an opportunity for job creation and economic revitalization. It’s a striking shift after four years of the Trump administration, which threw science out the window and backed out of the Paris climate agreement. In 2020 the future seemed grim. But today, states and companies are running toward a clean energy future. How did what was once considered impossible become not just feasible, but at the core of America’s manufacturing and economic resurgence? In my early days as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Barack Obama, auto dealers were predicting that shifting to cleaner cars meant vehicle costs would skyrocket and sales would drop, while the autoworkers and steelworkers talked about plant closings and layoffs. Even very early on in the Biden administration, when labor was fully engaged and squarely at the table, the old paradigm that cleaner standards meant job loss was hard to break. And unions worried that a big shift to electric vehicles could pose a fundamental threat to their workers. But quickly the conversation shifted to one of long-term capital investments in E.V. technologies, expanding domestic manufacturing, adding more union jobs and building an E.V. market that would reach 50 percent of new U.S. car sales by 2030. Just a short time ago this shift would have been dismissed as a fairy tale. Not anymore.…

2022-09-01. California Approves a Wave of Aggressive New Climate Measures. [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/01/climate/california-lawmakers-climate-legislation.html] By Brad Plumer, The New York Times. Excerpt: California, with an economy that ranks as the world’s fifth-largest, embarked this week on its most aggressive effort yet to confront climate change, after lawmakers passed a flurry of bills designed to cut emissions and speed away from fossil fuels. Legislators approved a record $54 billion in climate spending and passed sweeping new restrictions on oil and gas drilling as well as a mandate that California stop adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by 2045. And they voted to extend the life of Diablo Canyon, California’s last nuclear power plant, by five years, …. …Lawmakers approved a budget laid out by Mr. Newsom that would spend a record $54 billion over five years on climate programs. That includes $6.1 billion for electric vehicles, including money to buy new battery-powered school buses, $14.8 billion for transit, rail and port projects, more than $8 billion to clean up and stabilize the electric grid, $2.7 billion to reduce wildfire risks and $2.8 billion in water programs to deal with drought.…

2022-08-26. How US government diet guidelines ignore the climate crisis. [https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/aug/26/usda-diet-guide-myplate-climate-crisis] By Marina Bolotnikova, The Guardian. Excerpt: US government’s 2020-2025 guidance is meat- and dairy-heavy. Experts say that isn’t sustainable. ,…Every five years, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services jointly publish a new version of the guidelines. They form the basis for the public-facing eating guide MyPlate, formerly MyPyramid, as well as many government-backed meal programs, such as National School Lunch. Historically, these guidelines have narrowly focused on human nutrition, but some are now saying they should be expanded to incorporate climate considerations as well. …The current, 150-page edition for 2020-2025 doesn’t mention food’s role in the climate crisis at all. Climate groups say this is an abdication of responsibility, with Americans feeling the effects of a warming planet more than ever. …A sustainability component would encourage Americans to eat less meat and dairy, which have a significantly higher climate impact than nutritionally comparable plant-based foods.…

2022-08-22. Democrats Designed the Climate Law to Be a Game Changer. Here’s How. [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/22/climate/epa-supreme-court-pollution.html] By Lisa Friedman, The New York Times. Excerpt: When the Supreme Court restricted the ability of the Environmental Protection Agency to fight climate change this year, the reason it gave was that Congress had never granted the agency the broad authority to shift America away from burning fossil fuels. Now it has. Throughout the landmark climate law, passed this month, is language written specifically to address the Supreme Court’s justification for reining in the E.P.A., a ruling that was one of the court’s most consequential of the term. The new law amends the Clean Air Act, the country’s bedrock air-quality legislation, to define the carbon dioxide produced by the burning of fossil fuels as an “air pollutant.” That language, according to legal experts as well as the Democrats who worked it into the legislation, explicitly gives the E.P.A. the authority to regulate greenhouse gases and to use its power to push the adoption of wind, solar and other renewable energy sources.…

2022-08-22. Expansion of Clean Energy Loans Is ‘Sleeping Giant’ of Climate Bill. [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/22/business/energy-environment/biden-climate-bill-energy-loans.html] By Ivan Penn, The New York Times. Excerpt: Tucked into the Inflation Reduction Act that President Biden signed last week is a major expansion of federal loan programs that could help the fight against climate change by channeling more money to clean energy and converting plants that run on fossil fuels to nuclear or renewable energy. The law authorizes as much as $350 billion in additional federal loans and loan guarantees for energy and automotive projects and businesses. The money, which will be disbursed by the Energy Department, is in addition to the better-known provisions of the law that offer incentives for the likes of electric cars, solar panels, batteries and heat pumps.…

2022-08-20. Dairy Farmers in the Netherlands Are Up in Arms Over Emission Cuts. [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/20/world/europe/netherlands-farmers-protests.html] By Claire Moses, The New York Times. Excerpt: Goals of cutting nitrogen emissions in half by 2030 have caused an uproar in the Netherlands. Climate activists say the cuts are necessary to preserve nature. …Agriculture is responsible for the largest share of nitrogen emissions in the Netherlands, much of it from the waste produced by the estimated 1.6 million cows that provide the milk used to make the country’s famed cheeses, like Gouda and Edam. …To realize those planned cuts, thousands of farmers will be required to significantly reduce livestock numbers and the size of their farming operations. If they cannot meet the cuts the government demands of them, they may be forced to close their operations altogether. The Dutch government has set aside about 25 billion euros, about $26 billion, to carry out its plan, and some of that money will be used to help farmers build more sustainable operations — or buy them out, if possible.…

2022-08-16. Can farmers fight climate change? New U.S. law gives them billions to try. [https://www.science.org/content/article/can-farmers-fight-climate-change-new-u-s-law-gives-them-billions-try] By Erik Stokstad, Science Magazine. Excerpt: Cutting emissions from fertilizer and livestock will be key, scientists say. …all told, farming generates 10% of climate-affecting emissions from the United States each year. Now, Congress would like to turn back the clock and return some of that carbon to the soil. The Inflation Reduction Act, a broad bill signed into law today, has historic climate provisions, including massive subsidies for clean power and electric vehicles. But lawmakers also included more than $25 billion to expand and safeguard forests and promote farming practices thought to be climate friendly. Those include no-till agriculture and “cover crops,” plants cultivated simply to protect the soil. Researchers, environmental groups, and the farm industry agree that paying and training farmers to adopt those measures will improve soil health and water and air quality.…

2022-08-15. Goats and sheep deploy their appetites to save Barcelona from wildfires. [https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/aug/15/goats-and-sheep-deploy-their-appetites-to-save-barcelona-from-wildfires] By Ashifa Kassam, The Guardian. Excerpt: …Barcelona’s newest firefighting recruits began delicately picking past hikers and cyclists in the city’s largest public park earlier this year. The four-legged brigade – made up of 290 sheep and goats – had just one task: to munch on as much vegetation as possible. Their arrival turned Barcelona into one of the latest places to embrace an age-old strategy that’s being revived as officials around the world face off against a rise in extreme wildfires. The idea is simple: wildfire-prone areas are handed over to grazing animals, who chomp and trample over dry vegetation that could otherwise accumulate as fuel for fires. Whether the animals are semi-wild or overseen by a shepherd who is usually compensated for their efforts, a job well done usually leaves behind a landscape dotted with open spaces that can act as firebreaks.…

2022-08-10. Congress Just Passed a Big Climate Bill. No, Not That One. [https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2022/08/chips-act-climate-bill-biden/671095/] By Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic. Excerpt: No, I’m not talking about the Inflation Reduction Act, the landmark Democratic climate and taxes bill that passed the Senate on Sunday along party lines. I’m talking about a different piece of legislation: The CHIPS and Science Act. Since it sailed through Congress last month, the CHIPS Act has mostly been touted as a $280 billion effort to revitalize the American semiconductor industry. What has attracted far less attention is that the law also invests tens of billions of dollars in technologies and new research that matter in the fight against climate change. Over the next five years, the CHIPS Act could direct an estimated $67 billion, or roughly a quarter of its total funding, toward accelerating the growth of zero-carbon industries and conducting climate-relevant research, according to an analysis from RMI, a nonpartisan energy think tank based in Colorado. That would make the CHIPS Act one of the largest climate bills ever passed by Congress. It exceeds the total amount of money that the government spent on renewable-energy tax credits from 2005 to 2019, according to estimates from the Congressional Research Service. And it’s more than half the size of the climate spending in President Barack Obama’s 2009 stimulus bill. That’s all the more remarkable because the CHIPS Act was passed by large bipartisan majorities, with 41 Republicans and nearly all Democrats supporting it in the House and the Senate. Yet CHIPS shouldn’t be viewed alone, Lachlan Carey, an author of the new analysis and an associate at RMI, told me. When viewed with the Inflation Reduction Act, which the House is poised to pass later this week, and last year’s bipartisan infrastructure law, a major shift in congressional climate spending comes into focus. According to the RMI analysis, these three laws are set to more than triple the federal government’s average annual spending on climate and clean energy this decade, compared with the 2010s.…

2022-08-10. In the Amazon, a U.N. Agency Has a Green Mission, but Dirty Partners. [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/10/world/americas/colombia-big-oil-united-nations.html] By Sarah Hurtes and Julie Turkewitz, The New York Times. Excerpt: RESGUARDO BUENAVISTA, Colombia — At the edge of the Colombian Amazon, in an Indigenous village surrounded by oil rigs, the Siona people faced a dilemma. The United Nations Development Program, or U.N.D.P., had just announced a $1.9 million regional aid package. In a village with no running water, intermittent electricity and persistent poverty, any money would mean food and opportunity. But the aid program was part of a partnership between the United Nations agency and GeoPark, the multinational petroleum company. The company holds contracts to drill near the Siona reservation, including one with the government that would expand operations onto what the Siona consider their ancestral land. To the Siona people on the Buenavista reservation, oil drilling is an assault, akin to draining blood from the earth. This collaboration is one example of how one of the world’s largest sustainable development organizations partners with polluters, even those that at times work against the interests of the communities the agency is supposed to help. From Mexico to Kazakhstan, these partnerships are part of a strategy that treats oil companies not as environmental villains but as major employers who can bring electricity to far-flung areas and economic growth to poor and middle-income nations. The development agency has used oil money to provide clean water and job training to areas that might otherwise be neglected. But …when the United Nations has partnered with oil companies, the agency has also tamped down local opposition to drilling, conducted business analyses for the industry and worked to make it easier for companies to keep operating in sensitive areas.…

2022-08-05. How Republicans Are ‘Weaponizing’ Public Office Against Climate Action. [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/05/climate/republican-treasurers-climate-change.html] By David Gelles, The New York Times. Excerpt: Nearly two dozen Republican state treasurers around the country are working to thwart climate action on state and federal levels, fighting regulations that would make clear the economic risks posed by a warming world, lobbying against climate-minded nominees to key federal posts and using the tax dollars they control to punish companies that want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Over the past year, treasurers in nearly half the United States have been coordinating tactics and talking points, meeting in private and cheering each other in public as part of a well-funded campaign to protect the fossil fuel companies that bolster their local economies. Last week, Riley Moore, the treasurer of West Virginia, announced that several major banks — including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Wells Fargo — would be barred from government contracts with his state because they are reducing their investments in coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel. Mr. Moore and the treasurers of Louisiana and Arkansas have pulled more than $700 million out of BlackRock, the world’s largest investment manager, over objections that the firm is too focused on environmental issues. At the same time, the treasurers of Utah and Idaho are pressuring the private sector to drop climate action and other causes they label as “woke.” …At the nexus of these efforts is the State Financial Officers Foundation, a little-known nonprofit organization based in Shawnee, Kan., that once focused on cybersecurity, borrowing costs and managing debt loads, among other routine issues. Then President Biden took office, promising to speed the country’s transition away from oil, gas and coal, the burning of which is dangerously heating the planet. The foundation began pushing Republican state treasurers, who are mostly elected officials and who are responsible for managing their state’s finances, to use their power to promote oil and gas interests and to stymie Mr. Biden’s climate agenda, records show.…

2022-08-01. U.S. Cities and States Are Suing Big Oil Over Climate Change. Here’s What the Claims Say and Where They Stand.. [https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/us-cities-states-sue-big-oil-climate-change-lawsuits/] By Bruce Gil, PBS Frontline. Excerpt: There are at least 20 pending lawsuits filed by cities and states across the U.S., alleging major players in the fossil fuel industry misled the public on climate change to devastating effect. While the precise claims vary from case to case — from securities fraud to nuisance, negligence and tort — most center on an argument that companies failed to disclose what they knew about their potential impact on the environment. It’s a relatively new legal tactic in a longtime argument from industry critics: that oil and gas companies must be held responsible for downplaying the impacts of fossil fuels and stalling government action on climate change — claims examined in FRONTLINE’s three-part documentary series The Power of Big Oil.…

2022-08-01. Surprise climate bill will meet ambitious goal of 40% cut in U.S. emissions, energy models predict. [https://www.science.org/content/article/surprise-climate-bill-will-meet-ambitious-goal-40-cut-us-emissions-energy-models] By Erik Stokstad, Science Magazine. Excerpt: But more action is needed to reach Biden’s pledge to halve emissions by 2030. …last week key senators suddenly announced an agreement on a $369 billion bill that would provide the most climate funding ever seen in the United States. …energy and climate modelers have now scrutinized its 725 pages and concluded the 40% claim is about on target. They plugged key provisions, including subsidies for renewable energy and tax cuts for electric vehicles, as well as controversial incentives for the fossil fuel industry, into their models. Two such models conclude that if the bill becomes law, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions would fall by about 40% by 2030, although only part of that stems from the bill alone. One model also finds that the renewable energy subsidies will likely create 1.5 million jobs and prevent thousands of premature deaths from air pollution, especially in disadvantaged communities.… See also New York Times article, How the New Climate Bill Would Reduce Emissions, by Nadja Popovich and Brad Plumer.

2022-07-15. How One Senator Doomed the Democrats’ Climate Plan. [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/15/climate/manchin-climate-change-democrats.html] By Coral Davenport and Lisa Friedman, The New York Times. Excerpt: …First, he killed a plan that would have forced power plants to clean up their climate-warming pollution. Then, he shattered an effort to help consumers pay for electric vehicles. And, finally, he said he could not support government incentives for solar and wind companies or any of the other provisions that the rest of his party and his president say are vital to ensure a livable planet. Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, who took more campaign cash from the oil and gas industry than any other senator, and who became a millionaire from his family coal business, independently blew up the Democratic Party’s legislative plans to fight climate change. The swing Democratic vote in an evenly divided Senate, Mr. Manchin led his party through months of tortured negotiations that collapsed on Thursday night, a yearlong wild goose chase that produced nothing as the Earth warms to dangerous levels.…

2022-07-01. Subverting Climate Science in the Classroom. [https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/subverting-climate-science-in-the-classroom/] By Katie Worth, Scientific American, pp. 42-49. Excerpt: Over the past two years school board meetings around the country have erupted into shout fests over face masks, reading lists and whether to ban education about structural racism in classrooms. In Texas, a quieter political agenda played out during the lightly attended process to set science education standards—guidelines for what students should learn in each subject and grade level. For the first time, the state board considered requiring that students learn something about human-caused climate change. That requirement came under tense dispute between industry representatives interested in encouraging positive goodwill about fossil fuels and education advocates who think students should learn the science underlying the climate crisis unfolding around them. . . Last, Hickman moved to drop the climate mitigation standard that Pérez-Díaz had managed to add in September, arguing that the subject was more appropriate for social studies than for science and that it “just seems above and beyond for an eighth grade student and teacher.” The board Democrats fought the change, but they were outnumbered. The board replaced the mitigation standard with the line “Describe the carbon cycle.”…

2022-06-30. Supreme Court limits EPA in curbing power plant emissions. [https://apnews.com/article/supreme-court-epa-ruling-2e893673819a1b6c6aa272a5e814f0b0] By Mark Sherman, Associated Press. Excerpt: In a blow to the fight against climate change, the Supreme Court on Thursday limited how the nation’s main anti-air pollution law can be used to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. By a 6-3 vote, with conservatives in the majority, the court said that the Clean Air Act does not give the Environmental Protection Agency broad authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants that contribute to global warming. The decision, said environmental advocates and dissenting liberal justices, was a major step in the wrong direction — “a gut punch,” one prominent meteorologist said — at a time of increasing environmental damage attributable to climate change amid dire warnings about the future.…

2022-06-26. Ukraine War’s Latest Victim? The Fight Against Climate Change. [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/26/world/europe/g7-summit-ukraine-war-climate-change.html] By Katrin Bennhold and Jim Tankersley, The New York Times. Excerpt: BERLIN — Russia’s invasion of Ukraine seemed like an unexpected opportunity for environmentalists, who had struggled to focus the world’s attention on the kind of energy independence that renewable resources can offer. With the West trying to wean itself from Russian oil and gas, the argument for solar and wind power seemed stronger than ever. But four months into the war, the scramble to replace Russian fossil fuels has triggered the exact opposite. As the heads of the Group of 7 industrialized nations gather in the Bavarian Alps for a meeting that was supposed to cement their commitment to the fight against climate change, fossil fuels are having a wartime resurgence, with the leaders more focused on bringing down the price of oil and gas than immediately reducing their emissions. Nations are reversing plans to stop burning coal. They are scrambling for more oil and are committing billions to building terminals for liquefied natural gas, known as L.N.G. Fossil fuel companies, long on the defensive, are capitalizing on energy security anxieties and lobbying hard for long-term infrastructure investments that risk derailing international climate targets agreed to only last year.…

2022-06-19. Republican Drive to Tilt Courts Against Climate Action Reaches a Crucial Moment. [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/19/climate/supreme-court-climate-epa.html] By Coral Davenport, The New york Times. Excerpt: …The [Supreme Court] case, West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency, is the product of a coordinated, multiyear strategy by Republican attorneys general, conservative legal activists and their funders, several with ties to the oil and coal industries, to use the judicial system to rewrite environmental law, weakening the executive branch’s ability to tackle global warming. Coming up through the federal courts are more climate cases, some featuring novel legal arguments, each carefully selected for its potential to block the government’s ability to regulate industries and businesses that produce greenhouse gases.…

2022-06-07. Funding needed for climate disasters has risen ‘more than 800%’ in 20 years. By Arthur Neslen, The Guardian. Excerpt: The funding needed by UN climate disaster appeals has soared by more than 800% in 20 years as global heating takes hold. But only about half of it is being met by rich countries, according to a new report by Oxfam. Last year was the third costliest on record for extreme weather events such as droughts, floods and wildfires with total economic costs estimated at $329bn, nearly double the total aid given by donor nations. While poor countries appealed for $63-75bn in emergency humanitarian aid over the last five years, they only received $35-42bn, leaving a shortfall that Oxfam condemned as “piecemeal and painfully inadequate”. [https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jun/07/funding-needed-for-climate-disasters-has-risen-more-than-800-in-20-years]

2022-06-01. University of California to remove all companies that own fossil fuel reserves from the UC Retirement Savings Program. By UC Berkeley. Excerpt: UC Investments believes that the fossil fuel industry faces considerable long term financial risk and that removing such companies from the RSP will have a positive financial and risk-reducing impact on fund performance in the long run…. [https://preview-accept.myucretirement.com/resource/2312

2022-06-01. Biden Administration to Cut Costs for Wind and Solar Energy Projects. By Lisa Friedman, The New York Times. Excerpt: WASHINGTON — The Biden administration said on Wednesday it would cut in half the amount it charges companies to build wind and solar projects on federal lands, a move designed to encourage development of renewable energy…. [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/01/climate/biden-solar-wind-fees-cut.html]

2022-05-06. Climate Action Plans Tailored to Indian Cities. By Deepa Padmanaban, Eos/AGU. Excerpt: Many Indian cities are developing climate action plans to adapt to increasing risks they face because of climate change (such as flooding and heat waves) and to mitigate greenhouse emissions associated with extensive urbanization. Abinash Mohanty, program lead for the Council on Energy, Environment and Water, New Delhi, said, “The discourse of city climate action plans started because the hierarchy of decisionmaking, operation, preparedness, prevention, and mitigation is different at city and national levels. We need to understand where the hyperlocal action happens—that can only happen at a city level.” Mumbai is the latest Indian city to release a climate action plan (CAP).… [https://eos.org/articles/climate-action-plans-tailored-to-indian-cities]

2022-03-27. How Joe Manchin Aided Coal, and Earned Millions. By Christopher Flavelle and Julie Tate, The New York Times. Excerpt: At every step of his political career, Joe Manchin helped a West Virginia power plant that is the sole customer of his private coal business. Along the way, he blocked ambitious climate action. …While the fact that Mr. Manchin owns a coal business is well-known, an examination by The New York Times offers a more detailed portrait of the degree to which Mr. Manchin’s business has been interwoven with his official actions. He created his business while a state lawmaker in anticipation of the Grant Town plant, which has been the sole customer for his gob for the past 20 years, according to federal data. At key moments over the years, Mr. Manchin used his political influence to benefit the plant. …As the pivotal vote in an evenly split Senate, Mr. Manchin has blocked legislation that would speed the country’s transition to wind, solar and other clean energy and away from coal, oil and gas, the burning of which is dangerously heating the planet.… [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/27/climate/manchin-coal-climate-conflicts.html]

2022-03-07. E.P.A. to Tighten Tailpipe Rules for the Biggest Polluters on the Road. By Coral Davenport, The New York Times. Excerpt: The Biden administration on Monday proposed strict new limits on pollution from buses, delivery vans, tractor-trailers and other heavy trucks — the first time in more than 20 years that tailpipe standards have been tightened for the biggest polluters on the road. The new draft rule from the Environmental Protection Agency would require heavy-duty trucks to reduce emissions of nitrogen dioxide by 90 percent by 2031. Nitrogen dioxide is linked to lung cancer, heart disease and premature death. The E.P.A. also announced plans to slightly tighten truck emissions of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that is driving climate change. The new rules for nitrogen oxide pollution would apply to trucks beginning with the model year 2027, while the carbon dioxide rules would apply to trucks starting with the model year 2024.… [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/07/climate/trucks-pollution-rules-epa.html]

2022-02-23. E.U. will unveil a strategy to break free from Russian gas, after decades of dependence. By Michael Birnbaum and Steven Mufson, The Washington Post. Excerpt: Ukraine crisis has pushed Europe toward renewables — but will the change come quickly enough?.… [https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2022/02/23/russia-ukraine-eu-nordstream-strategy-energy]

2022-02-21. Court ruling on social cost of carbon upends Biden’s climate plans. By Maxine Joselow, The Washington Post. Excerpt: A recent court ruling that bars the Biden administration from accounting for the real-world costs of climate change has created temporary chaos at federal agencies, upending everything from planned oil and gas lease sales to infrastructure spending. The Feb. 11 decision by a Louisiana federal judge blocked the Biden administration from using a higher estimate forthe damage that each additional ton of greenhouse gas pollution causes society. This formula, calledthe social cost of carbon, applies toconsequential decisions affecting fossil fuel extraction on public lands, infrastructure projects and even international climate talks. …President Biden last year directed federal agencies to applyan interim social cost of carbon of $51 per ton — the figure used under former president Barack Obama — while his administration weighed whether to raise itto as high as $125 per ton. Under former president Donald Trump, that figure had fallen as low as $1 per ton, as his appointees recalculated the impacts of climate change on present and future generations.… [https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2022/02/21/social-cost-of-carbon-biden]

2022-02-10. France Announces Major Nuclear Power Buildup. By Liz Alderman, The New York Times. Excerpt: President Emmanuel Macron announced a major buildup of France’s huge nuclear power program on Thursday, pledging to construct up to 14 new-generation reactors and a fleet of smaller nuclear plants as the country seeks to slash planet-warming emissions and cut its reliance on foreign energy. The announcement represented an about-face for Mr. Macron, who had previously pledged to reduce France’s reliance on nuclear power but has pivoted to burnishing an image as a pronuclear president battling climate change as he faces a tough re-election bid in April.… [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/10/world/europe/france-macron-nuclear-power.html]

2022-02-10. How Billions in Infrastructure Funding Could Worsen Global Warming. By Brad Plumer, The New York Times. Excerpt: …widening highways and paving new roads often just spurs people to drive more, research shows. And as concerns grow about how tailpipe emissions are heating the planet, Colorado is among a handful of car-dominated states that are rethinking road building. In December, Colorado adopted a first-of-its-kind climate change regulation that will push transportation planners to redirect funding away from highway expansions and toward projects that cut vehicle pollution, such as buses and bike lanes. …In 2019, states spent one-third of their highway dollars on new road capacity, roughly $19.3 billion, with the rest spent on repairs. “This is a major blind spot for politicians who say they care about climate change,” said Kevin DeGood, director of infrastructure policy at the Center for American Progress…. “Everyone gets that oil pipelines are carbon infrastructure. But new highways are carbon infrastructure, too. Both lock in place 40 to 50 years of emissions.” The core problem, environmentalists say, is a phenomenon known as “induced traffic demand.” When states build new roads or add lanes to congested highways, instead of reducing traffic, more cars show up to fill the available space. Induced demand explains why, when Texas widened the Katy Freeway in Houston to more than 20 lanes in 2011, at a cost of $2.8 billion, congestion returned to previous levels within a few years.… [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/10/climate/highways-climate-change-traffic.html]

2022-02-10. The U.S. Army has released its first-ever climate strategy. Here’s what that means. By Michael Birnbaum and Tik Root, The Washington Post. Excerpt: The U.S. Army released its first climate strategy this week, an effort to brace the service for a world beset by global-warming-driven conflicts. The plan aims to slash the Army’s emissions in half by 2030; electrify all noncombat vehicles by 2035 and develop electric combat vehicles by 2050; and train a generation of officers on how to prepare for a hotter, more chaotic world. It is part of a broader effort by the Biden administration to address climate change across government agencies, including at the Pentagon. …strategists are increasingly alarmed about the security implications of climate change. The strategy notes “an increased risk of armed conflict in places where established social orders and populations are disrupted.… [https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-solutions/2022/02/10/army-military-green-climate-strategy/]

2022-01-31. Biden administration to give states $1.15 billion to plug orphaned wells, which leak planet-warming methane. By Tik Root. The Washington Post. Excerpt: The White House on Monday announced new steps to help curb emissions of methane, saying it will send $1.15 billion to states to clean up thousands of orphaned oil and gas wells that leak the powerful planet-warming gas. …Tens of thousands of abandoned wells dot the country in places where the oil and gas companies or individual owners went out of business, or are otherwise no longer responsible for their cleanup. …The funds will go to the 26 states that submitted notices of intent to the Interior Department late last year. The allocations range from about $25 million for Alabama, up to $107 million for Texas. More will be spent in the coming months and years as part of grants to states.… [https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-solutions/2022/01/31/orphaned-wells-biden-climate-change/]

2022-01-19. Biden Administration Announces Plan to Spend Billions to Prevent Wildfires. By Alyssa Lukpat, The New York Times. Excerpt: After a year that included one of the largest wildfires in California history and ended with an unseasonably late blaze that became the most destructive ever seen in Colorado, the Biden administration on Tuesday announced a 10-year, multibillion-dollar plan to reduce the fire risk on up to 50 million acres that border vulnerable communities. The federal Agriculture Department said in a statement that it would take measures to reduce the danger of catastrophic fires in dozens of spots in 11 Western states by thinning overgrown trees and using controlled burns to get rid of dead vegetation. The plan, detailed in a report, would quadruple the government’s land treatment efforts.… [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/19/climate/biden-administration-wildfire-plan.html]

Climate Change cover

Non-chronological resources

Kyoto Treaty text

National Climate Assessment (NCA), originally required by the Global Change Research Act of 1990 and periodically updated, can be found on the U.S.Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) website. It informs the nation about already observed climate changes, the current status of the climate, and anticipated trends for the future. It integrates scientific information from multiple sources and sectors and provides input to Federal agencies, U.S. citizens, communities, and businesses as they create more sustainable and environmentally sound plans for the nation’s future. Prior and current drafts of the NCA can be found at http://www.globalchange.gov/what-we-do/assessment.

Climate Change Education.org

Carbon Mitigation Initiative – a joint project of Princeton University, BP and the Ford Motor Company to find solutions to the greenhouse and global warming problem. Researchers are developing strategies to reduce global carbon dioxide emissions that will be safe, effective, and affordable.

ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability was founded in 1990 by local governments at the United Nations Headquarters in New York as the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI). It’s an association of cities, towns, counties, and local government associations ((more than 600 in the U.S.) whose mission is to build and serve a worldwide movement to achieve tangible improvements in global sustainability. 

Nature Conservancy pages on Climate Change

NOAA Global Climate Change page

Permafrost Lab

RealClimate –http://www.realclimate.org/
a commentary site (blog) on climatology by climate scientists. Provides quick response to developing stories.

Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) – Climate & Energy Publications