Daily Archives: December 14, 2016

Oceans 2016 Program | Biodiversity for a Livable Climate


Trump Picks Rick Perry for Energy Secretary

Wall Street Journal

Published on Dec 13, 2016

Donald Trump tapped former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to head the Department of Energy. WSJ’s Amy Harder and Lunch Break’s Tanya Rivero discuss how Perry was a critic of Trump’s during the 2016 campaign and how his energy beliefs are not in line with all Republicans. Photo: AP

Rick Perry, Trump’s Energy Secretary Pick, is Close Ally to Oil Industry & Dakota Access Pipeline

Democracy Now!

Published on Dec 14, 2016

http://democracynow.org – Donald Trump has chosen former Texas Governor Rick Perry to be energy secretary. Governor Perry famously attempted to propose to abolish the Energy Department—but then couldn’t even remember the agency during a live televised debate in 2011, when Perry was running for president. Perry has deep ties to the fossil fuel industry, including serving on the corporate boards of both Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Logistics, two companies behind the Dakota Access pipeline. Both companies are owned by Texas billionaire Kelcy Warren. Perry joined the board of Energy Transfer Partners in February 2015, only two weeks after he left office. That year, he received $365,000 from Warren’s companies. We speak to Forrest Wilder, editor-in-chief of The Texas Observer, and Kiah Collier, energy and environment reporter for The Texas Tribune.

Rising sea levels could displace millions of Americans by 2100

BI Science

Published on Jun 22, 2016

A recent study published in Nature Climate Change projects that over 4 million residents of the continental US could be affected if sea levels rise 3 feet by the end of the century.

The researchers calculated the number of at-risk residents by looking at coastal areas expected to be inundated by sea-level rise and estimating the population of those regions in 2100 using population-trend data.

China: Trump’s One China comments ‘risk Taiwan peace’ – BBC News


Beijing has warned the incoming US administration that any attempt to challenge the “One China” policy could affect peace in the Taiwan Strait.

Interference may also damage developing US-China relations, a spokesman said.

Under the “One China” policy, the US has formal ties with China rather than the island of Taiwan, which China sees as a breakaway province.

However, US President-elect Donald Trump has expressed doubts about continuing to abide by the policy.

Mr Trump had already angered China by taking a phone call from Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, and then tweeting about it.

On Monday, China said it was “seriously concerned” by Mr Trump’s comments, and urged sensitivity around the issue.

But An Fengshan, a spokesman for China’s policy-making Taiwan Affairs Office, went further on Wednesday, warning of more serious consequences.

‘Ready to confront’

“Upholding the “One China” principle is the political basis of developing China-US relations, and is the cornerstone of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” he said.

“If this basis is interfered with or damaged then the healthy, stable development of China-US relations is out of the question, and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait will be seriously impacted,” he added.

Monsanto Shareowners Approve Merger With Bayer | Successful Farming

Hurdles still remain, but the merger is one step closer to fruition.

By Gil Gullickson 12/13/2016

Monsanto shareholders today approved a merger of the St. Louis firm with Bayer Aktiengesellschaft. According to press releases sent out by both companies, Monsanto shareowners will receive $128 per share in cash at the closing of the merger.

It’s important to note that hurdles remain before this merger becomes reality. Regulators in the U.S. and European Union, for example, are scrutinizing the merger, and divestitures could result. Still, this represents one step closer to Monsanto and Bayer becoming one firm.

“We are pleased we received such strong support from our shareowners,” says Hugh Grant, Monsanto chairman and chief executive officer, in a press release. “This is an important milestone as we work to combine our two complementary companies and deliver on our shared vision for the future of agriculture. By bringing together our expertise and our resources to drive this shared vision, we can do even more together to benefit growers around the world and to help address broad global challenges like climate change and food scarcity.”

(read more).


Why we self-silence when it comes to climate change


December 9, 2016 9:33 PM

By Roger Van Scyoc rvanscyocUNIVERSITY PARK

As human beings, we care about what others think — especially when it concerns ourselves. Research says there is a biological reason for this insofar as the reward centers in our brain light up when others agree with us.

When it comes to climate change, that perception, or fear of it, can keep us in the dark, according to a study by a pair of Penn State researchers.

“There has been previous research suggesting that people tend to underestimate the number of other people concerned about climate change,” said Nathan Geiger, who authored the study with Janet Swim, a professor of psychology. “We’re looking at the consequences of that misperception.”

…(read more).

Read more here: http://www.centredaily.com/news/local/education/penn-state/article120085918.html#storylink=cpy

The Fact-Free White House: Donald Trump Assembles a Team of Conspiracy Theorists

Trump is choosing to surround himself with people who similarly gravitate toward fake news and baseless propaganda.
By Brian Tashman / Right Wing Watch
December 13, 2016

Donald Trump spent his presidential campaign promoting false claims and wild conspiracy theories, a habit he hasn’t broken since becoming president-elect. It shouldn’t be surprising, then, that as he builds out his Cabinet and administration Trump is choosing to surround himself with people who similarly gravitate toward fake news and baseless propaganda.

Several of Trump’s announced candidates for top administration roles, his known advisers and those who are reportedly under consideration for top positions have promoted patently false claims or pushed bizarre conspiracy theories. These are the people who, if Trump has his way, will be advising the most powerful man in the country and helping to shape policy for all Americans.

By making these wild claims—many of them meant to provoke suspicion of racial and religious minorities, immigrants and the media—Trump and his allies are attempting to create an alternative reality, one that they can then use to justify policies cracking down on voting access, rolling back the rights of immigrants and Muslim-Americans and undermining the freedom of the press.

…(read more).

The Climate Impacts of Trump’s ExxonMobil Pick for State | Climate Central

ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson speaks during an energy conference in Houston in 2015. Credit: REUTERS/Daniel Kramer http://www.climatecentral.org/news/trumps-nomination-of-exxonmobil-exec-may-threaten-climate-20966
By John Upton

President-elect Trump on Tuesday rounded out a potential dream team of anti-environment cabinet members with the chief executive officer of ExxonMobil, among the world’s 10 largest companies and one that has profited from global warming and worked to slow the fight against climate change.

If the nomination of Rex Tillerson for secretary of state is approved by Congress, he would have more influence over America’s role in global environmental agreements than any other member of Trump’s administration — including its participation in the historic United Nations climate pact negotiated last year in Paris.

“Tillerson’s career is the embodiment of the American dream,” Trump said in a statement Tuesday. “His tenacity, broad experience and deep understanding of geopolitics make him an excellent choice for Secretary of State.”

ExxonMobil, where Tillerson has worked since 1975, is being investigated by more than a dozen states after InsideClimate News revealed last year that it spent decades ignoring its own scientists’ research tying fossil fuels to climate change.

The $380 billion company’s alleged failure to account for the risks of climate change to its stockholders is being investigated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It’s also the target of a high-profile campaign by environmental groups over its climate impacts and propaganda.

Tillerson would need to step down from his job at ExxonMobil and sell off about $45 million worth of shares before working for the State Department to comply with ethics rules affecting federal employees. He could lose another $150 million in stocks that he’s not yet vested in because of ExxonMobil rules governing those shares.

Tillerson receives about $6 million in annual salary and bonus payments, plus he receives about three times that amount each year in stocks. Those stock payments come with restrictions for at least five years, limiting when he can receive or sell the shares. Those restrictions were designed to encourage executives to prioritize long-term profits over short-term gains.

“That’s an expensive nest egg to throw over the transom,” said Michael Wara, an energy and environmental law expert at Stanford. “If he doesn’t, I don’t see how he functions as secretary of state. If he’s willing to do that to serve — wow.”

Alternatively, Tillerson may try to secure what could be a wildly controversial waiver from Trump.

…(read more).