Daily Archives: March 31, 2017

Dark Money, Science and Climate Change – NYTimes.com


To the Editor:

Re “President Trump Risks the Planet” (editorial, March 29):

The fossil fuel industry’s control over congressional Republicans and members of President Trump’s cabinet is breathtaking. The president seems oblivious to the dark money influences on his supporters and the reason they recommended those anti-clean-energy cabinet picks. Dark money is the only reason we are having a climate debate in the country.

James Lawrence Powell was appointed to the National Science Board by Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush and served for 12 years. Dr. Powell conducted a study of peer-reviewed articles on global warming.

His study found that 24,210 articles were written on climate change by 69,406 scientists from around the world in 2013 and 2014. Of those authors, all but four, or 99.99 percent, indicated that global warming is caused primarily by human activity (particularly burning fossil fuel).


To the Editor:

Clean coal is a bit like humble Trump. Although both may be theoretically possible, few expect to see large-scale implementation of either in their lifetimes.


News Wrap: Trump signs orders on U.S. trade policy

An Economic View of the Environment – One Economist’s Perspective on Climate and Other Policy


Senator Bernie Sanders in Cambridge to Discuss ‘Our Revolution’


Started streaming 1 hour ago

Senator Bernie Sanders came out of nowhere in 2016 to nearly upset Hillary Clinton’s bid for the Democratic party’s nomination for U.S. President. Along the campaign trail, he sowed seeds for political revolution. Now Sanders is on the stump again, reminding his supporters—and persuading new followers—to demand more from their politicians.

Harvard Book Store, The Boston Review, and MIT’s Department of Political Science host Senator Sanders at MIT for a talk about his new book, ‘Our Revolution; A Future to Believe In’. The event is sold out, but you can watch it here in real time on March 31st at 5 p.m.

Questions for Senator Sanders will only be taken from the Kresge auditorium audience, but we still welcome your comments here.

U.S. Boycotts U.N. Talks on Nuclear Ban While Spending Trillions to Modernize Nuclear Arsenal

Democracy Now!

Published on Mar 30, 2017

http://democracynow.org – Full interview with Princeton’s Zia Mian about the proposed U.N. nuclear ban treaty, the U.S. boycott and the U.S. trillion dollar plan to “modernize” its nuclear arsenal. Zia Mian is a physicist, nuclear expert and disarmament activist. He is co-director of the Program on Science and Global Security at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University.

Who Bankrolls Breitbart News?

Democracy Now!

Published on Mar 31, 2017

http://democracynow.org – In this clip from an interview with Jane Mayer, we look at Robert Mercer, the man who is said to have out-Koched the Koch brothers in the 2016 election. The Mercers bankrolled Steve Bannon’s Breitbart News, as well as some of Bannon’s film projects. Conway ran a super PAC created by the Mercers to initially back the candidacy of Ted Cruz. While the Mercers have helped reshape the American political landscape, their work has all been done from the shadows. To talk more about the Mercers, we speak with Jane Mayer, staff writer at The New Yorker. Her latest piece is headlined “The Reclusive Hedge-Fund Tycoon Behind the Trump Presidency: How Robert Mercer exploited America’s populist insurgency.”

Tens of Thousands of Teachers Are Getting Climate-Denying Propaganda in Their Mailboxes

Classroom. (photo: Shutterstock)
t sounds insane, but may make more sense in the context of these three anecdotes:

1. The Heartland Institute, a libertarian, climate-denying think tank, is mailing its book Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming and an accompanying DVD to every science teacher at American public schools. About 25,000 teachers out of a targeted 200,000 have already gotten the package.

2. On Wednesday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos disparaged efforts by her predecessor Arne Duncan to invest in poorly performing public schools. Her words, via ABC News: “At what point do we accept the fact that throwing money at the problem isn’t the solution?”

3. Here’s an image of the 2014 tax return of the Heartland Institute, which receives funding from ExxonMobil, Koch Industries, and other fossil fuel corporations — nearly $7 million that year:

…(read more).

Noam Chomsky: If Trump Falters with Supporters, Don’t Put ‘Aside the Possibility’ of a ‘Staged or Alleged Terrorist Attack’ | Alternet

Chomsky warns of scapegoating vulnerable people: “That can turn out to be very ugly.”
By Jan Frel / AlterNet
March 27, 2017

It’s March 2017, and the political process and the media in the U.S. are a depressing mess, on top of an ever-growing pile of issues that are not remotely being addressed, much less resolved by society: inequality, climate change, a global refugee crisis, you name it.

Donald Trump presents a new problem on top of the old familiar ones; a toxic multifront political disaster whose presence in the White House is doing damage to the national psyche on a daily basis. But in the first few months of his presidency it appears he is unwilling or unable to carry out almost any of the campaign promises he made to his base. Repealing Obamacare was supposed to be a cinch — well, that was a total disaster for Trump and the Republican party; the first big legislative rollout of his presidency, and it didn’t even make it to a vote. What about canceling TPP? Trump did do that, right?

In a recent interview with the renowned intellectual and public commentator Noam Chomsky, he told me TPP was dead on arrival regardless of who was elected. What about scrapping NAFTA? Chomsky said he was doubtful Trump would be able to do much there either. What Trump appears to be doing, Chomsky observed, is ramming through the standard GOP wish list: tax cuts, corporate welfare, climate change denial. How would Trump’s voters react to that? What we need to worry about, Chomsky says, is the potential for the Trump administration to capitalize on a “staged or alleged” terrorist attack. The text of our interview follows.

Jan Frel: Do you observe any meaningful signs of the key power factions in Washington aligning against Trump?

Noam Chomsky: Well, the so-called Freedom Caucus, which is a Tea Party outgrowth, has been refusing, so far, to go along with the health plan that he has advocated. There are other indications of the Tea Party-style far-right, separating themselves from Trump’s proposals.

On the other hand, if you take a look at what is actually happening in Washington, apart from the rhetoric and what appears in Sean Spicer’s press conferences and so on, the old Republican establishment is pretty much pushing through the kinds of programs that they have always wanted. And now they have a kind of open door that is Trump’s cabinet, which draws from the most reactionary parts of the establishment. It doesn’t have much to do with Trump’s rhetoric. His rhetoric is about helping the working man and so on, but the proposals are savage and damaging to the constituency that thinks that Trump is their spokesperson.

…(read more).

Top Climate Milestones of 2016


Published on Nov 22, 2016

The top 5 craziest climate milestones that happened in 2016.