Daily Archives: August 13, 2017

Learning for the Curious and Concerned: Exploring Climate and Environmental Chan ge with “Transition Studies” online | EV & N #252 – CCTV




New forms of public education platforms like “Transition Studies” are emerging on the Internet to inform curious and concerned citizens.

Charlottesville mayor blames Trump for violent weekend

Mass drought aggravates malnutrition in Guatemala


EPA Asks Climate Change Deniers For Help With Climate Policy

The Ring of Fire

Published on Jul 30, 2017

Scott Pruitt, the head of the EPA, is reaching out to a climate change denying right wing think tank – The Heartland Institute – for help on climate policy. Heartland specializes in spreading misinformation about climate change, and they want the organization to help them recruit a team to “review” scientific documents related to climate change to make them more industry friendly. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this.

The Koch Brothers’ “Dark Money” | Jane Mayer

The National

Published on Feb 26, 2016

Investigative journalist Jane Mayer explains how the Koch brothers have used their billions to shift American policies to the far right.
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Farmers are on Warpath But Do they Have Your Attention?


US federal department is censoring use of term ‘climate change’, emails reveal | The Guardian

Among the ‘intense weather events’ qualifying as climate change under the advice in the email chain is drought. Photograph: David Mcnew/AFP/Getty Images

Exclusive: series of emails show staff at Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service advised to reference ‘weather extremes’ instead

Oliver Milman in New York

Staff at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) have been told to avoid using the term climate change in their work, with the officials instructed to reference “weather extremes” instead.

A series of emails obtained by the Guardian between staff at the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), a USDA unit that oversees farmers’ land conservation, show that the incoming Trump administration has had a stark impact on the language used by some federal employees around climate change.

A missive from Bianca Moebius-Clune, director of soil health, lists terms that should be avoided by staff and those that should replace them. “Climate change” is in the “avoid” category, to be replaced by “weather extremes”. Instead of “climate change adaption”, staff are asked to use “resilience to weather extremes”.

The primary cause of human-driven climate change is also targeted, with the term “reduce greenhouse gases” blacklisted in favor of “build soil organic matter, increase nutrient use efficiency”. Meanwhile, “sequester carbon” is ruled out and replaced by “build soil organic matter”.

In her email to staff, dated 16 February this year, Moebius-Clune said the new language was given to her staff and suggests it be passed on. She writes that “we won’t change the modeling, just how we talk about it – there are a lot of benefits to putting carbon back in the sail [sic], climate mitigation is just one of them”, and that a colleague from USDA’s public affairs team gave advice to “tamp down on discretionary messaging right now”.

In contrast to these newly contentious climate terms, Moebius-Clune wrote that references to economic growth, emerging business opportunities in the rural US, agro-tourism and “improved aesthetics” should be “tolerated if not appreciated by all”.

In a separate email to senior employees on 24 January, just days after Trump’s inauguration, Jimmy Bramblett, deputy chief for programs at the NRCS, said: “It has become clear one of the previous administration’s priority is not consistent with that of the incoming administration. Namely, that priority is climate change. Please visit with your staff and make them aware of this shift in perspective within the executive branch.”

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I’m a scientist. I’m blowing the whistle on the Trump administration. – The Washington Post

On July 19, the former top climate policy official at the Department of Interior filed a complaint and a whistleblower disclosure form with the Office of Special Counsel. The official, Joel Clement, says the Trump administration is threatening public health and safety by trying to silence scientists like him. (Adriana Usero, Kate Woodsome/The Washington Post)

By Joel Clement July 19

Joel Clement was director of the Office of Policy Analysis at the U.S. Interior Department until last week. He is now a senior adviser at the department’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue.

I am not a member of the deep state. I am not big government.

I am a scientist, a policy expert, a civil servant and a worried citizen. Reluctantly, as of today, I am also a whistleblower on an administration that chooses silence over science.

Nearly seven years ago, I came to work for the Interior Department, where, among other things, I’ve helped endangered communities in Alaska prepare for and adapt to a changing climate. But on June 15, I was one of about 50 senior department employees who received letters informing us of involuntary reassignments. Citing a need to “improve talent development, mission delivery and collaboration,” the letter informed me that I was reassigned to an unrelated job in the accounting office that collects royalty checks from fossil fuel companies.

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Meet the Senior Federal Official Blowing the Whistle on Trump’s Suppression of Climate Science

Democracy Now!

Published on Aug 8, 2017

https://democracynow.org – Is the Trump administration trying to silence government scientists from working or talking about climate change? According to news reports, as many as 50 senior Interior Department officials have been reassigned since Ryan Zinke became head of the department. We speak with Joel Clement, a senior official at the Interior Department. Up until recently, he focused on the dangers that climate change poses to Alaska Native communities in the Arctic. But, without explanation, Clement was recently transferred to an unrelated job within the Interior Department—he now collects royalty checks from oil and gas companies. Clement believes he was targeted for speaking out about climate change. He went public with his concerns in the pages of The Washington Post, where he wrote a piece titled “I’m a scientist. I’m blowing the whistle on the Trump administration.”

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Trump’s Team Bans The Term ‘Climate Change’

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Published on Aug 9, 2017

Leakers released a 600-page document the White House received about climate change before they could play (or be) dumb.