Daily Archives: September 2, 2017

Asteroid That Buzzed Earth in 2012 Could Come Closer in October 2017

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Gas prices surge after Harvey strikes refineries

Noam Chomsky (September 03, 2017) – The Future of Humanity

Windsor cleans up after worst flooding in city’s history

In Florida, A New Law Is Hitting Textbooks

In July, a new Florida state law took effect that permits any resident of the state to object to textbooks that are used in classrooms. While the law doesn’t explicitly mention science, teachers like Brandon Haught, co-founder of the non-profit Florida Citizens for Science, are concerned that the subject may get swept up in the broad legal language.

[Teaching
climate change science in the classroom.
]

The Florida bill is the first of its kind, but there have been other attempts at passing similar ones in states across the nation. Haught and Julie Palakovich Carr, a science policy expert, talk about what the passing of this bill means for science curriculum and teachers in Florida, and other similar policies in other states.

(read more).

Don’t Look Now – George Monbiot

2nd September 2017

The media avoids the subject of climate breakdown – to do otherwise is to bring the entire infrastructure of thought crashing down

By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 29 August 2017

It is not only Donald Trump’s government that censors the discussion of climate change; it is the entire body of polite opinion. This is why, though the links are clear and obvious, the majority of news reports on Hurricane Harvey have made no mention of the human contribution.

In 2016, the United States elected a president who believes that human-driven global warming is a hoax. It was the hottest year on record, in which the US was hammered by a series of climate-related disasters. Yet the total combined coverage for the entire year on the evening and Sunday news programmes on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox News amounted to 50 minutes. Our greatest predicament, the issue that will define our lives, has been blotted from our minds.

This is not an accident. But nor (with the exception of Fox News) is it likely to be a matter of policy. It reflects a deeply ingrained and scarcely conscious self-censorship. Reporters and editors ignore the subject because they have an instinct for avoiding trouble. To talk about climate breakdown (which in my view is a better term than the curiously bland labels we attach to this crisis) is to question not only Donald Trump, not only current environmental policy, not only current economic policy, but the entire political and economic system.

...(read more).

Tillerson Scraps US Climate Envoy Position Ahead of UN Talks | DeSmogBlog

By Ashley Braun • Wednesday, August 30, 2017 – 13:48

With the next round of United Nations climate talks scheduled for November, eyes will be trained on how the United States chooses to engage — or not — now that President Donald Trump is withdrawing the country from the landmark Paris Climate Agreement. Yesterday, Secretary of State and former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson indicated that this process will not happen through the State Department’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, because, well, he’s scrapping the position.

In a letter to Senate Foreign Relations chair Bob Corker (R-TN), Tillerson wrote, “I believe that the Department will be able to better execute its mission by integrating certain envoys and special representative offices within the regional and functional bureaus, and eliminating those that have accomplished or outlived their original purpose.”

As Climate Home reported:

“The position of climate envoy was established by Barack Obama in 2009 and was filled by Todd Stern until 2016. The envoy for Obama’s last year in office was Jonathan Pershing, who left the political appointment when the government changed in January this year.

The special envoy was the US’ diplomatic figurehead, a position Stern used to become one of the major forces behind the eventual shape of the Paris deal, right down to the 11th hour wrangling over a troublesome ‘typo’ in the text.”

State Department Scales Back on Climate

The move came as part of a larger streamlining and reorganizing of the State Department, which for months has been scaling back its focus on climate issues.

Shortly after Trump’s inauguration, the State Department’s web page for the Office of Global Change, which operates under the climate envoy, switched up its description, replacing most of the original text with more passive language.

(read more).