Blog Archive

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

NoDAPL Water Protector Sophia Wilansky lost most of her forearm when hit by a concussion grenade. Please contribute to her medical fund.

Climate Hawks Vote

Tenney --

Last night, Sophia Wilansky was catastrophically injured when a concussion grenade thrown by police defending the Dakota Access Pipeline company hit her left arm and exploded. Sophia, a 21-year-old climate activist, was heading to bring water to the unarmed people who were being attacked for several hours by Morton County Sheriff forces. She was successfully delivered to emergency surgery in Minneapolis.

A generous group of Climate Hawks Vote members have pledged to match any contributions made to support Sophia's medical costs. Your $5 contribution will be doubled to $10 if you make it now:

Contribute $5 to support Sophia's medical fund with Climate Hawks Vote.
All funds raised will go to Sophia's medical fund.

The Morton County Sheriff’s Department is falsely claiming that she was injured by a propane explosion caused by the protectors. The grenade pieces that have been removed from her arm in surgery will be saved for legal proceedings.

[Dear Readers, I was up a long time watching the live feed of the Morton County Sheriff's Department corralling the protestors in a small space which they could not get out of, then spraying them repeatedly and at length with mace, using tear gas, spraying them with cold water while the outside temperature was only 23F with a wind that made it feel even colder.  I heard the explosions of the concussion grenades.  The police are clearly lying.  But the doctors have the evidence this time (read below).  I have just contributed more to this young woman, disfigured for life, than I even gave to Bernie (my little $27, every now and again).  Please show your support.  Sophia was out there in harm's way for us, while we were safe and warm and uninjured at home, tweeting, ok? Thanks so much, Tenney]
Sophia is currently in stable condition. Below is information about her injuries and surgery from her father, lawyer Wayne Wilansky:

A grenade exploded right as it hit Sophia in the left forearm taking most of the undersurface of her left arm with it. Both her radial and ulnar artery were completely destroyed. Her radius was shattered and a large piece of it is missing. Her medial nerve is missing a large section as well.  All of the muscle and soft tissue between her elbow and wrist were blown away. Sophia will have surgery again tomorrow as bit by bit they try to rebuild a somewhat functioning arm and hand. The first surgery took a vein from her leg which they have implanted in her arm to take the place of the missing arteries. She will need multiple surgeries to try to gain some functional use of the arm and hand.
"There are no words to describe the pain of watching my daughter cry and say she was sorry for the pain she caused me and my wife," her father says. "I died a thousand deaths today and will continue to do so for quite some time. I am left without the right words to describe the anguish of watching her look at her now alien arm and hand."
It's crucial that our support respect Sophia's deliberate sacrifice and builds power for the climate movement. We must keep organizing and holding the fossil-fuel industry and its enablers accountable.
Your $10 will be doubled to $20 to support Sophia's medical fund. 
Sophia was far from alone in suffering direct violence from the Dakota Access police forces.

Hundreds of water protectors have been injured at the Standing Rock encampments in the last few days. Law enforcement blasted the protectors with water cannons in freezing temperatures Sunday evening. Water protectors’ efforts to clear the road and improve access to the camp for emergency services were met with tear gas, stinger grenades, rubber bullets, and indiscriminate use of a water cannon with an air temperature of 26 degrees Fahrenheit. Multiple people were unconscious and bleeding after being shot in the head with rubber bullets. Hundreds were treated for injuries, tear-gas exposure, and hypothermia.

Chip in any amount now to support Sophia's medical fund. 

Please share this email with friends and family.

your fellow climate hawk,

Brad Johnson

LEARN MORE

Dakota Access pipeline protester seriously hurt during police standoff, The Guardian
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/22/dakota-access-pipeline-protester-seriously-hurt-during-police-standoff-standing-rock

Dakota Pipeline: Protesters Soaked With Water in Freezing Temperatures, NBC News
http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/dakota-pipeline-protests/dakota-pipeline-protesters-authorities-clash-temperatures-drop-n686581

Demand the demilitarization of Standing Rock:

White House: 202-456-1111
ND Office of the Governor: 701-328-2200
Morton County Sheriff's Department: 701-328-8118 & 701-667-3330
ND National Guard: 701-333-2000

White House phone number: 202-456-1111

-b

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 22nd, 2016 at 9:00am CST

For Press Conference information contact medichealercouncil@gmail.com

Prepared by Standing Rock Medic & Healer Council at the Standing Rock Dakota Access Pipeline Resistance Camps

On November 21st as a direct result of the violent police response at Standing Rock towards unarmed people opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline, a 21 year old woman from New York City, Sophia Wilansky, was severely injured when a concussion grenade thrown by police hit her left arm and exploded. Sophia was heading to bring water to the unarmed people who were being attacked for several hours by Morton County Sheriff forces. The Morton County Sheriff’s Department has stated that she was injured by a purported propane explosion that the Sheriff’s Department claimed the unarmed people created. These statements are refuted by Sophia’s testimony, by several eye-witnesses who watched police intentionally throw concussion grenades at unarmed people, by the lack of charring of flesh at the wound site and by the grenade pieces that have been removed from her arm in surgery and will be saved for legal proceedings.

Sophia was safely taken out of North Dakota for emergent surgery and is currently in stable condition. Below is her statement as conveyed by her father, lawyer Wayne Wilansky.

At around 4:30am after the police hit the bridge with water cannons and rubber bullets and pepper spray they lobbed a number of concussion grenades which are not supposed to be thrown at people directly at protesters or protectors as they want to be called. A grenade exploded right as it hit Sophia in the left forearm taking most of the undersurface of her left arm with it. Both her radial and ulnar artery were completely destroyed. Her radius was shattered and a large piece of it is missing. Her medial nerve is missing a large section as well.  All of the muscle and soft tissue between her elbow and wrist were blown away. The police did not do this by accident - it was an intentional act of throwing it directly at her. Additionally police were shooting people in face and groin intending to do the most possible damage. Sophia will have surgery again tomorrow as bit by bit they try to rebuild a somewhat functioning arm and hand. The first surgery took a vein from her leg which they have implanted in her arm to take the place of the missing arteries. She will need multiple surgeries to try to gain some functional use of the arm and hand. She will be, every day for the foreseeable future, fearful of losing her arm and hand. There are no words to describe the pain of watching my daughter cry and say she was sorry for the pain she caused me and my wife. I died a thousand deaths today and will continue to do so for quite some time. I am left without the right words to describe the anguish of watching her look at her now alien arm and hand.”

A fund set up by friends and verified to help with Sophia’s recovery is set up here:

The Standing Rock Medic Healer Council deplores the ongoing use of violence by the state of North Dakota to address the concerns of the thousands of people peacefully assembled at Standing Rock to insist on the right to clean healthy drinking water.

Water is Life, Mni Wiconi

Signed,

Linda Black Elk, PhD, Ethnobotanist, Sitting Bull College
Michael Knudsen, MPH candidate, Standing Rock Medic & Healer Council
Noah Morris, EMT
Amelia Massucco, RN
John Andrews, RN
Kristina Golden, EMT, herbalist
Sebastian Rodriguez, RN
Rosemary Fister, RN, MNPHN, DNP Candidate
Rupa Marya, MD, DoNoHarm Coalition, University of California – San Francisco
David Kingfisher, MD, JD, Wichita State University
Jesse Lopez, MD, Heartland Surgical Care
Kalama O Ka Aina Niheu, MD, Aha Aloha Aina
Howard Ehrman, MD, MPH, University of Illinois - Chicago
Geeta Maker-Clark, MD, University of Chicago
Elizabeth Friedman, MD
Vanessa Bolin, ALS Paramedic

Contact: Michael Knudsen, Medic Coordinator and Standing Rock Sioux Tribe ethno-botanist Linda Black Elk, PhD – medichealercouncil@gmail.com

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

George Monbiot: The Deep History Behind Trump’s Rise: How a ruthless network of super-rich ideologues killed choice and destroyed people’s faith in politics

by George Monbiot, The Guardian, November 14, 2016  www.monbiot.com

The events that led to Donald Trump’s election started in England in 1975. At a meeting a few months after Margaret Thatcher became leader of the Conservative party, one of her colleagues, or so the story goes, was explaining what he saw as the core beliefs of conservatism. She snapped open her handbag, pulled out a dog-eared book, and slammed it on the table. “This is what we believe,” she said. A political revolution that would sweep the world had begun.

The book was The Constitution of Liberty by Frederick Hayek. Its publication in 1960 marked the transition from an honest, if extreme, philosophy to an outright racket. The philosophy was called neoliberalism. It saw competition as the defining characteristic of human relations. The market would discover a natural hierarchy of winners and losers, creating a more efficient system than could ever be devised through planning or design. Anything that impeded this process, such as significant tax, regulation, trade union activity or state provision, was counter-productive. Unrestricted entrepreneurs would create the wealth that would trickle down to everyone.

This, at any rate, is how it was originally conceived. But by the time Hayek came to write The Constitution of Liberty, the network of lobbyists and thinkers he had founded was being lavishly funded by multimillionaires, who saw the doctrine as a means of defending themselves against democracy. Not every aspect of the neoliberal programme advanced their interests. Hayek, it seems, set out to close the gap.

He begins the book by advancing the narrowest possible conception of liberty: an absence of coercion. He rejects such notions as political freedom, universal rights, human equality and the distribution of wealth, all of which, by restricting the behaviour of the wealthy and powerful, intrude on the absolute freedom from coercion he demands. Democracy, by contrast, “is not an ultimate or absolute value.” In fact, liberty depends on preventing the majority from exercising choice over the direction that politics and society might take.

He justifies this position by creating a heroic narrative of extreme wealth. 

He conflates the economic elite, spending their money in new ways, with philosophical and scientific pioneers. Just as the political philosopher should be free to think the unthinkable, so the very rich should be free to do the undoable, without constraint by public interest or public opinion.

The ultra rich are “scouts,” “experimenting with new styles of living,” who blaze the trails that the rest of society will follow. The progress of society depends on the liberty of these “independents” to gain as much money as they want and spend it how they wish. All that is good and useful, therefore, arises from inequality. There should be no connection between merit and reward, no distinction made between earned and unearned income and no limit to the rents they can charge.

Inherited wealth is more socially useful than earned wealth: “the idle rich,” who don’t have to work for their money, can devote themselves to influencing “fields of thought and opinion, of tastes and beliefs.” Even when they seem to be spending money on nothing but “aimless display,” they are in fact acting as society’s vanguard. Everything the rich might do is, by definition, good.

Hayak softened his opposition to monopolies and hardened his opposition to trade unions. He lambasted progressive taxation and attempts by the state to raise the general welfare of citizens. He insisted that there is “an overwhelming case against a free health service for all” and dismissed the conservation of natural resources. It should come as no surprise to those who follow such matters that he was awarded the Nobel Prize for economics.

By the time Mrs Thatcher slammed his book on the table, a lively network of thinktanks, lobbyists and academics promoting Hayek’s doctrines had been established on both sides of the Atlantic,  abundantly financed by some of the world’s richest people and businesses, including DuPont, General Electric, the Coors brewing company, Charles Koch, Richard Mellon Scaife, Lawrence Fertig, the William Volcker Fund and the Earhart Foundation. Using psychology and linguistics to brilliant effect, the thinkers these people sponsored found the words and arguments required to turn Hayek’s anthem to the elite into a plausible political programme.

Thatcherism and Reaganism were not ideologies in their own right; they were just two faces of neoliberalism. Their massive tax cuts for the rich, crushing of trade unions, reduction in public housing, deregulation, privatisation, outsourcing and competition in public services were all proposed by Hayek and his disciples. But the real triumph of this network was not its capture of the right, but its colonisation of parties that once stood for everything Hayek detested.

Bill Clinton and Tony Blair did not possess a narrative of their own. Rather than developing a new political story, they thought it was sufficient to triangulate. In other words, they extracted a few elements of what their parties had once believed, mixed them with elements of what their opponents believed, and developed from this unlikely combination a “third way.”

It was inevitable that the blazing, insurrectionary confidence of neoliberalism would exert a stronger gravitational pull than the dying star of social democracy. Hayek’s triumph could be witnessed everywhere from Blair’s expansion of the private finance initiative to Clinton’s repeal of the Glass-Steagal Act, that had regulated the financial sector. For all his grace and touch, Barack Obama, who didn’t possess a narrative either (except “hope”), was slowly reeled in by those who owned the means of persuasion.

As I warned in April, the result is first disempowerment then disenfranchisement. If their dominant ideology stops governments from changing social outcomes and delivering social justice, they can no longer respond to the needs of the electorate. Politics becomes irrelevant to people’s lives; debate is reduced to the yabber of a remote elite. The disenfranchised turn instead to a virulent anti-politics, in which facts and arguments are replaced by slogans, symbols and sensation. The man who sank Hillary Clinton’s bid for the presidency was not Donald Trump. It was her husband.

The paradoxical result is that the backlash against neoliberalism’s crushing of political choice has elevated just the kind of man that Hayek worshipped. Trump, who has no coherent politics, is not a classic neoliberal. But he is the perfect representation of Hayek’s “independent”; the beneficiary of inherited wealth, unconstrained by common morality, whose gross predilections strike a new path that others may follow. The neoliberal think tankers are now swarming round this hollow man, this empty vessel waiting to be filled by those who know what they want. The likely result is the demolition of our remaining decencies, beginning with the agreement to limit global warming.

Those who tell the stories run the world. Politics has failed through a lack of competing narratives. The key task now is to tell a new story; of what it is to be a human in the 21st Century. It must be as appealing to some who have voted for Trump and UKIP as to the supporters of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, or Jeremy Corbyn.

A few of us have been working on this, and can discern what may be the beginning of a story. It’s too early to say much yet, but at its core is the recognition that – as modern psychology and neuroscience make abundantly clear – human beings, by comparison to any other animals, are both remarkably social and remarkably unselfish. The atomisation and self-interested behaviour neoliberalism promotes run counter to much of what comprises human nature.

Hayek told us who we are, and he was wrong. Our first step is to reclaim our humanity.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Peter Sinclair: 2016 Arctic Sea Ice (new video!)

by Peter Sinclair, Climate Denial Crock of the Week, October 17, 2016



I included interviews here with David Barber, one of the truly important experts in the area, that I conducted on the first leg of this year’s crowd funded Dark Snow Field work, at a meeting in Lund, Sweden.

You’ll also see Ted Scambos, lead scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center

Important points: although this year did not set a new record low for sea ice minimum, the kind of ice loss we did see, and the mechanism of that loss, show that, even in a year when the months of greatest insolation, July and August, were not particularly conducive to melt, we can still see dramatic losses.

Also, important fun fact – although we generally assume that since the ice is melting, it automatically makes human endeavors in polar regions easier and safer. Not so.
Barber points out some counter-intuitive processes that make the Arctic more unpredictable, and at least for now, just as challenging if not more so than in the past.

https://climatecrocks.com/2016/10/17/new-video-2016-arctic-sea-ice/

Thursday, October 13, 2016

NC WARN Sues State of North Carolina and Regulators for Blocking Court Access in Long-running Climate Fight

NEWS RELEASE                                                                                          Contact: Jim Warren
October 12, 2016                                                                                                           919-416-5077
                                                  
NC WARN Sues State of North Carolina and Regulators for
Blocking Court Access in Long-running Climate Fight

Duke Environmental Law & Policy Clinic attorneys challenge constitutionality of two laws – from 2015 and 1965 – in a case that could derail Duke Energy plans to build $30 billion in fracked-gas power plants and pipelines

Durham, NC – In a case that goes to the heart of Duke Energy’s corporate business plan, climate protection nonprofit NC WARN today filed a lawsuit against the State of North Carolina and its utility regulators over two state laws passed 50 years apart.  The group, represented by attorneys for the Duke Environmental Law & Policy Clinic, say a 2015 law passed specifically to allow Duke Energy to shortcut the approval process for a large, fracked-gas power plant in Asheville violates both the state and federal constitutions.

NC WARN also contends that the NC Utilities Commission shielded itself from an appeals court review of the $1 billion Duke Energy project by invoking a never before used law from 1965 to require a $98 million bond that unconstitutionally locked the courthouse doors.  The lawsuit says no other state allows its regulators to invoke a bond to block a power plant appeal.

The lawsuit seeks to have a NC Superior Court panel deem both laws unconstitutional so that Duke Energy cannot rely on similar shortcut approvals and court-blocking bonds for the 15-20 fracked-gas plants it plans to build in the Carolinas by 2030. 

The suit itself would not stop Duke Energy’s controversial Asheville project, which is just getting underway.  A separate case by NC WARN and The Climate Times contesting both the shortcut approval and a $98 million bond order by the NC Utilities Commission is still being fought at the NC Court of Appeals.  The groups insist that a full hearing must finally be conducted, and that case could well go to the State Supreme Court.  

Jim Warren, executive director of NC WARN said today, “The General Assembly gave special favors to a powerful special interest.  But it is plainly unconstitutional for politicians and regulators to allow the giant Duke Energy monopoly to keep building power plants without careful, open review.”

He said the 2015 law led the Commission to approve Duke Energy’s Asheville plant without adequate scrutiny and information, thus creating a financial burden for customers that is wholly unnecessary due to a regional glut of power supply.  Also, a climate expert for NC WARN – who was not allowed to testify – said the plant would be disastrous for the fight to slow the accelerating climate crisis.

The largest US electricity provider, Duke Energy is greatly expanding its burning of fracked gas despite burgeoning evidence that the natural gas industry has become the leading driver of US greenhouse emissions.  Cornell researchers and others say a large amount of unburned gas – which is mostly methane, a super-potent heat trapper – is spewing into the air throughout the US natural gas system, making gas burned to generate electricity even worse for the climate than coal.  

Critics also say the gas industry and regulators have grossly overstated supplies of shale gas, perpetuating a Ponzi-scheme of drilling even as production quickly declines.  

Among the lawsuit’s key constitutional challenges:

Ø   Violation of the fundamental principles of due process, separation of powers and open access to the courts.  The complaint alleges that the NC Utilities Commission cannot constitutionally prevent the courts from reviewing Commission orders by setting excessive bonds that prevent parties from challenging those orders before the State’s appeals courts.

Ø  By granting Duke Energy a shortcut approval process, the General Assembly violated the State’s requirement that monopolies be strictly regulated and provide an ascertainable public benefit, satisfying an actual public need; the State Constitution otherwise prohibits monopolies, saying they are “contrary to the genius of a free state.”
The lawsuit seeks a declaratory ruling from the Wake County Superior Court that would prevent the State from allowing Duke Energy to use the shortcut approval process for large shale-gas power plants it plans to build.  It also seeks to prevent the Commission from blocking court review of its own decisions by imposing multi-million dollar bond requirements as a condition of a court appeal.

Warren added today: “Duke Energy clearly cannot win an open debate over the need for new fracked gas plants and their disastrous climate impacts.  The regulators have protected Duke from that vitally needed debate – a protection not allowed in any other state – and we’re calling on the courts to correct that massive injustice.”

Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Daily Climate Weekend Environment Reader


EIA: US residential electricity prices set to decline for first time since 2002.
During the first six months of 2016, U.S. residential customers paid on average $0.124/kWh, or 0.7% lower than the same period last year, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Utility Dive.  
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Editor comments: This is precisely the opposite of what many coal supporters have predicted, like this piece from 2014.-PD

VIDEO: PM Modi talks to David Letterman about climate change and clean energy.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that if the world helps him with technology, he will be the first person to 'switch over to clean energy completely'. Firstpost, India.  
Hurricane Matthew: Haiti battles cholera outbreak.
Hurricane-ravaged Haiti is struggling to cope with a rise in cholera cases with officials warning that contaminated water and a lack of hygiene are posing a risk to thousands of people in the impoverished country. Al Jazeera.  
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Editor comments: Haiti has been battling cholera outbreaks since the 2010 earthquake, when it is believed that aid workers inadvertently imported the disease.-PD
Analysis: Will climate change come up in the second presidential debate?
By any reasonable measure, climate change is a serious issue that is worthy of significant attention during the presidential debates. Yet as our debate scorecard documented, the topic was ignored by the moderators of the first presidential debate and the vice-presidential debate, further heightening the need for ABC’s Martha Raddatz and CNN’s Anderson Cooper to lead a substantial climate discussion when Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump square off on October 9. Media Matters.  
Matthew becomes post-tropical as it begins to move away from the U.S.
Matthew became a post-tropical cyclone just off the coast of North Carolina early Sunday morning. The Weather Channel.  
San Francisco Bay ecosystem collapsing as rivers diverted, scientists report.
news story photo
Evidence of what scientists are calling the planet’s Sixth Mass Extinction is appearing in San Francisco Bay and its estuary, the largest on the Pacific Coast of North and South America, according to a major new study. San Francisco Chronicle, California.  
What Changed the World This Week

The Paris climate agreement is entering into force. Now comes the hard part.
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The European Parliament voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to ratify the Paris climate accord, a move that will make the sweeping international agreement a legal reality long before even those who negotiated it expected. Washington Post.  
Americans bought more EVs last month than ever before.
US plug-in vehicle sales reached a quarterly record for the three-month period that ended September 30, as demand improved for plug-in models such as the Tesla Model S battery-electric vehicle and the Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). AutoBlog.  
McConnell vows to keep up pro-coal fight during next administration.
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he won’t back down from fighting certain environmental regulations during the next president’s term. The Hill, District of Columbia.  
Saved by 20 miles: Hurricane Matthew could have been much worse in Florida.
Hurricane Matthew continues to batter the coast of Florida as it crawls northward, but the devastation could have been much worse if the hurricane had passed 20 miles closer to the Space Coast shore, according to meteorologists. Florida Today, Florida.  
Seas rising but Florida keeps building on the coast.
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Sea level rise as a result of global warming is not stopping developers of Florida’s coast.ClimateWire.  
Analysis: Why did the Obamas fail to take on corporate agriculture?
Eight years ago this month, I published in these pages an open letter to the next president titled, “Farmer in Chief.” “It may surprise you to learn,” it began, “that among the issues that will occupy much of your time in the coming years is one you barely mentioned during the campaign: food.” New York Times.  
Oil clout ebbs in Alaska as billions in tax credits are cut.
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Four decades after unlocking America’s biggest oilfield, Alaska and its drillers are drifting apart. Bloomberg Markets Magazine.  
How a former reporter is helping big oil and gas frack the news.
Oil and gas industry officials and regulators looking to influence media coverage of fracking, a controversial method for extracting natural gas, have received advice from someone who really knows how newsrooms work: a former Denver Post investigative reporter. Huffington Post.  
Syrian seed bank gets new home away from war.
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A major seed bank in Aleppo, Syria, holds genes that might help researchers breed crops to survive climate change. But the conflict tearing the country apart has rendered the bank largely inaccessible for the past four years. Nature.  
Californians stopped saving so much water this summer.
Mandatory water cuts ended in most California cities this summer, and the results have been predictable. In August, Golden State city-dwellers used just 18 percent less water than they did in the same month in 2013, the Los Angeles Times reports. Pacific Standard.  
Six scientists, 1,000 miles, one prize: The Arctic bumblebee.
One hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle, by the side of a dusty road, two women in anti-mosquito head nets peer at a queen bumblebee buzzing furiously in a plastic tube. New York Times.  
How global warming is changing how we play outside.
news story photo
Climate change is affecting America’s recreation meccas—from Yosemite to Yellowstone—in profound ways. As the planet heats up and weather patterns shift, so will the ways we interact with the outdoors. Outside.  
This scientist just shredded conservatives for making up ‘absurd’ Hurricane Matthew conspiracies.
A scientist from the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University slammed conservative conspiracy mongers like Matt Drudge and Rush Limbaugh for urging people not to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Matthew. Raw Story.  
India ratifies Paris climate change agreement.
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India, which accounts for about 4.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, ratified the Paris climate change agreement Sunday at the United Nations, officials said. Associated Press.  
Hurricane protection project underway near New Orleans.
The federal government will pay a firm more than $7 million to tear out and replant trees in a forested part of Avondale, a task intended to complement the West Bank's hurricane protection project. New Orleans Times-Picayune, Louisiana.  
In rural Bangladesh, solar power dents poverty.
news story photo
Microfinance and small rooftop panels can transform lives in a country where the electric grid reaches just 25 percent of the population. New York Times.  
North Sea oil spills reach record high.
Spills from North Sea oil rigs have reached a 14-year high, according to a UK Government report obtained by the Sunday Herald. Herald Scotland, United Kingdom.  
Next ‘renewable energy’: Burning forests, if Senators get their way.
news story photo
The president’s Clean Power Plan is being fought by 28 states, and a bipartisan group of senators who want burning wood for electricity to be considered carbon neutral. New York Times.  
Warning to forest destroyers: This scientist will catch you.
Matthew Hansen uses satellites to spot deforestation as it happens. Nature.  

Bringing light to the darkness: Illiterate women trained as solar technicians.
There are 1.2 billion people in the world living without electricity. An Indian organization hopes to change that by training illiterate woman to become solar technicians. Der Spiegel.  
The Mix

For Exxon, hybrid car technology was another road not taken.
Exxon’s ambitious work on powering clean vehicles 40 years ago parallels its cutting-edge research on climate change during the same era. InsideClimate News.  
Will climate change sink the Mekong Delta?
news story photo
No delta region in the world is more threatened by climate change. Will Vietnam act in time to save it? Mongabay.  
Planet at its hottest in 115,000 years thanks to climate change, experts say.
Global warming is said to be bringing temperatures last seen during an interglacial era, when sea level was 6-9 meters (20-30 ft) higher than today. The Guardian.  
Reykjavík: The geothermal city that aims to go carbon neutral.
news story photo
Reykjavík used to be marketed as a place of “pure energy”, run on geothermal power – and now Iceland’s capital is trying to become the world’s first carbon neutral city. The Guardian
Ethanol in US gas tanks is backfiring for climate change.
A team of researchers has concluded that for every three gallons of corn ethanol that’s being burned under America’s flagship renewable fuel rules, Americans will avoid burning just one gallon of gasoline made from crude. Climate Central.  
Blankenship to send out 250,000 booklets declaring innocence.
Three weeks before a federal appeals court will hear Don Blankenship’s challenge of his criminal conviction, the former Massey Energy CEO says he is sending out 250,000 copies of a booklet in which he proclaims his innocence. Charleston Gazette-Mail, West Virginia.  
Opinions

When the next hurricane hits Texas.
Imagine a hurricane, a hurricane like Matthew, aimed straight at the heart of the American petrochemical industry. Unfortunately for us, we’re still not very good at controlling the future.New York Times.  
A military view on climate change: It's eroding our national security and we should prepare for it.
In this presidential election year we have heard much about some issues, such as immigration and trade, and less about others. For example, climate change was discussed for an estimated 82 seconds in the first presidential debate last week, and for just 37 minutes in all presidential and vice presidential debates since the year 2000. The Conversation.  
Is the media to blame for climate inaction?
For years climate reporting had two strands: climate science got more alarming as we got closer and closer to exceeding various warming thresholds, and climate diplomacy and public policy were a relatively unbroken saga of disappointment and delay. EcoWatch.  
Paul Krugman: What about the planet?
Our two major political parties are at odds on many issues, but nowhere is the gap bigger or more consequential than on climate. New York Times.  
Beyond the headlines.
In this week’s trip Beyond the Headlines, Peter Dykstra laments with host Steve Curwood the potential loss of several iconic ecological treasure spots and provides an update on sexual harassment charges against the National Park Service and other science institutions. For the weekly history lesson, he recalls partial meltdown of the Fermi nuclear power plant in Michigan, kept secret for years. Living On Earth.  
Hurricane Matthew looks a lot like climate change.
As Hurricane Matthew continues to churn through the Atlantic, leaving more than 260 dead in the Caribbean and threatening the Florida coast, the focus must be on public safety. CNN
Putting carbon back in the land is just a smokescreen for real climate action.
Using land carbon to “offset” our fossil fuel emissions is ultimately a smokescreen for real climate action. The Conversation, Australia.  
The coming public health disaster.
High temperatures are disrupting global ecosystems and food production, causing more extreme weather events and wildfires, threatening coastal communities with accelerated sea level rise and creating the perfect conditions for deadly diseases to spread. US News & World Report.  
Editorials

Haiti’s new catastrophe.
Hurricane Matthew battered Florida and points north on Friday, having already wreaked deadly havoc in the Bahamas, Jamaica, Cuba and Haiti. All those along its path need aid and protection and, when the wind and rain end, swift help in rebuilding. New York Times.  
For life, not for an afterlife.
Seeking to make Earth expendable is not a good reason to settle other planets. Economist
Natives, oil and gas, and a search for common ground.
There is at least a glimmer of hope that the Canadian oil and gas industry and the First Nations will not always be in inexorable conflict. Globe and Mail, Ontario.  
Climate change must be a bigger part of election discussion.
The future of the planet might not make for compelling TV. It certainly should make a compelling reason to vote. Philadelphia Daily News, Pennsylvania.  
Hurricane Matthew brings our community together.
South Florida isn't known as the most down-homuth Florida isn't known as the most down-home, neighborly area. This is a region where most of us hail from somewhere else, where some of us don't make close friends, where we often don't know our next-door neighbor.e, neighborly area. This is a region where most of us hail from somewhere else, where some of us don't make close friends, where we often don't know our next-door neighbor. South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Florida.