WE’RE IN A RACE AGAINST TIME TO PREVENT WIDESPREAD CLIMATE DISASTERS. CAN THE GOOD NEWS OUTPACE THE BAD?
Stay informed with the weekly Good News/Bad News recap from the team at Years of Living Dangerously. Rounding up the news as the Trump’s inaugural proceedings begin, the scales tip towards bad news for the climate this week.
The Good News
OBAMA DOUBLES U.S. CONTRIBUTION TO THE GREEN CLIMATE FUND
One piece of the Paris Climate Agreement, the Green Climate Fund provides assistance to less developed countries as they work to adapt to climate change. In his final days in office, Obama deposited $500 million into the fund, bringing the U.S. contribution up to $1 billion since 2016. However, the U.S. has pledged another $2 billion in climate aid, but it’s unclear if Donald Trump will keep that promise. Read More
SOLAR IS THE BIGGEST ENERGY EMPLOYER IN THE U.S.
Not only is the number of solar panels in the U.S. growing at a rapid clip, the number of people employed by the solar industry is growing too. According to a new report from the U.S. Department of Energy, the solar industry employs more workers than coal, oil and natural gas combined. Last year, the solar workforce grew by 25 percent. Read More
EPA HOLDS FIRM ON FUEL STANDARDS
The Environmental Protection Agency said it will not weaken fuel efficiency standards which aim to significantly lower pollution from cars and trucks. Put in place in 2012, the standards were being reviewed by the EPA after automakers protested that it would be too difficult to meet the requirements by 2022-2025 deadlines. However, after review, the agency has determined that sufficient technology is available to auto manufactures to meet the standards. Republicans looking to reverse the decision will have a difficult time doing so, according to legal experts. Read More
The Bad News
WYOMING CONSIDERS OUTLAWING CLEAN ENERGY
A measure proposed by in the Wyoming state legislature this week would forbid utilities from providing energy from large-scale wind or solar projects. That’s bad for both the climate and energy customers: wind is one of Wyoming’s most abundant untapped resources, and its cost is lower than coal. Burning coal accounts for about 90 percent of energy currently generated in the state. Read More
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT COULD HAND OFF LAND TO STATES
Republican members of the House of Representatives are laying the groundwork to give federal lands over to state control. The Representatives took the step of discounting the $646 billion dollars of annual revenue generated by these nationally managed areas, which currently comprises 640 million acres. Giving states control over these areas, which include National Forests and Federal Wildlife Refuges, could result in restricting public access and opening them up for oil and gas drilling. Read More
IT’S OFFICIAL: 2016 BROKE THE HEAT RECORD
NASA and NOAA officially declare 2016 to be the hottest year ever recorded. This is now the third year in a row to break that record. Temperatures in the Arctic were especially off the chart, with temperatures 20 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit higher than usual this fall. Read More
NICE WEATHER TO GET RARER
Although some may claim that global warming sounds nice, a new study predicts climate change will cut the number of pleasant days. Although the numbers vary greatly by region, on average the planet will have 10 fewer mild and dry days per year by the end of the century. Read More