Hot News: December 19 - The Years Project

Hot News: December 19

By Climate Nexus

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Trump’s War on Science Sparks Pushback: Senate Democrats on Friday called for a federal investigation into the Trump transition team’s questionnaire sent to the Department of Energy. In a letter to the US Office of Special Counsel, nine senators expressed concerns that the questionnaire violated regulations protecting civil employees from partisan coercion and asked that the Special Counsel “take a close look at the motives” behind the questions targeting climate science. The scientific community has continued to speak out, with Michael Mann writing in a Washington Post op-ed on Friday that scientists “fear an era of McCarthyist attacks on our work and our integrity.” (Letter: Washington Post $, The HillE&E $. Scientists: NPR Weekend EditionTimeMashableCommentary: Washington Post, Michael Mann op-ed $)

Cities Drive Climate Action: The city of Madison, WI will vote today on measures that would take the city towards using 100% renewable energy. Madison is just the latest in cities and states moving forward with clean energy plans: as this weekend’s New York Times outlines, much of the clean energy transmission and emission reductions under a Trump administration is expected to be at the local level. Madison’s vote comes on a wave of local climate action last week, as Portland adopted a citywide electric vehicle strategy, Las Vegas announced it was powered by 100% renewable energy, and Albuquerque’s push for solar was highlighted in Politico. International mayors last week wrote an open letter to their US counterparts in support for American cities’ climate policies. (Cities: New York Times $. Madison: Wisconsin State Journal. Albuquerque: Politico. Las Vegas: E&E $. Portland: E&E $, UtilityDiveInsideClimate News. Mayors’ letter: International Business TimesThe Independent.)

Antarctica Melting From Below: The largest glacier in East Antarctica is melting away from the bottom due to warming water, scientists have confirmed. New researchpublished last week in the journal Science Advances shows that Totten Glacier in Antarctica is experiencing basal melt, caused by warm ocean waters flowing in towards the glacier. This basal melt, the research shows, is causing the glacier to disappear by 32 feet annually. (Washington Post $, ViceClimate Central)

How To Talk To Uncle Bill About Climate Change: Communicating effectively to conservatives about climate change may simply be a matter of finding the right topics and language, two new studies released last week revealed. A post-election poll of over 1,000 registered voters conducted by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication showed broad support among conservatives for developing clean energy, staying in the Paris agreement, and taking action on GHGs (including implementing a carbon tax). Meanwhile, a study published in the journal PNAS demonstrates that messaging focusing on preserving the past increased conservatives’ support for environmental policies. (Yale: E&E $, CNBCNexus Media News. PNAS: QuartzLA Times$, Ars TechnicaNexus Media News.)

US News
  • Mattis stands out as a green voice in Trump’s Cabinet (Politico PRO $)
  • Exxon probes may figure in Tillerson Senate hearings for top diplomat job (USA Today)
  • ExxonMobil helped defeat Russia sanctions bill (Politico)
  • Exxon’s complicated relationship with carbon pricing (ClimateWire $)
  • Experts warn Republicans’ tax-reform plans could increase gas prices (Politico)
  • Donald Trump sends mixed signals on ethanol mandate (WSJ $)
  • Polar bears’ path to decline runs through Alaskan village (New York Times $)
  • What Trump administration might mean for the environment (CBSNBCThe HillViceChristian Science Monitor)
  • Fossil fuel industry’s hopes rise with Trump nominee (The Hill)
  • Trump rejects climate change, but Mar-a-Lago could be lost to the sea (Bloomberg Businessweek)
  • EPA to appeal court-ordered analysis of coal jobs lost (AP)
  • Looming pick will play major role in environmental policy (Greenwire $)
  • EPA chief says Trump has limited room to scrap climate rules (FT $)
  • Actor DiCaprio says climate action is U.S.’s ‘biggest economic opportunity’ (The GuardianThomson Reuters Foundation)
  • Leak reveals Rex Tillerson was director of Bahamas-based US-Russian oil firm (The Guardian)
  • Santorum: Exxon Mobil became ‘alarmist’ on climate change under Tillerson (The Hill)
  • Q&A: Secretary of state pick could affect climate policy (AP)
  • How America lost its ‘commanding lead’ on solar (ClimateWire $)
  • Greens plot campaign around Cabinet confirmation hearings (Greenwire $)
  • DOE earmarks $70M for new carbon storage, transportation programs (UtilityDive)
  • Fossil fuel industry’s hopes rise with Trump nominee (The Hill)
  • ‘Respect the feathers’: who tells Standing Rock’s story? (New York Times $)
  • Only the hardiest remain at Dakota protest camp (Reuters)
  • Massive 2013 oil spill in North Dakota still not cleaned up (AP)
  • Lawyers for Standing Rock protesters are pleading for more help (ThinkProgress)
  • Atmospheric rivers fueled by climate change could decimate wild oysters in San Francisco Bay (LA Times $)
  • Its energy storage’s time to shine (Fox Business)
  • Alaska wildfires linked to climate change (Alaska Public Media)
  • Climate change explained by hip-hop beat (JPR)
  • PACE program seeks to spur investment in clean, efficient energy across Maryland (Baltimore Sun)

World News

  • India to halt building new coal plants in 2022 (Climate Home)
  • Pacific leader invites Tillerson to disappearing nation (ClimateWire $)
  • Boosting women farmers would dramatically cut world hunger: experts (Thomson Reuters Foundation)
  • Farmers in Sudan battle climate change and hunger as desert creeps closer (The Guardian)
  • Busy times at the world’s largest polar bear prison (The Atlantic)
  • The maddening, uncertain reality of sea-level rise (Vox)
  • Africa at highest risk of major economic blow from future climate threats: global index (Thomson Reuters Foundation)
  • Visualizing the invisible drivers of climate change (New York Times $)
  • Agriculture eyed as culprit in global methane emissions spike (InsideClimate News)
  • Kosovan villagers to take coal mine woes to ECHR (Climate Home)
  • EU brandishes climate credentials amid doubts over Trump’s aims (Bloomberg)
  • Emerging nations leading on clean energy, climate goals (ClimateWire $)
  • Why Britain’s coast is doomed (The Guardian)
  • How climate change could affect food prices (Christian Science Monitor)
  • Crop burning in India breeds dense smog (Greenwire $)
  • The 12 key science moments of 2016 (The Guardian)
  • Canada is moving ahead with an aggressive carbon reduction plan (PRI)
  • Time-lapse google maps show how the world Is changing (NPR)

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