from the Center for Biological Diversity
Join the Resistance to Trump’s Attack on Our Environment and Civil Rights
The #Earth2Trump Roadshow is coming to a town near you in January.
Chicago Facebook page here.
The roadshow is rallying and empowering defenders of civil rights and the environment to resist Trump’s dangerous agenda. Stopping in 16 cities on its way to Washington, D.C., it will bring thousands of people to protest at the presidential inauguration. More info here.
Local lawmakers and activists are pushing for Chicago to join a rapidly growing list of cities worldwide that have committed to the fossil fuel divestment movement.
President-elect Trump’s transition team has circulated an unusual 74-point questionnaire that requests the names of all employees and contractors who have attended domestic or international climate change policy conferences, as well as emails associated with the conferences.
The questionnaire appears targeted at climate science research and clean energy programs.
Energy Department employees, who shared the questionnaire with The New York Times and spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, described the questionnaire as unprecedented and worrying.
“These questions don’t just indicate an attack on civil servants here in Washington,” said an Energy Department employee. “They amount to a witch hunt in D.O.E.’s 17 national labs, where scientists have the independence to do their work — yet here are questions that are reminiscent of an inquisition rather than actual curiosity about how the labs work.”
The questionnaire asks for lists of employees involved in key climate change programs, including all those who have attended United Nations climate change conferences. It also asks for lists of employees involved in designing a metric known as the Social Cost of Carbon, a figure used by the Obama administration to measure the economic impact of carbon dioxide pollution, and to justify the economic cost of climate regulations.
It specifically asks which Energy Department programs are essential to meeting the goals of President Obama’s climate change agenda, which Mr. Trump has vowed to roll back.
How Trump Can Influence Climate Change
A Trump administration could weaken or do away with many of the Obama-era policies focused on greenhouse gas emissions.
It includes several questions for the Energy Information Administration, the department’s statistics office, which also measures the nation’s carbon dioxide pollution, asking for justification of its numbers.
“In the Annual Energy Outlook 2016, E.I.A. assumed that the Clean Power Plan should be in the reference case despite the fact that the reference case is based on existing laws and regulations,” the questionnaire reads. “Why did the E.I.A. make that assumption, which seems to be atypical of past forecasts?”
And it includes several questions focused on the national scientific laboratories, including queries on highest salaries, and outside evaluation of research.
Image: John Taggart/Bloomberg/Getty
President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Oklahoma attorney-general Scott Pruitt to lead the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Pruitt, who must be confirmed by the US Senate, is an ardent opponent of federal regulations to curb climate change and has questioned the science underlying global warming. He is one of dozens of state officials who have mounted a legal challenge to President Barack Obama’s limits on greenhouse-gas emissions from power plants — regulations that Trump has promised to repeal.
That case is pending review by the US Supreme Court. If the court agrees to hear the case, the outcome could hinge on whom Trump nominates to fill a vacancy on the nine-member panel of judges. Some experts say that the EPA itself could also seek to repeal the regulations after Trump takes office.
In May, Pruitt made his views on climate science clear in a guest editorial in the National Review that he wrote with Alabama attorney-general Luther Strange. “Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind,” the pair wrote. “That debate should be encouraged — in classrooms, public forums, and the halls of Congress. It should not be silenced with threats of prosecution. Dissent is not a crime.”
Environmentalists blasted Trump for choosing Pruitt, whom they say has put the interests of the fossil-fuel industry before those of the environment and the people of Oklahoma. As well as challenging Obama’s climate regulations, Pruitt has sued the EPA to halt a series of regulations intended to keep air and water clean. In doing so, he has often worked in concert with the same oil, gas and coal companies that he would regulate as EPA chief.
“It’s hard to imagine a more alarming person to run the nation’s Environmental Protection Agency,” says Jeremy Symons, associate vice-president for climate and political affairs at the Environmental Defense Fund, an activist group in New York City. “It’s an unprecedented gamble with an agency that has protected the air we breathe and the water we drink across Republican and Democratic administrations for more than 40 years.”
But Pruitt will have plenty of support from industry officials — many of whom have long asserted that the EPA has overreached its regulatory authority, particularly on climate change.
Scott Segal, a lawyer at the firm Bracewell in Washington DC, which has represented many industry interests, calls Pruitt “a measured and articulate student of environmental law and policy”. Segal adds that Pruitt understands and respects states’ roles in environmental policy, and that his decisions to challenge federal regulations should not disqualify him for the EPA job.
“There is no conflict in faithfully representing your state on litigation dealing with rules of general applicability and then serving your nation as a federal administrative official,” Segal says.
To win Senate approval for the EPA post, Pruitt would require only a simple majority of 51 senators in a body where Republicans will hold at least 51 seats. (A 52nd seat is up for grabs in a 10 December run-off election in Louisiana.) This means that Republicans should have enough votes to approve Pruitt if they stick together.
From the Center for Biological Diversity:
Ready to Fight Trump? Start Here
With President Trump in the White House, people power is more important than ever.
That’s where you come in. When we rise up and speak with one voice, our power multiplies, and with it our ability to enact change.
Trump will be a disaster for our planet, wildlife and the civil rights of people across the country. The Center for Biological Diversity launched the Trump Action Toolkit as a fast and easy way to stand up for what’s right.
Read more here.
Source: Trump Action Toolkit
Jeff VanderMeer & Chana Porter discuss the Octavia Project
“This summer our theme at the Octavia Project is “200 Years in the Future” — we chose this theme for a few reasons. First, it pushes our participants to think about what they want their futures and the futures of their communities to look like. We’re asking them a question “What do you want the future to be like?” and then we’re helping them build the skills to create the answer. While most people agree that scientific discoveries can make the world a better place to live in, we created the Octavia Project to help address the imbalance around who gets to benefit from current and future technologies.
While most people agree that scientific discoveries can make the world a better place to live in, we created the Octavia Project to help address the imbalance around who gets to benefit from current and future technologies.
Along with our theme, this summer we’re learning about the evolution of life on Earth. We are looking at how plants and animals have evolved to where they are today, and then we’re imagining what these plants and animals might be like hundreds of years from now. We’re asking how has life on Earth changed and what conditions or events have made it change.”
Continue reading here.
Support this important project here.