Identifying a realistic worst case scenario is complicated.
How hot will the world be in 2100? The answer partly depends on how much carbon we dump in the atmosphere between now and then. It also depends on how sensitive the climate system is to those emissions. Scientists have used 4.5 °C as the high end of the likely possibilities. That estimate derives from …CONTINUE READING
State and Local Governments’ Common Law-Based Lawsuits Against the Energy Industry Are Steadily Gaining Traction
The latest chapter in American climate change litigation has been launched by local governments–and one state–across the U.S. against domestic and international fossil fuel companies. These lawsuits have been brought under one of the oldest and most venerable legal doctrines–state common law. They seek compensation from the energy industry for the myriad, adverse effects of …CONTINUE READING
Surprise, surprise, EPA has tried to stonewall an investigation.
EPA’s Acting Inspector General Charles J. Sheehan took the extraordinary step last week of notifying Congress that EPA was stonewalling his investigation of potential misconduct involving EPA’s Chief of Staff. This was a gutsy move for Sheehan, especially given the extra vulnerability created by his Acting status. Sheehan, it is worth noting, is a career …CONTINUE READING
The Trump Administration continues its campaign to suppress science.
The Trump Administration’s hostile attitude toward science has continued unabated. The Administration has used a triad of strategies: efforts to defund research, suppression of scientific findings, and embrace of fringe science. Budget.Administration continues to favor deep cuts in research support. Its initial 2020 budget proposal calls for a 13% cut to the National Science Foundation, a 12% cut at …CONTINUE READING
Originally, an April Fool was someone who didn’t realize the times are changing.
April Fool’s jokes are a curious tradition, and I started to wonder where this custom came from. The origins of April Fool’s Day aren’t known with certainty, but there’s reason to connect it with blindness to change. In 1582, France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. This meant that the year began …CONTINUE READING
If we probably cannot keep global warming within agreed-upon limits by reducing emissions alone, how could we?
Next week, the international body responsible for assessing climate change will release a special report on the 1.5°C target, an ambitious, international goal to limit global warming that became part of the Paris Agreement in 2015. The report might mark a significant turning point for how policy makers, the scientific community, and others think about …CONTINUE READING
The Administration allowed a key scientific report to come out. They’ll have trouble explaining it away.
The release of the Fourth National Climate Assessment got some attention from the press. The press mostly focused on the forthright endorsement of climate science by the NCA4 report — something of a surprise in the anti-science Trump Administration. That was indeed notable, but there are other features of the report that will make it …CONTINUE READING
The Trump Administration is doubling down on its efforts to silence politically inconvenient science.
We knew about the Administration’s disdain for scientific evidence from the beginning but the situation has only continued to deteriorate. The campaign against objective science is now becoming embedded within the government. Far more than its predecessors, the Administration has embarked on a campaign to impose political control on science within the government and in …CONTINUE READING
Today’s important ruling on standing, public lands, and climate change
In an important ruling this morning, the Tenth Circuit rejected the government’s assertion that it could ignore carbon emissions tied to renewing coal leases. In WildEarth Guardians v. BLM, the court also rejected the mining company’s attack on the standing of environmental groups to raise this claim.The mines in question are in the Powder River …CONTINUE READING
With the enthusiastic support of the House Science Committee, Trump is out to shackle scientific inquiry.
Trump’s anti-science views, on topics ranging from climate change to vaccines, got a lot of attention during the campaign. His budget puts these attitudes into operational form, and he has also left the White House science office empty, without replacing the presidential science advisor or other scientific staff. But he’s certainly not alone in his …CONTINUE READING