Climate Change

Still Not SAFE

The Trump administration moves ahead with plans to roll back Obama-era fuel economy standards.

After months of delay, the Trump administration has reportedly chosen this coming week—in the middle of a nationwide crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic—to finally release the second part of its two-part rollback of Obama-era automotive fuel economy standards.  This isn’t the only environmental rollback action the administration is planning to take during the coming …

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While You Were Sleeping: Coronavirus Apparently Won’t Stop Trump Environmental Rollbacks

EPA May Roll Back Car Standards Next Week

The New York Times is reporting that, despite the corona crisis and the shelter in place orders affecting people around the country, Andrew Wheeler is pressuring his EPA staff  to release a finalized rule rolling back  greenhouse gas emissions/fuel economy standards for cars.  These EPA staff are for the most part working from home with …

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How the Coronavirus is (Not) Like Climate Change

Coronavirus

The two have some informative parallels, although some observers draw the wrong conclusions

The coronavirus dominates the news and much of our minds. Here at Legal Planet, we have written about the coronavirus and presidential powers, disaster declarations, fossil fuel production, decision-making under uncertainty, inequality, and cities. I will join the party and consider what are the parallels and differences between the coronavirus crisis and anthropogenic climate change, …

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Court Rejects Trump Administration’s Cap-and-Trade Lawsuit Against California

Federal Government’s Constitutional Challenge to California’s Linked GHG Reduction Plan Fails

Since President Trump took office in early 2017, the State of California has filed over 70 different lawsuits challenging the Trump Administration’s policy initiatives on multiple fronts, including the environment, immigration policy and health care.  Over 40 of California’s lawsuits have targeted the Administration’s efforts to roll back longstanding federal environmental protection, natural resource management …

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Global Crisis and the Urgency of Phasing Out Oil and Gas Production

Considering long-term climate needs in near-term crisis responses

As the covid-19 crisis threatens a global recession and sharply cuts travel demand, compounding the damage caused by the oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, US and international oil prices are hitting historic lows, driving turmoil throughout the industry and threatening a rash of bankruptcies, stranded projects, and job losses. These recent developments …

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Does Being Conservative Have to Mean Ignoring Risks?

Florida’s Ron DeSantis doesn’t seem to think so.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis shows that it’s possible to be a staunch conservative and still be honest about the risks of climate change and the coronavirus.

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How Hot Will Things Get?

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 …

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Europe Mulls its First Climate Law

European Union flag

What would it do in terms of emissions targets and likely actual mitigation?

The European Union is, if one treats it as a country, the world’s third greatest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHGs). It has also been a leader in emissions reduction (“mitigation”), and its per capita emissions are merely 43% of the US’s. The EU government is presently considering a major new climate law that will set …

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Heathrow’s Third Runway and Airport GHG Emissions

California’s potential opportunity to lead through local action

Late last month, a UK court blocked a proposed new runway at London’s Heathrow Airport, ruling that the project conflicted with the national government’s commitment under the 2015 Paris Agreement. The court held that project planners improperly failed to assess the proposal’s consistency with the UK government’s ratified plan to help meet the Paris target …

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The Right Wing’s Views of Coronavirus and Climate Change

There’s a common theme: “nothing to worry about, folks.”

It’s interesting to see what conservative think tanks are saying about the coronavirus and compare it with their views on climate change.  There are some common themes — both problems tend to get downplayed, along with any possible need for major government action.  Like Trump himself, the conservative think tanks seem unable to process scientific …

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