Category Archives: Climate

Auditor General DePasquale: State’s Unfocused Efforts on Climate Change Crisis Risk Lives, Drive Costs to Taxpayers, Economy

News release from the Office of the PA Auditor General

Proactively addressing infrastructure needs would create new jobs

HARRISBURG (Nov. 13, 2019) – Auditor General Eugene DePasquale today said Pennsylvania must proactively plan for the changing climate, a problem that already threatens public safety and drives significant new costs for taxpayers.

“The longer we fail to act, the greater the risks to our environment, our economy and our future,” DePasquale said. “Climate change is a challenge that also presents an opportunity: by acting and investing now, we can not only save lives but also protect our economy and create jobs along the way.”

According to the U.S. Global Change Research Program, made up of 13 federal agencies, Earth’s climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization. A major report issued by the program late last year details threats to public health and safety from extreme heat and flooding; concerns about severe weather impacts on aging power, water, sewer and transportation systems; and the impact of altered ecosystems on rural communities, farming, forestry and tourism.

DePasquale released a special report, “Climate Crisis: The Rising Cost of Inaction,” which noted that severe weather is already costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars a year and that state government needs to do more to mitigate future impacts.

“My team and I documented at least $261 million in climate-related costs to Pennsylvania in 2018 alone in this report,” DePasquale said. “Half of that amount, $125.7 million, was in infrastructure damage statewide caused by record-breaking floods and landslides.”…

Read more and download the special report at the Office of the PA Auditor General.

CCL’s Danny Richter talks about H.R. 763 on NPR’s 1A

email from Citizens’ Climate Lobby, 10/9/19

The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act got some major media exposure recently when it was the topic of conversation on the NPR show 1A. CCL VP for Government Affairs Danny Richter was among a panel of guests talking about carbon pricing. He said the thing that sets H.R. 763 apart is the steep rate of increase for the carbon fee and the fact that revenue is returned to households.

Why has this bill gained traction? Danny said CCL worked outside the Beltway, “educating people in [nearly all] districts and teaching them about this policy… then they’ve been going back to the Beltway and building support there. So the key for us has been to go outside of the Beltway.”

Listen to Danny’s interview on 1A and share the program on social media.

The 17 Sustainable Development goals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Richard Whiteford at the Climate Action Summit at the UN, taken 9/23/19

See more on the 17 goals here.

“The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice. The Goals interconnect and in order to leave no one behind, it ís important that we achieve each Goal and target by 2030….” And also:

How does climate change relate to sustainable development?

Climate change is already impacting public health, food and water security, migration, peace and security. Climate change, left unchecked, will roll back the development gains we have made over the last decades and will make further gains impossible.

Investments in sustainable development will help address climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and building climate resilience.

Conversely, action on climate change will drive sustainable development.

Tackling climate change and fostering sustainable development are two mutually reinforcing sides of the same coin; sustainable development cannot be achieved without climate action. Conversely, many of the SDGs are addressing the core drivers of climate change.

Here are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals:
Goal 1 End poverty in all its forms everywhere
Goal 2 End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
Goal 3 Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Goal 4 Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
Goal 5 Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Goal 6 Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
Goal 7 Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Goal 8 Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Goal 9 Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
Goal 10 Reduce inequality within and among countries
Goal 11 Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Goal 12 Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Goal 13 Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*
Goal 14 Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
Goal 15 Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
Goal 16 Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
Goal 17 Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

There’s no time left for business-as-usual; the climate crisis is here

from DC Climate Strike, 9/20/19

On September 20th, hundreds of thousands of young people across the globe are taking to the streets to take a stand, many of whom were inspired by the actions and words of Swedish student Greta Thunberg. They include and will join Indigenous peoples, as well as Black and Brown communities on the frontlines, who have been leading the climate movement and building a regenerative future in the midst of the climate emergency. We are inspired by First Nations, who are waging some of the most powerful fights of our time against fossil fuel infrastructure.

People around the world are experiencing superstorms, floods, droughts, and wildfires at unprecedented rates, with low-income communities and communities of color hit first and worst. Cruelly, communities and regions being devastated already by the effects of climate change tend to be the least responsible for its onset. It is not a coincidence that climate impacts strike along the lines of race and class so starkly; climate change is a product of the same processes which cement racism and wealth inequality in our country and our world.

The transition off of fossil fuels is inevitable; justice is not. To achieve Climate Justice, we must not only decarbonize the atmosphere, but also decolonize and democratize our economies and our communities. Shutting down the nation’s capital could be our best shot at starting this justice-based transition; we need a broad-based coalition that emphasizes the overlap of our struggles. We look to the recent passage of the Climate & Communities Protection Act by New York Renews, a coalition led by Black, Brown, and labor organizations, for inspiration.

To achieve something as monumental as shutting down DC, we are going to need everyone to step up. We need everyone’s creativity, everyone’s energy, everyone’s insights, and everyone’s ideas. Every single person has skills and experience to contribute to the strike.

We do not take this action lightly. We know that this shutdown will cause massive disruption to people who bear little responsibility for the climate catastrophe we are facing. But we will also cause massive disruption for politicians, huge corporations and the lobbyists who control our government. We need to fundamentally change the power structure of the United States if we want to stop the climate crisis, and shutting down DC is a big step in the right direction.

This is the mass uprising that everyone with climate anxiety has been waiting for. This is an uprising for life itself, fighting back against the forces of destruction. This is your chance to take action to save the people, plants, and animals you love. Let’s rise up and shut down DC!

Dr. Jonathan Haidt on how moral psychology can inform climate advocacy

By Sara Wanous, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, 9/18/19 [Bad news from Dr. Haidt: data and reasoning don’t convince people! Briefly: we react by intuition before understanding; if a position doesn’t fit our own preconceived morality, it’s hard to convince us; our views hang together with those of the group we identify with. But isn’t our society’s underlying social ethos broadly shared? Not even close: “progressives give very high ratings to care and fairness as equality. Social conservatives rank care lower, view fairness as proportionality, and rank loyalty, authority, and sanctity higher.” Merits a detailed read.]

Each month, Citizens’ Climate Lobby hosts an online meeting featuring a guest speaker to educate listeners on topics related to climate change, carbon fee and dividend, and the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. Check out recaps of past speakers here.

Citizens’ Climate Lobby is dedicated to bringing people across the political spectrum together on climate solutions. Our work on bipartisanship and relationship building is informed by experts committed to engaging more effectively with those who think differently than us, like Dr. Jonathan Haidt.

Dr. Jonathan Haidt is a professor of Ethical Leadership at the NYU Stern School of Business and the author of several books on the intersection of psychology and politics, including “The Coddling of the American Mind,” “The Righteous Mind,” and “The Happiness Hypothesis.” Most recently, Dr. Haidt has adapted one of his classes into an online learning platform called Open Mind to help people achieve just that. Dr. Haidt joined Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s September monthly call to share his expertise in moral psychology and how these lessons can help bring people together on climate solutions. …

read more and view video at Citizens’ Climate Lobby

Global Climate Strike in West Chester Sept. 20!

West Chester Green Team

By Katrin

Don’t forget to come tomorrow to the Global Climate Strike in West Chester. It starts at 11:00 am at the Chester County Courthouse. We want to show the politicians that there are people out there who care for the future of our planet and are even willing to skip school or work.

After the rally there is going to be an
information event from 1:00 – 2:30 pm at the Academic Quad on the Campus
of West Chester University. Bring your strike signs and a lot of
motivation!

And if you’re still motivated, join us during the International Peace march on Saturday. At noon there is going to be a peace commemoration at the Courthouse and at 2:00 pm the Climate Action and Peace Rally starts.

Grab some friends and come to these important events. Time is running out – we need to act now!

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Fracking Boom in U.S. and Canada Largely to Blame for Global Methane Spike, Study Finds

By Julia Conley, Common Dreams, Aug 15

New research by a scientist at Cornell University warns that the fracking boom in the U.S. and Canada over the past decade is largely to blame for a large rise in methane in the earth’s atmosphere — and that reducing emissions of the extremely potent greenhouse gas is crucial to help stem the international climate crisis.

Professor Robert Howarth examined hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, over the past several decades, noting the fracking boom that has taken place since the first years of the 21st century. Between 2005 and 2015, fracking went from producing 31 billion cubic meters of shale gas per year to producing 435 billion cubic meters.

Nearly 90 percent of that fracking took place in the U.S., while about 10 percent was done in Canada….

read more and see links at Common Dreams