Trump Effect: Trashing The Country

national parks

I see that Scott Pruitt intends to roll back the Clean Power Plan put in place during the Obama administration.  Pruitt’s devotion to fossil fuel interests and his determination to eviscerate the agency he heads is, if anything, stronger than ever. To hell with clean air and water, or for that matter, the future of the planet. The Guardian recently looked at […]

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A Disquieting Possibility: Climate Change & Plants’ Nutritional Value

climate change and crops

Could climate change be making us fat? Politico has published an article from a series on the future of health that suggests the answer may be yes. The article began by describing a 1998 experiment in which scientists made algae grow faster in order to provide more food for zooplankton. They increased the algae by shining more light onto them, and gave the […]

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Lessons From Houston

I wonder if we will learn anything from the pictures of devastation coming from Houston. Leave aside the contentious arguments over climate change, and the degree to which it contributed to the severity of the storm. There were other omens even denialists should have been able to appreciate. Last year, for example, a ProPublica/Texas Tribune investigation found that officials charged with addressing Houston’s […]

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Row, Row, Row Your Boat – And Raise That Airport

climate change and sea level rise

I try to read pretty broadly–both to inform myself and to come up with fodder for this blog. But I’ll admit that my reading materials of choice ordinarily would be unlikely to include Engineering News Record, which bills itself as “The Construction Resource.” However, my husband, a retired architect, subscribes and reads it religiously, and I have to admit the publication […]

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Policy For Dummies: Trump’s Handout To Coal Executives

Policy For Dummies: Trump's Handout To Coal Executives

Permit me to channel–okay, parody– Elizabeth Barrett Browning. How do I ridicule thee? Let me count the ways. I sneer to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach… President Trump–in his obsessive effort to eradicate anything and everything that his predecessor did (he was black, you know)– has reversed Obama’s moratorium on new leases for coal mining […]

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Nature Abhors a Vacuum: Tackling Climate Change in the Trump Era

climtate change and public health

The dominance of climate-change deniers in the Trump cabinet, and Trump’s own dismissal of science and expertise–exemplified by his withdrawal from the Paris Accords–has rational people understandably depressed and worried. Fortunately, policy is not made or implemented exclusively at the federal level. Earlier this month, the New York Times reported that California Governor Jerry Brown had announced his own global summit. Gov. Jerry […]

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Reality Doesn’t Care Whether You Believe It (Part II)

Trump anti intellectualism - make america think again

One of the defining features of our time is increasing complexity; the rapid growth and sophistication of technology, the globalization of economics, science and even governance, in short, the accelerating production of vast amounts of knowledge that no one person can hope to master (or even identify). This complexity requires informed and thoughtful policymaking, an understanding of how the various […]

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Reality Doesn’t Care Whether You Believe It (Part I)

Trump anti intellectualism - make america think again

La La Land isn’t just the title of a movie. Increasingly, it’s where our government officials live. The Trump administration is debating whether to launch a governmentwide effort to question the science of climate change, an effort that critics say is an attempt to undermine the long-established consensus human activity is fueling the Earth’s rising temperatures. This effort is being pushed by […]

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Missing the Point: Trump & the Paris Accords

Paris Climate Accords

In the wake of Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Accords, apologists have gone into overdrive. Even those who recognize that climate change is real have pooh poohed the significance of our withdrawal; after all, the goals were voluntary and weak, and anyway, America’s cities and states are stepping up to the plate, so we’ll probably make our goals even without […]

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Trump’s Paris Accord Announcement Omitted An Important Legal Fact

Trump's Paris Accord Announcement Omitted An Important Legal Fact

Donald Trump announced yesterday he is pulling the United States out of the historic Paris climate agreement. As he listed a litany of mostly debunked talking points criticizing the popular accord, Trump stated, “the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord…as of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the nonbinding Paris accord.” The biggest problem with his announcement – a […]

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