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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on October 21st, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Senate Votes to Raise Revenue by Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

By Juliet Eilperin, The Washington Post

20 October 17

The Senate rejected an amendment Thursday that sought to block a key panel from raising revenue through drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a move that could make it easier for future oil and gas drilling to take place there.

Sen. Maria Cantwell (Wash.), the top Democrat on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, offered a budget amendment that would have removed instructions to the panel to raise an additional $1 billion through federal leasing. It failed 48 to 52 on a largely party-line vote, with only Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Joe Manchin (W.Va.) breaking ranks. Collins voted in favor of Cantwell’s amendment, while Manchin opposed it.

The vote, which came before the Senate approved Republicans’ proposed budget, represented a victory for the GOP and a defeat for environmentalists. The Trump administration is quietly moving to spur energy exploration in the refuge for the first time in more than 30 years by considering whether to allow seismic testing there, but only Congress can determine whether oil and gas drilling can take place within its 19.6 million acres.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who chairs the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, told her colleagues that they should view the budget instructions “as an opportunity to do something constructive for the country.”

“It’s about jobs, and job creation. It’s about wealth and wealth creation,” she said, adding that drilling in the refuge is “not the only option” for how her panel could find $1 billion in new revenue. “But I will tell you it is the best option, and it’s on the table.”

Opponents of the plan say that such operations could imperil the refuge’s wildlife, which include polar bears as well as caribou and migrating waterfowl. David Yarnold, CEO of the National Audubon Society, said in a recent interview that based on recent lease sales, the federal government would likely get only $9 million in revenue if it auctioned off the right to drill on the refuge’s coastal plain.

“It’s just bad math,” Yarnold said, adding that when lawmakers predict this activity could raise $1 billion, “there’s no reason to believe that that’s going to happen.”

But Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) hailed the move as a sign that his state was inching closer to developing an area that’s been shut off from development for years.

“This resolution is another key step that we’ve recently accomplished in a decades-long fight to allow Alaskans to produce energy in our state – something that Alaskans, Democrats, Republicans, independents, overwhelmingly support,” Sullivan said in a statement. “More American energy production means more good-paying jobs, increased economic growth, and a stronger national security.”

Environmentalists said they would continue to fight any move to drill in the refuge, which has been subject to fights in Congress for years.

“Today’s vote is a wakeup call for all Americans. Americans have fought for decades to protect this last remaining truly wild landscape, and are rallying today because they believe in taking action on climate change and want to defend the rights of the Native Gwich’in people,” said Adam Kolton, executive director of the Alaska Wilderness League, in a statement. “Every member of Congress who supported this scheme, to hijack the budget process to do the bidding of oil companies, needs to hear loud and clear that we are determined to defend ‘America’s Serengeti.’”

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on October 20th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Insights, analysis and must reads from CNN’s Fareed Zakaria and the Global Public Square team, compiled by Global Briefing editor Jason Miks.

October 10, 2017

Is Trump Still In Control?

Critics of Donald Trump might applaud apparent efforts by senior officials to work around the President to try to “contain him.” But doing so is setting a dangerous precedent, argues David Frum in The Atlantic.

“To what extent does the president remain in the military chain of command? It seems incredible that the military would outright defy a presidential order,” Frum writes. “But not hearing it? Not understanding it? Not acting on it promptly? Holding back information that might provoke an unwanted presidential reaction?”

“Thank you and congratulations to those officials struggling to protect American security, the Western alliance, and world peace against Donald Trump. But the constitutional order is becoming the casualty of these struggles. The Constitution provides a way to remedy an unfit presidency: the removal process under the 25th amendment. Regencies and palace coups are not constitutional. I dare say many readers would prefer a Mattis presidency to a Trump presidency. But to stealthily endow Secretary Mattis with the powers of the presidency as a work-around of Trump’s abuse of them? That’s a crisis, too, and one sinister for the future. What if Trump is succeeded by a Bernie Sanders-type whom the military and intelligence agencies distrust as much as they distrust Trump: Will they continue the habits they acquired in the Trump years?”

Putin’s Strength Is His Big Weakness
Vladimir Putin’s failure to crack down on violent attacks by Russian Orthodox extremists over a supposedly blasphemous movie underscores the extent to which Russia’s president relies on a nationalist ideology, writes Alexander Baunov in Foreign Affairs. And that may prove to be one of his biggest weaknesses.

“In recent years, Putin has been happy to inculcate a conservative, nationalist ideology in Russia, which much of the Russian Orthodox Church has supported. And he has encouraged protesters, worshippers, and ordinary Russians to propagate this creed to demonstrate that this is a grassroots movement, not something imposed from the top down by the Kremlin,” Baunov writes.

“By doing so, however, Putin has undermined his own authority. In threatening the makers of an innocuous movie with violence and intimidating members of Russia’s cultural elite, the conservative nationalist movement has demonstrated its ugly side, and Putin seems unable to stop it. Doing so would enrage the so-called patriotic part of the political establishment he has emboldened over the last few years.”

Insights, analysis and must reads from CNN’s Fareed Zakaria and the Global Public Square team, compiled by Global Briefing editor Jason Miks.

October 19, 2017

Why the “Workaround Trump” Days are Numbered: Stephens
Until now, foreign powers troubled by the statements emanating from the White House have largely been able to ignore President Trump, or go around him and deal with his senior officials, writes Philip Stephens in the Financial Times. But those days might be numbered.

“Nine months of dealing with a capricious White House has seen allies turn to a policy of ‘workaround’ — ignore the Twitter storms, deal with the grown-ups, notably U.S. defense secretary Jim Mattis, and hope something can be preserved of the old multilateral system beyond the day of Mr Trump’s departure,” Stephens writes.

“The strategy is running out of road. Mr Trump’s disavowal of the Iran nuclear deal threatens to tear up the most successful exercise in collective security for a generation. At best, it destroys the credibility of the U.S. in international efforts peacefully to forestall further nuclear proliferation. Mr Trump might just as well have hung a sign on the White House declaring Washington can no longer be trusted by friends or adversaries alike.”

“Congress could avoid an open breach with America’s allies by declining to re-introduce sanctions against Tehran. The damage to the standing of the U.S., though, has already been done.”

Tillerson’s “Love Letter” to India
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson delivered a rare public speech Wednesday outlining U.S. policy toward India. Call it a “love letter to New Delhi,” write Emily Tamkin and Robbie Gramer for Foreign Policy.

“In terms of defense ties, Tillerson built on growing U.S.-India military cooperation that ramped up late in the Obama administration, calling the two countries ‘bookends of stability’ in a troubled part of the world. He stressed growing defense cooperation between the two countries, and especially the annual three-way military exercises including Japan that are at the center of U.S. efforts to push back against China in the greater Indian Ocean area,” they write.

“But a potential problem is that India has for decades gone its own way in terms of foreign policy — and even with a more pro-Western leader in Prime Minister Narendra Modi, that old notion of ‘nonalignment’ or ‘strategic autonomy’ remains alive and kicking among many Indian policy mandarins. Even in recent years, for example, India has redoubled defense and economic ties with Russia, even while it spurned the U.S.-led trade pact Trans-Pacific Partnership.

“That calculus may slowly be changing in part in response to China’s economic and military transformation, said Milan Vaishnav of the Carnegie Endowment.”

In Vienna, Austria’s President Van der Belen meets at 11 am Mr. Kurz in order to charge him with the formation of next Government. This while in the Czech Republic start elections that will bring to power a government that will loin the Visegrad Group of States of Poland and Hungary that want more decentralization of the EU and backing of Spain in its takeover of Catalonia – so they themselves will not discoverer a call for freedom in their own countries. Austria’s Kurz will lean in that direction as well.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on September 18th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)


NEW REPORT: Regardless of Trump’s indecision on Paris, US states, cities and businesses accelerate climate action.

Yasmin Perez <yperez@maitland.co.uk>
Attachments1:18 PM (1 hour ago)

Following media speculation on the US position on the Paris Agreement, and ahead of Climate Week NYC Helen Clarkson, CEO of The Climate Group has reiterated the findings of a report released today (see below and attached) which shows the climate actions being delivered by US states, cities and businesses can already get the US halfway to delivering its commitments by 2025 under the Paris Agreement.

Please see below and attached the full press release (for immediate release), and do get in touch with me to discuss. Helen Clarkson is available for interview.

Thanks,
Yasmin

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
***ANNOUNCED AT CLIMATE WEEK NYC***

US states, cities and businesses keep US climate action on track

The US can already meet half its climate pledge by 2025 thanks to the unstoppable action of US states, cities and businesses

New initial analysis released at Climate Week NYC today includes 342 commitments coming from 22 US states, 54 cities and 250 businesses headquartered in the US

Because of their leadership and size, large states such as New York, California and Colorado are making the largest contribution to projected greenhouse gas reductions

Cities are generally more ambitious and have crucial role in implementing greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets

Businesses are setting the most ambitious GHG goals (25% reduction in the next ten years)
NEW YORK: The impact from the US decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement could be significantly mitigated thanks to the determined action demonstrated by US states, cities and businesses – a new report shows.

The findings from the report, entitled ‘States, cities and businesses leading the way: a first look at decentralized climate commitments in the US’ authored by NewClimate Institute and The Climate Group and powered by CDP data, show that the US can already meet half of its climate commitments under the Paris Agreement by 2025, if the 342 commitments included in the analysis are implemented.

This report provides the first steps in helping to quantify the contribution of states, cities and business to reduce US greenhouse gas emissions. As more and more commitments emerge, further analysis will be undertaken within the Initiative for Climate Action Transparency (ICAT), where this work originated.

Launched today at the Climate Week NYC Opening Ceremony, Helen Clarkson, Chief Executive Officer, The Climate Group, organizers of Climate Week NYC, said:

“US states, cities and businesses are not waiting for the US federal government to make its position clear on Paris. This new report clearly highlights their unwavering commitment to climate leadership. Importantly, it shows us that climate action is not solely dependent on the actions of national government. US states, cities and businesses have the power to mitigate the consequences of a full Paris pull out.

“At Climate Week NYC, we are highlighting the unstoppable force of action from business and government in tackling climate change, and how this can drive innovation, jobs and prosperity for all – our central theme for the week. Through our work with businesses, states and regions, we will continue to drive the implementation of these goals, so that we can keep global warming well below 2°C.

In the report, the analysis shows that because of their leadership and size, large states such as New York, California and Colorado are making the largest contribution to projected greenhouse gas reductions. In fact, US states alone deliver more than two thirds of the total estimated emissions reductions. However, cities are more ambitious (average of 22% GHG reduction between 2015 and 2025) and crucial for the implementation of specific actions. Businesses currently have the steepest targets, aiming for a 25% reduction in the next ten years.

“Strikingly, there are more reasons to believe that the calculated impact of states, cities and businesses in the report is currently underestimated rather than overestimated”, said Prof. Dr. Niklas Höhne from NewClimate Institute, one of the authors. “We only included currently recorded and quantified commitments and the actors represented in this report currently only represent 44% of total US emissions. Much more action is happening that is not yet recorded or formulated in a quantified way.”

For example, global climate initiatives, such as the Under 2 Coalition, for which The Climate Group acts as Secretariat, and the organization’s RE100 campaign have not yet been fully included in the study although they serve to support individual actors and subnational governments to take on more ambitious climate action, and report on progress.

California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr, said: “Cities, states and businesses are stepping up and taking action to reduce the threat of catastrophic climate change.”

Taking place between September 18-24 in New York City, Climate Week NYC is one of the key summits in the international calendar and has been driving climate action since it was first launched by The Climate Group in 2009. The summit annually takes place alongside the UN General Assembly and brings together international leaders from business, government and civil society to showcase the unstoppable momentum of global climate action. More about this year’s event can be found here.

Other initiatives, including America’s Pledge, are also planning to compile and quantify efforts from U.S. states, cities, businesses and other actors to address climate change in alignment with the Paris Agreement.

Nazneen Nawaz
Head of Media and Corporate Communications, The Climate Group
 NNawaz at TheClimateGroup.org; 020 7960 2716

Prof. Dr. Niklas Höhne (technical enquiries, in NYC)
Founding Partner, The NewClimate Institute

 n.hoehne at newclimate.org; +49 173 715 2279

The “Current administration policies” scenario does not consider the Clean Power Plan because it anticipates the plan’s suspension.

The results presented here represent a collective intent of selected subnational governments, states and cities which may not necessarily happen.

The current analysis only covers a selected set of actions; the analysis results could change over time as more subnational and non-state actors commit to quantifiable mitigation pledges and more relevant data are collected.

The study covers 342 subnational and non-state actions by individual actors – of which 22 are from states, 58 from cities and 262 from companies headquartered in the US. If every commitment by states, cities and companies is fully implemented, then the US greenhouse gas emissions level will reduce to 12-14% below 2005 levels by 2025. This amounts to 340-540 MtCO?e per year reduction from the current administration policies scenario.

About the NewClimate Institute

The NewClimate Institute supports research and implementation of action against climate change around the globe. We generate and share knowledge on international climate negotiations, tracking climate action, climate and development, climate finance and carbon market mechanisms. We connect up-to-date research with the real world decision making processes, making it possible to increase ambition in acting against climate change and contribute to finding sustainable and equitable solutions.

We are committed to delivering high quality results and workable solutions to the public and decision makers. We apply research-oriented, robust approaches, responding to on-the-ground realities. We seek to enhance and foster knowledge sharing and exchange with other institutions and individuals around the globe.

 newclimate.org | @newclimateinst

About The Climate Group:

The Climate Group works internationally with leading businesses, states and regions to deliver a world of net zero greenhouse gas emissions and greater prosperity for all. We are at the forefront of ambitious climate action. Our focus is on collaborative programs with corporate and government partners that deliver impact on a global scale. The Climate Group stimulates action by businesses, states and regions, bringing them together to develop and implement the policies that make change happen. We also communicate their achievements to secure global public acceptance of, and even greater ambition for, a prosperous, net-zero future for all. The Climate Group is an international non-profit with offices in Beijing, London, New Delhi and New York.

 TheClimateGroup.org | @ClimateGroup

About Climate Week:

Climate Week NYC is one of the key summits in the international calendar and has been driving climate action forward since it was first launched in 2009 by The Climate Group. Taking place between September 18-24 in New York City alongside the UN General Assembly, Climate Week NYC 2017 will bring together international leaders from business, government and civil society to showcase the unstoppable momentum of global climate action.

Climate Week NYC is brought to you by The Climate Group
 Climateweeknyc.org | @ClimateWeekNYC | #CWNYC

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on September 18th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Integrated Communities Benefit More from Venture CapitalOLAV SORENSON SEPTEMBER 13, 2017
The less segregated a community is, the more likely people of diverse backgrounds will mix and generate ideas. A new study co-authored by Yale SOM professor Olav Sorenson suggests that this mixing is a boon to venture capital, leading to more innovation and more economic growth.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP INNOVATION, STARTUPS, AND VENTURE CAPITAL
Diversity has long been a goal of businesses, universities, and communities. In addition to providing basic fairness to those who might otherwise be shut out, a diversity of experiences and points of view is believed to be beneficial to organizational performance. A new study co-authored by Professor Olav Sorenson extends this idea by showing that ethnically integrated communities get greater benefit from venture capital investment than more segregated ones.
The benefit to more integrated communities was economically meaningful. The study found that “a city one standard deviation more racially integrated than the average enjoyed at least 30% larger effects of venture capital in terms of promoting innovation and entrepreneurship and creating jobs and wealth.”
“The story is about how more integrated communities bring people together who would never come in contact in those that are more segregated,” said Sorenson, the Frederick Frank ’54 and Mary C. Tanner Professor of Management. “You see not just more startups, but ones that create more value, create more jobs, and create more economic growth.”
Sorenson and his co-author, Sampsa Samila, assistant professor at IESE Business School, began their research by trying to determine whether or not social structure within a community was important for economic growth. Previous studies suggested that social interaction across a community enhances economic vitality. Sorenson and Samila set out to look at multiple communities to observe whether social relationships do, in fact, influence growth. They chose to focus on venture capital because of its role in funding high-growth businesses and the importance of relationships to venture capitalists.
The researchers used the level of integration in an area as a proxy for how likely people in that community were to have relationships that crossed ethnic lines. “People tend to lead local lives,” said Sorenson. “They interact with people in the same block or neighborhood. In more integrated communities, you get more diverse and connected networks, allowing people access to a much larger set of information and resources than in those that are more segregated.”

These relationships have significant implications for venture capital. Venture capitalists tend to invest in startups near them, relying on friends and professional acquaintances for leads, as well as the kind of information they couldn’t get with a Google search or a cold call.

In their research, Sorenson and Samila studied Metropolitan Statistical Areas, comparing venture capital investments to the number of patents, new businesses, employment, and aggregate income. When ethnic integration is factored in, the data shows that the less segregated an MSA is, the better venture capital performs. In the short term, for example, a metro area one standard deviation above the mean in residential integration enjoys at least a 30% larger stimulus from an increase in venture capital. Over the long term, for a city one standard deviation more integrated than the average, this translates to six more patents, 2,100 more jobs, and $180 million in added payroll with a doubling in venture capital. “Over time,” Sorenson said, “these differences can account for a significant share of the differences in growth among communities.”
For one exercise, the pair calculated how far a dollar in venture capital would grow when applied to various cities. Using Boston as a benchmark, they found a significant swing, with the Bay Area creating roughly 15% more value than Boston, and Chicago getting about 16% less value than a dollar invested in Boston.
The researchers also speculate that a similar benefit from integration may operate at the national level. They point to the difference between the “melting pot” model of immigration in the United States and the “salad bowl” approach in some other countries. “This is just speculative,” Sorenson said, “but I think one of the reasons the U.S. has gotten more out of innovation could be a result of how much better immigrants integrate. When different people live close to each other, there are more opportunities for serendipitous interaction. It becomes easier to make connections, and you end up with more and better ideas.”
13711210

OLAV SORENSON
Frederick Frank ’54 and Mary C. Tanner Professor of Management

===================================

Even in the days of Trump –

DOE awards $20M to commercialize new energy technologies | Utility Dive.

In January, the incoming Trump administration targeted the DOE for massive budget cuts, but in his confirmation hearings Perry told Senate lawmakers he regrets his earlier proposal to eliminate the agency and said he would protect its basic research and development mission.

While the threat of cuts persists, DOE followed through in September when it said it would expand the SunShot program after hitting its 2020 goals. The program’s aim was to reduce the cost of utility scale solar power to $0.06/kWh, or under $1 per watt.

Read More at:  www.utilitydive.com/news/doe-awar…

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on September 14th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

HOUSE VOTES TO BLOCK EPA METHANE REG: Lawmakers approved an amendment Wednesday to block funding for a key Obama administration methane pollution rule.

The House voted 218-195 to strip funding for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) effort to limit methane emissions from new oil and gas drilling sites. Eleven Republicans voted against the amendment, and 3 Democrats voted to block funding for the regulation.

The EPA finalized its methane rule in early 2016 as part of an Obama administration effort to reduce emissions of the pollutant. But under President Trump, the EPA has aimed to scale back the rule, proposing a two-year delay on the regulation while it conducts a further review.

The oil and natural gas industry consider the rule burdensome, and Republicans have worked hard to defund and undo the regulation.

That effort culminated this week in Rep. Markwayne Mullin’s (R-Okla.) spending bill amendment designed to block EPA funding for implementation of the rule.

“This rule is currently facing litigation and uncertainty, and Congress must act to block this job-killing regulation estimated to cost the U.S. economy $530 million annually,” he said during debate last week.

Read more here:  thehill.com/policy/energy-environ…

EPA DELAYS TOXIC WATER POLLUTION STANDARDS: The EPA followed through Wednesday on its proposal to delay by two years some parts of the 2015 regulation on toxic water pollution from coal-fired power plants.

The extra two years for compliance, announced Wednesday, are intended to give the EPA time to revise the provisions of the Obama administration regulation, which it said last month it would do. Utilities that operate coal plants had asked for a rollback of the regulation earlier this year.

“Today’s final rule resets the clock for certain portions of the agency’s effluent guidelines for power plants, providing relief from the existing regulatory deadlines while the agency revisits some of the rule’s requirements,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in a statement.

The delays specifically apply to two provisions in the 2015 regulation that mandated limits or pretreatment for flue gas desulfurization wastewater and bottom ash transport waste, which both come from the burning of coal.

Power plants would have had to start complying with those requirements by as early as November 2018.

Read more here:  thehill.com/policy/energy-environ…

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on September 12th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

At the memorial of 9/11 in 2013 Trump wrote:

Donald J. Trump ? @realDonaldTrump
“@realDonaldTrump: I would like to extend my best wishes to all, even the haters and losers, on this special date, September 11th.

This is in line with other brainless and heartless statements of his showing his unwillingness to take a stand against evil.

And here more of this:

POLITICS – 09/11/2017 09:45 am ET Updated to include the latest.

A History Of Donald Trump’s Tasteless Comments About 9/11

The day of the attacks, Trump claimed that the destruction of the World Trade Center meant one of his buildings was now the tallest in lower Manhattan.

By Marina Fang of Huffington Post – September 12, 2017

WASHINGTON ? President Donald Trump on Monday commemorated the 16th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, leading a moment of silence at the White House to mark the moment the first plane struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York.

The president and first lady Melania Trump stood on the White House’s South Lawn amid a crowd that included Trump’s elder daughter, Ivanka, and his son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Trump spoke at a memorial ceremony at the Pentagon later Monday morning, honoring the nearly 3,000 victims of the attacks and their families.

“Today, our entire nation grieves with you,” he said, reflecting on “the horror and anguish of that dark day” and praising the country’s perseverance and unity following the attacks.

His measured remarks on Monday notwithstanding, Trump has a history of making insensitive and false comments about the Sept. 11 tragedy.

The 2001 terrorist attacks were the subject of one of Trump’s most egregious lies during his presidential campaign. In November 2015, he claimed, without evidence, that “thousands and thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey had celebrated the news of the attacks.

“I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down. And I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down,” Trump said at a campaign rally. “Thousands of people were cheering.”

The following day, Trump reiterated his lie, claiming that the supposed celebration “was well covered at the time.”

“There were people that were cheering on the other side of New Jersey, where you have large Arab populations. They were cheering as the World Trade Center came down,” Trump said on ABC’s “This Week.”

The lie, which has been roundly debunked, appeared to originate from an article published a few days after the attacks, reporting that law enforcement officials had investigated “a number of people who were allegedly seen celebrating the attacks and holding tailgate-style parties on rooftops while they watched the devastation on the other side of the river.”

But Trump, as he frequently does, exaggerated the allegation in the story ? an allegation that was never substantiated.

Following the rally in which he first peddled the lie, Trump mocked one of the journalists who wrote the original story, veteran New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski, after Kovaleski himself affirmed that the story did not back up Trump’s lie.

“I certainly do not remember anyone saying that thousands or even hundreds of people were celebrating,” Kovaleski said.

In response, Trump performed a disgusting imitation of Kovaleski, who has arthrogryposis, a congenital joint condition.

 www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/dona…

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on September 11th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

August 30, 2017


An Open Letter To President Trump.

by Alon Ben-Meir, Professor at New York University.

An Open Letter To President Trump


has an Arabic translation as well.

I find it extremely hard to call you “President Trump” because sadly for America, you neither act like a president nor speak like one. You neither have the moral authority that a president needs to project, nor the courage of one. You have neither the vision of an enlightened president, nor the diplomatic savvy of one. You have neither the capacity to lead the nation as president, nor the competence of one. You have neither the credibility that the president must enjoy, nor the ability to get things done. You have neither the stability that the president must demonstrate, nor the consistency of one. You do not have the country’s interest at heart like a president, nor the grasp of what America’s role in world is all about. Here is why:

Your statement about the events in Charlottesville was appalling. There is no moral equivalency between white supremacists, Nazis, and the KKK, and law-abiding citizens who want to preserve America’s moral values, freedom, decency, and tolerance. You callously stated that there were “some very fine people on both sides”, which outraged Democrats and Republicans alike. Mr. Trump, there is only one side: the one of bigots and racists.

You have made a mockery of the judiciary, rebuking judges for doing what is constitutionally required of them; you doubt the judgment and competence of judges because of their ethnic backgrounds, and you questioned the courts’ legal decisions because they did not suit your desired outcome. To be sure, you want and believe you have the right to operate above the law, and find it strange that the judiciary is independent and not even the president can bend the law. Your most recent egregious contempt for our judiciary was pardoning an open racist such as former Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was found guilty of criminal contempt for violating the constitution by using racial profiling to jail Latinos.

You have made lying an art form. Between January 21st and July 19th of this year, you have lied 113 times, believing that if you repeat these lies time and again, they will eventually sink in as the truth in the public’s mind. Your credibility, however, is shot, and only a fool can trust a word you say.

You constantly label any news which is not to your liking as “fake news,” but you thrive on press coverage to satisfy your insatiable lust for self-aggrandizement. Your relentless charges against the media, accusing them of spreading fake news, opens the door for violence against reporters while you try to obscure your own false public statements.

You are a dictator in soul and spirit. No wonder you embrace despots like Russia’s Putin, Turkey’s Erdogan, and the Philippines’ Duterte. You envy them for they can purge and rampage their country with impunity, and you can’t. When things do not go your way, you become enraged, vindictive, and mean.

Your efforts to limit immigration to the US defies the aspirations of millions who want to realize the American dream. This is the land of immigrants, the melting pot that makes America unique. It is the riches of the newcomers, their cultural diversity, scientific achievements, experiences, and collective ingenuity that made America second to none. America is already great, and you have nothing to offer that can make it greater.

You systematically undermine the intelligence community that has performed admirably over the years, only because they concluded that Russia meddled in the 2016 election on your behalf. You have and continue to demoralize the most loyal men and women who dedicate their lives to serve the nation, and on whom our national security depends.

Whereas you praise American soldiers fighting to protect our country and preserve our freedom and democracy, you arbitrarily ban transgender soldiers who have sacrificed no less than any other solider—possibly even more so due to the difficulties they face.

Contrary to your promises to aid the poor, the sick, and the despondent, you shamefully proposed a budget that would cut over the next decade more than $800 billion from Medicaid, $192 billion from nutritional assistance (including Meals on Wheels), and $272 billion overall from welfare programs, not to speak of your reprehensible proposal to cut more than $72 billion from the disability benefit upon which millions of Americans rely—yet you demand billions to build a useless wall along the Mexican border.

You are narcissistic, self-absorbed, and selfish, constantly seeking glamor and adulation; you will go to any length to show off your riches but are afraid to release your tax returns, fearful of what they may reveal about your shady business deals. You do not want the nation to discover the little or no taxes you have paid, how illegitimate many of your business transactions were, and what is in fact your true wealth.

After eight months in office you have failed to pass any significant legislation, blaming everyone but yourself for your inability to realize any of your campaign promises, including an infrastructure bill, tax reform, and even repealing and replacing Obama’s healthcare program, which you made a top priority.

You demand loyalty from everyone around you, but you are loyal to no one. You hired questionable personalities and fire anyone who questions your dictates. You treat government agencies as if they were your private businesses, thinking that the government works for you alone. You still do not understand that there is something called checks and balances, and no one, including you, is above the law.

You dishonorably use the office of the presidency for self-enrichment, and unabashedly use the power of your office to promote your resorts and hotels, including the Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey, Mar-a-Lago in Florida, and the Trump International Hotel in DC. Never before has any president tainted the prestige of the office of the presidency to satisfy his greed forevermore.

While you occasionally call for unity, you are the most divisive figure that has ever held the high office of President of the United States. You are sowing discord and disunity among the American people while catering to your shrinking base and cultivating a cult mentality, splitting the country into “us versus them.”

You demean women as if they are simply objects to play with for personal pleasure. You enjoy insulting women that you do not like, using vulgar language to describe their faces and looks, and never shy away from being rude and abusive to any woman who dares challenge your abrasive and loathsome behavior.

You systematically alienate America’s friends and allies, championing the slogan of “America First,” which raises serious doubts about America’s commitment to uphold security treaties and international trade agreements. Does it ever occur to you that America’s national interest is best served by maintaining close, collaborative, and mutually supportive relations between traditional alliances such as NATO, as well as new friends and allies?

You are quick to take credit for our sustained economic growth, even though it is the continuation of your predecessor’s sound economic policy. Since you came to office, you have done nothing to spur further economic development. In fact, your erratic behavior is creating increased financial anxiety in the market, which does not augur well for making major American or foreign investments in various sectors of the economy.

In a time when effective and sound diplomacy is needed more than any time before to deal with manifold crises around the world that directly affect America’s national security, you proposed to cut the State Department’s budget from nearly $55 billion for fiscal year 2017 to $37.6 billion for 2018. Meanwhile, hundreds of vacancies of high-level positions at the State Department and Ambassadorships around the world, needed to conduct an effective foreign policy, remain unfilled.

Whereas the whole world came together and recognized that there is serious climate change supported by overwhelming scientific evidence and reached an agreement in Paris to dramatically reduce carbon emissions, you chose to withdraw the US, which is the second-largest polluter after China, from the Paris Agreement. Only recently, 13 different federal agencies (spearheaded by the US Global Research Program) have concluded that climate change is already occurring, which you ignored only to appease your so-called base to the detriment of future generations.

Your reckless statements lashing out against America’s enemies, using phrases such as “fire and fury the world has never seen before” in response to North Korea’s threats, poses catastrophic danger to America’s national security, especially because of your impulsiveness and lack of strategic thinking. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper openly questioned your fitness to be Commander-in-Chief of the US Armed Forces, with your finger on the nuclear button.

As president, you have never understood that with holding the most powerful office in the world, every word you utter, every signal or gesture you make, and every move or measure you take matters greatly and has global implications. Having a loose tongue and failing to understand the gravity of your words can send the wrong signal, which could provoke major unintended conflagrations with some of America’s sworn enemies.

You do well when you read speeches written for you from a teleprompter, but when left to your own devices and speak extemporaneously, you show who you really are and what you stand for. It becomes demonstrably clear that you suffer from a moral, intellectual, and ethical void and you try to cover your shortcoming by ridiculing and scorning everybody but those who cater to your ego.

To be sure, Mr. Trump, it is time for you to plan where you will go from here. The prospect that you will remain in office to the end of the of your term is becoming increasingly unlikely. Your public approval rate at this juncture of your presidency is lower than any of your predecessors. A growing number of leading Republicans who want to save the party are now convinced that you do not have the temperament, knowledge, stability, and diplomatic savvy, not to speak of the moral authority, to lead the country.

I believe that you will be left with two choices: continue to defy the wishes of the majority of the American people and refuse to resign, or wait for impeachment from the House and the Senate. It is only a question of time, and time is running out for you.

If, as you claim, you are an American patriot who loves his country and cares about its future as a global power and its indispensable moral leadership role to make the world a better and safer place, resign now and do so with dignity for the sake of the country.

At a minimum, you will be remembered as the president who finally made the right decision by putting the country’s fate and future wellbeing before his own.

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POLITICS

In Free-Range Trump, Many See Potential for a Third Party

By JEREMY W. PETERS, SEPT. 11, 2017 – The New York Times.

WASHINGTON — The Republican Party likes to think of itself as a big tent — not always a harmonious one, but full of all types.

In the minds of many, however, it’s grown too full, and badly needs an excision. Now more than at any point in its modern history, the party has reached such a breaking point that historians, political analysts and Republicans themselves say it faces the possibility of splintering and spawning a third party.

“We haven’t lanced the boil,” Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s former chief strategist, said in an interview, evoking the swelling tensions between the anti-establishment agitators like himself, who mostly align with Mr. Trump, and the party’s ruling class in Washington, which seems to grow more mistrustful of the president by the day.

“They all thought they were going to lance the boil the day after the election, when they had the catastrophic Trump defeat,” Mr. Bannon added. “And that’s when all accounts would be settled.”

Instead, Mr. Trump’s election has continued to vex his party. The partnership and cooperation that would ordinarily flow from one-party control in Washington are virtually nonexistent, leaving the president and his party with very few legislative victories so far. And his lack of political loyalty or ideological mooring — he stunned Republicans by striking a short-term fiscal deal with Democrats last week — has left Washington guessing about which new alliance or policy U-turn might come next.

But for all the uncertainty Mr. Trump has sown, he has accomplished something that could prove defining for the country’s 200-year-old two-party system: He is clearing an opening, intentionally or not, for a new party.

Michael Beschloss, the presidential historian, said the conditions were so ripe for a split, “I’ve been startled that this has not happened.”

As a political neophyte and former Democrat who was resisted throughout the primaries by the Republican establishment, Mr. Trump put to rest the conventional notion that presidential nominees need the blessing of their party’s power brokers to win. Now, Mr. Beschloss said, “entry is very easy.”

“Basically, all you need are money, TV, communications and an issue,” he added.

To be sure, the barriers to creating a relevant third party are high and longstanding. But the nationalistic, conservative populist agenda that Mr. Trump ran on has wealthy patrons like the Mercer family, the software billionaires, and Peter Thiel, the Silicon Valley entrepreneur. They have told friends and associates that they are committed to seeing the movement that Mr. Trump ignited live on.

“People in Washington in the political establishment who think we’ll get rid of Trump and go back to normal have made a terrible miscalculation. That’s not going to happen,” said Patrick Caddell, a political strategist who has worked for Democrats for most of his career and has warned that a breakup of the Republican Party is only a matter of time.

“The paradigm shift that we went through in 2016, it’s still in motion,” Mr. Caddell added.

Even with his historically low approval ratings, Mr. Trump is redefining what it means to be a loyal Republican. His antagonism, born of frustration over his stalled agenda, of the top two Republicans in Congress, Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, is exacerbating the rifts between leadership-friendly Republicans and more anti-establishment renegades.

“Before Trump, I saw the ongoing battle between what I would call the pragmatic governing wing and the purists — that was the litmus test issue,” said Representative Charlie Dent, a Pennsylvania Republican who announced last week that he was retiring, in part because he was fed up with the gridlock and infighting in Congress.

“Now, since Trump,” Mr. Dent added, “the issue has become, more or less, Trump loyalty.”

Representative Dave Brat, the Virginia Republican who unseated Eric Cantor, the No. 2 House Republican, in 2014, said the rise of anti-establishment figures like Mr. Trump on the right and Senator Bernie on the left showed the desire for disruption in both parties. But that disr Sanders uption has been slow going in Congress, much to the irritation of voters who have little loyalty to the Democratic or Republican brands.

“That is the new movement — Bernie through Trump,” Mr. Brat said. “It hasn’t permeated Congress, and that’s why everybody is ticked.”

For all practical purposes, neither Mr. Ryan nor Mr. McConnell has a functioning majority they can count on to pass legislation, as has been vividly illustrated by the failure to fulfill longstanding vows to repeal the Affordable Care Act. And Republicans said they expected that opposition to party leaders would become the new test for candidates in the primary fights before the 2018 midterm elections.

“I think people underestimate the extent to which the Republican Party could be in full-blown civil war by March or April of next year,” said Bill Kristol, the editor at large of The Weekly Standard.

“It could become a crystallizing moment,” Mr. Kristol added.

Complicating matters even further, Mr. Trump has given Congress a deadline of early next year to come up with a fix for the order he rescinded last week that protected young undocumented immigrants from deportation. Mr. Bannon, in an interview with “60 Minutes” that aired on Sunday, said he believed the issue would be one more factor pushing Republicans toward a tipping point.

“I’m worried about losing the House now because of this,” he said. “And my fear,” he added, “in February and March it will be a civil war inside the Republican Party.”

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Opinions on Mr. Trump have changed less than his low overall popularity might suggest. Ninety-eight percent of Republicans who supported him in the 2016 primaries still approve of him today, according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released last week. Among Republicans who voted for another candidate in the primaries, his approval rating is 66 percent.

Further widening the divide, not only has the president been unwilling or unable to bring the warring factions of his party together, he has repeatedly attacked Republicans he deems insufficiently committed to his causes, in some cases trying to unseat them by encouraging primary challenges.

Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, said that some Republicans had seemed to quickly forget that Mr. Trump’s issues were winning ones in 2016.

“They were giddy to echo the Trump economic prosperity and security messages, and in some cases were almost accidental progenitors of what he stood for,” Ms. Conway said. “Every single Republican on Capitol Hill at some point and at some level successfully ran and won on promises to do any number of things that the president is now is eager to execute.”

“And when Donald Trump promises to drain the swamp,” Ms. Conway added, “it doesn’t just implicate K Street, it implicates lawmakers on Capitol Hill. This is a test for them as well.”

Given Mr. Trump’s mercurial nature, few Republicans will guess whether he can remain a viable leader of a movement that is fundamentally conservative in many ways, most notably its hostility toward large-scale immigration.

The most significant thing about Mr. Trump’s spending-and-debt deal with Democrats may not be that he revealed any hidden liberal leanings, but that he undermined his already weakened political party, one that has long been an uneasy amalgam of business-oriented elites and the more rural, religious grass roots.

“He’s a free-range chicken,” said Michael Steele, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee. “And he’s out there on the range playing with whomever he wants.”

COMMENTS
As a president who has essentially borrowed the Republican label, Mr. Trump’s independence is unsettling the very foundation of the party, Mr. Steele added. “It’s already started to reshape the landscape,” he said.

And in breaking so publicly with the most prominent symbols of his party’s establishment, he may have made it easier for others to do so, too.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on September 9th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Bill McKibben on Hurricanes and Wildfires: “We Have Never Had Anything Like Them.”

RSN – Writing for “godot” – 08 September 2017

In the Caribbean, at least 10 people have died as the historic Category 5 Hurricane Irma barrels across the Atlantic Ocean and toward the U.S. coast. Hurricane Irma is the most powerful storm ever recorded over the Atlantic Ocean. On Barbuda, 90 percent of all structures were destroyed. The prime minister, Gaston Browne, has declared Barbuda is “practically uninhabitable.” This comes as Houston, the fourth-largest city in the U.S., is beginning to rebuild from Hurricane Harvey, one of the most powerful hurricanes in U.S. history. Wide swaths of the Pacific Northwest are also on fire, as uncontrollable wildfires burn hundreds of thousands of acres across Oregon, Montana and Washington state. For more on climate change and extreme weather, we’re joined by Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org, from his home in Vermont. He’s the author of several books, including “Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet.”

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: In the Caribbean, at least 10 people have died as the historic Category 5 Hurricane Irma barrels across the Atlantic Ocean and towards the U.S. coast. Hurricane Irma is the most powerful storm ever recorded over the Atlantic Ocean. On Wednesday, eight people died on the Island of Saint Martin, one person died on Anguilla, and a 2-year-old child died on Barbuda. Barbuda and Saint Martin were devastated by the 185-mile-an-hour winds. On Barbuda, 90 percent of all structures were destroyed. The prime minister, Gaston Browne, has declared Barbuda is “practically uninhabitable,” and warns the entire island may need to be evacuated as another storm approaches.

PRIME MINISTER GASTON BROWNE: You know that we are threatened now potentially by yet another storm, Hurricane Jose.

ABS INTERVIEWER: Jose, right.

PRIME MINISTER GASTON BROWNE: And if that is the case, and it’s coming our way, then, clearly, we will have to evacuate the residents of Barbuda.

AMY GOODMAN: In Puerto Rico, more than a million people have lost power, as authorities warn some areas could be without electricity for up to six months, partly because the island’s electrical infrastructure has gone neglected due to Puerto Rico’s debt crisis.

The death toll from Hurricane Irma is expected to rise in the coming days as the storm moves toward the Dominican Republic and Haiti, then on to the U.S. southern coast in Florida. More than 100,000 people have been told to evacuate their homes in Miami-Dade County, as Irma is predicted to be one of the worst storms to ever hit Miami.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: All this comes as the Trump administration, and the state of Florida, continues to deny the existence of climate change. In 2015, Florida Governor Rick Scott banned agencies from using the term “climate change.” On Wednesday, President Trump traveled to Mandan, North Dakota, and celebrated his decision to pull out of the landmark 2015 climate deal, while speaking outside an oil refinery.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: In order to protect American industry and workers, we withdrew the United States from the job-killing Paris climate accord. Job killer. People have no idea. Many people have no idea how bad that was. And right here in North Dakota, the Dakota Access pipeline is finally open for business. … I also did Keystone. You know about Keystone, another one, big one. Big. First couple of days in office, those two. Forty-eight thousand jobs. Tremendous, tremendous thing. I think environmentally better. I really believe that. Environmentally better.

AMY GOODMAN: President Trump was speaking in Mandan, the North Dakota town where hundreds of Native Americans and their allies have been jailed and strip-searched during the months-long resistance to the Dakota Access pipeline.

All this comes as Houston, the fourth-largest city in the country, is beginning to rebuild from Hurricane Harvey, one of the most powerful hurricanes in U.S. history. The death toll has now risen to 70 people. And while Houston, the Petro Metro, was underwater, wide swaths of the Pacific Northwest continue to be on fire as uncontrollable wildfires burn hundreds of thousands of acres across Oregon, Montana and Washington state. Well over a thousand more people have died in historic flooding in South Asia, as well as parts of Africa, in recent weeks. A third of Bangladesh is underwater.

For more on climate change, Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Harvey and the extreme weather sweeping the globe, we’re joined by Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org, from his home in Vermont, author of a number of books, including Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet.

Bill, welcome back to Democracy Now! As Irma—

BILL McKIBBEN: Hello, Amy. Hello, Nermeen.

AMY GOODMAN: As Irma is barreling through the Caribbean, and at least 10 people have been killed, as Houston is digging out from being underwater, President Trump was in Mandan, North Dakota, celebrating that he pulled out of the Paris climate accord and greenlighted the Dakota Access pipeline and Keystone XL. Your response?

BILL McKIBBEN: Well, I was interested to hear President Trump saying people had no idea how bad it was, the Paris climate accord. I have a feeling that’s a phrase that a lot of Houstonians have been using in the last week, and a lot of people in the Caribbean today, and what people will be saying up and down the southeast coast of the United States and over in Washington and Oregon. People who aren’t in the middle of these disasters have no idea how bad they are. In fact, really, Americans can’t have any idea how bad they are, because we’ve never had anything quite like them. I mean, Harvey, in Houston, which we’re on the edge of forgetting about as Irma pulls into the Southeast, Harvey was the largest rainstorm event in U.S. history—51 inches of rain in some places. That’s the kind of storm that’s only possible now that we’ve remarkably affected the climate.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Bill McKibben, can you also talk about — I mean, last week saw virtually unprecedented floods across South Asia, as Bangladesh is one-third submerged underwater. Talk about how this has affected—these kinds of events have affected South Asia, other parts of the developing world and small island developing states.

BILL McKIBBEN: Look, the way that water moves around the planet is now dramatically different. And the places that are going to feel it most often and worst and hardest are the poorest and most vulnerable places on the planet, a list that begins with Bangladesh and with the low-lying island states.

If you want one physical fact to understand the century we’re now in, it’s that warm air holds more water vapor than cold. And so we have the possibility for storms that are of a different magnitude and scale than we have seen before. The extra warmth in the atmosphere does all kinds of other things, too.

So, right now, in the High Plains of the U.S., in North Dakota and Montana, in the biggest wheat-growing belt of the country, we’ve got what scientists are describing as a flash drought. It’s been so hot and so arid that in the course of a month or two without rain and with that heavy evaporation, farm fields have just dried up. Many farmers have nothing to harvest. That’s what’s helping trigger this ridiculous spate of wildfires across the Western United States, a fire so big yesterday that it managed to jump the Columbia River from Oregon into Washington. People in Oregon and Washington are reporting ash fall from the forest fires on a scale comparable to that what happened when Mount St. Helens erupted. You know, California had the largest—last week, the largest wildfire in Los Angeles history, which really isn’t a big surprise, because it’s been the hottest year in California history. So, from Nepal—

AMY GOODMAN: Bill, we’re going break and come back to this discussion. Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org, speaking to us from Vermont, as we talk about extreme weather events, from South Asia, where more than 1,200 people have died, to the fires of the Northwest to the hurricanes Irma and Harvey, Jose not far behind. Stay with us.

AMY GOODMAN: Acoustic guitar cover by Pauk Si, a Burmese musician. We will later be talking about whether a genocide is being committed against the Rohingya by the Burmese military. This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Nermeen Shaikh, as we continue our conversation with 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben. Let’s turn back to President Trump speaking in Mandan, North Dakota, on Wednesday.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I want to take a moment to send our thoughts and prayers to the people of Texas and Louisiana, who have truly suffered through a catastrophic hurricane, one of the worst hurricanes in our country’s history. And guess what. We have another one coming. … The one that’s coming now, Irma, they’re saying, is largest one in recorded history in the Atlantic Ocean, coming out of the Atlantic, which gets big ones. … I also want to tell the people of North Dakota and the Western states, who are feeling the pain of the devastating drought, that we are with you 100 percent. One hundred percent. … I just said to the governor, “I didn’t know you had droughts this far north.” Guess what. You have them. But we’re working hard on it, and it’ll disappear. It’ll all go away.

AMY GOODMAN: That was President Trump speaking in Mandan, North Dakota, as he also talked about pulling out of the Paris climate accord and greenlighting the Dakota Access pipeline, as well as the Keystone XL. Bill McKibben, Houston, the Petro Metro, home to so many of U.S. oil refineries, some of the largest in the country, like the ExxonMobil facility in Baytown, the second-largest refinery in the country, the effects of the pollution there now, the EPA providing waivers during the hurricane for these refineries, as they close down, to emit even more toxins than they already do, and the people living on the fenceline of these refineries, so often poor communities of color. Can you talk about the disparate effects? While everyone talks about, you know, these hurricanes affecting everyone, rich and poor, equally, in fact, it is not the case, ultimately, who is most affected. And with the $8 billion now that Congress has just approved to start to help to deal with the recovery in Houston, the question is: Where will that money go? Who will be helped in rebuilding? Will this money be going to refineries? And what does the whole fossil fuel industry have to do with the kind of severe weather we’re experiencing now around the world?

BILL McKIBBEN: Well, so, first of all, you know, as usual, poorest people and most vulnerable people get hit first. Frontline communities in South Texas are a perfect example. Places like Port Arthur, that were just absolutely trashed by Harvey, are difficult places to live in, at best, in the best of times, because of the incredible daily pollution that comes from the fossil fuel industry.

What makes Houston so interesting, as you point out, is that it’s sort of the nerve center of the world hydrocarbon industry. It means that—and I think this is unlikely, but it means that if Houstonians really received a wake-up call from Harvey, more than most places in the world, their rebuilding could help the whole planet. If they seize the moment to say, “We’re going to start getting off oil, and we’re going to start reorienting our industries toward renewable energy,” it would make a huge difference. And it’s not a, you know, impossible ideal. Last week, while all this was going on, Denmark announced that it had sold off its last remaining oil company and was going to use the cash to build more wind turbines. They’re looking where the future is going.

We, of course, are looking backwards. And no better example of that than Trump in North Dakota, the obscene party about the Dakota Access pipeline, as archaic and dangerous a piece of technology as we’ve seen in this nation in a long time, coupled with his absurd promise that he’s going to make the drought disappear in North Dakota. Look, the unreason that stems straight from the fossil fuel industry and its inability to deal with the fact that its business model has to change, that’s what’s at the bottom of an enormous amount of what we see around us right now.

AMY GOODMAN: And finally, where the climate movement is now, speaking out and connecting these issues, like your group, 350.org?

BILL McKIBBEN: So, the two important—I think we’re basically in an endgame now. And the two points that we’re trying to make, and will make over and over and over again all over the world, with increasing success in most places except the United States, are, one, we got to have it all, in terms of renewable energy. We have to go to 100 percent renewable energy, and we have to do it fast. That’s why Senator Sanders has introduced that bill at a national level, along with Senator Merkley. That’s why dozens of cities, from Atlanta to Salt Lake to San Diego, have adopted 100 percent renewable policies.

Along with that all, we also have to say nothing. We have to say there will be no more fossil fuel infrastructure development. And that’s why we’re fighting so hard every single pipeline, every single new coal mine. For the moment, of course, Trump is ascendant with the fossil fuel industry. They’re getting their wishes in this country. But like many things that Trump touches, I think that this is a last gasp. People will come to associate, are coming to associate, the insanity of going full speed ahead into this greenhouse future with the most reckless and crazy president that we’ve ever had.

AMY GOODMAN: Bill McKibben, I want to thank you for being with us, co-founder of 350.org. A number of his books out, including the last one, Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet. This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Nermeen Shaikh.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on September 9th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

We decided this pearl of writing must be read by everyone.

From CNN’s FAREED GLOBAL BRIEFING AND THE WASHINGTON POST – SEPTEMBER 9, 2017.


What Baseball and Steroids Can Tell Us About Hurricanes.

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and now Jose have inevitably raised questions about the connection between climate change and extreme weather. And on increasing storm strength, at least, “the science is fairly conclusive,” write Michael E. Mann, Thomas C. Peterson and Susan Joy Hassol for the Scientific American.

“Whether or not we see more tropical storms (a matter of continuing research by the scientific community), we know that the strongest storms are getting stronger, with roughly eight meters per second increase in wind speed per degree Celsius of warming. And so it is not likely to be a coincidence that almost all of the strongest hurricanes on record (as measured by sustained wind speeds) for the globe, the Northern Hemisphere, the Southern Hemisphere, the Pacific, and now, with Irma, in the open Atlantic, have occurred over the past two years,” they write.

“As recently as a decade ago, climate scientists had a motto that ‘you can’t attribute any single extreme event to global warming.’

“By the time politicians and journalists started repeating that line, however, the science had moved on, so that we now can attribute individual events in a probabilistic sense. For example, if a baseball player on steroids is hitting 20 percent more home runs, we can’t attribute a particular home run to steroids. But we can say steroids made it 20 percent more likely to have occurred. For some of the physical processes discussed here, one can view increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as steroids for the storms.”

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on August 12th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

6 Trump US Administration Climate Claims Exposed As Total Nonsense By Federal Report.

There’s actually no “tremendous disagreement” among federal climate scientists that humans are to blame for accelerated global warming.

By Hayley Miller of Huffington Post – August 12, 2017. (GREEN – 08/11/2017)

There’s little doubt: The climate is changing, human activity is accelerating the process, and the U.S. is already feeling its effects, according to an expansive climate report that dozens of government scientists drafted.

The nonprofit Internet Archive first uploaded the 543-page report, which is awaiting the Trump administration’s approval, in January. But the third-order draft of the Global Change Research Program Climate Science Special Report only garnered mainstream attention after The New York Times published it inside an article Monday.

The National Academy of Sciences has already endorsed the draft report, but many scientists ? including some of the paper’s authors ? have expressed concern that Trump officials might rewrite or suppress the findings.

Trump once famously called climate change a Chinese “hoax,” and he’s filled his administration with several other skeptics, including Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt.

Despite this report (and piles of evidence from previously published studies), Trump administration officials have continued to push a narrative that claims scientists are unsure whether human activity has significantly increased the rate of global warming in recent years.

Here are six statements the Trump team has made about climate change that have no basis in reality, as evidenced by the federal climate science report:

President Donald Trump:

“I’m not a believer in man-made global warming. It could be warming, and it’s going to start to cool at some point.” (September 2015)

What the science actually shows: The science is clear that man-made global warming is not only real, but also one of the greatest threats that humanity faces.

People have released so much greenhouse gas into the atmosphere that the planet will continue to warm for at least the next 100 years ? even if carbon emissions caused by human activity immediately cease.

From the federal report:

The last few years have also seen record-breaking, climate-related, weather extremes, as well as the warmest years on record for the globe. …

Global climate is projected to continue to change over this century and beyond. Even if humans immediately ceased emitting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, existing levels would commit the world to at least an additional 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit over this century relative to today. …

The magnitude of climate change beyond the next few decades depends primarily on the amount of greenhouse (heat trapping) gases emitted globally and the sensitivity of Earth’s climate to those emissions. …

Longer-term climate records indicate that average temperatures in recent decades over much of the world have been much higher than at any time in the past 1700 years or more.
Trump again:

“Record low temperatures and massive amounts of snow. Where the hell is GLOBAL WARMING?” (February 2015)

What the science actually shows: There may be some outlier days, but overall, climate change has caused extremely cold days to become warmer and it’s increased the frequency of “extreme heat events,” according to the latest report.

Also, research has consistently debunked the claim that “massive amounts of snow” suggest global warming isn’t occurring. In fact, heavier precipitation is the result of evaporating ocean water caused by global warming, the research shows. This phenomena could explain “snowmageddon”-type extreme snow events.

From the report:

Extremely cold days have become warmer since the early 1900s, and extremely warm days have become warmer since the early 1960s. In recent decades, extreme cold waves have become less common while extreme heat waves have become more common. …

The frequency and intensity of heavy precipitation and extreme heat events are increasing in most regions of the world. These trends are consistent with expected physical responses to a warming climate and with climate model studies, although models tend to underestimate the observed trends. The frequency and intensity of such extreme events will very likely continue to rise in the future. …

The increase in extreme weather that accompany global climate change are having significant, direct effects on the United States and the global economy and society.

Scott Pruitt, Head of the Environmental Protection Agency

“Measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do. And there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact. So no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the climate change.” (March 2017)

What the science actually shows: There’s virtually zero disagreement among federal climate scientists that human activity is not only a factor, but also the “dominant cause” driving the relatively recent and dramatic acceleration of global warming. This finding is repeated throughout the report.

From the report:

Human activities are now the dominant cause of the observed changes in climate. …

The global climate continues to change rapidly compared to the pace of the natural changes in climate that have occurred throughout Earth’s history. …

Many lines of evidence demonstrate that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are primarily responsible for the observed climate changes in the industrial era. There are no alternative explanations, and no natural cycles are found in the observational record that can explain the observed changes in climate.


Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the Interior:

Glaciers in Montana started melting “right after the end of the Ice Age” and it’s been “a consistent melt.” (June 2017)

What the science actually shows: Scientists have already debunked Zinke’s claim that Glacier National Park’s namesake feature has been melting consistently since “right after the end of the Ice Age.” Glaciers have generally retreated since about 1850, the end of the Little Ice Age, but global warming has caused the rate of retreat to increase in recent decades.

The draft report further suggests that man-made global warming is accelerating the melting of mountain glaciers, snow cover and sea ice worldwide.

From the report:

Observations continue to show that Arctic sea ice extent and thickness, Northern Hemisphere snow cover, and the volume of mountain glaciers and continental ice sheets are all decreasing. In many cases, evidence suggests that the net loss of mass from the global cryosphere is accelerating. …

The annually averaged ice mass from global reference glaciers has decreased every year since 1984, and the rate of global glacier melt is accelerating. This mountain glacier melt is contributing to sea level rise and will continue to contribute through the 21st Century.
Zinke again:

“The evidence strongly suggests that humans have had an influence on higher CO2. However, the evidence is equally as strong that there are other factors, such as rising ocean temperatures, that have a greater influence.” (August 2014)

What the science actually suggests: As we should all know by now, carbon emissions released by human activity are the “dominant cause” of accelerated global warming. Ocean temperatures are rising, but that’s because humans are emitting more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

From the report:

The world’s oceans have absorbed more than 90% of the excess heat caused by greenhouse warming since the mid 20th Century, making them warmer and altering global and regional circulation patterns and climate feedbacks. Surface oceans have warmed by about 0.45°F (0.25°C) globally since the 1970s. …

The world’s oceans are currently absorbing more than a quarter of the carbon dioxide emitted to the atmosphere annually from human activities, making them more acidic with potential detrimental impacts to marine ecosystems. The rate of acidification is unparalleled in at least the past 66 million years.

Rick Perry, Secretary of Energy

“Most likely the primary control knob [for the temperature of the Earth and for climate] is the ocean waters and this environment that we live in.” (June 2017)

What the science actually shows: Like Zinke, Perry downplayed humans’ role in global warming and blamed “ocean waters” instead. Perry also appeared to suggest that the environment is responsible for changes in the environment, which is somewhat challenging to make sense of.

It’s possible he was referring to previously natural variability, such as El Niño and La Niña, though the draft report found such phenomena have “limited influences” on long-term climate change. Some studies have suggested man-made global warming may “greatly increase the frequency of very strong” El Niño or La Niña events.

From the report:

Since the industrial era, human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and other greenhouse gases now overwhelm the influence of natural drivers on the external forcing of the Earth’s climate… For this reason, projections of changes in Earth’s climate over this century and beyond focus primarily on its response to emissions of greenhouse gases, particulates, and other radiatively-active species from human activities. …

Natural variability, including El Niño events and other recurring patterns of ocean?atmosphere interactions, have important, but limited influences on global and regional climate over timescales ranging from months to decades.
Read the full draft of the climate report here.

For further information included in this article:

 www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/dona…

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on August 11th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

From KIMO’s IISD:

The International Civil Aviation Organization and its 191 member States agreed in October 2016 to implement a Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) to limit future increases in greenhouse gas emissions from the sector.

Now countries are undertaking technical discussions on what types of emission reductions will be eligible for airlines to use under CORSIA. While the discussions are yet to conclude, one potential option could be Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, or REDD+.

Recent IISD analysis, available here, finds that Colombia could meet some of this demand through its current and projected supply of emissions reduced from deforestation and forest degradation, and through forest restoration.

By choosing to participate in the early Phases of this scheme, starting in 2021, the Colombian Government could generate more than $300 million in additional investment at an estimated cost of $23 million to its aviation industry, which represents a small fraction – less than 0.4 percent – of global emissions from international aviation. Depending on the level of participation and other factors, the potential revenues could be much higher.

Key Findings:

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in October 2016 created a potential global demand of more than 2 billion tonnes of investment-grade emissions reductions from 2021 to 2035 that could be partially met through continuing development of programs and projects in Colombia.

Colombia has the potential to benefit by linking this market demand to domestic supply through eligible supply-side activities, including REDD+, structured via existing World Bank and business investment tools and structures and its many on-going long-term international investment supply contracts for emissions reductions.
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The value to Colombia of supplying the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) is, conservatively, around $300 million in additional private institutional investment.

To facilitate this investment, the Colombian national government policy must deliver the necessary institutional and legal conditions for REDD to succeed, at national and subnational jurisdictional levels, building on those currently applied to existing programs and projects.
Colombia can increase the impact of CORSIA and augment the associated demand for offset credits by opting-in to the scheme starting in 2021, and by encouraging others in the region to do the same.

For more information, please check out the full analysis.

Linking the ICAO Global Market-Based Mechanism to REDD+ in Colombia

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on August 4th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

2 August 2017
A tiny Greek island to become the first energy independent island in the Mediterranean

? Europe, Finance, Smart Cities, Sustainable Energy, Sustainable Innovation Forum, Sustainable Investment Forum

Tilos, a small island in the Cyclades complex in the Aegean Sea, is on set to become the first energy independent island in the Mediterranean by solely relying in renewables.

The initiative under the name TILOS comes by a collaboration of the University of Anglia (UEA) and the University of Applied Sciences in Piraeus, engaging 15 participating enterprises and institutes from seven European countries.

The project’s main goal is to demonstrate the potential of off-grid hybrid mini grids comprised of solar and wind power.

TILOS was launched in February 2015 receiving funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme and is planned to last four years, with its total budget reaching €15m.

So far, TILOS has received €11m from Horizon 2020, €3m from the industry and €1m from private investment.

Konstantinos Chalvatzis, Senior Lecturer in Business and Climate Change at UEA’s Norwich Business School said: “The island’s population is only around 200 in the winter but rises to more than 1,500 in the summer when the tourists arrive”.

He added: “Energy supply is a major issue, with frequent black-outs and power surges. But while its remote location makes traditional ways of providing power so challenging, it also makes Tilos ideal for our pioneering work”.

The project executives underlie the importance of the project in the context of the non-interconnected islands’ electricity regime, which mostly constitutes of expensive and often unreliable oil-fired isolated diesel generators.

Dr. Chalvatzis said: “Most Greek and other Mediterranean islands also depend on unreliable, oil-based electricity, so our goal is to roll the model out to them, as well as to small islands across Europe and beyond”.

The proposed energy solution will comprise 700kW of wind power, 500kW of solar power combined with high? temperature NaNiCl battery storage, residential hot water storage and demand-side management (DSM), all coordinated under a sophisticated energy management system.

Dr Chalvatzis commented: “The uniqueness is not in the way we generate the electricity but in the way we’ve developed the technology to make it cost-effective, reliable and completely green” adding: “For example, normal batteries will last around five years and are filled with non-recyclable chemicals, but ours have a much lengthier lifespan and are completely recyclable”.

Two years into its four-year schedule, TILOS has already received two EU Sustainable Energy Awards, namely the Energy Island Award and the Citizen’s Award- the latter underlying the importance of the public acceptance of renewable energy projects.

Dr Chalvatzis stated: “Tilos is ahead of its time – the islanders welcome new ideas and were open to our initiative”.

“As a result, we now have a blueprint for generating sustainable energy in a profitable and scalable way, so the benefits can be felt across the world, whether that’s other islands, faraway communities or even by providing clean and efficient energy for refugee camps or remote hospitals. This technology could truly change people’s lives”.

RELATED ARTICLES:
— World’s first island micro-grid created in Australia
— First US offshore wind farm powers island
–Rising sea levels force Pacific islanders to evacuate

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 26th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)


Interfaith-center – Jerusalem Climate Interfaith Event 1


Amidst Violence and Crushing Heat, Jerusalem Religious Leaders Agree on Urgency of Curbing Climate Change

JERUSALEM, JULY 26 – As Jerusalem experiences another wave of violent conflict and punishing heat, Jewish, Muslim and Christian leaders came together to urge people of all faiths to help curb climate change.

Rabbi David Rosen, AJC International Director of Interreligious Affairs;
Father Francesco Patton, Custos of the Holy Land;
and Kadi Iyad Zahalha, judge of the Muslim Sharia Courts in Israel
reached a consensus on the religious basis for environmental sustainability and addressing climate change. At the event, a new letter signed by 36 Israeli Orthodox rabbis was released, calling for action on climate change.

Custos Father Patton said, “We are part of creation, so we have to take care of our common home and take responsibility for creation.”


Rabbi Rosen cited Deuteronomy 30:19: “Choose life in order that you and your children shall live.” He said, “today, climate change is a matter of life and death. Because of this, everything else becomes secondary—it’s like rearranging the deck chairs on the ship Titanic as we head for the iceberg.”

Kadi Zahalka spoke to the importance of “taking care of everything for the coming generation. We need to do our part in saving and preserving nature and all the earth.”

The event was organized by The Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development (ICSD), which works to catalyze a transition to a sustainable, thriving, and spiritually-aware society through the leadership of faith communities. Overlooking the walls of the Old City, the interfaith event served as a counterpoint to the recent violence in Jerusalem’s Old City. The interfaith event focused on the critical role of faith leaders in increasing awareness about the moral obligation for environmental sustainability and curbing climate change.


Rabbi Yonatan Neril, ICSD’s director, moderated the panel and cited studies linking climate change to increased drought and extreme heat in the Middle East, which are exacerbating conflict and threat multipliers. The event was held at the Jerusalem Press Club.

Photos and video content, and the climate change letter by Orthodox rabbis are available upon request by replying to this message.

 madmimi.com/p/d2567a?fe=1&pact=1…

Press contact: Yonatan Neril: 054-723-4973,  yneril at interfaithsustain.com

Interfaith Climate Panel by ICSD-001

About the Speakers:

David Rosen

Rabbi David Rosen, AJC International Director of Interreligious Affairs, has been advancing understanding and good relations between religious communities for more than 40 years – from the time he served as rabbi of the largest Orthodox Jewish congregation in South Africa, during his tenure as Chief Rabbi of Ireland ; and throughout the last 30-plus years based in Jerusalem. In addition to interreligious representation and education, his work involves mediation and peace-building and he is deeply involved in multi-religious engagement on ecological issues. Widely recognized for his work, Rabbi Rosen was granted a papal Knighthood in 2005 for his contribution to Jewish-Catholic reconciliation and was made a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in 2010 by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II for his work promoting interfaith understanding and cooperation.

Custos Fr. Francesco Patton

Father Francesco Patton is Custos of the Holy Land. The Custody of the Holy Land is a custodian priory of the Franciscan order in Jerusalem, founded as Province of the Holy Land in 1217 by Saint Francis of Assisi, who also founded the Franciscan Order. Fr. Patton served in various capacities in his province and also within the Order. He was twice Secretary General of the General Chapters in 2003 and 2009; Visitator General in 2003, Minister Provincial of St. Vigilium (Trent, Italy) from 2008 to 2016; President of the Conference of Provincial Ministers of Italy and Albania (COMPI)
He also served in many capacities outside of the Order: as member of the Diocesan Presbyteral Council and secretary of the Diocesan Pastoral Council of the archdiocese of Trent; professor of Social Communications at the Studio Teologico Accademico Tridentino; collaborator of the Diocesan Weekly, the Diocesan Radio and Telepace Trento; and enrolled with the journalists of Trentino-Alto Adige as publicist since 1991.

Kadi Iyad Zahalka

Kadi Iyad Zahalka is judge of the High Sharia Court of Appeals and Director of the
Sharia courts in Israel. Kadi Zahalka is an accomplished judge, lecturer, author and activist. He has filled several important positions in the Shar’i court system, including that of Director. Kadi Zahalka obtained his L.L.B. from Tel Aviv University, and his M.A. and PhD from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, with his thesis on the Muslim Minority Jurisprudence Doctrine (Fiqh al Aqalliyyat). He also served as the kadi (judge) of Haifa. He is the author of two books and many articles and has spoken widely abroad. Born in the village of Kafr Kara, in the Wadi Ara section of Israel, south of Haifa.

Custos Father Patton
 info at interfaithsustain.comwww.interfaithsustain.com
The Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development | P.O. Box 28156, Jerusalem, 9128101

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 10th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

CLIMATE – THE NEW YORK TIMES


• “The cost of electric cars is falling much faster than expected, based in part on a plunge in battery prices and aggressive policies in China and Europe.”


When Will Electric Cars Go Mainstream? It May Be Sooner Than You Think.

By BRAD PLUMER, JULY 8, 2017

The Photo: A Volkswagen e-Golf electric car being charged in Dresden, Germany, in March.

Volkswagen and Tesla each have plans to produce more than 1 million electric vehicles per year by 2025. Credit Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters


As the world’s automakers place larger bets on electric vehicle technology, many industry analysts are debating a key question: How quickly can plug-in cars become mainstream?

The conventional view holds that electric cars will remain a niche product for many years, plagued by high sticker prices and heavily dependent on government subsidies.

But a growing number of analysts now argue that this pessimism is becoming outdated. A new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, a research group, suggests that the price of plug-in cars is falling much faster than expected, spurred by cheaper batteries and aggressive policies promoting zero-emission vehicles in China and Europe.

Between 2025 and 2030, the group predicts, plug-in vehicles will become cost competitive with traditional petroleum-powered cars, even without subsidies and even before taking fuel savings into account. Once that happens, mass adoption should quickly follow.

“Our forecast doesn’t hinge on countries adopting stringent new fuel standards or climate policies,” said Colin McKerracher, the head of advanced transport analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “It’s an economic analysis, looking at what happens when the upfront cost of electric vehicles reaches parity. That’s when the real shift occurs.”

If that prediction pans out, it will have enormous consequences for the auto industry, oil markets and the world’s efforts to slow global warming.

A Boost From Batteries

Last year, plug-in vehicles made up less than 1 percent of new passenger vehicle sales worldwide, held back by high upfront costs. The Chevrolet Bolt, produced by General Motors, sells for about $37,500 before federal tax breaks. With gasoline prices hovering around $2 per gallon, relatively few consumers seem interested.

But there are signs of a shift. Tesla and Volkswagen each have plans to produce more than a million electric vehicles per year by 2025. On Wednesday, Volvo announced that it would phase out the traditional combustion engine and that all of its new models starting in 2019 would be either hybrids or entirely battery-powered.

Skeptics argue that these moves are mostly marginal. Exxon Mobil, which is studying the threat that electric cars could pose to its business model, still expects that plug-in vehicle sales will grow slowly, to just 10 percent of new sales in the United States by 2040, with little impact on global oil use. The federal Energy Information Administration projects a similarly sluggish uptick.

The Bloomberg forecast is far more aggressive, projecting that plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles will make up 54 percent of new light-duty sales globally by 2040, outselling their combustion engine counterparts.

The reason? Batteries. Since 2010, the average cost of lithium-ion battery packs has plunged by two-thirds, to around $300 per kilowatt-hour. The Bloomberg report sees that falling to $73 by 2030, without any significant technological breakthroughs, as companies like Tesla increase battery production in massive factories, optimize the design of battery packs and improve chemistries.

For the next decade, the report notes, electric cars will remain reliant on government incentives and sales mandates in places like Europe, China and California. But as automakers introduce a greater variety of models and lower costs, electric cars will reach a point where they can stand on their own.

Still, this outcome is hardly guaranteed. Governments could scale back their incentives before plug-in vehicles become fully competitive — many states are already beginning to tax electric cars. Battery manufacturers could face material shortages or production problems that hinder their ability to slash costs. And an unforeseen technology failure, such as widespread battery fires, could halt progress.

“But we tried to be fairly conservative in our estimate of where battery prices are going,” Mr. McKerracher said, “and we don’t see barriers to electric vehicles’ becoming cost competitive very soon.”

Other experts caution that falling battery costs are not the only factor in determining whether electric cars become widespread. Sam Ori, the executive director of the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, noted, “People don’t buy cars based solely on the price tag.”

Consumers may remain wary of vehicles with limited range that can take hours to charge. Even though researchers have shown that battery-electric vehicles have sufficient range for many people’s daily commuting habits, consumer psychology is still difficult to predict. The report does not, for instance, expect electric vehicles to catch on widely in the pickup-truck market.

Charging infrastructure is another potential barrier. Although cities are starting to build thousands of public charging stations — and Tesla is working on reducing the time it takes to power a depleted battery — it still takes longer to charge an electric vehicle than it does to refuel a conventional car at the pump.

Many owners charge their cars overnight in their garages, but that is much harder for people living in cities who park their cars on the street.

As a result, the Bloomberg report warns that plug-in vehicles may have a difficult time making inroads in dense urban areas and that infrastructure bottlenecks may slow the growth of electric vehicles after 2040.

Another potential hurdle may be the automakers themselves. While most manufacturers are introducing plug-in models in the United States to comply with stricter fuel-economy standards, they do not always market them aggressively, said Chelsea Sexton, an auto industry consultant who worked on General Motors’ electric vehicle program in the 1990s.

Car dealerships also remain reluctant to display and sell electric models, which often require less maintenance and are less profitable for their service departments. Surveys have found that salespeople are often unprepared to pitch the cars.

“We’ve seen a lot of announcements about electric vehicles, but that doesn’t matter much if automakers are just building these cars for compliance and are unenthusiastic about actually marketing them,” Ms. Sexton said.

Raw economics may help overcome such barriers, Mr. McKerracher said. He pointed to Norway, where heavy taxes on petroleum-powered vehicles and generous subsidies for electric vehicles have created price parity between the two. As a result, plug-in hybrids and fully electric cars in Norway now make up 37 percent of all new sales, up from 6 percent in 2013.

Fighting Climate Change

If Bloomberg’s forecast proves correct, it could have sweeping implications for oil markets. The report projects that a sharp rise in electric vehicles would displace eight million barrels of transportation fuel each day. (The world currently consumes around 98 million barrels per day.)

A number of oil companies are now grappling with the prospect of an eventual peak in global demand, with billions of dollars in investments at stake in getting the timing right.

Mass adoption of electric cars could also prove a key strategy in fighting climate change — provided the vehicles are increasingly powered by low-carbon electricity rather than coal. The International Energy Agency has estimated that electric vehicles would have to account for at least 40 percent of passenger vehicle sales by 2040 for the world to have a chance of meeting the climate goals outlined in the Paris agreement, keeping total global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.

Yet the Bloomberg report also shows how much further countries would need to go to cut transportation emissions.

Even with a sharp rise in electric vehicles, the world would still have more traditional petroleum-powered passenger vehicles on the road in 2040 than it does today, and it will take many years to retire existing fleets. And other modes of transportation, like heavy-duty trucking and aviation, will remain stubbornly difficult to electrify without drastic advances in battery technology.

Which means it is still too soon to write an obituary for the internal combustion engine.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 10th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

10-21 JULY 2017 New York City, US

Fourth Session of the Preparatory Committee on BBNJ

The fourth session of the Preparatory Committee for the development of an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ PrepCom 4) will convene from 10-21 July 2017, in New York, US.

dates: 10-21 July 2017
location: New York City, US
contact: UNDOALOS
www: www.un.org/depts/los/biodiversity…

IISD Reporting Services / ENB 

SDGS
14. LIFE BELOW WATER

ISSUES
Biodiversity, Governance, Oceans & Coasts, International Negotiations.

ACTORS
UNCLOS, Multilateral Environmental Agreement Body, UN Intergovernmental Body

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10-19 JULY 2017New York City, US

High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) 2017

The fifth High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), convening under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), will take place from 10-19 July 2017.

The theme of the session will be ‘Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world,’ as decided in UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution A/70/299.

The set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be reviewed in depth will be:

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 5 (Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls);

Goal 9 (Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation);

Goal 14 (Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development);

and Goal 17 (Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development), which will be considered each year.

The theme and these SDGs will be addressed in the first week (10-14 July).

The second week will include a three-day ministerial meeting (17-19 July), as part of the High-level Segment of ECOSOC (17-20), during which 44 countries will present Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) on implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The HLPF is expected to adopt the Joint Ministerial Declaration of the HLPF and ECOSOC High-level Segment and the report of the HLPF on 19 July at 5 pm.

Subsequently, the ECOSOC High-level Segment is expected to adopt the Ministerial Declaration on 20 July at 5:30 pm.

Inputs to this year’s HLPF will include:

SDG progress report of UN Secretary-General;
VNR reports; reports from regional fora on sustainable development (ECA, ECE, ECLAC, ESCAP, ESCWA);
reports from Major Groups and other Stakeholders on the theme and SDGs under consideration; contributions from ECOSOC functional commissions and other intergovernmental bodies on the theme and SDGs under consideration;
report of the Ten-Year Framework of Programmes (10YFP) on sustainable consumption and production;
the Secretary-General’s report on mainstreaming sustainable development into the UN system; reports from preparatory meetings of the SDGs under consideration;
inputs from the UN system and other relevant organizations and stakeholders on the theme and SDGs under consideration;
briefs on the SDGs under consideration prepared by the UN system;
and outcomes of the Ocean Conference.

dates: 10-19 July 2017
location: New York City, US
www: sustainabledevelopment.un.org/hl…

IISD Reporting Services / ENB 

SDGS
1. NO POVERTY
2. ZERO HUNGER
3. GOOD HEALTH & WELL-BEING
5. GENDER EQUALITY
9. INDUSTRY, INNOVATION & INFRASTRUCTURE
14. LIFE BELOW WATER
17. PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE GOALS
ISSUES
Governance, Health, Gender, Sustainable Development, Agriculture & Food Security, Poverty Eradication, Industrial Development, Oceans & Coasts, International Negotiations, National Action, Follow-Up and Review
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10-14 JULY 2017New York City, US

International WCRP/IOC Conference on Regional Sea Level Changes and Coastal Impacts

This conference is organized jointly by the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The event will address the existing challenges in describing and predicting regional sea level changes, and in quantifying the intrinsic uncertainties. The conference will serve as a basis for a new assessment of the state-of-the-art on regional sea level research that serve as input to the sixth assessment of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

An outcome from the conference will be an evaluation of the current state of sea level science, an outline of future research requirements for improving our understanding of sea level rise and variability, and a description of the observational requirements.

dates: 10-14 July 2017
venue: Columbia University
location: New York City, US
www: www.wcrp-climate.org/images/WCRP…

SDGS
13. CLIMATE ACTION
14. LIFE BELOW WATER

ISSUES
Oceans & Coasts, Science, Climate Change, Adaptation, Mitigation
ACTORS
UNESCO, WMO, UN Programme, Agency or Fund

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 9th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel once again singled out the United States for criticism Saturday for walking away from the Paris climate agreement, saying that she “deplores” the decision and that she does not believe the Trump administration is open to returning to the deal to reduce international carbon emissions, as President Trump has said.

The United States was alone at the G-20 summit in dissenting from the group’s climate resolution. Leaders from the 19 other countries around the table in Hamburg agreed that the Paris climate agreement is “irreversible” and will take steps to implement the accords “as soon as possible,” said Merkel.

The issue highlighted the cold reception that President Trump’s vision of American self-interest, denial of climate science and threats to throw up trade barriers received at the conference of 20 of the world’s wealthiest countries.

As she has before, Merkel called on European countries to step into the vacuum that Trump is leaving on the world stage. “We as Europeans have to take our fate into our own hands,” she said.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 9th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Sunday July 7, 2017 – in Washington they expect the Republican legislators back from home will declare that the Health Care Plans they forged to favor the rich are unacceptable to the folks back home. The World at large will be forgotten, so will be Hamburg and the G-20 minus one.
On TV only Fareed Zakaria will still remember that there is the real world out there.

As an epitaph to Hamburg we present the following:

Trump’s mistake in his meeting with Putin
CNN on-line, Sunday, July 9, 2017.

Ed Lucas says the American president engaged in a dialogue that put Russia on the same moral plane as America — that’s a mistake.

Read the full story

Edward Lucas is a senior editor at The Economist, at which he was the Moscow bureau chief from 1998 to 2002. He also is senior vice president at the Center for European Policy Analysis, a Washington think tank. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own.

(CNN) The first day of the G20 summit in Hamburg was notable for the attention given to Donald Trump’s first face-to-face meeting with Vladimir Putin and the ferocity of the day’s protests.

It would be nice to think that the protesters were particularly irked by the sight of two autocratic, media-hating leaders with dodgy business connections getting together. Sadly, the Trump-Putin meeting is a sideshow as far as the anti-globalization movement is concerned. They object to the whole idea of the G20, seeing the summit as the epitome of a global system based on a rapacious economic model and run by unaccountable elites.
Edward Lucas
Edward Lucas
While they are catching their breath from attacking the police and burning things down, the protesters might like to think how much worse they would fare if the summit were in Moscow or Beijing. Western democracies have many faults, but they do allow peaceful protest. Russia — and China — treat dissent much more harshly.
The protesters are greatly fired up by imperialism. Yet the biggest imperialists at the G20 are not the Western countries but the Russian and Chinese leaders. Xi Jinping’s Communist Party occupies Tibet (and East Turkestan and Inner Mongolia). Mr. Putin’s Kremlin has savagely crushed the Chechens, and pursues a chauvinist Russians-first policy in republics of the Russian Federation such as Tatarstan, Bashkiria, Mari-El and Komi. I doubt the protesters have ever heard of these places.
It is also odd that protesters hate President Trump, as he shares their disdain for the global trading system. Admittedly, they disagree about the nature of that unfairness — Trump dislikes the rules-based international order because he thinks it is unfair to America, the biggest and richest country in the world, while the protesters object to the way the system is tilted against poor countries. But that is a secondary point.
The Trump-Putin meeting went on longer than expected — for two and a half hours rather than the planned 30 minutes. That is apparently good news. I disagree. Half an hour was more than adequate for the necessary messages, which should have been on the lines of “Mr. Putin, we know what you are up to. Stop it.” If further elaboration were needed, it could have included the line, “We know where you and your cronies keep your money. If you want to see it again, back off.”
Instead, Trump seems to have decided to treat Putin as an equal. This is a big mistake. Russia’s population is less than half of the United States. Its GDP is less than a single good-sized American state. It has a lot of nuclear weapons, true, but most of them are obsolete. Russia’s defense modernization is ambitious, but running out of money. Russia’s only real asset is that Putin can act quickly — recklessly some might say — in foreign policy, exemplified by invading Ukraine and propping up the regime in Syria.
A great day for Putin, a good one for Trump
A great day for Putin, a good one for Trump
Yet in the bilateral meeting, the leaders met as equals. Each was accompanied only by a foreign minister — Sergei Lavrov for Russia, Rex Tillerson for America. That looked odd. America has colossal expertise on Russia, but Trump disdains it. And Tillerson is an able oilman but a newcomer to diplomacy. The Russian duo, by my count, had 62 years of experience between them; the Americans had just under a year.
Trump, under fire at home for many shortcomings and missteps, craves adulation. He reveled in his reception in Warsaw, where he delivered an incoherent and bombastic speech about Western civilization (main point: don’t let people push you around).
Now he has pulled off a meeting with Putin, which he can portray as a diplomatic breakthrough. The Kremlin leader promised him that Russia had not meddled in American politics. Trump, himself dubious about those claims, has accepted the assurance. The two countries are going to cooperate in some vague project on cyber-security, and keep talking on Ukraine and Syria.
The Russian duo, by my count, had 62 years of experience between them; the Americans had just under a year.

This is not the “grand bargain” of European nightmares six months ago, in which Trump would abandon NATO in return for Russian help in other trouble spots. I doubt very much that Trump’s administration will find it any easier to make practical progress with Russia than previous efforts: remember the “reset”? Or before that the Gore-Chernomyrdin commission?
But it is still troubling. One especially concerning part of the apparent agreement was that their countries should not meddle in each other’s affairs. That puts America and Russia on the same moral plane. Big mistake: Western efforts to promote democracy in Russia — for example by helping civil-society groups monitor elections to stop them being rigged — are hardly the same as Russia’s use of cyber-attacks to steal and leak private e-mails in order to smear politicians and sow mistrust and discord.
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Amid all the sound and fury in Hamburg, the real point is that the Western democracies are facing a severe challenge from varying blends of authoritarian populist crony-capitalism. Russia and China are the most egregious examples, Turkey is becoming one, with Hungary, Poland and the Philippines all in the same orbit.
On the other side are Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron, along with Justin Trudeau and some other Western leaders, championing and reviving the Western liberal order. The Hamburg protesters are setting fire to the city while the world that protects them is on the brink of conflagration.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 9th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

This is just an impression from watching how the Energy industry does not come up with investment money for drilling for oil, even though there is an oil-friendly President in the White House.

Following the announcement by Elon Musk that Electric Tesla-3 vehicles will start running,
he also announced the building in Australia of a large solar electricity storage facility
to be duplicated for independent cities transportation. This is a decentralized system.

A different approach took Warren Buffett who is investing $29 Billion in buying a Texas
electricity distributor for his solar energy. This system allows for the incorporation of Nuclear Electricity, if available, as he considers this source also as benefitting reduced
CO2 Emissions. This is then a centralized electricity network.

In both these cases – obviously, well experienced business people show their readiness
to take risk in the future world as driven by the Paris Accord – reinforced by the now
G-19 – in disregard of the US President’s departure from global consensus.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 8th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Elon Musk: Model 3 passed all regulatory requirements for production two weeks ahead of schedule. Expecting to complete SN1 on Friday – 1:48 AM – 3 Jul 2017

Tesla’s Model 3, its mass-market car, expected to roll off factory floor Friday July 7, 2017.

The $35,000 electric car passed regulatory requirements two weeks ahead of schedule, and the first 30 owners will receive their cars at the end of the month, chief executive Elon Musk said.

Everything you need to know about Tesla Model 3, which is starting production today.

We’re gonna rock down to Electric Avenue, and the stakes couldn’t be any higher.

by Andrew J. Hawkins@andyjayhawk Jul 7, 2017,

Today’s the day for Tesla. The automaker says it expects to complete production of “SN1” (or “Serial Number one”) of the Model 3, its first electric car for the masses. But the Model 3 isn’t just any car. Everything for the success of Tesla as a viable car company has been building up to this point. The Model 3 will define the future of the company — and the stakes for Tesla and CEO Elon Musk couldn’t possibly be higher.

Earlier this week, Musk tweeted that Friday was the day the first Model 3 would be rolling off the assembly line. In subsequent tweets, he added that the first 30 Model 3 customers will receive their new Teslas on July 28th at a handover party hosted by the automaker.

“I think I can say, without irony of mawkishness, that this is the most important electric car ever produced,” said Michael Ramsey, research director at Gartner. “That’s because if it meets expectations of hundreds of thousands of sales, it changes the global landscape for electric cars. And if it fails, it relegates the move toward electrification to the trudging march that it has been so far.”

“I THINK I CAN SAY, WITHOUT IRONY OF MAWKISHNESS, THAT THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTRIC CAR EVER PRODUCED.”
Skepticism about Tesla’s ability to meet the enormous demands of mass production is extremely high. Practically no one believes Musk will be able to meet the benchmarks he has set for the Model 3. Tesla’s share price has been savaged over the last week, losing nearly 20 percent of its value, while Wall Street analysts predict that demand for Tesla’s two other current vehicles, the Model S and Model X, has already peaked. Other experts say that Musk will need to reduce costs by as much as 60 percent if it wants the Model 3 to be profitable.

And then there’s the fact that most auto startups throughout the 20th century eventually failed and fell into obscurity. Tesla, a 15-year-old company, could be poised to challenge those odds. The manufacturing and quality challenges of starting a brand-new automotive company are titanic.

“The Model 3 is critical for Tesla’s long-term viability,” said Karl Brauer, executive publisher at Kelley Blue Book. “The company had been around for almost 15 years yet has never turned a profit. The Model 3 will be Tesla’s first attempt at a high-volume car meant for mainstream consumers. If Tesla can satisfy the Model 3’s pent-up demand with a dependable and profitable vehicle it will finally justify a stock value that has it rivaling GM in capital value. If it can’t, Tesla will confirm many critic’s suspicions that it’s never had a truly sustainable business model.”

Tesla’s sky-high valuation — it recently surpassed BMW’s market cap — depends largely on Musk’s ability to sell his vision of sustainable, battery-powered driving to a much broader population. The Model S and Model X are both extremely expensive. Even with tax incentives, both cars easily push $100,000. The Model 3 will start at $35,000, making it the cheapest in Tesla’s range. In order for Tesla to sell 10 times as many cars as it does now, it needs a much cheaper automobile.

But the marketplace for affordable electric vehicles is suddenly much more crowded than it was when the Model 3 was first announced in 2016. GM was able to grab first-mover status when it released the Chevy Bolt, a $36,620, 238-mile-per-charge, electric vehicle, last December. Other midlevel electric vehicles include the Volkswagen e-Golf ($36,415), Ford Focus Electric ($29,995), and Nissan Leaf ($37,675).

These companies have the infrastructure in place to maintain quality and dealer service networks, however. There are signs that Tesla is rethinking its approach to selling and maintaining cars. (Most car dealers now act as the service arm for new buyers.)

Tesla can’t survive on its buzz-worthiness alone, but it’s certainly helped buoy its stock price. The number of people who plunked down the $1,000 deposit to preorder the Model 3 after it was first announced last year blew away pretty much everyone’s expectations. It took less than a week for the company to receive 350,000 preorders, leading Tesla to claim the Model 3 had the “biggest one-week launch of any product ever.” Eat your heart out, Apple.

But Tesla still has a long way to go before it can stick the landing. Musk says production is expected to grow exponentially: 100 cars in August, more than 1,500 by September, and then 20,000 per month by December. If the company fails to hit these marks or runs into manufacturing issues that happen at higher scales, or demand for the Model 3 drops, analysts argue it would be a setback not just for Tesla, but perhaps the entire electrification movement.

BY 2040, ANALYSTS SAY THAT 54 PERCENT OF ALL CARS SOLD ON THE PLANET WILL BE ELECTRIC
In 2016, Bloomberg’s new energy think tank predicted that electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles would make up about 35 percent of the world’s auto market by the year 2040. This year, the group upped that figure considerably: by 2040, analysts now say that 54 percent of all cars sold on the planet will be electric. France’s environmental minister said yesterday his country would ban the sale of all fossil fuel-burning vehicles by 2040. And Volvo said it would stop selling gas-only cars by 2019.

The world is trending toward battery-powered, electric vehicles, thanks in no small part to Musk’s vision and ingenuity. Tesla has helped spur the biggest automakers to accelerate their electrification plans. “The Chevy Bolt might not exist now were it not for Tesla,” said Sam Abuelsamid, an analyst at Navigant. “VW Group is running as fast as it can to move from diesel to electric.”

But the timing of the Model 3’s release could spell doom for Tesla, which still sells a fraction of the automobiles produced by the world’s biggest OEMs. Auto sales are stagnant in the US, while most consumers are trending toward SUVs and crossover vehicles rather than sedans. Tesla faces the problem of introducing a compact sedan when the market is running headlong away from this form factor to sport utilities. “Their timing couldn’t have been worse,” Abuelsamid said.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 8th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

The Austrian daily Salzburger Nachrichten has today a cartoon showing the G20 roundtable
with one chair not in correct position. This leads to a second Round Table on which sits
a farting big yellow cat.

Governor Jerry Brown of California is ready to lead where an alternate leader is needed.


California’s Governor Just Followed Trump To Hamburg And Stole His Spotlight.

BY BENJAMIN LOCKE
POLITICS | Washington Journal, JULY 8, 2017

In a call to action, California Governor Jerry Brown told an international audience at a climate conference going on in Hamburg, Germany at the same time as the G-20 conference that “President Trump doesn’t speak for the rest of us,” as he announced plans for a global environmental summit next September in San Francisco.

Speaking via video to attendees at the Global Citizens Festival, Brown sent a strong signal that there are Americans ready to take a leadership role in combatting climate change despite the president.

“It’s up to you and it’s up to me and tens of millions of other people to get it together to roll back the forces of carbonization and join together to combat the existential threat of climate change,” Brown said.

His next statement drew loud applause from the crowd: “Yes, I know President Trump is trying to get out of the Paris agreement, but he doesn’t speak for the rest of America.”

“We in California and in all states across America,” continued Brown, “believe it’s time to act, its time to join together and that’s why at this climate action summit we’re going to get it done.”
When California becomes the first state to host a global climate summit, it will precede the 14th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which will be an even larger effort to bring together state, city and municipal governments to promise to fight climate change and then follow through by making good on their pledges, Brown’s staff told the Mercury News.

Trump thumbed his nose at the climate change advocates by scheduling his first sit-down with Russian President VBladimir Putin at the same time the G20 countries were scheduled to discuss issues around climate change.

Trump was not invited to speak at the Global Citizens Festival, but attendees did hear from other world leaders including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Argentina’s President Mauricio Marci.

There were also musical performances during the event by Coldplay, Shakira, Pharrell Williams and others.

Brown was introduced to the conference by Christiana Figueres, the former UN climate chief, who called the California Governor “a stubborn optimist from a surprising country.”

Figueres said the message that the conference will send to the world is that Trump does not speak for all Americans, most of whom do believe that climate change is real and that it is a real danger to the entire planet.

Brown has been a leader on the need to address climate change for a long time, helping shape policies in California that emphasize renewal energy sources and a respect for the planet nad its people.

Last December, Brown said if Trump took away the satellites that monitor world climate change, California would put “it’s own damn satellites” into the sky to do the job.
Brown has amped up his campaign since June when Trump announced the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Shortly after that Brown took a trip to China where he met with President Xi Jinping to deliver his message that “disaster still looms,” unless governments take action, says the Mercury News, while predicting Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris agreement would only be a temporary setback. He said Europe, China, individual U.S. states, and cities, among others, would take over the leadership role that has been abandoned by Trump.

Brown told the Mercury News just before his China trip that if Trump stays on his current course, “California will just redouble its efforts and the people of the world will have to rise up and take action. And I think in a paradoxical way, that’s exactly what Trump is stimulating – the very opposite of climate denial is climate activism.”
Brown met earlier this week with other municipal and state leaders from Germany, Argentina, Australia and other countries as part of the Under2 Coalition, to urge G20 leaders to stand by the Paris agreement and welcome the role of states, cities and regional governments in working to address climate change.

“All over the world,” Brown said in a statement, “momentum is building to deal seriously with climate change. Despite rejection in Washington, California is all in. We are fully committed to the Under2 Coalition and the Paris agreement.”

Brown said the steps he is taking are designed to build a consensus and encourage negotiations at every level. He told the Los Angeles Times that given the scope of the challenges, finding solutions will not be “a walk in the park.”

“Decarbonizing the world,” added Brown, “it’s like going from the Roman Empire to Christianity. It’s a total paradigm shift.”
Brown is showing real leadership even in the face of constant criticism from his Republican opponents and their surrogates, and he is making the entire world aware that the U.S. is not going to give up on addressing climate change just because the current president is a science denier.

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, current New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio, Governor Kate Brown of Oregon, and progressive leaders from more than 30 cities, three other governors, university presidents, business leaders and others across the country are joining with Brown.

They are determined to not let commercial interests with huge lobbying budgets who are in the pocket of corrupt Republicans pollute freely and destroy the world while they stand by.

Take that, Koch brothers.

In the twilight of his political career, Brown is taking action and inviting the whole world to join with him.

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BENJAMIN LOCKE
BENJAMIN LOCKE IS A RETIRED COLLEGE PROFESSOR WITH AN UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE IN INDUSTRIAL LABOR AND RELATIONS FROM CORNELL UNIVERSITY AND AN MBA FROM THE EUROPEAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT.

California’s Governor Just Followed Trump To Hamburg And Stole His Spotlight


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please see also:

 www.alternet.org/news-amp-politic…

Is Jerry Brown the ‘President’ of Anti-Trump America? He Shows Up in Germany for the G20
Trump “doesn’t speak for the rest of America,” says the California governor.
By Tom Boggioni / Raw Story July 7, 2017,

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