climate change

Where Is the Black Political Conversation About Climate Change?

Charles D. Ellison

Even within the context of climate change’s devastating and disproportionate impact on communities of color, black politicos won’t follow the president’s lead on the issue. The Congressional Black Caucus didn’t say if it would, at the very least, take a look at the rules—nor does it list climate change as an issue of focus (leaving it to the multicultural Congressional Progressive Caucus). 

Voters Want Environmental Protection, But Do Their Lawmakers?

Ngoc Nguyen

NAM found that Latino and Black Legislative Caucuses -- made up entirely of Democrats -- are more pro-business than their Asian and white Democratic counterparts in the state legislature. After heavy lobbying by industry, more moderate Latino and African-American lawmakers shot down or abstained on pro-environment bills more often than Asian Democratic lawmakers. 

Once Upon a Climate Change

Marty Kaplan

Unfortunately, the Kyoto emission cuts didn’t go into force until 2008; Canada, one of the world’s biggest oil producers, wouldn’t sign it; the U.S. didn’t ratify it, nor did Australia, one of the world’s top coal producers; China, India and the rest of the developing world weren’t covered by it; and its limits lasted only until 2012.  The result of the treaty was that 20 percent of the growth of atmospheric carbon dioxide since people lived in caves occurred between 2000 and 2011.

The New Crop of Green Republicans

Ngoc Nguyen

A new environmental scorecard of California legislators reveals an emerging trend – an uptick in the scores for Republicans, bolstered by a new crop of moderates. The scorecard, released last Wednesday, shows that average scores for Republicans have steadily grown in the last few years. The average score for GOP Assembly members nearly doubled to 15 percent, while that of Senate Republicans more than tripled to 10 percent, compared to the previous year. Still, average scores for GOP legislators were far below that of their Democratic counterparts, which ranged from 87 to 90 percent.

An Economically Incentivized Climate Solution

Alexander Ostrovsky

The bottom line is that the earth’s natural ability to pull carbon out of our environment is beyond strained. From deforestation and carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels, the path that we are on is not sustainable. Wind and solar farms are great except that they are costly to build, do not produce enough energy to sustain any of our large cities, and require subsidies from our public institutions to be built and maintained. 

In Calif., Minorities Pave the Way for Climate Change

Ngoc Nguyen

Their sentiments echoed the findings of a poll released last week that shows that an overwhelming majority of Californians want the state to act now to address global warming instead of waiting for the economy to improve – with the strongest support voiced by Latinos, African Americans and Asians. The Public Policy Institute of California survey found that nearly two-thirds of whites felt that way, while 88 percent of Latinos, 83 percent of blacks, and 78 percent of Asians held that view.

In Calif., Gov. Brown Suffers a Blow to Communities Facing Health Threats From Climate Change

Ngoc Nguyen

For months, hundreds of community members and advocates participated in workshops throughout California to figure out how to spend millions generated through the state’s cap-and-trade program. Just when the groups finally hammered out an investment plan that would start to pump money back to communities, Gov. Brown proposed Tuesday to divert that money to the general fund.

Climate Change, Scarcity of Natural Resources Spell Future Global Unrest

Michael Klare

It is important to note that absolute scarcity doesn’t have to be on the horizon in any given resource category for this scenario to kick in. A lack of adequate supplies to meet the needs of a growing, ever more urbanized and industrialized global population is enough. Given the wave of extinctions that scientists are recording, some resources -- particular species of fish, animals, and trees, for example -- will become less abundant in the decades to come, and may even disappear altogether. 

How the Threat of Climate Change May Affect U.S. National Security

Joe Hitchon

More than three dozen national security officials, members of Congress and military leaders are warning of the threat climate change poses to U.S. national security, the latest in an indicator that U.S. intelligence and national security circles are increasingly worried about a warming planet. In a new bipartisan open letter, they stress the need for urgent action and call on both public and private support to address issues that included forced migration and the displacement of vulnerable communities, as well as the dangers related to food production during extreme weather events.

After Hurricane Sandy, Climate Change Is Back on the Political Agenda

Katherine Bagley

This was the year climate change vanished from the political agenda—and then suddenly reappeared, after Hurricane Sandy shook the country. It was just a few years ago that President Obama flew to Copenhagen to rescue faltering climate-treaty talks amid bipartisan calls for global warming action. But in 2012, there wasn't a single congressional proposal or hearing on climate legislation. Neither was there mention of climate change on the presidential campaign trail, or in the debates for the first time in decades. 

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