Showing posts from June 17, 2017

Today's Trumpery

[Welcome to the monkey house. A daily pastiche of Trumpisms and responses thereto. *RON*]

Trump disapproval hits 64 percent in AP poll, The Hill
GOP Is Pushing "Tax Cut Wrapped in Veneer of a Healthcare Bill" Under Extreme Secrecy, Democracy Now!
Normalization With Cuba Has Been a Smashing Success—but Trump Wants to Destroy It, The Nation
Kamala Harris, Jeff Sessions, and the Weaponized Persecution Complex, Teen Vogue [OK, an odd source, but a good article nonetheless!]
Trump backers try out the incompetence defense against obstruction concerns, Think Progress
Polemicists in Robes, Slate [On federal judicial nominees]

These Five Charts Show the Seismic Shifts Happening in Global Energy

Click here to view the original article.

[Coal and diesel on the decline, even (or especially) in China, while global carbon stabilizes and the growth of renewables accelerates. See also: Coal No Longer King as China Spurs Shift to Cleaner Energy, and World Coal Production Just Had Its Biggest Drop on Record, and Climate change study in Canada's Hudson Bay thwarted by climate change, and A reckoning for our species': the philosopher prophet of the Anthropocene. *RON*]

James Herron & Will Kennedy, Bloomberg, 13 June 2017

BP Plc has published is Statistical Review of World Energy for 66 years. This year’s data laid open the accelerating shifts in global patterns of energy production and consumption as economies move from fossil fuels to wind, solar and other renewable technologies. These charts show five of the most striking trends:

1. Coal’s Quickening Demise

Coal production fell by the most on record last year as power producers switched to natural gas as well as wind and …

40 countries are making polluters pay for carbon pollution. Guess who's not.

Click here to view the original article.
[This map shows the steady, inexorable spread of carbon pricing. "It’s notable that three of the biggest remaining blank areas are the US, Russia, and the Middle East. Call it the Axis of Unpriced Carbon." *RON*]
David Roberts, Vox, 15 June 2017

Most people who have given climate change policy any thought agree that it is important to put a price on greenhouse gas emissions. They are a form of harmful waste; those producing the waste should pay for the harms. (There’s plenty of debate over just how central pricing is to a serious climate strategy, but very little debate that it should play some role.)

That policy consensus has been in place for quite a while. It seems the political world is beginning to catch up.

The sustainability think tank Sightline has just updated its map of carbon pricing systems across the world. Things have gotten quite lively. Here’s an animated version:The size of the bubbles correspond to the amount of carbon c…

Much to celebrate in committee report on Canadian Environmental Protection Act

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[Here again, good news, but all the government has committed to is to 'consider' the report. If you have a minute, send a short email to your MP letting them know how much you support these recommendations; I did. Find your MPs contact information here. *RON*]

Dr. Elaine MacDonald & Kaitlyn Mitchell, Ecojustice, 15 June 2017

Highlights include major breakthrough for environmental rights, strengthened toxics regulation and protections for vulnerable populations.

The Canadian Environmental Protection Act (“CEPA”) is Canada’s most important environmental law. And yet, in the likely event that you are not an environmental lawyer, you have probably never heard of it.

CEPA sets out the framework Canada uses to determine which substances are toxic and need to be regulated to protect the environment and human health. It also guides decision-making about whether a new substance or genetically modified animal is safe enough to be used or manufa…

Oil Sands Advisory Group calls for emissions restrictions when 100 megatonne limit nears

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[Theoretically good news, though all the Alberta government has committed to is to 'review' and 'consult'. There is a juicy story lurking beneath Tzeporah Berman's starkly-reported departure as co-chair. *RON*]

Robson Fletcher, CBC News, 16 June 2017
Alberta should publish regular forecasts of expected greenhouse gas emissions from the oilsands and authorize more stringent restrictions if the estimates approach the annual 100-megatonne limit, according to the first report from The Oil Sands Advisory Group.

The report, released Friday by OSAG, recommends the province publish annually a forecast of greenhouse gas emissions from the oilsands for the next year and the next decade in order to monitor compliance with a 100-megatonne per year emissions cap established by the government.
Oilsands emissions capped at 100 megatonnes a year under new bill

"If the 10-year forecast indicates that oilsands emissions are expected to excee…

These Charts Show Just How Small the U.S. Middle Class Is, Compared to Europe's

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[In the US, 59% of people are in the middle class versus 80% in Denmark. In the US, 26% of people are low income versus 14% in Norway. *RON*]
Annie Nova, Time, 12 June 2017

If you have the nagging sense that income inequality is getting worse in the United States, some new data from Pew Research shows you're not imagining things.

An analysis that weighs the U.S. against 11 countries in Western Europe shows that America holds the tiniest middle class, with just 59% of the United States’ population falling between rich and poor on the income scale. By contrast, 72% of the German population falls into that middle-income bracket -- defined by Pew to be between two-thirds the country's median income and double the median -- as does 80% of the Danish population.

“Countries with higher income inequality tend to have smaller middle classes,” said Rakesh Kochhar, the associate director of research at Pew Research Center.

The green dots in the cen…