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Trump administration must consider climate change before leasing land in Wyoming, court orders

trump administration must consider climate change before leasing land in wyoming, court orders

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The Adobe Town Wilderness Study Area stretches out in a series of cliffs, pinnacles and valleys. A federal court decided the BLM failed to adequately consider how leasing over one million acres of public land to oil and gas companies throughout the West could affect the climate.

Christine Peterson, for the Star-Tribune

Camille Erickson

In a move environmental groups considered a win, a federal court declared the Bureau of Land Management did not adequately consider how leasing over one million acres of public land to oil and gas companies throughout the West could affect the climate.A vast majority of the challenged leases fall within Wyoming.According to U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras, federal regulators fell short of complying with the National Environmental Policy Act when it leased public land in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Montana between September 2016 and March 2019.The court decision remanded, or sent back, the leases to the BLM for additional review. The court ruled the BLM neglected to comprehensively forecast the amount of greenhouse gas emissions associated with leasing the 1.7 million acres for drilling. However, the court chose not to vacate, or invalidate, the leases, as the environmental groups originally …

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On Climate Change, We’re Entirely Out of Margin

on climate change, we’re entirely out of margin

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In 1959, when humans began measuring the carbon-dioxide concentration in the atmosphere, there was still some margin. That first instrument, set up on the side of Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano, showed that the air contained about three hundred and fifteen parts per million of CO2, up from two hundred and eighty p.p.m. before the Industrial Revolution. Worrisome, but not yet critical. In 1988, when the NASA scientist James Hansen first alerted the public to the climate crisis, that number had grown to three hundred and fifty p.p.m., which we’ve since learned is about the upper safe limit. Even then, though, we had a little margin, at least of time: the full effects of the heating had not yet begun to manifest in ways that altered our lives. If we’d acted swiftly, we could have limited the damage dramatically. Photograph by Manan Vatsyayana / AFP / GettyWe didn’t, of course, and we have poured more carbon into the atmosphere since 1988 than in all the years before. The atmospheric concentration of CO2 has topped four hundred and fifteen p.p.m.—that’s much too high, something that we know from a thousand indicators. Last week came the …

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How Seaside Communities North of Boston Prepare for Climate Change

how seaside communities north of boston prepare for climate change

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Climate change is reshaping the North Shore. At Crane Beach in Ipswich, erosion has swept away land equivalent to 84 football fields since the 1950s. In 2018, a storm destroyed the historic Magnolia Pier in Gloucester. The Great Marsh that embraces the upper edge of the coast is sinking in places from a legacy of ditching and flooding.

“We are starting to witness unprecedented changes,” says Tom O’Shea, program director for Coast & Natural Resources for the Trustees of Reservations, which protects 120 miles of shoreline in Massachusetts. 

In the face of these worrisome trends, the Trustees realized our region is at a pivotal moment as we confront the very real dangers climate change presents to our seaside communities. The group decided to investigate the true scope of the problem, focusing on the impacts of sea level rise and storm surge on beaches, salt marshes, developed areas, and wildlife habitats.

The result of the first phase of this work, released in August, is the inaugural State of the Coast report, an assessment of climate change impacts on the 13 coastal towns from Salisbury to Swampscott. The goal is to create a body of knowledge that will highlight the depth of the problem, and galvanize …

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Marin County native chosen to lead new state climate change corps

marin county native chosen to lead new state climate change corps

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Marin County native Josh Fryday has been chosen to lead the nation’s first statewide civilian corps dedicated to preparing for and reversing climate change impacts in California. Novato city council member Josh Fryday speaks to the community during a Council meeting in Novato, Calif. Tuesday, June 25, 2019. (Jeremy Portje/ Marin Independent Journal) 
Created by Gov. Gavin Newsom last month as part of a suite of climate-related initiatives, the new Climate Action Corps plans to deploy more than 250 people throughout the state next year, paying them a stipend and offering scholarships to plant tens of thousands of trees, harden homes against wildfire threats, expand programs to reduce food waste and organize volunteers.
The state is also calling on all Californians to take action in their own communities and is creating an online platform where agencies, environmental groups and nonprofits can post local volunteer opportunities.
“I think this is a paradigm shift because no longer will people have to ask, ‘What can I do?’” Fryday said. “We’re living in a time right now where every Californian is living through the effects of climate change and people don’t want to feel powerless. People want to feel they can do something about …

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Bay Area native chosen to lead new California climate change corps

bay area native chosen to lead new california climate change corps

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Marin County native Josh Fryday has been chosen to lead the nation’s first statewide civilian corps dedicated to preparing for and reversing climate change impacts in California.Created by Gov. Gavin Newsom last month as part of a suite of climate-related initiatives, the new Climate Action Corps plans to deploy more than 250 people throughout the state next year, paying them a stipend and offering scholarships to plant tens of thousands of trees, harden homes against wildfire threats, expand programs to reduce food waste and organize volunteers.
The state is also calling on all Californians to take action in their own communities and is creating an online platform where agencies, environmental groups and nonprofits can post local volunteer opportunities.
“I think this is a paradigm shift because no longer will people have to ask, ‘What can I do?’” Fryday said. “We’re living in a time right now where every Californian is living through the effects of climate change and people don’t want to feel powerless. People want to feel they can do something about it. With the Climate Action Corps, we’re giving every Californian that opportunity.”
Fryday, 39, has served as the state’s chief service officer since …

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Many Latino voters in Nevada are worried about climate change » Yale Climate Connections

many latino voters in nevada are worried about climate change » yale climate connections

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(Photo credit: James Willamor / Wikimedia)

In Nevada, about 20% of voters are Latino, and a growing number are deeply concerned about climate change.
A recent poll found that almost half the state’s Latino voters say they were personally affected by climate change in the last year.
“We look at it as not only climate change or the environment. We are also looking at it as a health aspect,” says Rudy Zamora of Chispa Nevada, a program of the League of Conservation Voters.
He says many Latinos know firsthand how rising temperatures can worsen other problems – for example, air pollution.
“How does climate change impact our communities’ health? How does that impact the way that our children are breathing?” Zamora says.
For him, the concern about air quality is personal. About two years ago, his young son suffered a frightening asthma attack. It was so bad that his son went into respiratory failure and cardiac arrest.
And he says his son is not the only one to have such severe problems. Many people in the community struggle with asthma.
So with the November elections approaching, Chispa Nevada encourages Latinos to compare candidates’ positions on the environment and then vote.
“Climate is …

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To fight climate change, the U.S. must change the way it thinks about protecting the environment

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The Blue Ridge Fire continues to burn near Los Angeles.

Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Earlier this month, the apocalyptic wildfires on the Pacific Coast achieved a grim milestone: 4 million acres burned in California alone. Though much of our national attention has since focused elsewhere, this year’s wildfires represent a significant, real-world threat from climate change.

These blazes have decimated entire towns, taken lives, and produced toxic smoke that has reached all the way to the East Coast. They provide an ominous signal of what lies ahead if we don’t tackle climate change and reframe our society around a serious commitment to sustainability. Climate scientists predict more frequent and uncontrolled wildfires as droughts become more common and other aspects of climate change emerge. Action is required on multiple fronts to move toward a sustainable future. Responding to climate change requires innovation in technologies, policies, communications, business practices and public engagement. But current policy has not fostered the innovation needed. First and foremost, we need a strategy of deep decarbonization that moves the energy foundation of our society to clean and renewable sources of electricity.  But the path to a low-carbon future will also require ramped-up investments in energy efficiency, …

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Va. Considers Climate Change in New Coastal Resilience Plan | Chesapeake Bay Magazine

va. considers climate change in new coastal resilience plan | chesapeake bay magazine

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Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s Virginia Coastal Resilience Planning Framework is out, and it includes an unprecedented warning. In it, Gov. Northam clearly acknowledges that climate changes and coastal sinking are threatening communities and natural resources in much of TidewaterVirginia, from the Norfolk Naval Base to Tangier Island.

It’s the first time the state has sent such a clear message. The framework begins a comprehensive, collaborative, long-term planning process to accept, adjust, and adapt.

“The pandemic has changed many aspects of our lives, but not the fact that our planet is warming, land is sinking, sea levels are rising, and extreme weather events are more frequent and more severe,” says Gov. Northam. “The science is clear: climate change is threatening our way of life, and there is no time to waste. We must act quickly and decisively—and the Coastal Master Planning Framework will be our roadmap to resilience in coastal Virginia.

The governor says the Commonwealth’s approach will use “cost-effective, nature-based, and equitable strategies” to protect peoples’ communities, infrastructure, and economy well into the future.

The Framework lists these guiding principles for the Master Plan and its initiatives: Acknowledge climate change and its consequences; base decision making …

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Overwhelming majority believe Australia is already experiencing climate change

overwhelming majority believe australia is already experiencing climate change

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Climate change

Climate of the Nation report finds 80% think heating effects are now being felt and only 12% back government’s ‘gas-led recovery’

A firefighter backburning in Mangrove Mountain during vast bushfires that raged for weeks during the crisis.
Photograph: Jeremy Piper/AAP

Battling a global pandemic and the first recession in 30 years has not prompted Australians to worry less about the impacts of climate change, and a substantial majority of voters believe we are already experiencing the effects of warming, according to an authoritative snapshot of community attitudes.
The latest Climate of the Nation report, an annual national survey of almost 2,000 voters that has been running for 13 years, will be launched on Wednesday by the New South Wales environment and energy minister, Matt Kean.

The survey finds that 74% of the sample remains concerned about climate change, which is the same level as last year, and 80% of respondents think we are already experiencing climate change impacts.
Over the past five years, the number of Australians saying they believe climate change is already happening has increased by 15 points. The survey shows the number of Australians who think we are experiencing the impacts of climate change “a lot” has increased from 33% in 2016 to 48% …

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