Trump Announces U.S. Will Exit Paris Climate Deal

President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw the US from the Paris climate accord Thursday, a major step that fulfills a campaign promise while seriously dampening global efforts to curb global warming.

The decision amounts to a rebuttal of the worldwide effort to pressure Trump to remain a part of the agreement, which 195 nations signed onto. Foreign leaders, business executives and Trump’s own daughter lobbied heavily for him to remain a part of the deal, but ultimately lost out to conservatives who claim the plan is bad for the United States.

“In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord but being negotiations to reenter either the Paris accord or an entirely new transaction under terms that are fair to the United States,” Trump said from the White House Rose Garden.

“We’re getting out. And we will start to renegotiate and we’ll see if there’s a better deal. If we can, great. If we can’t, that’s fine,” he added.

[Washington Post]

Reality

The U.S. now joins Syria, which has been mired in a war and Nicaragua, which has said it didn’t join because they didn’t think the climate agreement went far enough, in not taking part in the global agreement.

For years conservatives railed against Barack Obama for what they perceived was “leading from behind.” This is exactly leading from behind. Other countries like China will now take over as global leaders in green energy and reap the economic benefits while Trump at home will push for more oil and coal.

EPA Dismisses Five Scientists from Major Review Board

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has dismissed at least five academic members of one of its scientific review boards and may replace them with representatives from industries the EPA regulates, according to The New York Times.

A spokesperson for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said Pruitt is considering replacing the five scientists with representatives of industries whose pollution the EPA polices.

“The administrator believes we should have people on this board who understand the impact of regulations on the regulated community,” spokesperson J.P. Freire told The Times.

It’s the latest in a string of controversial moves by the agency in recent weeks. The agency has removed several pages about climate change from its website and has proposed shuttering a regional office that oversees environmental regulation in several states.

Trump has also signed several executive orders that impact the environment, including rolling back former President Barack Obama’s climate change policies and expanding offshore drilling.

(h/t The Hill)

Trump EPA Removes “Outdated” Climate Change Page From Website

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) removed several pages – including those related to climate change – from its website on Friday as part of an update to “reflect the agency’s new direction under President Donald Trump and Administrator Scott Pruitt.”

EPA officials removed the page relating to the Obama administration’s main emissions regulation for power plants, which now directs to an article about an executive order Trump signed in March undoing Obama’s climate agenda.

The agency’s pages relating to climate change, climate science, the impacts of climate change and what readers can do about climate change are all gone from the live site, each replaced with a banner headline saying “this page is being updated.”

The EPA’s website on climate information for children remains live.

A snapshot of the agency’s website during the Obama administration is still available online, and the EPA said pages like those relating to climate change are still “under review.”

“As EPA renews its commitment to human health and clean air, land and water, our website needs to reflect the views of the leadership of the agency,” said J.P. Freire, the agency’s associate administrator for public affairs, in a statement.

“We want to eliminate confusion by removing outdated language first and making room to discuss how we’re protecting the environment and human health by partnering with states and working within the law.”

The White House made headlines by removing the climate change page from its official website in the moments after Trump was inaugurated in January, but that was part of a broader overhaul of the site.

The EPA’s website has, until now, maintained much of the content it presented during the Obama administration, despite efforts from Trump’s EPA team to reform the agency.

EPA officials announced the website updates in a press release sent after 7 p.m. on a Friday.

Trump and Pruitt have used their first few months in office to begin the process of undoing many EPA climate rules finalized during the Obama administration, including the Clean Power Plan.

Trump has said he does not believe the science behind climate change. Pruitt has questioned whether carbon dioxide emissions are a “primary contributor” to climate change, while most climate scientists agree it is.

(h/t The Hill)

Reality

Trump’s EPA has called climate change “outdated language” yet there is nothing new in the scientific literature has overturned the overwhelming scientific evidence that carbon dioxide [CO2] in the atmosphere is the primary driver of climate change.

Science has been aware for over 150 years that carbon in the atmosphere will retain heat. The year was 1859 to be exact, and it was scientist John Tyndall who made the discovery that carbon in the atmosphere trapped heat. Then in 1896 Svante Arrhenius calculated that, based on this simple principle of physics, higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere would raise global temperatures.

These discoveries are the cornerstones of climate science, in 150 years have yet to be disputed, and instead continues to be confirmed by observation.

To explain further, the science, in short, says the following. CO2 lets through short wave light, the kind that passes through our atmosphere, but traps long wave radiation, the kind that is reflected and travels back into space. This experiment can be done in a laboratory, and should you have the time you could see it for yourself.

The site at this link has compiled a list of just a handful of the published scientific papers of laboratory measurements of CO2 absorption properties, ranging from 1861 all the way up to 2008. Knowing this evidence, scientist reached a consensus a long time ago that CO2 is indeed a contributor to global warming.

Just to reiterate here, Donald Trump’s acceptance of science predates the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, the American Civil War, and the First Transcontinental Railroad. This is the equivalent trying to attack a state-of-the-art military drone with a Civil War era musket.

EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Says Carbon Dioxide is Not a Primary Contributor to Global Warming

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said Thursday he does not believe carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming.

“I think that 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 global warming that we see,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

“But we don’t know that yet. … We need to continue the debate and continue the review and the analysis.”

The statement contradicts the public stance of the agency Pruitt leads. The EPA’s webpage on the causes of climate change states, “Carbon dioxide is the primary greenhouse gas that is contributing to recent climate change.”

Pruitt’s view is also at odds with the opinion of NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“The planet’s average surface temperature has risen about 2.0 degrees Fahrenheit (1.1 degrees Celsius) since the late 19th century, a change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere,” NASA and NOAA said in January.

Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, co-chair of the Senate Climate Action Task Force, slammed Pruitt for his comments, calling his views “extreme” and “irresponsible.”

“Anyone who denies over a century’s worth of established science and basic facts is unqualified to be the administrator of the EPA. Now more than ever, the Senate needs to stand up to Scott Pruitt and his dangerous views,” he said in a statement.

Schatz said lawmakers would hold Pruitt accountable through the appropriations process and oversight of the EPA, and by making sure he follows the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act.

Pruitt previously served as Oklahoma attorney general, where he rose to prominence as a leader in coordinated efforts by Republican attorneys general to challenge President Barack Obama‘s regulatory agenda. He sued or took part in legal actions against the EPA 14 times.

Democrats and environmentalists opposed Pruitt’s nomination to lead the EPA due to his close relationship with fossil fuel companies and his history of casting doubt on climate change. Conservatives and the energy industry have cheered his efforts to push back on what they view as over-regulation under Obama.

Pruitt maintained on Thursday it’s possible to be pro-growth, pro-jobs and pro-environment all at once.

“This idea that if you’re pro-environment you’re anti-energy is just something we’ve got to change so that attitude is something we’re working on very much,” he said.

Asked whether he would seek to roll back the EPA’s 2009 determination that carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases are a danger to public health, Pruitt suggested he would like to see Congress take up the issue.

“I think all those things need to be addressed as we go forward but not least of which is the response by the legislative branch with respect to the issue,” he said.

The Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that the EPA has the authority to regulate heat-trapping gases from automobiles. In 2014, it determined the agency could also regulate some sources of greenhouse gases, such as power plants.

Pruitt also called the Paris Agreement, an international accord aimed at mitigating the impacts of climate change, “a bad deal.” He said it puts the United States on a different playing field than developing countries like China and India.

The United States has vowed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. In comparison, China has committed to reach peak carbon emissions levels by 2030, but will try to reach that point sooner.

“I happen to think the Paris accord, the Paris treaty, or the Paris Agreement, if you will, should have been treated as a treaty, should have gone through senate confirmation. That’s a concern,” he said.

The Paris Agreement was negotiated by the State Department, and future adherence to U.S. commitments made under Obama will be guided by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Tillerson, the former chief of Exxon Mobil, said during his Senate confirmation hearing that he believes the United States should remain a party to the Paris Agreement.

(h/t CNBC)

Reality

There is nothing in the scientific literature that can back up Scott Pruitt’s claim. On the contrary there is overwhelming scientific evidence that carbon dioxide [CO2] in the atmosphere is the primary driver of climate change.

Science has been aware for over 150 years that carbon in the atmosphere will retain heat. The year was 1859 to be exact, and it was scientist John Tyndall who made the discovery that carbon in the atmosphere trapped heat. Then in 1896 Svante Arrhenius calculated that, based on this simple principle of physics, higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere would raise global temperatures. These discoveries are the cornerstones of climate science, in 150 years have yet to be disputed, and instead continues to be confirmed by observation.

To explain further, the science, in short, says the following. CO2 lets through short wave light, the kind that passes through our atmosphere, but traps long wave radiation, the kind that is reflected and travels back into space. This experiment can be done in a laboratory, and should you have the time you could see it for yourself.

The site at this link has compiled a list of just a handful of the published scientific papers of laboratory measurements of CO2 absorption properties, ranging from 1861 all the way up to 2008. Knowing this evidence, scientist reached a consensus a long time ago that CO2 is indeed a contributor to global warming.

Just to reiterate here, Scott Pruitt’s acceptance of science predates the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, the American Civil War, and the First Transcontinental Railroad. This is the equivalent trying to attack a state-of-the-art military drone with a Civil War era musket.

Media

CNBC

Trump Administration Tells EPA to Cut Climate Page From Website

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to remove the climate change page from its website, two agency employees told Reuters, the latest move by the newly minted leadership to erase ex-President Barack Obama’s climate change initiatives.

The employees were notified by EPA officials on Tuesday that the administration had instructed EPA’s communications team to remove the website’s climate change page, which contains links to scientific global warming research, as well as detailed data on emissions. The page could go down as early as Wednesday, the sources said.

“If the website goes dark, years of work we have done on climate change will disappear,” one of the EPA staffers told Reuters, who added some employees were scrambling to save some of the information housed on the website, or convince the Trump administration to preserve parts of it.

The sources asked not to be named because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

A Trump administration official did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The order comes as Trump’s administration has moved to curb the flow of information from several government agencies who oversee environmental issues since last week, in actions that appeared designed to tighten control and discourage dissenting views.

The moves have reinforced concerns that Trump, a climate change doubter, could seek to sideline scientific research showing that carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels contributes to global warming, as well as the career staffers at the agencies that conduct much of this research.

Myron Ebell, who helped guide the EPA’s transition after Trump was elected in November until he was sworn in last week, said the move was not surprising.

“My guess is the web pages will be taken down, but the links and information will be available,” he said.

The page includes links to the EPA’s inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, which contains emissions data from individual industrial facilities as well as the multiagency Climate Change Indicators report, which describes trends related to the causes and effects of climate change.

The Trump administration’s recently appointed team to guide the post-Obama transition has drawn heavily from the energy industry lobby and pro-drilling think tanks, according to a list of the newly introduced 10-member team.

Trump appointed Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, a longtime foe of the EPA who has led 14 lawsuits against it, as the agency’s administrator. The Senate environment committee held a tense seven-hour confirmation hearing for Pruitt last week. No vote on his nomination has been scheduled yet.

(h/t Reuters)

Update

After heavy criticism the Trump administration has back off their request… for now.

Trump Gagged the US Agriculture Department’s Research Arm From Publicly Sharing Its Work

The US Department of Agriculture has banned scientists and other employees in its main research division from publicly sharing everything from the summaries of scientific papers to USDA-branded tweets as it starts to adjust to life under the Trump administration, BuzzFeed News has learned.

According to an email sent Monday morning and obtained by BuzzFeed News, the department told staff — including some 2,000 scientists — at the agency’s main in-house research arm, the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), to stop communicating with the public about taxpayer-funded work.

“Starting immediately and until further notice, ARS will not release any public-facing documents,” Sharon Drumm, chief of staff for ARS, wrote in a department-wide email shared with BuzzFeed News.

“This includes, but is not limited to, news releases, photos, fact sheets, news feeds, and social media content,” she added.

Indeed, the last tweet from ARS’s official account was sent the day before Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20.

Though the terse internal note did not explicitly mention the new presidential administration, department scientists around the country interpreted it as a message from Trump that changes were coming to the department.

The memo was also met with some confusion. When asked if the notice constituted a halt on the publication of academic articles, one regional director told scientists that research papers could be published in academic journals and presented at conferences, but that all media interviews must be approved by the office of communications in Washington.

In a statement on Tuesday to BuzzFeed News, the department acknowledged sending an internal email that halted the release of “informational products like news releases and social media content” on Monday. “Scientific publications, released through peer reviewed professional journals are not included,” he added.

“As the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s chief scientific in-house research agency, ARS values and is committed to maintaining the free flow of information between our scientists and the American public as we strive to find solutions to agricultural problems affecting America,” Christopher Bentley, a spokesperson for ARS, said in the statement.

Though some Agricultural Research Service work touches on sensitive subjects like pesticides and genetically modified food, its research is generally less politically charged than that conducted by other agencies, especially those focused on understanding climate change, such as the Environmental Protection Agency.

But under the Obama administration, the Agriculture Department funneled research money into finding ways of cutting down the release of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from cows.

The nomination of former Gov. Sonny Perdue of Georgia as agriculture secretary puts the fate of that and other department research touching on climate change into question. Like President Trump himself, Perdue has in the past bucked the overwhelming consensus among climate scientists that Earth’s atmosphere and oceans are warming due to human activity.

“It’s become a running joke among the public,” Perdue wrote in the National Review in 2014, “and liberals have lost all credibility when it comes to climate science because their arguments have become so ridiculous and so obviously disconnected from reality.”

Other agencies are under lockdown as well since Trump moved into the White House.

Employees at the National Park Service were told to stop tweeting from official park accounts. The Trump administration has also imposed a freeze on grants and contracts from the EPA, the Huffington Post and ProPublica reported on Monday. The EPA, too, is no longer issuing press releases or posting on social media, according to the reports.

(h/t Buzzfeed)

 

Trump Administration Freezes All EPA Grants, Forbids Staffers From Talking to the Public

The oil-loving climate change critic President Trump picked to lead the Environmental Protection Agency still hasn’t been confirmed by the Senate, but troubling changes are already afoot at the EPA.

According to reports from ProPublica and The Huffington Post, the White House told the agency to immediately suspend its contract and grant programs on Monday and restricted all outgoing communication until further notice, measures a veteran staffer characterized as extraordinary.

The intended duration of the funding freeze was not immediately clear, but the former head of Trump’s EPA transition team, Myron Ebell, confirmed that it had been put in place Monday night.

“They’re trying to freeze things to make sure nothing happens they don’t want to have happen,” Ebell told ProPublica. “So any regulations going forward, contracts, grants, hires, they want to make sure to look at them first.”

Ebell conceded that the suspension “may be a little wider” than those instituted by previous administrations, but claimed it was still “very similar.” Whether or not that is true, however, is difficult to determine, as staffers were told to cease communicating with the public on Monday, The Huffington Post reports.

In an email obtained by site, EPA employees were instructed not to blog, post on social media, issue press releases or update agency websites “until further direction” by Trump officials. Still, some info managed to leak from the agency that, in the last year on record, awarded over $10 billion in grants and contracts across the country.

“Right now we are in a holding pattern,” wrote an EPA contracting officer in an email obtained by ProPublica. “The new EPA administration has asked that all contract and grant awards be temporarily suspended, effective immediately. Until we receive further clarification, this includes task orders and work assignments.”

While the funding freeze has alarmed many in the scientific community, it’s sadly not a complete surprise. After all, the man Trump wants to head the EPA described himself as a “leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda” on his resume.

(h/t Gizmodo)

During Debate Trump Claims He Didn’t Call Climate Change a Chinese Hoax, He Did

Hillary Clinton called out Donald Trump at their first debate for labeling climate change a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese.

Trump denied saying that. But his own Twitter feed contradicts him, with the real-estate magnate tweeting back in 2012 that global warming was a hoax.

Trump’s tweet said, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”

(h/t MarketWatch)

Reality

There is nothing in the scientific literature that can back up Donald Trump’s claim. On the contrary there is overwhelming scientific evidence that carbon dioxide [CO2] is a pollutant.

For anyone who disagrees with the empirical evidence that CO2 is a pollutant ask yourself; Would you ever think it is safe to breath in the exhaust from your car for an extended period of time? (Prius and Tesla owners pretend you have a Chevy.) You absolutely wouldn’t because tragically hundreds of people die each year from carbon monoxide [CO] poisoning. Along with carbon monoxide, cars release carbon dioxide [CO2], hydrocarbons [HC], nitrogen oxides [NOx], and other particulates which are all pollutants, have proven contributions to climate change, and are harmful to your health.

Science has been aware for over 150 years that carbon in the atmosphere will retain heat. The year was 1859 to be exact, and it was scientist John Tyndall who made the discovery that carbon in the atmosphere trapped heat. Then in 1896 Svante Arrhenius calculated that, based on this simple principle of physics, higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere would raise global temperatures. These discoveries are the cornerstones of climate science, in 150 years have yet to be disputed, and instead continues to be confirmed by observation.

To explain further, the science, in short, says the following. CO2 lets through short wave light, the kind that passes through our atmosphere, but traps long wave radiation, the kind that is reflected and travels back into space. This experiment can be done in a laboratory, and should you have the time you could see it for yourself.

The site at this link has compiled a list of just a handful of the published scientific papers of laboratory measurements of CO2 absorption properties, ranging from 1861 all the way up to 2008. Knowing this evidence, scientist reached a consensus a long time ago that CO2 is indeed a contributor to global warming.

Just to reiterate here, Donald Trump’s acceptance of science predates the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, the American Civil War, and the First Transcontinental Railroad. This is the equivalent trying to attack a state-of-the-art military drone with a Civil War era musket.

Media

 

 

Trump: I’m Not a Big Believer in Man-Made Climate Change

In the wide-ranging interview with the Miami Herald which focused on key South Florida issues, Trump continued to question climate change caused by humans.

Trump spoke to the Herald at the Fontainebleau Hotel, steps from the shoreline and not far from streets the city of Miami Beach has spent millions of dollars elevating to fend off rising seas.

“I’m not a big believer in man-made climate change,” Trump said, despite vast scientific evidence to the contrary. “There could be some impact, but I don’t believe it’s a devastating impact.”

In the past, Trump has called climate change a “hoax.”

“I would say that it goes up, it goes down,” he said. “Certainly climate has changed. … The problem we have is our businesses are suffering. Our businesses are unable to compete in this country because other countries aren’t being forced to do what our businesses are being forced to do, and it makes us uncompetitive.”

If cities like Miami Beach want to set local rules to fight the effects of rising seas, though, Trump said he wouldn’t get in their way.

“If the local government feels that way, they should do it,” he said. “If they’re doing the roads, and if they want to make them higher, I think that’s probably not the worst thing I’ve ever heard, if you’re going to do them anyway.”

Reality

There is nothing in the scientific literature that can back up Donald Trump’s claim. On the contrary there is overwhelming scientific evidence that carbon dioxide [CO2] is a pollutant.

For anyone who disagrees with the empirical evidence that CO2 is a pollutant ask yourself; Would you ever think it is safe to breath in the exhaust from your car for an extended period of time? (Prius and Tesla owners pretend you have a Chevy.) You absolutely wouldn’t because tragically hundreds of people die each year from carbon monoxide [CO] poisoning. Along with carbon monoxide, cars release carbon dioxide [CO2], hydrocarbons [HC], nitrogen oxides [NOx], and other particulates which are all pollutants, have proven contributions to climate change, and are harmful to your health.

Science has been aware for over 150 years that carbon in the atmosphere will retain heat. The year was 1859 to be exact, and it was scientist John Tyndall who made the discovery that carbon in the atmosphere trapped heat. Then in 1896 Svante Arrhenius calculated that, based on this simple principle of physics, higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere would raise global temperatures. These discoveries are the cornerstones of climate science, in 150 years have yet to be disputed, and instead continues to be confirmed by observation.

To explain further, the science, in short, says the following. CO2 lets through short wave light, the kind that passes through our atmosphere, but traps long wave radiation, the kind that is reflected and travels back into space. This experiment can be done in a laboratory, and should you have the time you could see it for yourself.

The site at this link has compiled a list of just a handful of the published scientific papers of laboratory measurements of CO2 absorption properties, ranging from 1861 all the way up to 2008. Knowing this evidence, scientist reached a consensus a long time ago that CO2 is indeed a contributor to global warming.

Just to reiterate here, Donald Trump’s acceptance of science predates the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, the American Civil War, and the First Transcontinental Railroad. This is the equivalent trying to attack a state-of-the-art military drone with a Civil War era musket.

Trump Tells California ‘There Is No Drought’

Donald Trump told California voters Friday that he can solve their water crisis, declaring, “There is no drought.”

California is, in fact, in midst of a drought. Last year capped the state’s driest four-year period in its history, with record low rainfall and snow.

Speaking at a rally in Fresno, Calif., Trump accused state officials of denying water to Central Valley farmers so they can send it out to sea “to protect a certain kind of three-inch fish.”

(h/t SF Gate)

Source

Donald Trump’s California drought conspiracy theory comes straight from lunatic Alex Jones’ InfoWars in an article 3 days prior titled, “Environmentalists Caused California Drought to Protect This Fish.

The theory that California’s water shortage is all the fault of the Environmental Protection Agency is, like most conspiracy theories, grounded in an actual fact. The EPA has, in fact, caused 800,000 acre-feet of water annually to be flushed into San Francisco Bay to maintain its marine ecosystem. The program, however, dates to the early 1990s, and California’s water system, all told, manages over 40 million acre-feet a year. The practice that Trump describes so darkly involves 2 percent of that—and an economically vital 2 percent at that. California fisheries produce jobs in the hundreds of thousands. But not in Fresno.

Reality

California is now in its fifth year of drought, which has taken a heavy toll on agriculture in particular. Despite an El Niño event that saw an increase last year in snowpacks that supply about one-third of California’s water, 86 percent of the state is still considered to be in drought.

Trump appeared to be referring to disputes over water that runs from the Sacramento River to the San Francisco Bay and then to the ocean. Some farmers want more of that flow captured and diverted to them.

Politically influential rural water districts and well-off corporate farmers in and around California’s Central Valley have been pushing back against longstanding federal laws protecting endangered fish and other species, saying federal efforts to make sure endangered native fish have enough water is short-changing farmers of the water they want and need for crops.

Water authorities say they can’t do it because of the water rights of those upstream of the farmers, and because of the minimum-water allowances needed by endangered species in the bay and by wildlife in general.

The three-inch Delta smelt is a native California fish on the brink of extinction. The smelt has become an emblem in the state’s battles over environmental laws and water distribution.

The farm lobby, a heavyweight player in California’s water wars, also is seeking federal and state approval for billions of dollars in new water tunnels, dams and other projects.

Trump promised that, if he’s elected, he would put their interests first. “If I win, believe me, we’re going to start opening up the water so that you can have your farmers survive,” he said.

California is the country’s No. 1 agriculture producer. The state’s drought is raising the stakes in water disputes among farmers, cities and towns, and environmental interests.

Media

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