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FEBRUARY 6, 2020

Dear Friends: Pushing hard for a “yes” on Measure C-Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority. Note passage of SB 45, which would place a $5.5 billion bond measure on the November ballot for state climate funding and Governor’s budget allocation for wildfire risks. Enjoy Paul Krugman on climate deniers “How Zombies Ate the G.O.P.’s soul.” Also, what is going on with Japan’s 22 new coal plants? Belle and Climate Team

Links to climate articles

Extreme Weather: wildfires, droughts, flooding

By Tom Engelhardt, January 26, 2020

The real question is: When will climate change truly enter human time -- when, that is, will the two time scales intersect in a way that clicks? Perhaps (but just perhaps) we’re finally seeing the beginning of an answer to that question for which you would, I suspect, have to thank two phenomena: Greta Thunberg and Australia’s fires.

The 8,000-hectare fire is burning in the Namadgi national park, a rugged mountainous area to Canberra’s south

Governor Newsom’s budget supports an array of tools for reducing the growing threat of wildfire.

Governor Newsom’s proposed budget supports an array of tools for reducing the threat of wildfire. Funding for these investments would come from the state General Fund, a proposed climate resilience bond, and the greenhouse gas reduction fund (GGRF). The budget prioritizes three wildfire-related areas.

Climate Science

For the first time, climate scientists have illustrated a direct cause-and-effect relationship between melting sea ice in the Arctic and the uptick in extreme weather events and “atmospheric rivers” on the Pacific Coast of the U.S.

Politics, Elections, Regulations, Legislation

By Thomas Friedman

Climate change and other conditions don’t respect boundary lines

WASHINGTON - After entrance polling at caucus sites across Iowa showed that more than 30% of caucusgoers participated for the first time, showed climate change to be the second most important issue on their minds, and that youth share of caucusgoers has risen by 33% relative to 2016, Sunrise Movement issued the following statement:

Everyone with principles has left the party.

By Paul Krugman, Opinion Columnist

A zombie idea is a belief or doctrine that has repeatedly been proved false, but refuses to die; instead, it just keeps shambling along, eating people’s brains. The ultimate zombie in American politics is the assertion that tax cuts pay for themselves — a claim that has been proved wrong again and again over the past 40 years. But there are other zombies, like climate change denial, that play an almost equally large role in our political discourse.

Why a 17-year-old is a better economist than Steve Mnuchin

While Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren push a nationwide fracking ban, other leading Democrats — Joseph R. Biden Jr., Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Michael R. Bloomberg — have held back, calling instead for tighter regulations, a ban on new oil and gas drilling leases on federal lands, and a transition away from natural gas over time.

Country was among first to declare climate emergency but health and housing take priority at ballot box

Last year, after all, Ireland became only the second country in the world to declare a climate and biodiversity emergency. “Great news from Ireland!! Who is next?” Greta Thunberg tweeted at the time.

At the end of January, the Senate passed SB 45, which would place a $5.5 billion bond measure on the November ballot. This is larger than Newsom’s proposed $4.75 billion bond measure, which was included as part of his draft 2020-2021 state budget and part of a proposed five-year, $12.5 billion climate budget. The Assembly is expected to draft its own version of the bond measure.

Japan now plans to build as many as 22 new coal-burning power plants — one of the dirtiest sources of electricity — at 17 different sites in the next five years, just at a time when the world needs to slash carbon dioxide emissions to fight global warming.

Impacts

General Motors said Monday that it was investing US$2.2 billion in a Detroit plant where it will produce all-electric trucks and sport utility vehicles, fulfilling a key promise made during last year’s union negotiations.

WILL BIG BUSINESS FINALLY RECKON WITH THE CLIMATE CRISIS?

The occasion was a new report, co-authored by an unlikely combination of McKinsey consultants and scientists from the Woods Hole Research Center (W.H.R.C.), on how physical climate risks will affect socioeconomic systems in the next few decades.

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