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JANUARY 1, 2020

We sent out about 25 Climate News and Events in 2019.  We reported the bad news. Wildfires consumed vast parts of the Amazon and the Arctic, Brazil, California and Australia burned ferociously. Greenhouse gas emissions continued to rise and President Trump served notice to quit the Paris climate agreement. The latest United Nations climate talks (Madrid) produced one of the worst outcomes in 25 years with the biggest polluters blocking even the suggestion of more ambitious targets. 

We covered the best climate articles offering their own measure of hope- by exposing some of the specific failures and exciting new trends in getting emissions down, replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources, electrifying everything, raising awareness, forging partnerships with youth and many new partners and much more innovative technology and planning,

We wish all of you intrepid readers, including our new partners in the Marin Wildfire Community. the very best for 2020. 

With hope and perseverance, Belle and the Climate Team

links to climate articles

extreme weather (wildfires, drought, flooding, hurricanes)

Australia sizzles through record heat wave as Sydney faces ‘catastrophic’ fire danger Add to li

Yet another day rivaled Australia’s hottest day ever recorded.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/12/20/australia-sizzles-through-record-heat-wave-sydney-faces-catastrophic-fire-danger/? utm_campaign=post_most&utm_medium=Email&utm_source=Newsletter&wpisrc=nl_most&wpmm=1

Australia's bushfires have emitted 250m tonnes of CO2, almost half of country's annual emissions

Exclusive: forest regrowth can reabsorb emissions from fires but scientists fear natural carbon ‘sinks’ have been compromised

Prof David Bowman, a fire ecologist at the University of Tasmania, said that under normal conditions the regrowth would reabsorb the CO2. But he said the ongoing drought, combined with climate change, meant conditions were not normal.

“Drought-stressed trees recover less well – carbohydrates reserves are exhausted – and under climate change tree growth may be slow and fires more frequent, meaning less tree biomass and even loss of forest cover.

“This is a nasty negative feedback cycle of a biosphere carbon sink becoming a source [of carbon].”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/13/australias-bushfires-have-emitted-250m-tonnes-of-co2-almost-half-of-countrys-annual-emissions

Fire era fuels insurance sector havoc

https://marinindependentjournal-ca.newsmemory.com/? token=6zGG5H5fiebqckgLaD0%2fS42ydMCSOeQz&product=eEditionMIJ

Gov. Newsom rejects PG&E’s reorganization plan, blasting oversight and finances

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox

How will California prevent more mega-wildfire disasters?

As climate change-driven drought increasingly grips the state, experts turn to natural solutions to fight the flames.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2019/12/how-will-california-prevent-more-mega-wildfire-disasters/

Science and Impacts

2020 set to be year of the electric car, say industry analysts

Mini, Vauxhall Corsa and Fiat 5oo will join rapidly expanding European EV market

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/25/2020-set-to-be-year-of-the-electric-car-say-industry-analysts? CMP=share_btn_link

Could beach pebbles help solve climate change?

Of all the ideas that circulated during the recent American Geophysical Union meeting at the Moscone Center, one of the most outlandish-sounding schemes was from a San Francisco entrepreneur who claims he can help conquer climate change by sprinkling pebbles on tropical beaches.

http://digital.olivesoftware.com/Olive/ODN/SanFranciscoChronicle/Default.aspx

Changing Seas Bring ‘Turtle Stranding Season’ to Cape Cod

As the ocean warms, an increasing number of turtles are heading farther north and getting stranded once the temperatures fall. 

December 19, 2019By KENDRA PIERRE-LOUIS

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/19/climate/climate-change-cold-turtles.html

Eastern States Introduce a Plan to Cap Tailpipe Pollution

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/17/climate/tailpipe-emissions-cap-and-trade.html

Trump attacks on wind turbines, low-flow toilets and LED lightbulbs set up key campaign clash with Democrats

ALM BEACH, Fla. — While Democratic presidential candidates have called for sweeping measures to eliminate the U.S. carbon footprint, President Trump is promising voters a world free of the everyday inconveniences associated with combating climate change — rolling back lightbulb regulations, ordering a study on low-flow toilets and turning bans on plastic straws into a campaign rallying cry.The contrast is shaping up to be a key theme of the 2020 presidential race as Trump bets that his pitch to a bygone era will sway voters turned off by calls from some Democrats on the left for a transformative Green New Deal.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-attacks-on-wind-turbines-low-flow-toilets-and-led-lightbulbs-set-up-key-campaign-clash-with-democrats/2019/12/23/1077f64a-25a3-11ea-ad73-2fd294520e97_story.html? utm_campaign=post_most&utm_medium=Email&utm_source=Newsletter&wpisrc=nl_most&wpmm=1

Editorial: Climate change is coming for California’s pensions

Chronicle Editorial Board Dec. 23, 2019’

https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Editorial-Climate-change-is-coming-for-14925781.php? utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=headlines&utm_campaign=sfc_opinioncentral

Extreme climate change has arrived in America

2°C: BEYOND THE LIMIT

By Steven Mufson , Chris Mooney , Juliet Eilperin and John Muyskens Photography by Salwan Georges

New Jersey may seem an unlikely place to measure climate change, but it is one of the fastest-warming states in the nation. Its average temperature has climbed by close to 2 degrees Celsius since 1895 — double the average for the Lower 48 states.

https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-pure-spirit-of-greta-thunberg-is-the-perfect-antidote-to-donald-trump

​The Key to Solving the Climate Crisis Is Beneath Our Feet

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-key-to-solving-the-climate-crisis-is-beneath-our-feet/

​​Tesla Growing like no Other Company

December 29, 2019

https://climatecrocks.com/2019/12/29/tesla-growing-like-no-other-company/

Marin impact ahead as state laws take effect

By RICHARD HALSTEAD

Fire protection

In October, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law 22 bills aimed at preventing and fighting wildfires.

“The pure volume of legislation passed and signed is indicative of the public’s interest/demand to do more related to protecting lives, property and the environment from unwanted wildfire,” Marin County fire Chief Jason Weber wrote in an email.

Environmentalists, lawmakers see big year ahead for new laws intended to help the coast . Other priorities include reducing carbon emissions.

The bond bill, SB 45 by Sen. Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica, includes $1 billion for prevention of wildfires believed to be increasingly fueled by climate change, another $1 billion to protect water supplies from climate-associated risks, $630 million to protect coastal areas from rising seas, and $520 million to protect fish and other wildlife from the effects of climate change. “We anticipate this isgoing to be one of our big priorities as a caucus this year,” state Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, told Politico in this month.

“We’ve been talking about climate change and the impact, and now we are feeling it full force from multiple directions. It is impacting everything.”

https://www.ocregister.com/2019/12/27/environmentalists-lawmakers-see-big-year-for-new-laws-intended-to-help-the-coast/

Global trends

The Pure Spirit of Greta Thunberg is the Perfect Antidote to Donald Trump

By Carolyn Kormann

December 13, 2019

https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-pure-spirit-of-greta-thunberg-is-the-perfect-antidote-to-donald-trump

Irreconcilable rift cripples UN climate talks as majority stand against polluters

Published on 15/12/2019, 2:51pm

Longest climate summit in history ended weakly as nations on both sides held hardline positions

https://www.climatechangenews.com/2019/12/15/irreconcilable-rift-dominates-un-climate-talks-majority-stand-polluters/

Cop25: What was achieved and where to next?

By Jocelyn TimperleThe annual UN climate talks closed in disappointment on Sunday in Madrid, after two weeks spent trying to hash out a deal.

Countries failed to agree on many of the hoped for outcomes, including rules to set up a global carbon trading system and a system to channel new finance to countries facing the impacts of climate change.The final text released after a marathon talks harked back to a deal made in Paris that placed no requirement on most countries to raise their targets until 202

https://mailchi.mp/climatehome/neutral

In ‘Strongest’ Climate Ruling Yet, Dutch Court Orders Leaders to Take Action

The ruling, which is not subject to further appeal, requires the country to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels by the end of next year. It was the first time a nation has been required by its courts to take action against climate change.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/20/climate/netherlands-climate-lawsuit.html

Politics, elections, public policy

Marin’s marginalized communities drawn into climate change action plan

Climate change advocacy group uses $126,451 grant to hire community ambassador

By LORENZO MOROTTI | lmorotti@marinij.com | Marin Independent Journal

December 20, 2019 at 8:27 pm

https://www.marinij.com/2019/12/20/marins-marginalized-communities-drawn-into-climate-change-action-plan/

​How Trump Is Sidelining Scientists and Their Work

By Brad Plumer and Coral Davenport

WASHINGTON — In just three years, the Trump administration has diminished the role of science in federal policymaking while halting or disrupting research projects nationwide, marking a transformation of the federal government whose effects, experts say, could reverberate for years.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/28/climate/trump-administration-war-on-science.html

We Have Climate Leaders. Now We Need Followers.

Climate summits have become festivals at which leaders talk about leadership. But leadership doesn’t matter without followership. And that’s the problem in addressing the climate crisis. There aren’t enough followers.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/13/opinion/climate-change-madrid.html? smid=nytcore-ios-share

David G. Victor is the co-director of the Laboratory on International Law and Regulationat the University of California, San Diego and co-leads the university’s Deep Decarbonization Initiative, both of which are funded, in part, by the Electric Power Research Institute. He is also a co-chairman of the Cross-Brookings Initiative on Energy and Climate.

Why Buttigieg's UC San Diego climate adviser is taking fire 

David G. Victor is the co-director of the Laboratory on International Law and Regulationat the University of California, San Diego and co-leads the university’s Deep Decarbonization Initiative, both of which are funded, in part, by the Electric Power Research Institute. He is also a co-chairman of the Cross-Brookings Initiative on Energy and Climate....

https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com › news › environment › story › bu...

Editorial: Voters understand climate change. Why aren’t local governments doing more?

Eight out of 10 Californians who are likely to vote in the March 2020 presidential primary consider climate change a “top priority” issue for the next president to address.

They may want to take the matter up with their local officials first.

According to a new report from the state Legislative Analyst’s Office, local governments in California are moving far too slowly to stop the worst damage from the sea-level rise that will come with climate change.

https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Editorial-California-voters-understand-the-14903084.php

Trump administration OKs leasing for new oil drilling in California — again

Kurtis Alexander Dec. 12, 2019 

The Trump administration on Thursday gave the go-ahead to new oil-drilling leases on federal land in California, mostly around petroleum-rich Bakersfield but also in less-obvious spots in the Sierra foothills, such as near Yosemite National Park.

The move, which covers eight counties in Central California, comes as President Trump pushes ahead with an agenda of increased fossil fuel development and follows a decision in October to open up parts of the Bay Area and Central Coast to potential drilling.

The area opened up for new leasing spans Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare and Ventura counties. Most new oil and gas development is expected in the Bakersfield and Santa Barbara areas, where significant extraction already occurs.

But the agency’s plans allow for leasing smaller plots outside of existing industry sites, including at the edge of Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks in the Sierra and the Carrizo Plain National Monument in San Luis Obispo County, as well as within 10 miles of Yosemite National Park.

https://www.sfchronicle.com/environment/article/Trump-administration-OKs-leasing-for-new-oil-14903306.php

What Trump was talking about in his baffling rant about wind energy

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/12/23/what-trump-was-talking-about-his-baffling-rant-about-wind-energy/? utm_campaign=post_most&utm_medium=Email&utm_source=Newsletter&wpisrc=nl_most&wpmm=1

A Coal Baron Funded Climate Denial as His Company Spiraled Into Bankruptcy

Robert E. Murray, the former chairman of Murray Energy, gave nearly $1 million to climate denial groups and other organizations seeking to undo environmental regulations.

As his coal mining company hurtled into bankruptcy, Robert E. Murray, the former chief executive, paid himself $14 million, handed his successor a $4 million bonus and earmarked nearly $1 million for casting doubt on man-made climate change, new court filings show.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/17/climate/murray-energy-climate-denial-coal.html


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