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JANUARY 27, 2020

Dear Friends: We highlight dramatic climate deniers in Australia (“As Australia burns, a climate-change denier rallies the troops”) and USA (“Who Controls Trump’s Environmental Policy?”) revealing 20 of the  most powerful people in government environment jobs, have ties to the fossil fuel industry or have fought against the regulations they now are supposed to enforce. Belle and climate team 

Links to climate articles

Wildfires

As Australia Burns, a Climate-Change Denier Rallies the Troops

Scroll through the Facebook page of Craig Kelly, a conservative politician, and you’ll see why the country has not taken strong action on global warming.

Australia’s Fires Show How Wealth Inequality Compounds Climate Disasters

This is not the first time that Australia has been devastatingly burned. More than ten years ago, in February 2009, fires in Australia killed 173 people, injured thousands more and destroyed 2,000 homes. The day of the February 2009 blaze, which became known as Black Saturday, constituted the country’s most deadly wildfire event in history. The fires were sudden and moved with alarming speed.

Wildfire agency backers make final push for tax

Putting a tax on wildfire: an environmental perspective

By Nona Dennis

By the close of 2019, Marin had survived another fire season. The balmy weeks of October-November’s “Indian Summer” – the Bay Area’s golden time of year – were muted by drifting smoke from the Kincade Fire and interrupted by the new but related inconvenience of Public Safety Power Shutdowns. No one in Marin could remain unconscious of the increasing threat of wildfire, intensified by a changing climate and continuing buildup of vegetative fuel.

Politics, elections, regulations, public policy

Extinction Rebellion listed as 'key threat' by counter-terror police

Awareness training across London led to ‘intelligence’ tip-offs, according to report

A police force in London labelled Extinction Rebellion one of its “key threats” in a counter-terrorism assessment and provided awareness training on the climate crisis group across the capital, resulting in “intelligence” tip-offs.

Making Big Oil Pay for Climate Change May Be Impossible

Across America, cities and states are using the courts to force energy companies to address the damage done by fossil fuels. It’s not going well.

Exxon Mobile dodged a bullet last month when a judge rejected a novel climate-change lawsuit brought by New York’s attorney general. …

Mnuchin Says Telling Thunberg to Study Economics ‘Was a Joke’

By Joe Mayes

"Not Totally Untrue" – Republicans Edge Away from Denial, With No Sense of Shame

Astounding that as the evidence of climate change literally washes up around their ankles, Republicans are looking for ways to pretend they’ve been right all along, and slander as “alarmists” those who have been communicating the unvarnished science of global change for decades.

Now there is a movement to push forward “conservative” solutions, meaning, no solution.

A Quarter of Humanity Faces Looming Water Crises

BANGALORE, India — Countries that are home to one-fourth of Earth’s population face an increasingly urgent risk: The prospect of running out of water.

From India to Iran to Botswana, 17 countries around the world are currently under extremely high water stress, meaning they are using almost all the water they have, according to new World Resources Institute data published Tuesday.

Climate tipping points — too risky to bet against

The growing threat of abrupt and irreversible climate changes must compel political and economic action on emissions.

Here we summarize evidence on the threat of exceeding tipping points, identify knowledge gaps and suggest how these should be plugged. We explore the effects of such large-scale changes, how quickly they might unfold and whether we still have any control over them.

Davos 2020 should be all about climate crisis but Trump won't admit it

By Larry Elliott

This year marks the 50th Davos but there is not exactly a party mood. The World Economic Forum, the body that organises the annual talkfest in the snow, is “committed to improving the state of the world” but in key respects things look worse today than they did at the start of the 70s.

Who Controls Trump’s Environmental Policy?

…Of 20 key officials across several agencies, 15 came from careers in the oil, gas, coal, chemical or agriculture industries, while another three hail from state governments that have spent years resisting environmental regulations. At least four have direct ties to organizations led by Charles G. and the late David H. Koch, who have spent millions of dollars to defeat climate change and clean energy measures.

Impacts

Economist: Electric vehicles likely to be as cheap as conventional cars by 2025

The price of vehicle batteries is falling rapidly.

In 2018, there were about 5 million electric cars on the road globally. It sounds like a large number, but with well over a billion cars worldwide, electric vehicles are still only a small percentage.

One barrier to people making the switch from conventional cars is cost. Electric vehicle prices generally remain high, mainly because batteries are still expensive.

But Ellen Hughes-Cromwick, senior economist at the University of Michigan Energy Institute, says that’s changing.

Climate change could cause the next financial meltdown

By Jack Ewing, Jan. 24, 2020

Big Business Says It Will Tackle Climate Change, but Not How or When

In Davos, business leaders were newly vocal about the danger, though they gave few details about how they would reform their practices.

"Not Totally Untrue" – Republicans Edge Away from Denial, With No Sense of Shame

Astounding that as the evidence of climate change literally washes up around their ankles, Republicans are looking for ways to pretend they’ve been right all along, and slander as “alarmists” those who have been communicating the unvarnished science of global change for decades.

Now there is a movement to push forward “conservative” solutions, meaning, no solution.

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