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MARCH 17, 2020

Dear Friends: We call attention to a new book by our favorite global leader, Christiana Figueres “The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis” (together with Tom Rivett-Carnac).

Stay well. Belle and Climate Team

Climate article links

Coronavirus

Responding to Coronavirus: Low-carbon Investments Can Help Economies Recover

As countries look to give their economies a much-needed jolt in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, governments and companies considering stimulus packages essentially have two choices: They can lock in decades of polluting, inefficient, high-carbon and unsustainable development, or they can use this as an opportunity to accelerate the inevitable shift to low-carbon and increasingly affordable energy and transport systems that will bring long-term economic benefits. The latter will also fight two major crises head-on: air pollution and the growing climate emergency.

Climate Change Has Lessons for Fighting the Coronavirus

Op-Ed: Coronavirus has something to teach us about how to save the planet — by staying put

The spread of the novel coronavirus comes in the wake of an unvarnished report on how to ameliorate climate change that was commissioned by the United Kingdom and published in November. Called “Absolute Zero,” the report, drafted by a group of scientists from the universities of Cambridge, Oxford, Nottingham, Bath and the Imperial College London, advised how Britain could reach its stated target of zero emissions by 2050.

Social Distancing? You Might Be Fighting Climate Change, Too

Isolation and other shifts in behavior during the coronavirus outbreak could also alter our greenhouse gas emissions. But will the changes stick?

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/13/climate/coronavirus-habits-carbon-footprint.html

Extreme weather

Hwy 37 toll could pay for rebuild, flood protections

Highway 37 may become a toll road under a new state bill introduced on Friday.

Toll revenues would be used to fund major rebuild and flood protections of the busy East Bay-North Bay connector in preparation for sea level rise and flooding impacts.

Marin Voice: Marin fire chiefs make their case for voting yes on Measure C

By Bill Tyler

Marin wildfire tax: Yes on Measure C

League of Women Voters

California Had Its Driest February on Record. Here’s How Bad It Was

By Kendra Pierre-Louis and Nadja Popovich, March 3, 2020

“It was the driest February on record,” said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist with the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at the University of California, Los Angeles.

February in California was so dry that it is raising concerns that the state, which, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center, only fully emerged from drought last March, may be headed for another one. The state has already seen an uptick in reported fires, according to The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or CalFire, which responds to reports of wildfires.

Warmest January Ever Puts 2020 on Track to Be One of Top 10 Hottest Years

Global average temperatures for the month were 2.05 degrees Fahrenheit above average and slightly higher than in January 2016, the previous record-holder.

By Henry Fountain

The Fires Are Out, but Australia’s Climate Disasters Aren’t Over

Devastating floods came soon after the bush fires. Scientists call it “compound extremes,” as one catastrophe intensifies the next.

By Damien Cave and Matthew Abbott

Elections, politics, public policy, legislation

No, Climate Change is not a Hoax, Either: Trump Hack Poisoning Scientific Papers

March 2, 2020

A Trump Insider Embeds Climate Denial in Scientific Research

An official at the Interior Department embarked on a campaign that has inserted misleading language about climate change — including debunked claims that increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is beneficial — into the agency’s scientific reports, according to documents reviewed by The New York Times.

Making the Climate Emergency the Story of the 2020 Elections

America’s journalists must do much better this time around.

This article is adapted from “The Climate Beat,” the weekly newsletter of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism initiative committed to more and better climate coverage.

As the climate crisis quickens with each passing day—temperatures reached a stunning 69 degrees Fahrenheit in Antarctica last week—how much climate news will most Americans be hearing as they prepare for the November elections?

Walter Einenkel

Daily Kos Staff – Costa Rican diplomat and former executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Christiana Figueres is telling people across the globe that the time is now for civil disobedience in service of our planet. In her new book, The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis, Figueres, along with Tom Rivett-Carnac writes that while people must get out to vote and push their elected officials to make big moves to combat climate change, it is also time to hit the streets.

Axios: Big climate change policy unlikely no matter who wins the White House by Warner Chabot

This piece only highlights the key role of CA state and local (Govt., NGO and business), leaders to plan and implement essential “adaptation” solutions.

E.P.A. Updates Plan to Limit Science Used in Environmental Rules

Even with the revisions, scientists warned, the new regulation would let the federal government dismiss or downplay seminal environmental research.

By Lisa Friedman

CLIMATE CHANGE RISES AS A PUBLIC PRIORITY. BUT IT’S MORE PARTISAN THAN EVER.

PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT AND TACKLING CLIMATE CHANGE HAVE CLIMBED UP THE LIST OF AMERICANS’ POLITICAL PRIORITIES, BUT THERE ARE STARTLING DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MEMBERS OF DIFFERENT PARTIES

By Nadja Popovich

Global developments

US blocking mention of climate change in G20 statement, diplomats say-

G20 diplomats say the US is against mentioning climate change in the communique of the world’s financial leaders.

A new draft of the joint statement shows the G20 considering including it as a risk factor to growth.

Finance ministers and central bankers from the world’s 20 largest economies are discussing the main challenges to the global economy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, this weekend.

The world is failing to ensure children have a 'liveable planet', report finds

Every country in the world is failing to shield children’s health and their futures from intensifying ecological degradation, climate change and exploitative marketing practices, says a new report.

The report says that despite dramatic improvements in survival, nutrition, and education over the past 20 years, “today’s children face an uncertain future”, with every child facing “existential threats”.

“In 2015, the world’s countries agreed on the sustainable development goals (SDGs), yet nearly five years later, few countries have recorded much progress towards achieving them,” says the report by a commission of 40 child and adolescent health experts from around the world.

EU plans to introduce sweeping 'right to repair' legislation for electronics

It could significantly change the design of phones, tablets and computers. The plan is one part of the European Green Deal, a policy initiative the EU announced last year. Like the Green New Deal advocated by congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the goal of the European Green Deal is to transform the continent's economy in light of the climate crisis.

Climate science and policy

Our ‘Pursuit of Happiness’ Is Killing the Planet

We need to strike a new balance between our private pleasures and our collective survival.

Tropical forests’ ability to absorb carbon nearing ‘tipping point’ and could soon accelerate climate crisis, study finds

The ability of the world’s tropical forests to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is decreasing, according to a study tracking 300,000 trees over 30 years.

By James Traub

James Traub is a journalist and author.

March 6, 2020

Impacts

Can Forests, Soils, Buy Time for Solutions to Climate Change?

Renewables Catching up with Coal in US

March 10, 2020

The United States’ Biggest Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Will Not Fund Arctic Refuge Drilling

Great news—JPMorgan Chase has committed to not funding drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge! The bank’s updated energy policy rules out financing for new oil and gas drilling in the Arctic, including the refuge. Now we need the other big banks to follow suit. Read more about this great news. Tell the CEOs of Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and Morgan Stanley to follow JPMorgan’s lead and commit to staying out of the Arctic Refuge.

A Mini-Mississippi River May Help Save Louisiana’s Vanishing Coast

A $1.4 billion project to protect the Louisiana coast from subsidence and climate change is being tested in a warehouse-size lab in Massachusetts.

By John Schwartz and Tony Luong

Oil and Gas May Be a Far Bigger Climate Threat Than We Knew

The findings add urgency of efforts to cut emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas routinely leaked or intentionally released into the atmosphere.

By Hiroko Tabuchi

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