President Biden issues flurry of new executive orders commanding action on climate

The executive orders that President Joe Biden signed today demonstrate his seriousness on the climate crisis. Adding to the fact that he has already appointed more people to positions with “climate” in their title than any president before him and has rejoined the Paris climate agreement, Biden today moved to prohibit more drilling for gas and oil on public lands, make climate change a top national security matter, conserve 30% of federal lands and oceans by 2030, cut greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector to net-zero by 2035, reach net-zero carbon emissions for the whole economy by 2050, form a civilian climate corps, and host a climate leaders summit on April 22, Earth Day. These moves, among many others including a focus on environmental justice, will mark the most significant change in U.S. environment and energy policies since the first Earth Day in 1970. 

In a speech prefacing the signing of the orders today, Biden delivered a climate message from the White House that we have not heard with such fervor ever before. His focus on well-paying jobs, people’s improved health from the elimination of fossil fuel pollution, and the transformation of our crumbling, outdated infrastructure into a green economy ought to bring smiles nationwide. But as serious as Biden is showing himself to be on this matter, as bold as the changes he has put forth are, as encouraging as the appointments are, and as much as he should be applauded for moving rapidly and early in his administration with these actions, they still aren’t enough. Many additional steps will need to be taken. Biden was, of course, right today when he said, “We have already waited too long” to address the climate crisis, which is a “existential threat.” What a difference it makes to have this kind of talk from the White House after four years of malicious idiocy on the subject.

But despite this tremendously encouraging change of direction, despite these first steps, Biden rejected Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s call for him to declare the climate crisis a national emergency, because it most certainly is. Biden should reconsider his opposition. "I think it might be a good idea for President Biden to call a climate emergency," Schumer said. "Then he can do many, many things under the emergency powers of the president that he could do ... without legislation."

Executive orders, as we saw in the Trump regime, can have large impacts. But they are reversible by a future president and, while they matter, they aren’t sufficient to achieve all that is necessary. And Congress—still brimming over with climate science deniers and other lawmakers who don’t deny the scientific consensus but nevertheless have for years dragged their feet on addressing climate—is going to be a major obstacle on legislation, despite Democrats being in charge in the Senate. 

This will be especially the case when it comes to investing federal funds to accomplish the necessary transformation of our transportation, agricultural, and energy systems away from dependence on burning fossil fuels that are also burning up the planet. That opposition, if congressional Democrats cannot overcome it, may eventually sway Biden to follow Schumer’s good advice.

Among the executive orders issued today is the assigning of Avril Haines, the newly installed director of national intelligence, to oversee the crafting of the nation’s first National Intelligence Estimate on climate change.

Biden is also imposing a one-year freeze on new federal oil and gas leases. The immediate impact on greenhouse gas emissions of that will be relatively small. For one thing, companies have stockpiled leases, with 26 million acres of public land now under lease, although the vast majority of that is not being drilled. Lawsuits can nevertheless be expected under the century-old Mineral Leasing Act that requires oil, gas, and coal on public lands be leased for auction. "I suspect there will be litigation if they try to cancel all future oil and gas sales," Mark Squillace, a law professor who served in the Interior Department during the Clinton administration, told E&E News.

Getting to net-zero emissions in the electricity sector in 15 years is possible, but it will take a massive effort. A report released in December by Princeton University researchers—"Net-Zero America: Potential Pathways, Infrastructure, and Impacts”—laid out potential paths on this conversion. "The transformation of our national energy infrastructure ... is not going to be easy," Jesse Jenkins, one of the Princeton analysts, told the meeting of the steering committee of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). "The good news is it looks like we have the tools. It's technically feasible." The Princeton study estimates that the nation needs to add an average of 60,000 megawatts of wind and solar generation a year for a decade to reach carbon goals, nearly twice the level gained in 2020.

Another executive order issued today establishes a "Civilian Climate Corps Initiative" that will work to restore public lands and waters and address climate change. This is a modern version of the Great Depression’s Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a reinvention that some congressional lawmakers have proposed recently. The original CCC provided employment and job training to 3 million Americans between 1933 and 1942. 

In a statement, National Wildlife Federation President and CEO Collin O'Mara said, "What better way to put millions of Americans to work and build back better than by restoring our forests, grasslands, wetlands, and coastal areas to bolster resilience, sequester carbon, and recover imperiled wildlife populations through a revitalized 21st century Civilian Conservation Corps and a commitment to restore 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030?"

Just a week after swearing the oath of office, President Biden has given climate hawks and other environmental advocates good reason to be pleased Wednesday even if some matters—such as repeating that he will not end fracking—caused clenched teeth in some quarters. With such exceptions, the Biden-Harris team is assertively steering us down the right road to address the climate crisis with a comprehensive transformation of our economy and environment. 

That’s a huge switch after 30 years of obstruction and dilly-dallying by lawmakers in both parties. Grassroots climate activists still have a big task ahead of us in helping to expand, hone, and achieve the goals the White House is setting forth. And that will mean a tough, continuing fight with some of the same foes whose past actions have put us in the dire climate circumstances we find ourselves in. We can do it. We have to.

Greta Thunberg Ominously Claims AOC’s Green New Deal Is ‘Very Far From Being Enough’

The teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg, who hails from Sweden, went on MSNBC on Friday to claim that the radically liberal Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) Green New Deal is “very far from being enough” when it comes to fighting climate change.

Thunberg Talks Green New Deal

“How can we expect people will want climate action?” Thunberg said. “How can we expect people to support any kind of action when the general public welcome awareness is so low when it comes to the climate. We have not been made aware of what is happening because the climate crisis has never once has been treated as a crisis. So how can we expect a to happen when we aren’t treating this crisis like a crisis.”

“The Green New Deal obviously it’s not — if you include crucial aspects like the aspect of equity and so on it is very, very far from being enough, from being in line with the Paris agreement and so on,” she added. “That’s not my opinion if people may think that, but it at least gets the discussion going.”

“We can’t negotiate and compromise with the laws of physics,” Thunberg concluded. “Yes, this will affect us in the future. This will mostly affect the future generations. But we must not also forget that people are suffering and dying from the consequences of the climate and ecological crisis already today.”

Related: Psychic Greta Thunberg Claims There Will Be Climate Destruction In New Pearl Jam Music Video

Thunberg Goes After Ted Cruz

This comes after Thunberg trolled Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) for his condemnation of President Joe Biden rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement.

“By rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, President Biden indicates he’s more interested in the views of the citizens of Paris than in the jobs of the citizens of Pittsburgh,” Cruz wrote. “This agreement will do little to affect the climate and will harm the livelihoods of Americans.”

Thunberg fired back by mockingly tweeting, “So happy that USA has finally rejoined the Pittsburgh Agreement. Welcome back!”

Thunberg is still just a teenager, yet she has long been the face of the radical anti-climate change movement, traveling the world to lecture the rest of us about how evil we are when it comes to the environment.

Read Next: CNN Mocked For Featuring Greta Thunberg On Panel Of Experts Discussing Coronavirus

This piece was written by James Samson on January 23, 2021. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

Read more at LifeZette:
Rand Paul Begs Biden To Reassure Us He Won’t ‘Radically Transform The Country Into Some Sort Of Socialist Dystopia’
Biden Accuser Tara Reade Reemerges To Say It Was ‘Unspeakably Hard To Watch The Man Who Assaulted Me’ Be Inaugurated
Liz Cheney Squirms As She Twice Refuses To Say If Senate Should Hold Impeachment Trial For Trump

The post Greta Thunberg Ominously Claims AOC’s Green New Deal Is ‘Very Far From Being Enough’ appeared first on The Political Insider.

Spotlight on Green News & Views: Wealthy polluters; dolphin skin disease; climate myth game

This is the 660th edition of the Spotlight on Green News & Views (previously known as the Green Diary Rescue). Here is the Dec. 12th edition. Inclusion of a story in the Spotlight does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it.

After a two-week hiatus, the Spotlight will return on Jan. 9, 2021.


Ernest T Bass writes—A break from politics. Here's a tale of ecological and environmental connections: “The story has to do with manufacture of the pesticide DDT in the Los Angeles area and some of its effects on the environment. I used to go through a version of this story when I would give presentations to high school and middle school students about working in the environmental field to help them see how contaminants in the environment can have unexpected effects. I chose it because my experience includes working to investigate and clean up DDT contamination at multiple locations, and because I hoped the story had interesting appeal plus a cute protagonist, which never hurts in show biz.   [...] This particular story is an example of where a persistent manmade chemical that is remarkably deadly to some species while causing little harm to others, can be taken up by a few low-trophic level species and then other higher level species, causing odd effects that may be unrelated to its chemical toxicity, until yet another species, that not only has little to no vulnerability to the contaminant, but may never even have been exposed to it, could be brought to the brink of extinction because of that chemical compound — a compound to which it likely never was exposed. Clear enough? OK then—let’s get started.”

mettle fatigue writes—UN: World's wealthiest 1% cause over 2x the combined carbon emissions of the poorest 50%: “The BBC article draws upon THISUN Environment Programme Emissions Gap Report 2020. Below are a few interesting concepts from the foreward by UNEP executive director Inger Anderson, and other spots, edited for brevity: ...While the report looks at the plans that governments have submitted to curb their CO2, it also examines the roles of lifestyles and consumption patterns of individuals ...If the world wants to keep on track to restrict the rise in temperatures this century to 1.5C, then these high carbon footprints will need to be significantly curbed to around 2.5 tonnes of CO2 per capita by 2030 …  for the top 10% of earners [e.g., roughly the American upper middle class on up], this would mean cuts to around one tenth of their current level…. the richest will need* to rapidly cut their CO2 footprints to avoid dangerous warming this century...[but] For the poorest 50% of the world, that would actually mean an increase in their footprint by a factor of three!?”


Mackerel sky

Angmar writes—The Daily Bucket: Autumn skies and trees: “A mackerel skyis a common term for clouds made up of rows of cirrocumulus or altocumulus clouds displaying an undulating, rippling pattern similar in appearance to fish scales; this is caused by high altitude atmospheric waves.”

lostintheozarks writes—The Daily Bucket - "I See Dead Things...": “December 10, 2020. Some days I am surprised by the many birds and other wildlife that are showing up when I am on my walks, but other days I am equally surprised by the almost total lack of sight and sound of any living thing! A few days ago I didn’t have to travel far to be captivated by all the little birds that were seemingly everywhere. There are berries all over the Chinese Privets that line the edge of our county road, so naturally there were constant visitors to those berries. This colorful cardinal couple hopped and flew from branch to branch trying to find just the right berries. When she flew to a different spot, so did he. When he flew to another branch she was right behind him. They were beautiful and adorable.”

Pakalolo writes—Skin disease is killing dolphins worldwide and is linked to increased rainfall from climate change: “One of the weapons of a warming climate is changing rainfall patterns. Atmospheric changes and changes in the Jet Stream are causing more hurricanes to stall. These phenomena were seen with Hurricanes Wilma in Cozumel, Harvey in Houston, and Dorian in the Bahamas dropped feet of rain. It is the warming ocean that is making tropical systems stall and drop torrential amounts of rainfall. [...] Rainfall has become more intense and more frequent, leading to flash flooding in urban areas. This heavy rainfall has been tied to a warming climate, and rainwater being dumped in the ocean before and during landfall is connected to climate change. As a result, the decreasing salinity in the oceans has caused deadly lesions on coastal dolphins' skin. Bottlenose dolphins can’t survive in freshwater, and it takes time for rainfall to disperse through the ocean column.”

OceanDiver writes—The Daily Bucket - nature calendar for mom (2020): “Every year since 2013 I’ve assembled a wall calendar for my mom. She’s 95 this year. Wall calendars have become obsolete for most people in the current era, what with iCal and Siri and all, but my mom  still likes to write things down. It’s also a way to enjoy a shared passion for us: nature and the outdoors. For the past few years I’ve posted the pages from the calendars at about this time of year here at the Bucket. Here are the pictures from the current year’s calendar (screenshots from the editing page—some have their edit icons but those don’t show up in print). The scenes are what you’d see outside each month. I’m lucky enough to have all these places in my ‘backyard,’ although it’s been a while since I’ve visited many of them. During this hellacious year of 2020, nature has been more than ever a refuge from the awfulness of current events. Sometimes pictures have to be a way to go to those places. I’ve created next year’s calendar already using an online company and am having it mailed directly to her. Our extended family will not be gathering together for Christmas  this year in person.”

6412093 writes—The Daily Bucket--Monkeywrenching with Paper: “Edward Abbey memorialized environmental resistance to mindless development in his tome The Monkey Wrench Gang. It essentially endorsed sabotage to thwart degrading of the natural world, for instance, putting sugar in the gas tanks of bulldozers that are about to plow under a nice area. However, advances in surveillance make traditional monkey wrenching almost suicidal. But we can still cram a stick into the spokes of ‘progress’  by submitting lengthy criticisms of poorly planned projects, and even defeating them in the permit stage.  I refer to this tactic as ‘monkeywrenching’ with paper. A rich guy want to build yet another gas station right next to precious wetlands. We swore to clog up his development engine with paper. It’s worked so far, and the agencies were out there yesterday, too. I escorted an inspector to the groundwater seep, and to the oily trickle that drains off of the lot of the creek. Here is the complaint letter.” 

BrownsBay writes—The Daily Bucket: Ebey's Landing National Historical Preserve: “From a high point on the wind-swept prairie of Ebey’s Landing you can see two mountain ranges, two volcanoes, and a broad sweep of saltwater from a single vantage point and always one of those features in view no matter where you stand.  Ebey’s Landing is on the west side of Whidbey Island. The layers of sands and gravels of Whidbey Island’s bluffs mark the recent glacial history of the Puget Sound region. Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve was established to preserve historical, agricultural, cultural, and natural features. Land ownership is a combination of National park Service, Washington State Parks, and the Nature Conservancy. Most of the land is owned by the Nature Conservancy as part of the 544 acre Robert Y. Pratt Preserve. A focus of preserve management is restoration of the rare golden paintbrush (Castilleja levisecta) and other prairie plant species. Unfortunately for us, our December visit was not primetime for wildflowers.” 

Red-tailed hawk cruising for dinner.

giddy thing writes—US Fish & Wildlife Service Finds ESA Listing for Monarch Butterfly 'Warranted but Precluded': “It’s been a long wait from the initial petition in 2014, through the long slog of status review, to today’s official announcement by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service that listing the North American monarch butterfly as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act is warranted, but precluded by higher priority listing actions. Over the past 20 years, scientists have noted declines in North American monarchs overwintering in Mexico and California, where these butterflies cluster. Numbers in the larger eastern population are measured by the size of the area they occupy. At a density of roughly 8.5 million monarchs per acre, it is estimated that the eastern population fell from about 384 million in 1996 to a low of 14 million in 2013. The population in 2019 was about 60 million. The western population, located in California, saw a more precipitous decline, from about 1.2 million in 1997 to fewer than 30,000 in 2019. Based on surveys conducted over this recent Thanksgiving weekend, the western population has further plummeted to <2,000 individuals. [...] Warranted-but-precluded findings require subsequent review each year until the agency undertakes a proposal or makes a not-warranted finding. So in the interim, monarchs will be a candidate under the ESA.”

Virginia Rose

giddy thing writes—Dawn Chorus: Birdability - Birding Without Barriers: “One thing the COVID pandemic has made me grudgingly aware of is my mortality. It’s made me circumspect about staying healthy and empathetic towards those who have tragically succumbed to the virus or have been permanently debilitated. I’m grateful to be able-bodied right now, but I realize it’s a temporary state. Now in my early 60s, I expect that my tweaky back, grouchy ankles, and on-off again vertigo may limit my ability to engage in birding in the not-too-distant future. When that day comes, I will be indebted to the good work of Virginia Rose, a retired high school and college English teacher from Austin, Texas, and founder of Birdability. [...] Rose is a paraplegic who has used a manual wheelchair for 47 years after a horse-riding accident at age 14. She discovered her passion for birding about 17 years ago after attending a local Audubon chapter meeting. She was immediately hooked, not just by the birds, but by the sense of freedom, community, and joy birding gave her.” 

6412093 writes—The Daily Bucket: Rubies in the Sky with Diamonds, and Gold amid the tannin-stained Waters: “The hummingbirds dash around my back yard, as hard to track as a feathered 3-card monte game; are there 2 or 3 or 4 hummers? Any hummer that sits in our Bartlett pear tree is automatically named Bart.  It fights any other hummer using any one of five feeders below in corners of our yard.  Bart also has high ground in a maple. The other hummers seem to get along, if not for Bart.  They skulk around in the apple tree and the neighbor’s maple, waiting for Bart to get distracted, so they can dash to a feeder. I put out a new feeder, just for the drama. The hummers took turns following me around. I held it at arm’s length, hoping for some cute perching, but no. Bart did jump on it a few seconds after I placed it in the Rhodys. I was worried they couldn’t find it. Ha. They let me get close in a few times and take pictures, in return.”

funningforrest writes—The Daily Bucket: Forces of Nature; Tectonic, Atmospheric, Biotic. Part 3, Biotic: “When we think of the biotic realm, we are usually thinking of things that are alive. But, is a virus a living organism? What I had hoped to accomplish in this diary is to show how the biotic realm of the very small, primarily viruses and bacteria, have been a driving force in the evolution of life on Earth.  I think we can take that as a given.  Instead, I got very interested in learning more about viruses, and I’d like to share with you some of what I’ve learned.  Regardless of whether a virus is scientifically a living organism, it sure acts like one, and we’ll proceed in that sense.”


ClimateDenierRoundup writes—New Cranky Uncle Game Teaches Players How To Destroy Climate Myths By Creating Them: “We’re talking of course about this week’s release of the Cranky Uncle game from Dr. John Cook of George Mason University, which uses humor and cartoons to show people how disinformation is constructed, thereby making them less likely to be fooled by it. ‘If you want to learn how to spot someone cheating at cards,” Dr. Cook explained, ‘first, you have to learn how to cheat at cards.’ The game (on iPhone now, Android soon) teaches players the tools and tricks of disinformation in a quest to become the best Cranky Uncle in denial of climate science or vaccines or any other sort of deliberately created myths. While few are eager to sit for a lecture on propaganda or disinformation, this novel and scientifically-verified approach, Cook says, seeks to ‘engage players and get them practicing critical thinking through gameplay.’ Though a game like this is perhaps an unusual thing for a traditional academic to produce, it makes perfect sense for Dr. Cook, given his career. ‘Starting Skeptical Science in 2007 set me down the path of researching how to better fight climate misinformation,’ he told us, while his doctoral research on disinformation led him ‘to [see] inoculation as a powerful tool for neutralizing denial, and in my last 4 years in the U.S., I further explored this approach in a series of research papers’.”

ClimateDenierRoundup writes—Conservatives Supposedly On Verge Of Dumping Climate Denial, Even As They Deny Democracy: “As a wide swath of the Republican party embraces the denial of lame duck President Trump’s election defeat — and attempts to overturn democracy because their candidate clearly lost — some people think now is apparently the time for Democrats to reach out to conservatives for climate compromises. Some of this is coming from generally unconstructive people, like the Breakthrough Institute for example, who argue in the crypto-right Persuasion that even though President Biden won, ‘the balance of power in American politics is held by rural and industrial states'' that “tend to be culturally hostile’ to regulations. Now, where some might talk about policy being held hostage by the toxic legacy of white supremacy, in the form of disproportionate power to Southern white slave-owners, Ted ‘my-uncle-is-the-famous-one-and-even-his-work-kinda-sucks’ Nordhaus and Alex Trembath instead sidestep all those messy historical facts and instead declare that ‘a more pragmatic environmental movement’ would accept that climate policy should be whatever those areas can be persuaded to agree to (not necessarily what the science demands).”

ClimateDenierRoundup writes—Can An Editorial Board Go Senile? WSJ Forgets Its Own Audience, and Itself, With Climate Risk Attack: “As the voice of a newspaper, the Editorial Board represents an outlet’s opinion, and generally reflects the point of view of its publishers. Consisting of individual editors, columnists and journalists, the Editorial Board, and the editorials it publishes, are sort of a ‘with our powers combined’ embodiment of the newspaper. We only bring this up because, sadly, it seems The Wall Street Journal’s is going senile. While they’ve always offered the sort of racist, misogynist, anti-science and pro-polluter propaganda you’d expect, now it seems they’ve begun to forget even the most basic things about who they are and what year it is. While most editorials tend to try and keep things pretty current, last Friday they seemed to have had a bit of a time slip. ‘Move over, Solyndra’ was the opening of the editorial about Tonopah’s Crescent Dunes, a molten salt solar energy plant’s bankruptcy approval by a judge, as though this was 2011, not 2020. After all, for a ‘Solyndra’ insult to be made in good faith and not just lazily used as a catchphrase,they’d have to believe it was before at least 2014. That’s when news broke that the DOE Loan program that funded risky innovative projects like Solyndra was turning a profit. And they certainly must think it’s not yet 2016, when loan repayments doubled the Solyndra program’s losses.”

ClimateDenierRoundup writes—Climate Denier Accepts They’re Losing, Thinks It’s Because They’re Too Science-Focused: “While many deniers haven’t yet given up hope of an armed rebellion to overthrow the 2020 election results, the incoming Biden-Harris administration combined with Boris Johnson’s green(wash)ing of the UK, have soured the mood in the denier blogs. And yesterday’s ExxonMobil announcement that they’re going to pollute a little less while polluting more can only add to the deniersphere's despair. For example, over the weekend WUWT featured a guest blog post by Paul D. Hoffman—whose 100+ word byline notes that he has written this for the creationist Cornwall Alliance and includes career highlights like his serving as a State Director for then-Congressman Dick Cheney, Executive Director of a local Chamber of Commerce, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks at the U.S. Department of the Interior. [...] Anyway, Paul, whose byline could have just read “old republican blogger,” tells WUWT readers that deniers ‘are losing the climate change debate. Not because we are wrong. Factually, win win every time! But, we are losing the hearts and minds of the people because we have failed to tap into their emotions’.”

Campion writes—What is needed beside science to meet the challenges ahead: “5th anniversary of the Paris Accords—and my birthday (68). I wrote this in response to Gore’s recent piece (RECOMMENDED) in the NYT. Science depends on facts in its search for truth and human culture must have science to have more than a prayer to survive. But human culture must also give up on some of its old and fixed ways of seeing. In modern times such thinking begins with cogito ergo sum (I THINK THEREFORE I AM) but anthropocentrism, racism, sexism, and other inequalities go back 10,000 years to the first significant division of labor that built agriculture, husbandry, cities, religion, and the business of war. Consider a few predicates. The world (the universe!) was created by a supreme being—who looked just like us--& for US alone, ‘HE’ made everything on the earth. In short the planet is our private warehouse full of useful junk that we can use up as we please because ‘HE’ wants us to. Implicit in all this is that we are a special thinking animal (unlike the others who are instinctual beasts or [worse] the nearly dead plants—that don’t think at all--, etc) or other creatures (fungi, bacteria, archaea, viruses, etc) that don’t really count at all), and the bit that WHITE MEN are a special race of man, likewise a special gender, ad nauseam. Of course at this late date, some of us are beginning to know that we do not live on top of the earth and on top of all the others, but with and in continuous relation with other organic and inorganic forms and fields of forces of the whole co-extensive EARTH—that thinking itself is co-extensive and distributive. Put it this way: the way we look is the way we look at it.”


Dan Bacher writes—Estuary in Collapse: Zero Delta Smelt and Sacramento Splittail Reported In November CDFW Survey: “For the third month in a row, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) this November found zero Delta smelt and Sacramento splittail during the 2020 Fall Midwater Trawl Survey of pelagic (open water) fish species on the Delta, although they did report an index of 22 longfin smelt rather than the zero longfin smelt they reported the two previous months. We will see the final results for the pelagic (open water) species surveyed at the end of December or in early January after the October through December totals of Delta smelt, longfin smelt, striped bass, threadfin shad, American shad and Sacramento splittail caught in the annual trawl are tallied by the CDFW. Once the most abundant native fish in the entire Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, no Delta Smelt were reported in the Fall MIdwater Trawl in either 2018 and 2019, due to many years of massive water exports from the Delta through the State Water Project and Central Valley Water Project, combined with toxics, invasive species and declining water quality.” 

Pakalolo writes—The only coral reefs predicted to survive climate change are now threatened by an enormous oil spill: “Yemen’s Houthi rebels in Yemen finally gave the United Nations access to a disintegrating oil tanker that threatens the northern Red Sea and Gulf of Aqaba's coral reefs and coastal communities. Safer, the tanker, had been abandoned with over 1.1 million barrels of crude oil (four times the amount of the Exxon Valdez) for over five years; the goop is valued at forty million dollars. After years of refusing the United Nations, the Houthi had finally relented to evaluate the damage to the ship. ”


Fossil Fuels & Emissions Controls

Victor Menotti writes—Biden's Oil Transition to Reset Saudi, Russian Relations Victor Menotti: “The 2015 Paris Agreement to protect the climate turn just turned five years old, with the UN’s 2020 Production Gap report noting that governments’ planned oil production by 2040 is three times above what is consistent with the 1.5C goal agreed in Paris.  President-elect Biden’s bold promise to ‘transition from the oil industry’ now needs not only an ambitious plan for oil’s just transition domestically but also new diplomatic approaches to help align long-overdue international actions urged by scientists. As Biden builds his climate team, the world’s other top oil producers—led by Russia and Saudi Arabia in the OPEC-plus alliance— are debating a deepening dilemma on the uncertain future of oil demand, opening potential opportunities should Biden’s decisions center climate science as seriously as COVID’s.  Scientists say it’s past time governments accelerate the transition from oil, so how fast will Biden act on his clear campaign promise to set forth such a process, and one based on the justice principles of his and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ platform?”

ClimateDenierRoundup writes—Dominion Energy Paying Local Virginia Columnist Whose Editorials On Dominion Didn’t Disclose Ties: “This year the Virginian-Pilot and Daily Press have published at least seven generally positive editorials about Dominion Energy, the Virginia energy company that (finally) bowed to the wide-spread opposition to its behind-schedule and over-budget Atlantic Coast Pipeline earlier this year. But it turns out that one of the papers' columnists, Gordon ‘G.C.’ Morse, wrote some of the editorials while he was … wait for it … also employed as a speechwriter for Dominion Energy! So what readers were led to believe were the independent opinions of a local newspaper were actually one of Dominion Energy’s pipeline propaganda ‘lessons learned’ in 2017: that if they want ‘fair’ coverage, “[they] need to pay for it.’ While technically they paid Morse to write up to a half-dozen speeches for Dominion executives throughout the year, the dramatic shifts in editorial style, tone and content that Paviour documents suggest Morse’s editorial positions changed with Dominion’s whims.” 


annieli writes—Biden names Buttigieg as transportation secretary; VA state senator calls for martial law: “We are in that strange place where a respected rival gets to lead infrastructure change in a critical area of the US economy and a nutter in VA wants fascism. Darn Constitutional freedoms juxtaposed on the same day. Perhaps trains will run on time. [...]  Buttigieg would be the first Senate-confirmed LGBTQ Cabinet secretary should his nomination make it through the chamber. The choice vaults a candidate Biden spoke glowingly of after the Democratic primary into a top job in the incoming administration and could earn Buttigieg what many Democrats believe is needed experience should he run for president again.”

outsidethelines writes—No. Just no. Buttigieg has no business being Transportation Secretary: “President-elect Joe Biden has tapped former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg to serve as Transportation secretary, according to multiple reports. Hell no. I say that as a professional civil engineer working in development and infrastructure for more than 30 years. I get that Biden for God knows what reason wants to have Buttigieg in his Cabinet, and Biden’s transparency gives this all the appearance of a token LBGTQ Cabinet appointment, because that is exactly what this will be. I guarantee there are many better qualified persons with far more Transportation knowledge and experience who also happen to be gay, and who would have been worth consideration. Biden must not have even looked past Mayor Pete. In the city of Lexington, KY, our state has had an openly gay man, Jim Gray, as mayor. Jim Gray is a light years better pick than Mayor Pete.”

NewDem07 writes—Transit News : Build Back Better! “While the change in administration will greatly ease the design/funding/construction of transit projects (no more Elaine Chao holding California High Speed Rail funds hostage), the disappointing election results mean that a transformative nationwide infrastructure bill will unfortunately not come to pass. Much like how the presidential election results fell short of hopes of a reverse 1980 landslide, the state/local level featured a lot of ‘one step forward, one step back’ developments. Transit-related ballot measures endured severe headwinds this cycle. With agencies facing their worst crisis in history due to ridership dropping by 90% in some places, I initially feared that voters would see no justification for raising taxes when the roads/rails were empty, especially combined with their own economic troubles. Instead, I was decently surprised when nearly every one passed, and often by solid margins.”

What could have been, if Democrats had won by a landslide ...


Front row: parsleys. Back row: basil, poblano pepper, green onions

art ah zen writes—IAN: The Table Top Veggie Garden: “I have been mentioning my table top veggie garden.  I have not a gentleman farmer, being neither of those descriptions but here are some pictures.  They are all covered with netting to deter bugs and birds. [///] This flat has basil, two kinds of parsley, green onions and the taller plant is a poblano pepper. They are good for chili rellenos. There are three or four little peppers on it.  The green onions are from the grocery store and I plant them until I need them so that they continue to grow and stay fresh.  I don’t remember where I saw that idea but it is the best.  I cut the green ends as I need them and finally use the onion when needed but it usually has at least doubled in size when I get to it.  It can be hard to get them out of the ground because the roots spread quickly.” 

DownHeah Mississippi writes—Saturday Morning Garden Blogging Vol.16.51 SMGB Revisited: The Middle Years: “I am a relative latecomer here at SMGB, but I am fascinated by this groups’ history. One thing I note about these ‘middle years’ diaries is that they are very ‘picture heavy,’ compared to earlier years.  I suppose that this evolution is partly due to platform changes/upgrades at Dkos itself, but mostly because readers love pictures!  Speaking of pictures, and the fact that Christmas is rapidly approaching, check out this diary from Eddie C back in 2014: Christmas Windows. What’s going on in my garden, you might ask?  “Next to nothing” is the short answer.  The Tomato Patch has been cleared and raked, but I still have not gotten around to planting the mustard cover crop.  The next 10-12 days look to be relatively warm, so I may try to get that done tomorrow...The Pepper Patch looks equally neglected and forlorn, but I take heart in the fact that I’ll be sowing my first pepper seeds in less than a month...”


MIchael Brune writes—Oak Flat Is Sacred -- Not A Sacrifice Zone: “In its waning days, the Trump administration is rushing to transfer thousands of acres of Arizona public lands that are holy to the Apache and other Tribes so a copper company can develop a vast, earth-scarring mine. And not just any copper company: One of Resolution Copper’s parent companies, Rio Tinto, is responsible for the destruction of a 46,000-year-old Aboriginal site in Australia. Rio Tinto promised to change its ways. But the Apache, along with their Native and non-Native allies, have serious doubts that this project can be done in a way that respects their cultural and religious heritage or the ecology of the site. The Apache have held religious and cultural ceremonies on Oak Flat for centuries. It’s home to Apache burial grounds, sacred sites, petroglyphs, medicinal plants, and traditional foods. According to the Forest Service’s own environmental impact report, the proposed mine has a ‘high potential ... to directly, adversely, and permanently affect … places and experiences of high spiritual and other value to tribal members.’ After even a cursory look at the project, it’s obvious why: The mine would create a crater roughly two miles wide and 1,000 feet deep—so deep, you could stack three Statues of Liberty in it. It would destroy Oak Flat, eliminating the habitat of species that call Oak Flat home, and likely contaminating precious water supplies in drought-prone Arizona. Then there’s the issue of the toxic waste the mine would generate—all 1.4 billion tons of it.”

Meteor Blades writes—Biden picks Rep. Deb Haaland to run the Interior Dept. She will be first Native Cabinet member ever: “A long-time Democratic activist, Haaland is an enrolled member of the 7,500-member Laguna Pueblo. The symbolism of picking her can’t be stressed enough. Interior is charged with managing the nation’s natural resources and public lands, including millions of acres from which Natives were forcibly removed as well as 55 million acres held in trust for the tribes. Encompassing a dozen bureaus and agencies, among them the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Interior also has the obligation—poorly carried out according to reports dating back to the 1920s—of fulfilling treaty commitments via the chronically underfunded and understaffed Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Indian Education. Since her election to Congress in 2018, Haaland has served on two key committees—Armed Services, and Natural Resources, the latter as vice chairwoman, and as chairwoman of its subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands. She also serves on Biden's Climate Engagement Advisory Council. She has a reputation as a strong fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.”

Carolyn Copeland writes—Rep. Deb Haaland poised to make history again as first Native American Interior secretary: “Rep. Deb Haaland has made history once again. The New Mexico representative for the state’s 1st Congressional District was selected Thursday by President-elect Joe Biden to be the nation’s first ever Native American interior secretary, and the first ever Native American cabinet secretary in U.S. history. The news was first reported by Reuters. But this isn’t the first time Haaland has been ‘a first.’ Haaland was one of the first two Native Americans elected to U.S. Congress in 2018, along with Sharice Davids. Haaland has written openly about her experience being the first Native American woman elected to Congress, and the importance of representation at all levels of government.” 

Dan Bacher writes—Biden Picks First Native American, Rep. Debra Haaland, for Interior Secretary Position: “The Washington Post, USA Today, New York Times and other publications today reported that President-elect Joe Biden has chosen Deb Haaland, a Democratic congresswoman from New Mexico, to serve as the first Native American interior secretary. Later today, the Biden Transition Team issued a press release officially announcing the nominations and appointments of Haaland and other members of his transition team. Coalitions of Tribes and environmental organizations have been pushing Biden to appoint her to head the department that oversees the country’s vast natural resources, including tribal lands, national forests, National Parks and Monuments and other lands. In response to the appointment, Haaland, 60, said on Twitter, “A voice like mine has never been a Cabinet secretary or at the head of the Department of Interior.Growing up in my mother’s Pueblo household made me fierce. I’ll be fierce for all of us, our planet, and all of our protected land. I am honored and ready to serve.”


annieli writes—former MI governor Granholm tapped as Energy head: “Unlike one of her predecessors, who had numerous connections to the Trump impeachment and its hinky relations with Russian oligarchs, Jennifer Granholm will combine clean energy policy and economic recovery. Even without explicit support for the GND, this is a direction 180 degrees from the prior administration's kowtowing to fossil fuel industries and kleptocratic regimes based on such products. Granholm, if confirmed by the Senate, would help Biden carry out his ambitious energy plan. The President-elect has proposed spending $2 trillion over four years on clean energy projects and ending carbon emissions from power plants by 2035. The plan would create union jobs in clean energy and through projects such as the construction of electric vehicle charging stations, updating electric grids, expanding broadband internet access and more.

Meteor Blades writes—For EPA chief, President-elect Biden picks Michael Regan: “The Joe Biden transition team announced Thursday that the president-elect has picked Michael Regan, the 44-year-old head of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. If confirmed, he would be the first African American man to hold that post. One of his key tasks will be restoring the reputation, morale, and science-informed operations of the 50-year-old agency whose mission Donald Trump and his appointees Scott Pruitt and Andrew Wheeler undermined and tainted over the past four years. Among other things, Regan will have to cope with the weakening or destruction of more than 130 environmental regulations on energy and pollution that the Trump regime implemented or is tied up in court trying to implement. Included are limits on vehicle emissions and methane emissions on coal-burning power plants. One obstacle Regan will face is Trump’s move to make new regulations harder to put in place. As the Biden-Harris administration focuses on the climate crisis, the EPA will play a major role, something the current occupant of the White House sought to obliterate.”

Meteor Blades writes—Biden picks two women with strong environmental credentials for Energy and domestic climate adviser: “As widely reported earlier this week, President-elect Joe Biden has chosen former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm to run the Department of Energy (DOE) and former Environmental Protection Administration Chief Gina McCarthy to run a new White House office on climate change. Both women have strong environmental records and can be expected to be assertive key figures in the Biden administration, which is making the climate crisis a top priority. Granholm must be confirmed by the Senate, but McCarthy does not. McCarthy will operate as a domestic counterpart to former Secretary of State John Kerry, who Biden picked to be the administration’s international envoy on climate policy. ”


Meteor Blades writes—Earth Matters: Young Georgians push climate in runoff election; Trump wins showerhead war: “ Exxon’s new ‘emissions reduction plan’ won’t reduce any emissions: ExxonMobil announced its new “emission reduction plan” Monday. The folks at Grist point out that there’s a catch: Exxon didn’t actually promise to reduce emissions. It did vow to cut by 15-20% the greenhouse gas intensity of the part of its business dedicated to finding and extracting oil and natural by 2025 compared with its 2016 levels. But that doesn’t mean it will reduce its carbon footprint by 15-20%. Rather the giant company will cut the release of gases from each barrel of oil it produces. But it intends by 2025 to be producing another million barrels of oil each day. As Brian Kahn at Gizmodo points outleaked documents viewed by Bloomberg show that Exxon’s business plan would mean a 17% increase in total carbon emissions. ‘It’s the equivalent of someone who’s lactose-intolerant chugging a gallon of half-and-half instead of a glass of heavy cream and pretending that’s somehow better for them and everyone around them’.”

Spotlight on green news & views: Describing mixed feelings on climate crisis; Trump retasks NOAA

This is the 630th edition of the Spotlight on Green News & Views (previously known as the Green Diary Rescue). Here is the February 1 edition. Inclusion of a story in the Spotlight does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it.


Besame writes—New words for a new world: Finding the right terms to describe mixed feelings about climate change: “We are enjoying early climate change impacts of warmer weather even when we know it’s wrong … and now we have new words to describe that sensation. Life in the Anthropocenedefined at Lexico as ‘the period during which human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment,’ requires new words to describe novel experiences that combine the grim realities of climate catastrophe with pleasant results. Bringing this reality into daily life requires talking about its manifestations. We need to share our everyday experiences in a changing climate because people listen to friends and family more than they do a television voice, even (or especially) an expert scientist’s voice.”

ClimateDenierRoundup writes—New Book Explains How Industry Corrupts Regulatory Science as A Key Corrupter Leaves EPA: “Good news, everyone! This week, Ryan Jackson, former Inhofe staffer turned Chief of Staff at the EPA, the one accused of bullying scientists over their congressional testimony and otherwise stonewalling the Office of the Inspector General, has decided to stop pretending to work on the public’s behalf and go work for the National Mining Association. Although he appears to have been taking direction from them already, according to emails obtained by E&E.  Jackson is formally prohibited from lobbying under Trump’s ethics pledge, but because “Trump ethics pledge” is an oxymoron, that doesn’t mean much. While it prevents him from lobbying the EPA for five years, he’s allowed to be involved in court cases, regulation enforcement actions, and rulemakings.”


giddy thing writes—Dawn Chorus: Spring's Different Drummers: “One of the most welcome signs of early spring is the unmistakable sound of woodpecker drumming. Longer day length and surging hormones trigger the rapid hammering, which loudly asserts territorial and mating rights to other woodpeckers — ‘This is MY territory!’ Unlike other songbirds, woodpeckers don’t have a distinctive song as part of their avian vocabulary. Instead, drumming is the way woodpeckers communicate to establish and maintain their breeding territories. Drumming is also used to attract a mate, solicit sex, guard mates, maintain contact, and strengthen pair bonds. And drumming is not just the domain of males; females drum too, and pairs often engage in drumming duets.”

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Michael Kal writes—Another Butterfly Protector Is Murdered: “From CNN: Raúl Hernández Romero, a part-time guide and conservationist at Mexico's largest monarch butterfly reserve, was discovered dead Friday in the Mexican state of Michoacán, local authorities said in a statement released Saturday. He was found with "blunt blows on different parts of the body and a head injury, caused by a sharp object," the statement said. His wife said he was last seen January 27… the second butterfly activist to be found dead in less than a week. Friday, the body of Homero Gomez Gonzalez was found, also in Ocampo, in a retention pond. According to authorities, he also had a head injury and died of drowning. He had been missing since January 13. Monarchs are under stress from chemicals, breeding areas being plowed under, and the over winter trees in Mexico threatened by illegal logging. Pollinators like butterflies and bees are critical to our food supply.” 

CaptBLI writes—The Daily Bucket - Bird ID questions: “Oxford, Mississippi is my home.  I am spending more time learning about the visiting and permanent wildlife  here.  I have more questions than answers, but am willing to explore and know other people are willing to do the same.  This is one of the places I learn from.  Thank you for participating. The bird in the title photo was flying with two other of it’s kind behind a doctor’s office. They flew into one of the few trees at the commercial office park. The birds possible came from the sparse woods surrounding the parking lots and lawns.  I was able to get a still photo but no video. I did hear their song.  When I got home, I started my search.  Here are my best guesses.  First, was Wood Thrush (but the song was not right). Second, was a Hermit Thrush. The song seemed right but the markings are off somewhat.  I open the floor to discussion and speculation. I suspect winter coloring variation.”

Softshell Turtle.

Lenny Flank writes—Photo Diary: Some More Florida Critters: “Various critters seen lately around Palm Beach FL. Some native, some not.”

6412093 writes—The Daily Bucket--Tern, Turn, Turn: “We skedaddled  out of Panama City heading kind of north on highway 2.  But the paved road turned to dirt after 150 miles.By then we were as far south as you can go in the Northern Hemisphere.  We’d driven to the tip of Panama’s southernmost peninsula. You could drive farther, but you would go through rivers every quarter-mile, and then into a National Preserve. In one day you could see both the sunrise and the sunset from the same seat on the beach without turning around.  So we stayed at this magical place, 50 yards from the surf. At night we drank and danced with the staff. At dawn I walked the beaches with the gulls.”


Besame writes—Gray wolf found dead in NorCal (perhaps another killed by radical anti-environmentalists?) “Open aggression against wolves in California is escalating. A young wolf born in Oregon who traveled in nine northern California counties was found dead in Siskiyou County yesterday. She entered California two years ago and in her first six months traveled at least 638 miles and covered five counties. She was the daughter of famous traveling wolf OR-7, who visited California in 2011. He was the first wolf to enter the state since radical anti-environmentalist ranchers extirpated wolves nearly 100 years earlier. CDFW Press ReleaseOR-54, a female dispersing wolf approximately 3-4 years old, was found dead in Shasta County on February 5, 2020. OR-54 was born into Oregon's Rogue Pack most likely in 2016. She was the fourth Rogue Pack wolf known to have spent time in California.

Besame writes—Daily Bucket: Coyote and badger buddy film: A trail camera documenting wildlife activity near major roads filmed a coyote and a badger traveling together. Peninsula Open Space Trust set up cameras near Gilroy California to learn more about how wildlife deal with the roads around the south end of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The camera recorded the pair communicating about a culvert underpass and sharing a moment like two predator people with complex lives (as they are). Coyotes and badgers are known to travel and hunt together but previously had not been seen doing so in this area. The two animals share some of the same prey species (rodents) but their hunting methods differ. Coyotes run fast but don’t dig well. Badgers run slowly but are great diggers. When hunting alone, a prey animal unable to outrun coyote might dive into a burrow to hide. When badger is hunting alone and digging into burrows, prey will jump out and run away. Coyote and badger don’t share the spoils when the hunt is successful, but the partnership boosts the chance that one of them will catch dinner.”

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Magnifico writes—Overnight News Digest: Bumblebees Face Extinction: “Climate change has contributed to drastic declines in the population and diversity of bumblebees across North America and Europe, according to a new long-term study of more than 60 bee species published Thursday in the journal Science. In fact, the researchers discovered that bumblebees are disappearing at rates "consistent with a mass extinction.’ The scientists said that North America's bumblebee populations fell by 46 percent between the two time periods the study used – from 1901 to 1974 and from 2000 to 2014. […] ‘If declines continue at this pace, many of these species could vanish forever within a few decades,’ said study lead author Peter Soroye, a PhD student at the University of Ottawa, in a statement.” 

OceanDiver writes—BackyardBirdRace/Daily Bucket combo - Let's start 2020! “To kick off 2020, I’m expanding my “backyard” to include not just my own property but also those places I go to on my daily walkies. That includes 4 different beaches within ¼-½ mile of my house. [...] Part of the reason I’m expanding my ‘backyard’ definition is I’m not able to be up and about as much as I used to be due to physical debility. My sampling will be more limited in time but more varied in habitat. I’ve been reporting my bird observations to eBird for some years now, so it’s easy enough to compare across years for the same locales. I’m looking on this project as a way of exploring the phenology of bird behavior in my immediate surroundings, where I can get to under my own steam.”

OceanDiver writes—The Daily Bucket - still rainin' still dreamin': “It doesn’t always rain in the PacificNorthwest but winter is the rainy season and wow have we had a lot in the past month. At my house, we’ve had 8.35” 8.94” (as of this morning Feb 7) since the beginning of January. That may not sound like much, but keep in mind our average annual precip is 20.5”, and we’re only 5 weeks into the year. Climate change models for the PacificNorthwest indicate this type of weather will become more typical in future. Specifically, according to the Climate Impacts Group, University of Washington, while our overall precipitation will not change much, summer precip will decrease and winter precip will increase. Every climate model forecasts an overall increase in temperature, between 5° to 10°F by 2100 depending on future emissions. Warmer winters means less mountain snowpack which will have severe consequences for this region. In summer, soil will be drier, vegetation more stressed and wildfires will worsen. In fall, with less snowmelt, stream flows will decline. All seasons will be warmer, so in winter we’ll see less snow and more rain.” 

foresterbob writes—The Daily Bucket - Camellias at Georgia's Massee Lane Gardens: “Rarely do I say good things about non-native species. We Bucketeers have had numerous spirited discussions about invasive plants and animals. But there are some species that pose no known threat, and they make our lives a little brighter. One such species is Camellia japonica, the Japanese Camellia. Its blooming season runs through the coolest months of the year, giving us showy flowers at a time when bright colors are otherwise scarce. I’ve lived in the same house for 20 years. Some of my neighbors have camellias. They bloom faithfully every winter, and I’ve never seen any evidence of invasive tendencies. My immediate reason for this diary is that, after driving past Massee Lane Gardens dozens of times, I finally took the time to stop and look around. That was on January 10, an unseasonably warm day with temperatures in the 70s. Let’s take a walk down the yellow red brick road to see what’s blooming.”


ClimateDenierRoundup writes—If Public Pressure Means Climate Denial is Fading, What’s Next? Innovation Denial: “There’s an argument emerging that both people who say climate change is a hoax and people who say climate change is real but fossil fuels are too good to give up are using: it’s impossible to come up with new solutions, and the solutions to climate change we have are actually bad.  That’s the gist of Heartland’s latest policy brief (promoted by WUWT), that the Green New Deal would actually be an environmental disaster. Why? Because if you want to power the country on 100% wind or 100% solar, it may end up taking up a lot of space: the size of New York and Vermont for solar, or Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregan and ‘most of West Virginia’ for the 2.12 million wind turbines. That is, if you give Heartland the benefit of the doubt about the veracity of their admitted estimations of land use, which we will do, because we are both lazy and smart enough to know that the real point isn’t exactly how much space they’ll take up, it’s that new renewable developments wouldn’t all need to take up now-wild areas.” 

Pakalolo writes—Satellites show Antarctica's doomsday glacier is 'coming apart at the seams': “Leading scientists have warned that nine of the tipping points identified over a decade ago are now active. One of those tipping points is the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). Thwaites glacier, also known as the doomsday glacier, has been alarming scientists about a looming collapse that could raise sea levels, rapidly (not immediately). International scientists have been intensively studying this particular glacier for over a decade. When Thwaites glacier collapses, it will likely take the rest of West Antarctica’s glaciers with it. West Antarctica has glaciers that extend for miles into the ocean. These marine extensions provide the plug that keeps the Inland Ice from flowing into the sea. In the case of Thwaites, the glacier flow has doubled in just the past three decades. The fast flow of ice into the ocean is raising sea levels, and inland snowfall is not replacing the ice that's lost to the sea, according to scientists. They emphasize that this situation will only get worse.”

Angmar writes—"Sea level rise accelerating along US coastlines Worldwide rise being driven by melting glaciers": “The pace of sea level rise accelerated at nearly all measurement stations along the US coastline in 2019, with scientists warning some of the bleakest scenarios for inundation and flooding are steadily becoming more likely. Of 32 tide-gauge stations in locations along the vast US coastline, 25 showed a clear acceleration in sea level rise last year, according to researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (Vims). The selected measurements are from coastal locations spanning from Maine to Alaska. About 40% of the US population lives in or near coastal areas. The gathering speed of sea level rise is evident even within the space of a year, with water levels at the 25 sites rising at a faster rate in 2019 than in 2018.” 

Maggiejean writes—Overnight News Digest: US Sea Level Rise Accelerating Edition: “The pace of sea level rise accelerated at nearly all measurement stations along the US coastline in 2019, with scientists warning some of the bleakest scenarios for inundation and flooding are steadily becoming more likely. Of 32 tide-gauge stations in locations along the vast US coastline, 25 showed a clear acceleration in sea level rise last year, according to researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (Vims). The selected measurements are from coastal locations spanning from Maine to Alaska. About 40% of the US population lives in or near coastal areas. The gathering speed of sea level rise is evident even within the space of a year, with water levels at the 25 sites rising at a faster rate in 2019 than in 2018.”

ClimateDenierRoundup writes—RCP8.5: World’s Stupidest Debate Makes Jump From Denialsphere To Mainstream: “It’s likely our readers are already aware of the conspiracy theory that claims scientists, media and activists focus on the worst-case climate scenarios where the world burns fossil fuels unrestrained, known as RCP8.5, in order to generate grants, drive clicks, or to scare the public into supporting climate action. When the Trump administration tried to downplay the terrifying possibilities laid out in the National Climate Assessment, for example, it (falsely) blamed the report’s focus on RCP8.5 as being alarmist. (And as Myron Ebell explained at the end of a story about Will Happer’s time in the Trump admin, undercutting the NCA with this argument was the precursor to an attempt undo the Endangerment finding, revealing the strategic purpose of their pursuit of this line of pseudoscientific attack.) Now, the Breakthrough Institute has successfully cleaned this narrative of its most obvious tinfoil-hat elements, and elevated this from the depths of the denialsphere, Twitter and the Daily Caller to the opinion pages of the WSJ, and now with an opinion piece in Nature.” 

ClimateDenierRoundup writes—Roy Spencer Offers Prime Example Of Why Scientists Shouldn’t Work Alone: “When you use the correct baseline, it turns out that the models are exactly right. But Spencer remained undeterred in his quest to disparage models he clearly doesn’t understand, criticizing them (without evidence) for showing a decrease in the amount of CO2 the climate will absorb going forward. Spencer concludes with some well-earned humility, although the correction starts with “Well, as I suspected (and warned everyone),” as if this mistake was everyone else’s fault, and not his for publishing something he suspected was wrong in the first place. It’s just the sort of arrogance needed to believe your admittedly ignorant take on a complex issue is accurate and everyone else who actually studies the issue is wrong. ‘It can be claimed that my model is too simple, and does not contain the physics necessary to address how CO2 sinks change in the future,’ Spencer writes, using the passive tense to implicitly admit his model is useless because it fails to actually model the climate in any meaningful way.” 

agnostic writes—Trump retasks NOAA: “Apparently someone on Faux made the mistake of explaining just how dangerous climate change is and how millions will be affected. But the biggest mistake was referring to how climate change would impact [Trump’s] golf courses and resorts. Perhaps that caused a rusty penny to drop and attracted the limited attention of our king, Impeached President Trump. Once again, he got pissed at his formerly favorite network. Then, he ordered his staff to assemble at 4 am, and laid out the new rules. All of NOAA resources will be concentrated on his golf courses around the world. With enough warning, he figured that dykes and sea walls  could be built with money’s intended for Puerto Rico and infrastructure investment. You know, of course, this is nothing but snark, but it also is just one example of what an empowered post impeachment win Trump will try.” 


Dan Bacher writes—Environmental Justice Advocates Present Dangers of Oil Drilling to CA State Assembly: “On January 27, the California State Assembly held an oversight hearing to consider the sustainability and safety of California’s oil extraction industry in light of massive spills at Chevron’s Cymric oil field in Kern County over the last few years, according to a press release from the Last Chance Alliance. ‘We have a real opportunity to move California into a new direction, away from a dying, extractive economy toward one that protects our communities and our climate,’ said Ingrid Brostrom, assistant director of the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment. ‘Nowhere else in the world allows for industrial oil operations in such close proximity to densely populated urban areas. California must do better to achieve our climate goals and protect communities, especially communities of color already overburdened with pollution across our state. We urge the State Assembly to enact sensible measures, like a 2,500 ft. health and safety buffer around extraction sites, to protect families and our environment’, said Brostrom.”


ufw writes—UFW, UFWF leader urges U.S. climate crisis panel to protect farm workers from heat & pesticides: “Former United Farm Workers President Arturo S. Rodriguez is in Washington D.C. testifying today before the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis at a hearing entitled, ‘Creating a Climate Resilient America: Overcoming the Health Risks of the Climate Crisis.’ Following is the testimony presented by Rodriguez, who still serves the union as president emeritus, representing the UFW and UFW Foundation. While many of us work in climate controlled environments, farm workers across the nation toil under the scorching sun and during extreme weather events, to cultivate and harvest the food that reaches our tables.  The danger farmworkers face due to heat exposure will only increase due to climate change. In addition to heat, farm workers are also on the front lines of exposure to a range of harmful pesticides.  Not only is the use of pesticides expected to increase due to climate change, but the ways in which farmworkers protect themselves from harmful pesticides, such as by wearing extra clothing or personal protective equipment, can increase the risk of heat-related illness. Of the approximately 2.4 million farm workers across the country, roughly half of farmworkers are undocumented and roughly 10 percent are workers here on H-2A visas for temporary agricultural employment. To keep their employers happy and be invited back, H-2A workers will work to the limits of their endurance. The issues I speak of are not hypothetical. The farmworker communities that we serve are intimately and tragically familiar with the dangers of pesticide and heat exposure, as well as other impacts from climate change, such as wildfires.


Fossil Fuels & Emissions Controls

Dan Bacher writes—Western States Petroleum Association Tops CA Lobbying Expenses with $8.8 Million Spent in 2019: “The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) the largest and most powerful corporate lobbying group in California, placed first in the annual lobbying “competition” in California in 2019 with $8.8 million spent on influencing legislators, the Governor’s office and other state officials, a position it captures most years. The San Ramon-based Chevron spent the third most money on lobbying in California last year, spending a total of $5.9 million. When you add the $8.8 million from WSPA and the $5.9 million from Chevron, that comes to a total of $14.7 million spent of lobbying between the two oil industry giants. Most notably, the money spent on lobbying by WSPA, Chevron and other oil companies was successful in preventing the Legislature from approving Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi’s AB 345, a bill to ensure that new oil and gas wells not on federal land are located 2,500 feet away from homes, schools, hospitals, playgrounds and health clinics,”

Angmar writes—Canada approves vast new tar sands mine which will pour carbon into the atmosphere through 2060s: “Bill McKibbenCanada elected a government that believes the climate crisis is real and dangerous – and with good reason, since the nation’s Arctic territories give it a front-row seat to the fastest warming on Earth. Yet the country’s leaders seem likely in the next few weeks to approve a vast new tar sands mine which will pour carbon into the atmosphere through the 2060s. They know—yet they can’t bring themselves to act on the knowledge. Now that is cause for despair. The Teck mine would be the biggest tar sands mine yet: 113 square miles of petroleum mining, located just 16 miles from the border of Wood Buffalo national park. A federal panel approved the mine despite conceding that it would likely be harmful to the environment and to the land culture of Indigenous people. These giant tar sands mines (easily visible on Google Earth) are already among the biggest scars humans have ever carved on the planet’s surface. But Canadian authorities ruled that the mine was nonetheless in the “public interest’.”

Renewables, Efficiency, Energy Storage & Conservation

gmoke writes—Net Zero Energy Buildings at the Poles: “The NYTimes published ‘The Coolest Architecture on Earth Is in Antarctica’ by John Gendall on January 6, 2020. ( It was a general overview of new research stations and their designs to cope with the ‘world’s harshest environment.’ According to the story, designer architects are bringing ‘aesthetics — as well as operational efficiency, durability and energy improvements’ to the new buildings planned or under construction. The Halley VI research station of the British Antarctic Survey, designed by Hugh Broughton Architects, is credited with changing the state of the art.  The Halley VI is built on hydraulic stilts, ‘allowing operators to lift it up out of accumulating snow drifts. And if the entire station needs to be moved — it sits on a drifting ice shelf — skis at the base of those stilts make that possible’."

Mokurai writes—Renewable Monday: New Desalination Technologies: “We looked at desalination, particularly using solar power, not long ago. (Renewable Thursday: Desalination) Almost all of it uses energy-intensive distillation or reverse osmosis. It turns out that there is a lot of research going on to find more energy-efficient methods of desalination, not only for seawater, but for far more salty "hypersaline" brines resulting from various industrial and oil well drilling processes. For example:

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Each of these new technologies promises greatly reduced cost for desalination. I draw no conclusions about which of these will be commercialized, and which will win out in the variety of locations and applications out in the real world. But I have no doubt that one will.” 

Mokurai writes—Renewable Tuesday: Deniers Have a Cow Fart: “Cows don't fart methane much. They mostly burp it. But spare a thought for the cows that have to live only on perennial ryegrass rather than natural mixed pasture. It is really bad for their health, besides making their gut bacteria generate all of that methane. There are several ways to fix that. So no, we aren't going to kill off all of the cows and make MAGA-haters eat vegeburgers with soy shakes. Reducing farm greenhouse gas emissions may plant the seed for a cooler planetCows produce methane when they belch, and manure also emits the gas. Farming operations can generate nitrous oxide in the soil, which is then released into the atmosphere. According to the researchers, these best farming practices to reduce these gases are focused on three types of farming operations—feeding animals, storing or processing manure, and cultivating crops. Specific practices include no-till farming, sealed flare storage for manure, and high feed efficiency that can reduce cow belches.” 

Mokurai writes—Renewable Wednesday: Green Diary Howto I: “Can you write an environmental (or any) DK Diary? Sure, assuming that you know about something of interest and can tell a story at all. There are some mechanical issues, like the DK editor and scheduler, and search engines, and so on, that I can help with. • Some think they can't write. That can't be true if they can talk. • Some think they lack ideas, in spite of the fire hose of important news coming at us. • Some are afraid of the DK editor and scheduler. There you do need help, and you need to take it one step at a time. I'm going to focus today on the mechanics of creating and posting a Diary, with the bare minimum on the editor, and most of our attention on where, when, and how.”

Mokurai writes—Renewable Thursday: Germany Finally Going Off Dirty Brown Coal, Eventually: “Germany followed a strange path to renewables. It pushed solar and wind faster than other countries in Europe, but after Fukushima decided to shut down its relatively clean nuclear plants and replace them with highly-polluting lignite-burning plants. Now it is finally getting ready to start shutting down the brown coal plants and mines. However, Germany remains critically dependent on imports of natural gas from Russia. We also need to see a plan for electric vehicles of all kinds, including cars, trucks, buses, ferries, and regional aircraft, topics for another Renewable Day.” 

Mokurai writes—Renewable Friday: Nine Active Climate Tipping Points: “I started Renewable Days with Ys in Them to tell you about solutions to Global Warming that the MSM ignores. But there are real disasters looming, like several meters of sea-level rise from collapsing glaciers in Antarctica and Greenland, enough to inundate much of Florida and Bangladesh, and all of several island nations. This could be the first and worst. Satellites show Antarctica's doomsday glacier is 'coming apart at the seams'. Leading scientists have warned that nine of the tipping points identified over a decade ago are now active. One of those tipping points is the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). Thwaites glacier, also known as the doomsday glacier, has been alarming scientists about a looming collapse that could raise sea levels rapidly. The land ice of Thwaites has the potential to raise sea levels two feet, and if West Antarctica goes down with it, eleven feet of sea-level rise will occur. Nine climate tipping points now 'active,' warn scientists.”


Meteor Blades writes—Despite lawsuits against shrinking of Utah nat'l monuments, Trump regime OKs drilling, mining there: “Even though several lawsuits challenging the shrinking of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments by the Trump regime are working their way through the federal courts, the Interior Department on Wednesday signed off on plans issued by the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service to allow mining, oil and gas drilling, and grazing on land that is within the Obama-set boundaries of the two monuments. Critics believe the courts will overturn Trump’s 2017 move to shrink Bears Ears from 1.3 million acres to about 228,000 and Grand Staircase from 1.9 million acres to about 1 million. A lower court decision could come this spring or early summer. When the draft plans appeared last July, Arizona Rep. Raúl Grijalva, the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, called it a ‘cynical attempt’ to codify the shrunken monuments. He told Greenwire reporter Jennifer Yachnin, ‘President Trump's campaign to dismantle our national monuments is illegal and unpopular, and the courts are going to overturn it. This president is willing to inflict lasting damage on our country to benefit his industry boosters, and anyone who invests a dollar in drilling or digging in the newly opened areas should be prepared to lose their bet against public opinion and the strength of our legal system’.”


Assaf writes—EV Tuesday: "...but you can't deny Ghosn's Got Style": “Just like his flagship Nissan Leaf, Carlos Ghosn’s very vocal and visible presence in EV world was notable, but seemed to be no match, in terms of showmanship, to Tesla’s Elon Musk… ...until, on December 29 after spending a year in arrest and house arrest, Carlos managed to smuggle himself, tucked inside a musical-instrument box, through Japanese airport security (possibly with the help of American mercenaries), and flew to his birth country, Lebanon, which has no extradition agreement with Japan.Your turn, Elon. Well, much as we love to follow celebrity antics (and I personally don’t), why am I wasting an EV Tuesday diary on this? Because at Nissan, it seems that EVs were Ghosn and Ghosn was EVsOnce he was removed in late 2018, the company has all but abandoned its EV leadership role among major automakers. Worse, it’s gone backwards.” 

Walter Einenkel writes—Ocasio-Cortez and Levin co-sponsor bill to build out nationwide electric vehicle infrastructure: “While Donald Trump and his do-nothing-for-Americans Republican henchmen celebrate their corruption, Democratic officials like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Andy Levin of Michigan are putting forward infrastructure legislation that would help build out a nationwide network of high-speed charging stations for electric vehicles. Bloomberg News reports that the EV Freedom Act, publicly proposed on Thursday, would create a mandate for the U.S. Departments of Energy and Transportation to figure out the details of how to “establish a network of chargers along public highways within five years’.” 


Pakalolo writes—Climate breakdown shock - Ocean circulation is ramping up significantly due to global heating: “Faster than previously expected. Those four words are horrifying when it comes to describing the changes to our climate. We have been reading about these phenomena frequently lately and, they haunt with such dire consequences as increasing permafrost thaw, marine heatwaves, climate migration, increasing pressure on our food systems, to name just a few. Every one is occurring much faster than climate models suggest. I suspect that there are so much feedbacks not accounted for in current climate models that we should not be surprised anymore. I try not to be a ‘doomer’ when I discuss climate change. I still believe we can save some of what is left, even when the shit hits the fan if we try. But with the faster than expected daily breaking news makes me think that perhaps, in actuality, I am a Pollyanna. Because I report almost exclusively on climate chaos, I am usually wrong about timeframes of tipping points. Tipping points always tend to be happening sooner than what is in my diaries. Anyway, I am scared to death to think of our immediate future.”

Water protectors from the Yurok, Hoopa Valley, Winnemem Wintu and other Tribes, and Save California Salmon. 

Dan Bacher writes—Tribal Members and Youth Ask for North State Hearings and River  Protection at Delta Tunnel Hearing: “Today Northern California Tribal members, supporters, and members of the Hoopa High School water protector club traveled to Sacramento to ask the state of California to protect the Trinity and Sacramento Rivers, and to schedule meetings in Northern California on the Governor’s proposed Delta Conveyance Project, according to a press release from Save California Salmon. The group said the fact that the ‘Delta Tunnel hearings are only occurring in the southern part of the state and started even before the comment period ended on the water portfolio demonstrates that the governor needs to take more public feedback before moving forward on large, environmentally damaging water projects.’ ‘The governor’s water portfolio, Sites Reservoir plan, and Delta Tunnel proposal all threaten the Trinity, Klamath and Sacramento rivers, however the state is not having any public hearings in the North State,’ stated Regina Chichizola from Save California Salmon. ‘It feels like the governor wants the North State’s water, but not our opinions’.”

Dan Bacher writes—Reminder: Delta Tunnel Notice of Preparation Scoping Meetings Start in Sacramento on Monday, Feb. 3! “The Gavin Newsom Administration formally began the planning process for a controversial single tunnel under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta when the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) released its Delta Conveyance Notice of Preparation on January 15, 2020. The first public scoping meeting on this process will take place on Monday, February 3, 2020 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the California Environmental Protection Agency Building, 1001 I Street, Sacramento. Everybody who cares about the future of the Delta farms and fish and West Coast fisheries should attend. If you can’t attend this meeting, the list of public scoping meetings is listed below. The Department of Water Resources is holding seven public scoping meetings between February 3 and 20 on the recently released Notice of Preparation (NOP) for its proposal to “modernize water infrastructure in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta” — build the Delta Tunnel.”


robctwo writes—Saturday Morning Garden Blogging Vol 16.06: “Good morning gardeners and friends. I noted last week was Imbolc, or Brigid’s Day for Celtic people. Half-way between solstice and equinox, one of the fire celebrations. Imbolc means in the belly, referring to the large number of animals waiting to give birth in the Spring. It is the start of Spring in my neck of the world. The first crocus patch is in full Spring. [...] I got some more pruning done. I also got a good spray of sulfur on trees and shrubs. OSU extension has lots of information on sprays and pruning. I do not have my new electric sprayer set up, but that will happen soon. I will use copper, sulfur and mineral oil, nothing with a long name and warnings of death to fish.”


ClimateDenierRoundup writes—James Taylor’s Confusing Idaho For Iowa Doesn’t Inspire Confidence for Upcoming Heartland Conference: “Yesterday the Heartland Institute announced that its 14th annual climate conference is scheduled for May 7th and 8th, at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. [...] And, of course, James ‘my brother Jerry has outed us all as liars for hire’ Taylor will also be presenting. For a sneak preview, we can look at a Powerpoint presentation he recently delivered to an Idaho House of Representatives committee. In it, Taylor hammers home the idea there’s a benefit to warming seen in a longer growing season, warmer winters and more rainfall. Instead of sitting through the presentation, though, we recommend reading some of the reporting on it, which was highly critical and extremely entertaining. Taylor made an attempt to push back on the criticisms, some of which were pretty scathing. One editorial began by describing his talk as ‘an embarrassment to every lawmaker who takes his organization seriously’ in the very first sentence, and later pointed out that Taylor’s presentation was ‘lies from the start’.” 

Lib Dem FoP writes—Boris Johnson's Surprisingly Green Government: “Boris Johnson shares much of Trump’s character — a lazy womaniser with very little grasp of the intricacies of policy. Unlike Trump he is not a micro-manager, prefering to leave things to his subordinates while he blusters his way through not giving press conferences but arranging special appearances. Much of this involves giving lip service to those areas where the Tories picked up seats from the Labour party, in the “industrial” parts of the Midlands and North of England.Under the British ministerial system, this can lead to unintendedly radical policies.One is the much expected announcement of the approval of HS2, the high speed rail line between London and Birmingham and possibly its ‘stage 2’ of a West-East trans-Pennine route to serve the ‘Northern Powerhouse.’  HS2 is much easier to approve now Boris is not dependent on the ‘NIMBY’ seats in the Home Counties (the ex-urbs of London) for his Commons majority. HS2 is necessary for the London to Birmingham route at least because of severe overcrowding on the line. It would increase speeds from the existing 200Km/h (125 mph) to 300Km/h.” 

Michael Brune writes—Heroes and Hypocrites: “You may not have heard of Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, but you’ve definitely heard of their employer: It’s the world’s largest online retailer, artificial-intelligence provider, and cloud computing platform. Its founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, is the planet’s wealthiest man (last week, he actually made $13.5 billion in 15 minutes). Amazon, the company he started in his garage 26 years ago, is now so big and so powerful that its business practices have enormous consequences for our entire economy. No private enterprise on the planet has more opportunities to take meaningful climate action. No one is more conscious of Amazon’s potential than the people who work there, and many of them weren’t impressed with how its commitment to addressing climate change compared to that of other tech giants like Microsoft and Apple. So what did they do? They raised their voices and called on their company to do better.”

macknacat58 writes—Rush is dyin', the ecosystem is too and how the hell am I SUPPOSED to feel? “So yeah- turns out ‘ol Rush — whom I spent too many construction site hours having to endure — was Quite Anti Science when it came to the dangers of tobacco use.  Just a bunch of intellectual and Ivory Tower geeks who certainly didn’t know about the “real’ world with ‘real’ men like Dear Ol “i’m a real man” Rush did… ‘Fake Science.’ [...] I kinda can’t give a shit about Rush and his feelings nowadays- he made his millions spewing the kind of hate that I feel sent us right down the divisive , fear mongering, violence prone path I see my country careening down today.  So yeah- Rush- don’t let that door hit ya on the ass on yer way out… But I do sense a prelude to the kind of inner  and outer dialogues we will encounter as our planet careens down its very apparent path of human caused eco self destruction …..unlike Rush, when these folk made their decisions to discount the science provided mega data of Climate Crisis reality, they included me and mine in  those consequences…..think of it as second hand smoking writ very very large….  and guess what?- my thoughts will be even less charitable than they are towards Rush.”

Tevye writes—Australia Rejoices! In Just One Day, Rain Has Extinguished 1/3rd The Fires, More Rain Is On The Way! “Two days ago, there were still sixty-two active fires blazing throughout the Australian eastern coast. And then yesterday, what everyone has been hoping and praying for had finally, finally arrived. Torrential rain fell throughout the New South Wales region and up and down the coast and completely extinguished twenty of the active fires and put all but two below the moderate to low standings.There are seventeen fires that have yet to be contained.”

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Bernie Sanders Has Already Drafted ‘Dozens Of Executive Orders’ To Bypass Congress If Elected President

By PoliZette Staff | January 31, 2020

Disturbing campaign documents have just come to light showing that 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ staffers have already begun preparing “dozens of executive orders” so that he can bypass Congress in the first days of his presidency, should he win the election in November.

The documents, which were obtained by the Washington Post, show that Sanders’ has executive orders prepared on a wide range of issues that include the environment, immigration, and the economy.

Sanders’ team has prepared over a dozen options for reversing President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, with one of them being the immediate halting of construction on the border wall. Another potential executive order would remove the limit for the number of refugees that could be admitted to the United States, while a third would reinstate Barack Obama’s DREAMER program, which granted legal status to undocumented immigrants who were brought to this country as children.

RELATED: Ilhan Omar Launches Bill To Stop Trump From Carrying Out ‘Muslim Ban’

This is just the beginning of the executive orders that Sanders has planned. One order legalizes marijuana in the entirety of the United States, and another would allow the U.S. to import prescription drugs from Canada. Sanders would also declare climate change to be a national emergency as soon as he took office, and he would ban the export of crude oil.

This shows that Sanders is anticipating that Republicans will keep control of the Senate come November, and that he has no intention of letting this stop him from achieving his radical agenda.

Another document obtained by the post was written by Faiz Shakir, Sanders’s campaign manager; Warren Gunnels, a senior adviser; and Josh Orton, the campaign policy director, who all urge him to use the executive orders to undo the many “wrongs” of Trump’s presidency.

“We cannot accept delays from Congress on some of the most pressing issues, especially those like immigration where Trump has governed with racism and for his own corrupt benefit,” they said.

RELATED: Impeachment Trial Could Be Over Friday Night

These documents make it all the more terrifying that Sanders has taken the lead in Democratic primary polls, according to The Blaze. This man clearly thinks that he is above the law, and he would destroy America as we know it if he is able to get to the White House.

Now, more than ever, it’s important that we ensure Trump is reelected in 2020, if for no other reason than to keep this nutcase Sanders out of power.

This piece originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

Read more at LifeZette:
Republican Lawmaker Launches Bill To Officially Classify CNN And Washington Post As ‘Fake News’
Fox Refuses To Air Super Bowl Ad About Abortion Survivors – Greenlights Commercial Featuring Drag Queens
Meghan McCain Breaks Her Silence About Feud With Whoopi Goldberg After Being Told To ‘Please Stop Talking’

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