Week in Review 10/13/2017


First Hurricane Harvey arrived, then Hurricane Irma, and then the forest fires in Northern California. But this was still not enough proof for President Donald Trump that climate change is human-made and quickly throwing our world into crisis. On Tuesday, he rescinded the carbon emission rule that President Obama established to help stem global warming.

The emission regulations, a cornerstone of Obama's environmental policy, would have reduced emissions from U.S. power plants twenty-five percent below 2005 levels by 2020, and thirty percent below those levels by 2030.  

"It's very clear that the increasingly hot summers are the product of climate change," said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles. "And it's clear that human influence has an impact on the climate system in the American West and more broadly. That increases the risk of fire and the overall acreage burned when we get these conditions."

Trump's environmental policy has aimed to reverse any progress the U.S. has made to protect our planet. Since taking office in January, the Trump Administration has sought to rollback and eliminate more than 50 environmental rules, according to an analysis by The New York Times. He took his anti-environmental plank to the world stage when he pulled the U.S. from the Paris Climate agreement and threatened global efforts to reverse climate change.

There is little to feel optimistic about at the moment. Trump's cabinet is filled with climate deniers including EPA Director Scott Pruitt and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. A third of the Environmental Protection Agency's Science Advisory Board, an influential panel that reviews the science the agency uses in formulating safeguards, could be succeeded by climate science-denying, polluter-friendly replacements when their terms expire at the end of October. 

Experts have warned for years that climate change will also become an international security issue with conflicts arising over food, water, and land, leading to a global refugee crisis.

While Californians still struggle to contain the wildfires and hurricane-ravaged areas try to rebuild, we brace ourselves for the next round of natural disasters. According to a UN report on climate change, those catastrophic events will not be the result of bad weather, but rather the result of "bad choices by governments, private sector and individual citizens."

What Can You Do?

Support JAC's candidates Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and others. These Senators are fighting in Congress to reverse climate change.


sources: AlterNet, The New Yorker