Below: Powering America - Children's Climate Suit Moves Ahead - Citizens' Climate Lobby Meetings - Freakishly Warm Arctic Weather - Drawdown Talk in St. Louis - Missouri Coalition for the Environment Spring Break - Advancing Renewables Conference - Earth Day Festival
The Padres have joined San Diego’s solar energy revolution installed by the Powering America team of NECA's Sullivan Solar Power and IBEW Local 569. This system will be larger than the other seven solar projects in major league baseball stadiums combined.
U.S. loses bid to halt children's climate change lawsuit
Wednesday, March 7, 2018
A group of youth plaintiffs prepare to march to a news conference outside of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals after a three-judge panel heard oral arguments over whether President Trump and his administration can evade a constitutional climate change trial Monday, Dec. 11, 2017, in San Francisco. 21 young plaintiffs and the organizational plaintiff Earth Guardian assert the U.S. government, through its affirmative actions has violated their constitutional rights to life and failed to protest essential public trust resources.
A federal appeals court on Wednesday rejected the U.S. government’s bid to halt a lawsuit by young people claiming that President Donald Trump and his administration are violating their constitutional rights by ignoring the harms caused by climate change. By a 3-0 vote, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said the administration had not met the “high bar” under federal law to dismiss the Oregon lawsuit, which was originally brought in 2015 against the administration of President Barack Obama.
The potentially far-reaching case is one of a handful seeking to have courts address global warming and its causes. Twenty-one plaintiffs, now aged 10 to 21, accused federal officials and oil industry executives of knowing for decades that carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels destabilise the climate, but refusing to do anything about it.
They said this has deprived them of their due process rights to life, liberty and property, including to live in a habitable climate.
U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken in Eugene, Oregon in November 2016 refused to dismiss the lawsuit, saying a quick dismissal without addressing the merits could sanction the government’s alleged “knowing decision to poison the air.”
In seeking to overturn that ruling, the government said letting the case proceed could lead to burdensome litigation, and provoke a “constitutional crisis” by pitting courts against Trump and the many other Executive Branch officials named as defendants. But in Wednesday’s decision, Chief Judge Sidney Thomas said the dismissal request was premature, and deciding whether the plaintiffs’ claims were too broad could be addressed through the normal legal process.
“Litigation burdens are part of our legal system, and the defendants still have the usual remedies before the district court for nonmeritorious litigation,” Thomas wrote. “Claims and remedies often are vastly narrowed as litigation proceeds; we have no reason to assume this case will be any different.” The U.S. Department of Justice, which handled the government appeal, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Julia Olson, who represented the plaintiffs and is executive director of Our Children’s Trust, which advocates for improving the climate, in an interview welcomed the decision.“It’s very exciting,” she said. “It will be the first time that climate science and the federal government’s role in creating its dangers will go on trial in a U.S. court.” The lawsuit was returned to Aiken for further proceedings.
Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Susan Thomast.
An Oregon appeals court ruled that restricting fossil fuel infrastructure is constitutional, overruling a lower appeals court decision. It's an important victory in the fight against climate change, and for local self-determination, says Nicholas Caleb of the Center for Sustainable Economy
Finding Common Ground - Fort Smith, AR - February 16-18, 2018
In this is challenging time, we are engaged in building relationships and discovering what it will take to enact effective national legislation in today’s political climate. The rapid growth of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus in the House of Representatives is evidence of the high level of climate awareness and advocacy in our country.
Citizens’ Climate Lobby volunteers in the Midwest know what to do when they see a twister on the horizon, but talking to a farmer or oil worker about climate change—that’s a far more daunting challenge. Addressing that challenge was the theme of the Tornadoes Regional Conference: “Finding Common Ground: Listening for shared values and opportunities for collaboration.”
The Feb. 16-18 conference in Fort Smith, Ark., happened at the St. Scholastica Retreat Center where Father John Anger gave a warm welcome, saying his boss, Pope Francis, wants him to support our mission of preserving the planet. In total, more than 80 participated in the conference.
A panel discussion included highly educated, innovative and vocal farmers who are leading the transition to sustainable agricultural practices that reduce emissions and sequester carbon dioxide in the soil. Participants discovered the value of collaborating with farmers to support sustainability in the upcoming farm bill.
Soniyyah “Sonna” B. Key from Fort Smith gave a wonderful testimonial. As an African American, when she attends a meeting she first likes to see other African Americans. If she doesn’t see that, she likes to see radical hospitality. But, with that radical hospitality, she doesn’t want to be treated like a unicorn—something beautiful with no purpose. She wants to be treated like a person who has purpose that can be of value to the organization. Tornadoes Regional Coordinator Carol Braford said, "That seemed to fit well with what we all want out of Citizens’ Climate Lobby: to be a powerful force in the solution for climate change."
As we work to get a carbon fee and dividend bill introduced in Congress, we will focus on our roles in negotiating such a bill through the legislative process to see it become law!
For more information about Citizens' Climate Lobby strategic goals to cut carbon emission see:
“Freakishly Warm” Arctic Weather Has Scientists Reconsidering Worst-Case Scenarios on Climate Change
Scientists suggest warming temperatures are eroding the polar vortex, the powerful winds that once cushioned the frozen north.
Scientists are expressing dismay over unprecedented warm temperatures in the Arctic. In recent days, temperatures at the North Pole have surged above freezing—even though the sun set last October and won’t rise again until later this month. On the northern tip of Greenland, a meteorological site has logged an unprecedented 61 hours of temperatures above freezing so far in 2018. The record-breaking temperatures are connected to an unusual retreat of sea ice in the sunless Arctic winter.
Scientists suggest warming temperatures are eroding the polar vortex, the powerful winds that once cushioned the frozen north. The alarming heat wave is causing scientists to reconsider even their bleakest forecasts of climate change. According to a leaked draft of a scientific report by a United Nations panel of scientists, “The risk of an ice-free Arctic in summer is about 50 per cent or higher,” with warming of between 1.5 and 2.0 degrees Celsius. We speak with Jason Box, professor in glaciology at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland in Copenhagen..
Explore the mission and metrics behind Paul Hawken's Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, including practical, local solutions in action.
The 80 researched-based actions mapped, measured, and modeled by Project Drawdown, if deployed collectively on a global scale over the next 30 years, offer humans the means to transform our climate crisis into just, livable world conditions. Project Drawdown's research, shows that rather than stopping global warming at 1.5-2 degrees Celsius, we can actually begin to reverse global warming by 2050, using technologies and practices that already exist and are scaling today.
This program draws on Missouri efforts embodying some of the highest-impact Drawdown measures to transform our local Climate conversations into viable opportunities and optimism. Presentations will illustrate importance of Plant-Rich Diets, Green Roofs, Wind Power, Alternative Cement, Educating Girls, and Regenerative Agriculture.
Presented in partnership with Missouri Botanical Garden, BiodiverseCity St. Louis, The Academy of Science - St. Louis, and Missouri Interfaith Power & Light.
Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE)
March 19-12, 2018
Join Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE) for Spring Break in St. Louis on March 19, Columbia March 20, or Raytown March 19-21!
MCE is hosting our second legislative spring break tour of Missouri. We'll update you on policies related to clean water, healthy food access, and state parks. Each event will have free food and held at a brewery with a focus on sustainability and conservation. State lawmakers have been invited to each event and we hope you'll join us for their unique insights into these issues. Unfortunately schedules didn't work out for a stop in Springfield this year.