Climate Change

EPA promotes global warming proposal to governors

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The head of the Environmental Protection Agency promoted proposed clean power plant rules to Western governors Tuesday, framing the plan as a way to deal with destructive wildfires and floods that have ravaged the region in recent years.

"There are some states that are really feeling some of the brunt of the changing climate most dramatically with wildfires and floods and droughts and all of those challenges," EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said Tuesday after a two-hour meeting with 10 governors in Colorado Springs where the annual Western Governors' Association conference is happening.

McCarthy emphasized that states will have flexibility in developing plans to reduce carbon output. But she acknowledged that some governors whose states depend heavily on coal expressed concern about the new rules.

Obama pitches wildfire plan to governors

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — President Barack Obama on Monday encouraged a group of governors to support a plan to pay for wildfire suppression, and the proposal got a positive reception from the 10 leaders gathered for an annual summit.

Obama made the pitch by telephone to governors meeting in Colorado Springs at the Western Governors Association conference. Under the plan, the federal government would budget money for fighting wildfires instead of raiding funding allocated for mitigation efforts.

The change is pending in Congress, and Obama encouraged the governors to urge enactment.

Steyer seeks to help climate change victims

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — An environmentalist billionaire who has pledged to spend tens of millions of dollars targeting Republicans who reject climate change announced Friday that he is now creating a fund to help victims of extreme weather disasters, starting with wildfires in the American West.

Tom Steyer and his wife, Kat Taylor, launched the Climate Disaster Relief Fund that will draw on the couple's personal profits from investments in Kinder Morgan, one of the largest energy companies in North America.

Climate change leads to warming temperatures, drought and insect outbreaks, which exacerbate costly wildfires, Steyer said in a statement.

Interior chief Jewell: Jamestown at risk from rising seas

JAMESTOWN, Va. (AP) — Interior Secretary Sally Jewell got a firsthand look Thursday at the effect of climate change on ever-receding Jamestown island, concluding that America's first permanent European settlement is clearly vulnerable to rising seas.

Led by National Park Service rangers, Jewell trekked around the island, where some sections now lie beneath the James River, and heard of the devastation in 2003 when Hurricane Isabel raked the low-lying landscape. The storm left many parts of the island underwater and destroyed thousands of artifacts retrieved from archaeological digs. Many are still being restored.

Dorothy Geyer, a Park Service natural resource specialist, said a 1 1/2-foot rise in sea level would put 60 percent of the island under water and a 4-foot -plus rise would increase that number to 80 percent.

Climate change responsible for Australia’s hottest 2 years: Climate Council


A non-profit group that replaced Australia’s government commission on climate change has reported that the country has experienced its hottest two-year period on record, Bloomberg reports.

Obama launches public push on power plant rules

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama launched a show of support Friday for new emissions rules for power plants, putting the weight of the White House behind the government's controversial strategy for combating climate change.

Three days before his administration is set to unveil the first carbon dioxide limits on existing plants, Obama paid a surprise visit to a children's hospital and met with young asthma patients, hoping to call attention to the health effects of air pollution. He also talked up the need to curb carbon pollution during a hurricane preparedness briefing at Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters.

Pollsters get different responses to ‘global warming,’ ‘climate change’

The New York Times

“Global warming” and “climate change” are not synonymous for many people, as more tend to find the “warming” more worrying, according to a study done by climate change communications units at Yale and George Mason Universities, The New York Times reports.

EPA regional leader talks climate change, water rules

MIAMI (AP) — A shift in the political conversation on climate change will come from engaging local communities seeking solutions to the problems they're already experiencing, the Environmental Protection Agency's regional administrator for the Southeast said Wednesday.

While some politicians remain skeptical or even silent on the issue, local communities understand the effects because they see them already in increased energy costs, crop production hit by rising temperatures, extreme weather events, rising sea levels and smaller fish catches, Heather McTeer Toney said before touring a South Florida plant that processes waste into energy.

Bloomberg: Cities key to confront climate change

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in his new U.N. job, said Tuesday that cities hold the key to confronting climate change because they account for 75 percent of the heat-trapping gases and their mayors have executive powers to reduce emissions.

The three-term mayor and billionaire businessman was a keynote speaker at the opening of a three-day U.N. meeting on making urban areas — where about 70 percent of the world's population is expected to live by 2050 — more livable, sustainable, economically successful and environmentally friendly.

World passes greenhouse gas warning mark, says agency

The Hill

Northern hemisphere carbon dioxide levels were above 400 parts per million in April, according to the World Meteorological Organization, which considers the mark a warning about the growing climate change dangers, The Hill reports.


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