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Scooped by Dennis Richards
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The Fight Over Voting Rights Ahead Of Midterms

The Fight Over Voting Rights Ahead Of Midterms | Government for the People | Scoop.it

"Interview Highlights

On what's happening around the country

Wendy Weiser: "We are actually several years into a multi-year push in many states to restrict access to voting. We normally think of voting as something that has been advancing forward, we've been increasing access to the franchise since our founding, but really in the last decade, 24 states have put in place new laws that make it harder for eligible citizens to vote. Almost half the states. The most common are very strict voter ID requirements, but there are cutbacks to voter registration access, cutbacks to early voting, cut backs to polling sites and a whole host of other innovative ways and hurdles to the ballot box."

On the justification for purging electoral rolls

WW: "Purging, when done well and properly and responsibly, is actually something that we want our election officials to do. People move, people die, we want our voter rolls to be kept up to date. But what we've been seeing are large-scale, aggressive purges that don't put in place protections to make sure that eligible citizens aren't being removed. And we actually have laws that are supposed to protect against that, and some of them are just being blown through. And we've had a couple of really aggressive purges this year that have come to light, that have caught up tens of thousands of eligible voters. Some of them are being sued on, but overall, in the last decade, there's been a real dramatic increase in our purge rates. We went from purging roughly 6 percent of voters between the presidential elections of 2004 and 2008 to purging almost 7 percent. And that doesn't sound like a lot but it's more than 4 million voters more being purged across the country. And it's not happening evenly. In places that had a history of discrimination and used to be covered under the Federal Voting Rights Act, we've seen even more aggressive purge rates. In places like Georgia, more than 10 percent, almost 11 percent of voters were actually purged from 2016 until [now]. So there's some real discrepancies across the country."

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Trump Administration Launches New Attack On ACA's Pre-existing Protections

Trump Administration Launches New Attack On ACA's Pre-existing Protections | Government for the People | Scoop.it

"The less generous plans that Verma [Seema Verma, the Trump administration official who oversees federal health programs...] and the Trump administration are touting, and that Monday’s rule change will favor, frequently leave beneficiaries exposed to catastrophic costs if they get seriously sick or injured, precisely because they leave out benefits that people need when they have serious medical problems. Often, the buyers of these plans aren’t even aware of the limits until it’s too late, because deciphering the fine print of these plans is so difficult.

And people who want or need comprehensive insurance ― say, because they have diabetes or are cancer survivors ― are likely to have a harder time getting such coverage, because of how the markets will change.

'This new guidance allows states to set up parallel insurance markets that may be able to attract healthy people with plans that have lower premiums but fewer consumer protections, leaving ACA plans with a sicker pool and higher premiums,' Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, told HuffPost on Monday.

Levitt called the regulatory change 'a major end run around the health law.'

The change raises the stakes on the 2018 midterms, because it means, among other things, that state officials, many of whom appear on this year’s ballot, will have even more power to shape (and reshape) their health care markets. 

'Some states will keep working to expand coverage to the uninsured and keep it affordable and adequate, [and] in other states we’ll see a race to deregulate, with the result that comprehensive coverage will be more expensive for those who need it most,' Sabrina Corlette, a research professor at Georgetown University, said."

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The Rich White Civil War

The Rich White Civil War | Government for the People | Scoop.it
Every few years one research group or another produces a typology of the electorate. The researchers conduct thousands of interviews and identify the different clusters American voters fall into.

More in Common has just completed a large such typology. It’s one of the best I’ve seen because it understands that American politics is no longer about what health care plan you support. It’s about identity, psychology, moral foundations and the dynamics of tribal resentment.

The report, “Hidden Tribes,” breaks Americans into seven groups, from left to right, with names like Traditional Liberals, Moderates, Politically Disengaged and so on. It won’t surprise you to learn that the most active groups are on the extremes — Progressive Activists on the left (8 percent of Americans) and Devoted Conservatives on the right (6 percent).

These two groups are the richest of all the groups. They are the whitest of the groups. Their members have among the highest education levels, and they report high levels of personal security.
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76 Environmental Rules on the Way Out Under Trump

76 Environmental Rules on the Way Out Under Trump | Government for the People | Scoop.it

"Since taking office last year, President Trump has made eliminating federal regulations a priority. His administration, with help from Republicans in Congress, has often targeted environmental rules it sees as overly burdensome to the fossil fuel industry, including major Obama-era policies aimed at fighting climate change.

To date, the Trump administration has sought to reverse more than 70 environmental rules, according to a New York Times analysis, based on research from Harvard Law School’s Environmental Regulation Rollback Tracker, Columbia Law School’s Climate Tracker and other sources.

The Environmental Protection Agency has been involved in more than a third of the policy reversals identified by The Times. Scott Pruitt, the head of the E.P.A. who spearheaded the administration’s agenda of environmental deregulation, resigned after facing a number of ethics scandals. Andrew Wheeler, the new acting chief of the agency, is a former coal lobbyist who also wants to roll back environmental regulations.

Rules targeted for reversal so far include key Obama-era efforts to curb planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, as well as broader air and water pollution controls and protections for threatened animals and habitats. The Trump administration has, in many instances, pared back these regulations in favor of more expansive energy extraction policies — often as a direct response to petitions from oil, gas and coal companies. Mr. Trump has argued that supporting the fossil fuel industry strengthens the economy."

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Preparing for the Future | A Student's Guide to Global Climate Change | US EPA - Last Updated 5/9/2017

Preparing for the Future | A Student's Guide to Global Climate Change | US EPA - Last Updated 5/9/2017 | Government for the People | Scoop.it
Preparing for the Future

Because carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases have been building up in the atmosphere, climate change is already happening, and more changes are in store that will affect people and the environment in many ways. While it's important to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, changes to the climate have already begun, and more changes will happen in the future.

That's why it's so important for people to plan for both the immediate and future impacts of climate change. Planning now will help keep societies healthy and strong by making it easier for people to successfully adapt to the changes that lie ahead.

Select a topic to explore some of the ways people can prepare for climate change.

Severe Weather
Rising Seas
Drought and Wildfires
Health
Plants, Animals, and Ecosystems
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Rescooped by Dennis Richards from Kids Global Climate Change Institute (KGCCI) - "But the minute [Trump's] door closes to learning and evolving, man the barricades." Thomas L. Friedman
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What Humanity Must Do to Prevent Catastrophic Climate Change

What Humanity Must Do to Prevent Catastrophic Climate Change | Government for the People | Scoop.it

A landmark United Nations report on Monday warned that sufficiently limiting man-made global warming will “require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” in order to avoid dramatic global consequences, including rising sea levels, dying coral reefs and human casualties due to extreme heat.

The special report — published Monday by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — assessed what it will take to limit global temperature increase to no more than 2.7º F (1.5º C) above preindustrial levels, in accordance with the 2015 Paris Agreement. Scientists consider that temperature to be a tipping point at which many severe effects of global warming will be realized.

“Examples of actions include shifting to low- or zero-emission power generation, such as renewables; changing food systems, such as diet changes away from land-intensive animal products; electrifying transport and developing ‘green infrastructure’, such as building green roofs, or improving energy efficiency by smart urban planning, which will change the layout of many cities,” the report said.


The report called climate change “an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to human societies and the planet,” and warned that delayed action would make it impossible to limit warming to 2.7º F. 


“While the pace of change that would be required to limit warming to [2.7º F] can be found in the past, there is no historical precedent for the scale of the necessary transitions, in particular in a socially and economically sustainable way,” the report stated. “Resolving such speed and scale issues would require people’s support, public-sector interventions and private-sector cooperation.” 


Here are some of the changes that will need to be made in order to stop the current pace of global warming:"

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Rescooped by Dennis Richards from Kids Global Climate Change Institute (KGCCI) - "But the minute [Trump's] door closes to learning and evolving, man the barricades." Thomas L. Friedman
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Final call to save the world from 'climate catastrophe'

Final call to save the world from 'climate catastrophe' | Government for the People | Scoop.it

It's the final call, say scientists, the most extensive warning yet on the risks of rising global temperatures.


Their dramatic report on keeping that rise under 1.5 degrees C says the world is now completely off track, heading instead towards 3 degrees C.


Keeping to the preferred target of 1.5C above pre-industrial levels will mean "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society".


It will be hugely expensive - but the window of opportunity remains open.


After three years of research and a week of haggling between scientists and government officials at a meeting in South Korea, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued a special report on the impact of global warming of 1.5C.

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Rescooped by Dennis Richards from Kids Global Climate Change Institute (KGCCI) - "But the minute [Trump's] door closes to learning and evolving, man the barricades." Thomas L. Friedman
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New UN Climate Report Dims Hope For Averting Catastrophic Global Warming

New UN Climate Report Dims Hope For Averting Catastrophic Global Warming | Government for the People | Scoop.it

"The world is rapidly running out of time to scale back greenhouse gas emissions, dimming hopes of keeping global warming within 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, beyond which catastrophic planetary changes are forecast.

That assessment comes from a sobering new report issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, the leading United Nations consortium of researchers studying the speed and scope of human-caused temperature rise.

“This is one of the most important reports ever produced by the IPCC, and certainly one of the most needed,” Hoesung Lee, the chair of the body, said at a press conference in South Korea on Monday. “Climate change is already affecting people, livelihood and ecosystems all around the world.”

He continued: “Every bit of warming matters.”

The report ― authored by 91 researchers and editors from 40 countries citing more than 6,000 scientific references and released Sunday night following a summit in Incheon, South Korea ― details how difficult it will be to keep the planet from warming beyond the 1.5-degree target, considered the aspirational goal of the 2015 Paris climate accord.

To meet that target, the world would need to aggressively phase out fossil fuels to meet net-zero emissions by mid-century, and remove carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases out of the atmosphere from then on, according to the IPCC. More immediately, emissions would have to drop by about 45 percent below 2010 levels by 2030.

At 1.5 degrees of warming, small islands and major coastal metropoles like New York City, Mumbai and Jakarta risk disastrous flooding without costly sea barriers.

Yet carbon emissions began growing again last year after a three-year plateau as fossil-fuel emissions hit an all-time high. Emissions have quadrupled since 1960, and globally the last four years have been the warmest four on record, according to an international report released in August.

“I see so little evidence that 1.5 is achievable that I think that the main impact of a focus on 1.5 will be to demoralize people,” Andrew Dessler, a climate scientist at Texas A&M University, said in an email Sunday. 

Under President Donald Trump, the United States ― the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases per capita ― is shredding every major policy to reduce its carbon footprint. The U.S. has also stopped giving money to a fund that helps poorer countries invest in clean energy and adapt to a warming world.


In a surprise move late last year, the White House signed off on a lengthy report by dozens of federal agencies that concluded the planet has entered the warmest period “in the history of modern civilization,” with global average air temperatures having increased by 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) over the last 115 years. And buried in a report released in August, the White House said it assumes a cataclysmic 4 degrees Celsius (or 7 degrees Fahrenheit) of warming is inevitable by the end of the century."

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Rescooped by Dennis Richards from Kids Global Climate Change Institute (KGCCI) - "But the minute [Trump's] door closes to learning and evolving, man the barricades." Thomas L. Friedman
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The world has just over a decade to get climate change under control, U.N. scientists say - The

The world has just over a decade to get climate change under control, U.N. scientists say - The | Government for the People | Scoop.it

"The world stands on the brink of failure when it comes to holding global warming to moderate levels, and nations will need to take “unprecedented” actions to cut their carbon emissions over the next decade, according to a landmark report by the top scientific body studying climate change.

With global emissions showing few signs of slowing and the United States — the world’s second-largest emitter of carbon dioxide — rolling back a suite of Obama-era climate measures, the prospects for meeting the most ambitious goals of the 2015 Paris agreement look increasingly slim. To avoid racing past warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) over preindustrial levels would require a “rapid and far-reaching” transformation of human civilization at a magnitude that has never happened before, the group found.

“There is no documented historic precedent” for the sweeping change to energy, transportation and other systems required to reach 1.5 degrees Celsius, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) wrote in a report requested as part of the 2015 Paris climate agreement.


At the same time, however, the report is being received with hope in some quarters because it affirms that 1.5 degrees Celsius is still possible — if emissions stopped today, for instance, the planet would not reach that temperature. It is also likely to galvanize even stronger climate action by focusing on 1.5 degrees Celsius, rather than 2 degrees, as a target that the world cannot afford to miss. 


“Frankly, we’ve delivered a message to the governments,” said Jim Skea, a co-chair of the IPCC panel and professor at Imperial College London, at a press event following the document’s release. “It’s now their responsibility … to decide whether they can act on it.” He added, “What we’ve done is said what the world needs to do.” 


The transformation described in the document is breathtaking, and the speed of change required raises inevitable questions about its feasibility."

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I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration

I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration | Government for the People | Scoop.it

"President Trump is facing a test to his presidency unlike any faced by a modern American leader. 


It’s not just that the special counsel looms large. Or that the country is bitterly divided over Mr. Trump’s leadership. Or even that his party might well lose the House to an opposition hellbent on his downfall. 


The dilemma — which he does not fully grasp — is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations. 


I would know. I am one of them. 


To be clear, ours is not the popular “resistance” of the left. We want the administration to succeed and think that many of its policies have already made America safer and more prosperous. 


But we believe our first duty is to this country, and the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic. 


That is why many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office."

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After Trump, the Deluge?

After Trump, the Deluge? | Government for the People | Scoop.it

"The president, who has condoned violence at his rallies, says Democrats will “violently” overturn all he has done if they prevail in the midterms."


"Once again, there was text and subtext, and as often with this president, both were disturbing. 


At a private meeting on Monday, President Trump urged evangelical Christian leaders to break federal law and openly support him from the pulpit. Does it matter that he seemed to believe that he had overturned the provision of the tax code that prevents churches from endorsing or opposing political candidates? Truth, fantasy and deceit slosh together with Mr. Trump. 


What mattered more was the thought that Mr. Trump planted — that a deluge of violence and anarchy would be loosed upon the world if they failed to rally the nation’s Christian soldiers to his side. 


If the Democrats win the midterm elections, the president warned, 'they will overturn everything that we’ve done and they’ll do it quickly and violently, and violently.'"

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What if Trump Did Actually Shoot Someone on Fifth Avenue?

What if Trump Did Actually Shoot Someone on Fifth Avenue? | Government for the People | Scoop.it

"Your vote in the midterms matters, because Republicans in Congress won’t restrain the president’s excesses."


"Sept. 3 (AP) — President Trump stopped his motorcade in Manhattan today, jumped out of his limousine and shot a man on Fifth Avenue who was shouting anti-Trump epithets. The shooting was recorded by the White House press pool as well as by dozens of bystanders with cellphones and by security cameras in the area. When asked for his reaction, House Speaker Paul Ryan said, 'We will need more information than is available at this point.'


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said through pursed lips that he 'was not going to comment on every up and down with this president.' House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said he already had information indicating that the man whom Trump shot 'worked for the Clinton Foundation and may have been a relative of former Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin.'


Fox News did not cover Trump’s shooting at the top of its broadcast, which focused instead on the killing of an Iowa woman by an undocumented immigrant. Fox’s only reference to the fact that the president shot a man on Fifth Avenue was that “a New York City man died today when he ran right into a bullet fired by the president.” 


Senator Lindsey Graham quipped that 'Trump shoots as well as he putts' and that this incident would not cause the South Carolina senator to cancel his coming golf round with the president at his Bedminster, N.J., course."

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Anderson Cooper: 1 White House, 2 messages

Anderson Cooper: 1 White House, 2 messages | Government for the People | Scoop.it
President Donald Trump's message on the Russia investigation differs from that of his national security team, which warned of Russia's interference in US political elections. CNN's Anderson Cooper reports.
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Driven by Trump Policy Changes, Fracking Booms on Public Lands

Driven by Trump Policy Changes, Fracking Booms on Public Lands | Government for the People | Scoop.it
The administration is auctioning off millions of acres of drilling rights and rolling back regulations, raising environmental concerns in states like Wyoming.
Dennis Richards's insight:
“CONVERSE COUNTY, Wyo. — The parade of trailer trucks rolling through Jay Butler’s dusty ranch is a precursor to a new fracking boom on the vast federal lands of Wyoming and across the West. Reversing a trend in the final years of the Obama presidency, the Trump administration is auctioning off millions of acres of drilling rights to oil and gas developers, a central component of the White House’s plan to work hand in glove with the industry to promote more domestic energy production. Seeing growth and profit opportunities at a time of rising oil prices and a pro-business administration, big energy companies like Chesapeake Energy, Chevron, and Anschutz Exploration are seizing on the federal lands free-for-all, as they collectively buy up tens of thousands of acres of new leases and apply for thousands of permits to drill. In total, more than 12.8 million acres of federally controlled oil and gas parcels were offered for lease in the fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30, triple the average offered during President Barack Obama’s second term, according to an analysis by The New York Times of Interior Department data compiled by Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan group that advocates budget discipline.”
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The American Civil War, Part II

The American Civil War, Part II | Government for the People | Scoop.it
When I look at all the people today who are propelling their political careers and fattening their wallets by dividing us, I cannot help but wonder: Do these people go home at night to some offshore island where none of this matters? Do these people really think their kids aren’t going to pay for the venom they sell and spread? Don’t worry, I know the answer: They aren’t thinking and they aren’t going to stop it.

What stops it? When a majority of Americans, who are still center-left and center-right, come together and vote only for lawmakers who have the courage to demand a stop to it — now, right now, not just when they’re leaving office or on their death beds.
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Goodbye, Political Spin, Hello Blatant Lies - "So if you’re a voter who cares about health care,... vote Democrat."

Goodbye, Political Spin, Hello Blatant Lies - "So if you’re a voter who cares about health care,... vote Democrat." | Government for the People | Scoop.it

"Do you remember political spin? Politicians used to deceive voters by describing their policies in misleading ways. For example, the Bush administration was prone to things like claiming that tax breaks for the wealthy were really all about helping seniors — because extremely rich Americans tend to be quite old.

But Republicans no longer bother with deceptive presentations of facts. Instead, they just flat-out lie.

What do they lie about? Lots of things, from crowd sizes to immigrant crime, from steel plants to the Supreme Court. But right now the most intense, coordinated effort at deception involves health care — an issue where Republicans are lying nonstop about both their own position and that of Democrats.

The true Republican position on health care has been clear and consistent for decades: The party hates, just hates, the idea of government action to make essential health care available to all citizens, regardless of income or medical history.


This hatred very much includes hatred of Medicare. Way back in 1961, Ronald Reagan warned that enacting Medicare would destroy American freedom. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think that happened. Newt Gingrich shut down the government in an attempt to force Bill Clinton to slash Medicare funding. Paul Ryan proposed ending Medicare as we know it and replacing it with inadequate vouchers to be applied to the purchase of private insurance. 


And the hatred obviously extends to the Affordable Care Act. Republicans don’t just hate the subsidies that help people buy insurance; they also hate the regulations that prevent insurers from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions. Indeed, 20 Republican state attorneys general filed a lawsuit trying to eliminate protection for pre-existing conditions, and the Trump administration has declined to oppose the suit, in effect endorsing it. 


So if you’re a voter who cares about health care, it shouldn’t be hard to figure out where the parties stand. If you believe that Medicare is a bad thing and the government shouldn’t protect people with pre-existing conditions, vote Republican. If you want to defend Medicare and ensure coverage even for those who have health problems, vote Democrat."

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Rescooped by Dennis Richards from Kids Global Climate Change Institute (KGCCI) - "But the minute [Trump's] door closes to learning and evolving, man the barricades." Thomas L. Friedman
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NASA Climate Kids :: How do we know the climate is changing? - Last Updated 9/27/18

NASA Climate Kids :: How do we know the climate is changing? - Last Updated 9/27/18 | Government for the People | Scoop.it

"So what if Earth gets a tiny bit warmer?

The sky is still blue. Trees are still green. Wind still blows. Clouds are still white and fluffy. Rain still pours from the sky. Snow falls and it still gets really cold sometimes in some places. Earth is still beautiful.

So what is the problem? What is the fuss about climate change and global warming?

Well, after observing and making lots of measurements, using lots of NASA satellites and special instruments, scientists see some alarming changes. These changes are happening fast—much faster than these kinds of changes have happened in Earth's long past.

Global air temperatures near Earth's surface rose almost one and one-half degrees Fahrenheit in the last century. Eleven of the last 12 years have been the warmest on record. Earth has warmed twice as fast in the last 50 years as in the 50 years before that.

One and one-half degrees may not seem like much. But when we are talking about the average over the whole Earth, lots of things start to change."

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2018 - Is there hope? A brief history of climate change: 1712-2013

2018 - Is there hope? A brief history of climate change: 1712-2013 | Government for the People | Scoop.it
1999 - Human population reaches six billion.
2001 - President George W Bush removes the US from the Kyoto process.
2001 - IPCC Third Assessment Report finds "new and stronger evidence" that humanity's emissions of greenhouse gases are the main cause of the warming seen in the second half of the 20th Century.
2005 - The Kyoto Protocol becomes international law for those countries still inside it.
2005 - UK Prime Minister Tony Blair selects climate change as a priority for his terms as chair of the G8 and president of the EU.
2006 - The Stern Review concludes that climate change could damage global GDP by up to 20% if left unchecked - but curbing it would cost about 1% of global GDP.
2006 - Carbon emissions from fossil fuel burning and industry reach eight billion tonnes per year.
2007 - The IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report concludes it is more than 90% likely that humanity's emissions of greenhouse gases are responsible for modern-day climate change.
2007 - The IPCC and former US vice-president Al Gore receive the Nobel Peace Prize "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change".
2007 - At UN negotiations in Bali, governments agree the two-year "Bali roadmap" aimed at hammering out a new global treaty by the end of 2009.
2008 - Half a century after beginning observations at Mauna Loa, the Keeling project shows that CO2 concentrations have risen from 315 parts per million (ppm) in 1958 to 380ppm in 2008.
2008 - Two months before taking office, incoming US president Barack Obama pledges to "engage vigorously" with the rest of the world on climate change.
2009 - China overtakes the US as the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter - although the US remains well ahead on a per-capita basis.
2009 - Computer hackers download a huge tranche of emails from a server at the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit and release some on the internet, leading to the "ClimateGate" affair.
2009 - 192 governments convene for the UN climate summit in Copenhagen with expectations of a new global agreement high; but they leave only with a controversial political declaration, the Copenhagen Accord.
2010 - Developed countries begin contributing to a $30bn, three-year deal on "Fast Start Finance" to help them "green" their economies and adapt to climate impacts.
2010 - A series of reviews into "ClimateGate" and the IPCC ask for more openness, but clear scientists of malpractice.
2010 - The UN summit in Mexico does not collapse, as had been feared, but ends with agreements on a number of issues.
2011 - A new analysis of the Earth's temperature record by scientists concerned over the "ClimateGate" allegations proves the planet's land surface really has warmed over the last century.
2011 - Human population reaches seven billion.
2011 - Data shows concentrations of greenhouse gases are rising faster than in previous years.
2012 - Arctic sea ice reaches a minimum extent of 3.41 million sq km (1.32 million sq mi), a record for the lowest summer cover since satellite measurements began in 1979.
2013 - The Mauna Loa Observatory on Hawaii reports that the daily mean concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has surpassed 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time since measurements began in 1958.
2013 - The first part of the IPCC's fifth assessment report says scientists are 95% certain that humans are the "dominant cause" of global warming since the 1950s.
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Rescooped by Dennis Richards from Kids Global Climate Change Institute (KGCCI) - "But the minute [Trump's] door closes to learning and evolving, man the barricades." Thomas L. Friedman
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Why We Keeping Ignoring Climate Change Warnings

Why We Keeping Ignoring Climate Change Warnings | Government for the People | Scoop.it

"You’d think the end of the world would be enough to get us scared. Humans have always been an exceedingly risk-averse species—which is how we came to survive as a species at all. If there are lions on one part of the savannah, we go to another. If crocodiles keep coming out of the river, we fish somewhere else. So when it comes to the loss of the entire planet, well, we ought to take action. And yet we don’t; we never do.

That odd contradiction is on display again, in the wake of an announcement by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that a catastrophe is nigh—that that distant future of an Earth best by floods, droughts, wildfires and typhoons isn’t distant anymore, but as little as 12 years away. Unless we act dramatically and fast, the report says, by 2030 temperatures will have risen to 2.7º F (1.5º C) above the average of the pre-industrial era—the threshold that has long been cited as the tipping point for calamity. And while the announcement has been reported widely, the public reaction—again, as always—has been meh.

Volumes of research have been published over the decades trying to explain how and why we so often miscalculate risk—over-preparing for things that are not likely to hurt us and ignoring or shrugging off the things that are. The bad news for environmental scientists and policymakers trying to wake the public up to the perils we face is that climate change checks almost every one of our ignore-the-problem boxes."

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Liberals, This is War

Liberals, This is War | Government for the People | Scoop.it
Yes, Brett Kavanaugh is on the Supreme Court. Rue the day. Rend your garments.

Then, step back, view the entirety of the battle in which you are engaged, and understand that Kavanaugh is just one part of a much larger plan by conservatives to fundamentally change the American political structure so that it enshrines and protects white male power even after America’s changing demographics and mores move away from that power.

This, for them, is not simply a game about political passion and political principles. This is a game of power, pure and simple, and it’s about whether the people who have long held that power will be able to retain it.

For them, Trump is just a useful idiot, a temporary anomaly.

They are thinking generationally, not in terms of the next election cycle but in terms of the next epoch.

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Rescooped by Dennis Richards from Kids Global Climate Change Institute (KGCCI) - "But the minute [Trump's] door closes to learning and evolving, man the barricades." Thomas L. Friedman
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Climate change: IPCC report warns rapid changes needed to stem catastrophic global warming

Climate change: IPCC report warns rapid changes needed to stem catastrophic global warming | Government for the People | Scoop.it

"Governments around the world must take "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society" to avoid disastrous levels of global warming, says a stark new report from the global scientific authority on climate change.

The report issued Monday by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), says the planet will reach the crucial threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels by as early as 2030, precipitating the risk of extreme drought, wildfires, floods and food shortages for hundreds of millions of people.

The date, which falls well within the lifetime of many people alive today, is based on current levels of greenhouse gas emissions.
The planet is already two-thirds of the way there, with global temperatures having warmed about 1 degree C. Avoiding going even higher will require significant action in the next few years.

"This is concerning because we know there are so many more problems if we exceed 1.5 degrees C global warming, including more heatwaves and hot summers, greater sea level rise, and, for many parts of the world, worse droughts and rainfall extremes," Andrew King, a lecturer in climate science at the University of Melbourne, said in a statement.

Global net emissions of carbon dioxide would need to fall by 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 and reach "net zero" around 2050 in order to keep the warming around 1.5 degrees C.
Lowering emissions to this degree, while technically possible, would require widespread changes in energy, industry, buildings, transportation and cities, the report says.


"The window on keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees C is closing rapidly and the current emissions pledges made by signatories to the Paris Agreement do not add up to us achieving that goal," added King."

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Major Climate Report Describes a Strong Risk of Crisis as Early as 2040 - The New York Times

Major Climate Report Describes a Strong Risk of Crisis as Early as 2040 - The New York Times | Government for the People | Scoop.it

"A landmark report from the United Nations’ scientific panel on climate change paints a far more dire picture of the immediate consequences of climate change than previously thought and says that avoiding the damage requires transforming the world economy at a speed and scale that has “no documented historic precedent.”

The report, issued on Monday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of scientists convened by the United Nations to guide world leaders, describes a world of worsening food shortages and wildfires, and a mass die-off of coral reefs as soon as 2040 — a period well within the lifetime of much of the global population.

The report “is quite a shock, and quite concerning,” said Bill Hare, an author of previous I.P.C.C. reports and a physicist with Climate Analytics, a nonprofit organization. “We were not aware of this just a few years ago.” The report was the first to be commissioned by world leaders under the Paris agreement, the 2015 pact by nations to fight global warming.

The authors found that if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate, the atmosphere will warm up by as much as 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius) above preindustrial levels by 2040, inundating coastlines and intensifying droughts and poverty. Previous work had focused on estimating the damage if average temperatures were to rise by a larger number, 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius), because that was the threshold scientists previously considered for the most severe effects of climate change.


The new report, however, shows that many of those effects will come much sooner, at the 2.7-degree mark."

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Why It Can Happen Here

Why It Can Happen Here | Government for the People | Scoop.it

"We’re very close to becoming another Poland or Hungary."


"Soon after the fall of the Berlin Wall, a friend of mine — an expert on international relations — made a joke: “Now that Eastern Europe is free from the alien ideology of Communism, it can return to its true historical path — fascism.” Even at the time, his quip had a real edge. 


And as of 2018 it hardly seems like a joke at all. What Freedom House calls illiberalism is on the rise across Eastern Europe. This includes Poland and Hungary, both still members of the European Union, in which democracy as we normally understand it is already dead. 


In both countries the ruling parties — Law and Justice in Poland, Fidesz in Hungary — have established regimes that maintain the forms of popular elections, but have destroyed the independence of the judiciary, suppressed freedom of the press, institutionalized large-scale corruption and effectively delegitimized dissent. The result seems likely to be one-party rule for the foreseeable future. 


And it could all too easily happen here. There was a time, not long ago, when people used to say that our democratic norms, our proud history of freedom, would protect us from such a slide into tyranny. In fact, some people still say that. But believing such a thing today requires willful blindness. The fact is that the Republican Party is ready, even eager, to become an American version of Law and Justice or Fidesz, exploiting its current political power to lock in permanent rule."

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Opinion - Trump Will Have Blood on His Hands

Opinion - Trump Will Have Blood on His Hands | Government for the People | Scoop.it

"The voice, if I had to guess, belongs to that of a white American male in late middle age. The accent is faintly Southern, the manner taunting but relaxed. It’s also familiar: I’m pretty sure he’s left a message on my office number before. But the last voice mail left almost no impression. Not this time.

'Hey Bret, what do you think? Do you think the pen is mightier than the sword, or that the AR is mightier than the pen?'

He continues: 'I don’t carry an AR but once we start shooting you f—ers you aren’t going to pop off like you do now. You’re worthless, the press is the enemy of the United States people and, you know what, rather than me shoot you, I hope a Mexican and, even better yet, I hope a n— shoots you in the head, dead.'

He repeats the racial slur 10 times in a staccato rhythm, concluding with the send-off: 'Have a nice day, n— lover.'"

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Trump at a precarious moment in his presidency: Privately brooding and publicly roaring

Trump at a precarious moment in his presidency: Privately brooding and publicly roaring | Government for the People | Scoop.it

"This portrait of Trump behind the scenes is based on interviews with 14 administration officials, presidential friends and outside advisers to the White House, many of whom spoke only on the condition of anonymity to share candid assessments."


"In private, President Trump spent much of the past week brooding, as he often does. He has been anxious about the Russia ­investigation’s widening fallout, with his former campaign chairman standing trial. And he has fretted that he is failing to accrue enough political credit for what he claims as triumphs. 


At rare moments of introspection for the famously self-centered president, Trump has also expressed to confidants lingering unease about how some in his orbit — including his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr. — are ensnared in the Russia probe, in his assessment simply because of their ­connection to him. 


Yet in public, Trump is a man roaring. The president, more than ever, is channeling his internal frustration and fear into a ravenous maw of grievance and invective. He is churning out false statements with greater frequency and attacking his perceived enemies with intensifying fury. A fresh broadside came on Twitter at 11:37 p.m. Friday, mocking basketball superstar LeBron James and calling CNN’s Don Lemon 'the dumbest man on television.'"

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