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How the Trump Administration Plans to Gut Our Nation’s Bedrock Environmental Law

, executive director

Make no mistake. This is a very big deal. President Trump has launched one of his most destructive assaults yet on our nation’s environmental and public safeguards. Read more >

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Bushfire-Ravaged Australia Is Crying for Climate Action

, climate scientist

I’m writing from Australia with a heavy heart and a growing sense of anger.

Uncontrolled bushfires, sparked in September and raging since October, continue to ravage the southern and eastern parts of the continent. So far, 25 people have lost their lives, thousands of houses have been destroyed, and whole towns have been razed to the ground. Countless native animals and livestock have died. Communities are grieving.  And there are months left to go in this fire season.

While the unfolding tragedy that has captured global headlines highlights our vulnerability in a rapidly warming climate, it also exposes a gaping absence of climate leadership both in this country and globally. Communities have been left shattered, exhausted and looking for answers. As a climate scientist who has been working on these issues for decades, I share below some thoughts on how we got here and the urgent new course we need to set. Read more >

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As the San Joaquin Valley Grows Hotter, Questions Arise About Future Power Grid Reliability

, Western states senior climate analyst

This fall, as millions of Californians went without power and wildfires claimed homes and livelihoods, the fragile state of California’s electricity grid came center-stage. Our deep reliance on it to power our homes, businesses, schools, healthcare and medical devices, and other critical services also became painfully clear. Understandably, the current focus is on the grid’s resilience to wildfires.

The unfortunate reality is that wildfire risk is just part of the story. Heat waves, droughts, and flooding affect the grid and will become even more frequent and severe — in California and across the nation – if heat-trapping emissions remain unchecked. Heatwaves can also co-occur with wildfires, increasing risks to the grid. This raises important questions about the electricity grid’s readiness for more extremes today and in the future.

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Derrick Z. Jackson
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Susana Vera/Reuters

Reflections on a Dysfunctional Climate Summit

, director of strategy & policy

As I arrived at the Féria de Madrid metro station on the Saturday before the opening of the annual United Nations climate summit (referred to as COP 25), I was struck by the signage in the exit tunnel. “17.2 MILLION PEOPLE LEAVING THEIR HOMES BECAUSE OF CLIMATE DISASTERS IS NOT A CHANGE,” one graphic read. Another said “MIAMI DISAPPEARING UNDER THE SEA IS NOT A CHANGE;” a third read “40% OF THE ANTARCTICA ICE MELTING IS NOT A CHANGE.” All of them had the same tag line next to them: “DON’T CALL IT CHANGE, CALL IT CLIMATE EMERGENCY.” This was my first indication of how intent the Chilean COP 25 presidency was on driving home the theme of the climate summit, “time for action.”

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Susana Vera/Reuters
Alden Meyer
IISD reporting services
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President Trump Badly Losing his War on Federal Funding for Clean Energy

, director of gov't affairs, Climate & Energy

President Trump is not a fan of clean energy. Some might even say that he’s declared “war” on clean energy by trying to prop up uneconomic coal, appointing pro-fossil FERC Commissioners, stalling permits for offshore wind, and his annual budget requests which gut federal clean energy investments.

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Gage Skidmore/Flickr
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