The Eco News Roundup brings stories and commentary about issues related to climate change, renewable energy and the environment.
For only the third time since its inception in 1974, Alaska’s famous Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race kicked off in Fairbanks—250 miles north of the traditional start in the southern coastal city of Anchorage. Iditarod Trail Committee officials announced the decision in February, citing “poor conditions of critical trail areas in the Alaska Range,” as the reason behind the shift north.
Each time the race has been forced to re-route—the other two years were 2003 and 2015—it was due to lack of snow and unfrozen rivers, streams, and ponds in the low-elevation passes of the Alaska Mountain Range. Earlier this year, local news outlets reported low snow in Rainy Pass and the Dalzell Gorge, a “notoriously perilous stretch” of the traditional trail located on the north side of the Alaska Range.
It’s not a coincidence that all three re-routes of the Iditarod have occurred in the more recent decades of the race’s history. The December-February average temperature for the state as a whole is warming by 4.2 degrees F per century.
President Donald Trump will find the job of reining in spending on climate initiatives made harder by an Obama-era policy of dispersing billions of dollars in programs across dozens of agencies — in part so they couldn’t easily be cut.
There is no single list of those programs or their cost, because President Barack Obama sought to integrate climate programs into everything the federal government did. The goal was to get all agencies to take climate into account, and also make those programs hard to disentangle, according to former members of the administration. In some cases, the idea was to make climate programs hard for Republicans in Congress to even find.
Hani Goodarzi is sticking close to home these days. The cancer biologist at the University of California, San Francisco, cancelled a talk at the University of Calgary in late January and has put international travel on hold indefinitely. That’s because Goodarzi, an Iranian citizen who holds a US green card, is afraid that if he leaves the United States he might not be let back in.
He is not alone. Many foreign-born scientists say they are reconsidering plans to work or study in the United States, even though federal courts have indefinitely blocked US President Donald Trump’s travel ban. The policy, which Trump signed on 27 January, sought to deny entry to citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations for 90 days — including those with valid US visas.
Seventeen conservative Republican members of Congress—10 of them in their first or second terms—are bucking long-time party positions and the new occupant of the White House. They announced on Wednesday that they’re supporting a clear statement about the risks associated with climate change, as well as principles for how best to fight it.
Called the “Republican Climate Resolution” by supporters, the statement by House members takes about 450 words to mention conservative thought on environmentalism, support for climate science, feared impacts, and a call for economically viable policy. They pledge in general terms to support study and mitigation measures, “using our tradition of American ingenuity, innovation, and exceptionalism.”
At BPI Campus our Progressive Agenda is:
1. People matter more than profits.
2. The earth is our home, not our trash can.
3. We need good government for both #1 and #2.
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