The Eco News Roundup brings stories and commentary about issues related to climate change, renewable energy and the environment.

Despite Trump, States Still on Pace to Reach Paris Climate Goals

A coalition of states that vowed to fight global warming is on track to meet its share of U.S. targets set under the Paris Climate Agreement, even as President Donald Trump guts federal environmental efforts.

California, New York, and other members of the U.S. Climate Alliance have collectively cut greenhouse gases 15 percent since 2005, putting them within reach of the national goal of reducing emissions at least 26 percent by 2025, according to a report Wednesday. The rest of the nation has trimmed emissions by 10 percent, according to Rhodium Group research cited in the report.

Philippines Climate Case Could Find Fossil Fuel Companies Violate Human Rights

The Philippines’ Commission on Human Rights has had a busy year thanks to a dispute with President Rodrigo Duterte over police killings in the drug war, but it’s about to tackle another blockbuster: an effort to hold fossil fuel companies responsible for the human rights violations inherent in climate change.

In the process, the Philippines, an island nation that ranks third among countries most at risk from climate change, will become a testing ground for a human rights approach to climate liability.

The commission is investigating whether the collective contribution to global warming by 47 coal, cement, oil and gas companies has violated Filipinos’ basic rights to life, water, food, sanitation, adequate housing and self-determination. The companies included some of the world’s biggest fossil fuel producers, such as ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, Rio Tinto and Total.

Why is Africa building a Great Green Wall? Video

Eleven countries are planting a wall of trees from east to west across Africa, just under the southern edge of the Sahara desert.
The goal is to bring the dry lands back to life.

Ancient bristlecone pine forests are being overwhelmed by climate change

For thousands of years, wind-whipped, twisted bristlecone pines have been clinging to existence on the arid, stony crests of eastern California’s White Mountains, in conditions inhospitable to most other life.

Their growth rings provide a year-by-year account of the struggle to survive: It’s a tortuous cycle of dying off almost entirely, leaving only a few strips of bark that then continue to grow diagonally skyward or sideways along the ground.

But the world’s oldest trees may never have experienced temperature increases as rapid as those of recent decades. The climatic changes have triggered a struggle for dominance, in very slow motion, between the ancient bristlecones and the younger limber pines that have been able to charge up-slope as conditions become warmer and wetter.

Hidden Costs of Climate Change Running Hundreds of Billions a Year

Extreme weather, made worse by climate change, along with the health impacts of burning fossil fuels, has cost the U.S. economy at least $240 billion a year over the past ten years, a new report has found.

And yet this does not include this past month’s three major hurricanes or 76 wildfires in nine Western states. Those economic losses alone are estimated to top $300 billion, the report notes. Putting it in perspective, $300 billion is enough money to provide free tuition for the 13.5 million U.S. students enrolled in public colleges and universities for four years.

Longer Flowering Seasons: Bad for Bees?

Scientists from North Carolina State University stumbled into a weird paradox while analyzing certain high-altitude bees in the Rocky Mountains.
[…]
The first part of their findings is very predictable: over the past four decades, warmer temperatures and less snowfall has led to longer growing seasons, with flowers blooming earlier and lasting later into the year.

This sounds good for bees, right? Wrong.

Catholic church to make record divestment from fossil fuels

More than 40 Catholic institutions are to announce the largest ever faith-based divestment from fossil fuels, on the anniversary of the death of St Francis of Assisi.

The sum involved has not been disclosed but the volume of divesting groups is four times higher than a previous church record, and adds to a global divestment movement, led by investors worth $5.5tn.

Photos: NASA project reveals global warming impact on half of Greenland

NASA’s Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) project has pointed to Greenland’s ice sheet being far more susceptible to global warming than ever before.

Trump begins reversing Obama-era climate change laws to make it easier for coal-fired power plants to pollute

Donald Trump is preparing to roll back former president Barack Obama’s key efforts to combat climate change by easing restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants. 

The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to release a plan in the coming days that will declare the Obama-era Clean Power Plan (CPP) unfair, claiming it exceeds federal law by setting standards that power plants are not able to reasonably meet. 

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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