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President Donald Trump has only been president for eight and a half months but he already has a noteworthy record of appointing people to positions in the federal government who will work actively to dismantle them or, at best, are woefully unqualified for the job.

On Friday, the White House announced the president’s intent to nominate Jim Bridensine, a GOP congressman from Oklahoma, to run NASA. Like many of Trump’s nominees, Bridenstine has no scientific or technical credentials to operate in such a position. He is, however, an outspoken climate change denier.

Both political parties have been quick to condemn the appointment, with both of Florida’s senators, Bill Nelson, a Democrat, and Marco Rubio, a Republican, calling Bridenstine a poor choice.

“I just think [his nomination] could be devastating for the space program,” Senator Rubio said in an interview with Politico. Not just that, but appointing a climate change denier to NASA’s top administrative post could prove devastating to climate change research.

Bridenstine’s denial of climate change is hardly surprising, with fossil fuel companies donating large sums of money to his campaign. In 2013, Bridenstone took to the house floor to demand that then-president Barack Obama apologize for funding climate change research.


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French president Emmanuel Macron thinks he’s convinced Trump to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, reversing a decision last month to withdraw the United States from the non-binding agreement on climate change.

When Trump announced plans to withdraw, he said he’d be willing to negotiate a better deal. European leaders have balked at the idea of changing the terms of the agreement after the fact.

Some think the president now realizes the mistake he made.

“I’ve got a feeling that the president is regretting what he did,” said Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin empire and climate action advocate. “Maybe his children and son in law are saying, ‘Look, I told you so.’ Hopefully, there is a positive change of mind.”

That change of mind may be coming, according to the French President. Macron said that Trump now better understands the link between climate change and terrorism, the latter being an enormous concern of the president.

“He understood the sense of my approach, notably the link that exists between global warming and terrorism. He told me he would try to find a solution in the coming months,” Mr Macron said in an interview with le Journal du Dimanche.

“We talked in detail about what could enable him to come back into the Paris accords.”

Even with Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement, renewable energy implementation is on track to meet the goal the United States set for itself – a 28% decrease in 2005-level carbon emissions by 2020.

But time will tell.


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President Trump has been no stranger to cutting the world off from unfavorable data. He even had the USDA remove information about animal abusers to placate the NRA and big ag. Now, Trump’s proposed budget could cut us, and the rest of the world, off from some pretty vital data.

An alert was sent out by a U.S. Geological Survey program coordinator that warned of the Trump administration’s proposed budget cuts, set for 2018. The cuts, if they end up being approved, will undermine the availability of data that’s been gathered on critical areas like geology, climate change, and weather.

The email was sent to more than 500 researchers on June 19th in the hopes that it would give them enough time to react and comment on these proposed changes.

Up to 40 programs are threatened by these cuts, with programs that focus on climate change and the impact of land use being the most severely hindered.

Debra Willard, a coordinator for the USGS Climate Research and Development Program, said that the cuts “would reduce or eliminate the availability of current data and collaborations between the USGS, other agencies and universities.”

“There was a consensus that suspension of the USGS projects would impede ongoing activities in the international research and policy communities,” Willard said after reading responses from her colleagues.

Without this data being readily available, we’ll be flying blind in a number of ways. Weather and climate could be harder to predict and the impact of land use may not be thoroughly studied and understood.

Cutting off this data could imperil lives as well, with critical information about natural hazards like volcanoes and earthquakes being affected.

There is, of course, no guarantee that the Trump budget is going to be passed, but it’s clear as day that the proposed changes benefit his core message: take what you want now, stymie resistance, and make someone else pay the price down the road.


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Don Blankenship, CEO Massey Energy addresses a luncheon at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, July 23, 2010. ©Mannie Garcia

After spending a year in prison for conspiring to commit mine safety violations that lead to the deaths of 29 people, former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship is exploring a run for senate in West Virginia.

“If I could get some momentum, some help, I might have a chance at winning a Republican primary, particularly,” he said in an interview with a West Virginia radio show on Wednesday. “I assume Joe Manchin would love to see me get in the race because he would probably think I would be more easily beatable than the others.”

I mean, probably yeah.

Blankenship, who received an $86 million severance when he left his job (for prison), has been a huge donor to the West Virginia Republican Party and he even paid a crowd of protesters to show up and interrupt Hillary Clinton’s visit to Mingo County, WV in 2016.

There are some complications to Blankenship’s plan for a senate run, including the fact that he doesn’t live in West Virginia anymore. Legal filings before his trial indicated that Blankenship had relocated to Las Vegas, Nevada to start a real-estate business.


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President Donald Trump has been robustly defending his decision to leave the Paris Climate Agreement, a non-binding agreement to reduce carbon emissions and assist developing countries switch to clean energy alternatives. On Thursday, Trump said he was “proud” of the decision to pull out.

“In order to protect American jobs, companies and workers, we’ve withdrawn the United States from the one-sided Paris Climate Accord,” Trump said in a speech focused on the future of energy in the US.

“I will tell you we’re proud of it,” he said. “And when I go around, there are so many people that say thank you. You saved the sovereignty of our country.”

The Paris Climate Agreement was a landmark one – the first time that effectively the entire globe agreed to take steps to mitigate the impacts of man-made climate change. The agreement is non-binding, with each nation establishing at the outset what they were willing to commit to the fight.

One of the loudest voices standing in opposition to Trump’s decision to pull out is German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has publicly declared that the Paris deal is “not negotiable” and intends to hold Trump’s feet to the fire over his disastrous decision.

Even though the science is effectively settled and the United States is the world’s second-largest contributor of greenhouse gases, Trump campaigned on the idea that climate change is a Chinese hoax. Sadly, his ignorance, willing or not, is damning future generations to a horrid life.


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President Donald Trump is following through on a promise: that he will review 27 national monuments established by 3 former presidents and allow for new energy development on those sites. Put simply: your favorite national monuments could someday soon feature fracking wells.

First on the list is Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, which Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke would like to reduce the size of in order to open it up for oil and gas drilling. Bears Ears has been a political target in particular, as it was designated during the final days of Barack Obama’s presidency.

The national monument protects land deemed sacred by the Navajo Nation, encompassing 100,000 different archaeological sites as well as ancient abandoned cliff dwellings. Today, members of the tribe visit these sites for ceremonies and rituals.

These national monuments don’t just protect human antiquities, but fragile wildlife as well.

Giant Sequoia National Monument was established during Bill Clinton’s presidency, much to the dismay of logging companies. Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument serves to protect a myriad of oceanic life, like whales and sea turtles, from human encroachment.

All of the national monuments on the list will be reviewed by August.


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People being born today will have to deal with consequences of climate change that you and I may not live long enough to have to endure. For many, that’s enough reason to sit on their hands and take no action. But for 21 young people, a lawsuit against the US government seemed like a step in the right direction.

But the federal government is having none of it and has invoked a legal tool that’s almost never used in order to crush their lawsuit.

Last week, Ann Aiken granted the plaintiffs a hearing, deciding that their lawsuit deserved one. Following that, the Trump administration did something unusual – it went to the 9th circuit court of appeals in order to get their case dismissed.

According to the government’s official complaint, Aiken and the district court committed “multiple clear errors of law” and felt it was important to “end this clearly improper attempt to have the judiciary decide important issues of energy and environmental policy to the exclusion of the elected branches of government.

The Children’s Trust, which is the NGO working with the 21 young people filing the suit, have countered stating that the plaintiffs have equal right to weigh in on policies.

If Trump’s attempt to dismiss the case fails, it will be headed to trial.

“The Trump administration wouldn’t be scrambling to avoid facing us in trial if they were upholding their constitutional duty to protect us,” said Nathan Baring, a 17-year-old plaintiff.

“The public is waking up to the blatant collusion between business and governmental interests at the expense of the people, at the expense of our liberties.”

Photo by Robin Loznak


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The United States has begun the long, four-year process of pulling out of the Paris climate agreement. The rest of the world has remained steadfast in their support of comprehensive goals to avoid catastrophic climate change.

While the politicians in Washington D.C. may not be willing to work with the international community on the issue of climate change, U.S. states are on board and the world is taking notice.

Both China and the European Union have declared an eagerness to work with any states and cities that want to continue fighting against climate change.

“Strong transatlantic ties are far more important and far more durable than the latest unfortunate decisions of the new administration,” EU President Donald Tusk said.

Despite Trump’s desire to “renegotiate” the terms of the Paris climate accord, the international community is having none of it and numerous cities and states have signed on to a climate alliance to meet the goals laid out in our original agreement.

One of the most challenging aspects of the United States pulling out of the agreement is finding the funding dedicated to helping poorer countries develop while meeting their own carbon reduction goals. China and the European Union have made it known that the funding will be available, topping $100 billion by 2020.

“The decision of the United States to pull out of the Paris agreement is utterly regrettable, and that is me choosing very restrained language,” said German chancellor Angela Merkel.

“This is why it is necessary now after this announcement by the US administration yesterday evening, to turn our attention to the future.”

American states with mostly Democratic leadership have begun to declare their intents to see through the Paris agreement. On Tuesday, Hawaii became the first state in the country to officially sign a bill into law that adopts the goals of the Paris climate agreement.

“Reducing greenhouse emissions in Hawaii is now the law — the state law,” reports Hawaii Public Radio’s Bill Dorman. “While the specifics are a bit vague, the political message is clear: to keep pace with environmental commitments made as part of the Paris accord.”

Governor David Ige signed the senate bill, citing his own motivation by the overwhelming evidence of climate change that is visible to Hawaiians every day.

“We are the testing grounds. … We are especially aware of the limits of our natural environment,” Ige said. “Tides are getting higher, biodiversity is shrinking, coral is bleaching, coastlines are eroding, weather is becoming more extreme. We must acknowledge these realities at home. That is why Hawaii is united in its political leadership on tackling climate change.”


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In an attempt to justify the US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, Donald Trump claimed that scientists “can’t even get the weather report right, so how come they think they can get [climate change] right?” The comment was originally reported by Politico. 

The comment was made after a round of golf at the Trump National Golf Club because of course it was.

Trump officially withdrew the US from the non-binding global agreement, citing research that he intentionally misunderstood, claiming that it was the international community’s attempt to pull a fast one on the American economy. Which it wasn’t. The agreement was totally voluntary. But Trump doesn’t want you to know that.

Circling back around to the original cringe-worthy remarks, Donald Trump demonstrated clearly that he has zero understanding of the climate and doesn’t even know the difference between climate and weather. So Mr. President, in case you’re reading (which I don’t know why you would be since this isn’t an episode of Fox and Friends) here’s the difference between climate and weather, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center:

Weather is the day-to-day state of the atmosphere, and its short-term variation in minutes to weeks.

Climate is the weather of a place averaged over a period of time, often 30 years. Climate information includes the statistical weather information that tells us about the normal weather, as well as the range of weather extremes for a location.

Learn the difference.


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Trump has indicated through words and action time and time again that he doesn’t give a shit about nature, allowing big ag to destroy wetlands and streamsas well as letting hunters kill wolf pups and bears while they hibernate.

Now, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is in Trump’s sights. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has issued a directive to find out how much oil is located under ANWR and how much can be extracted.

In 2013, a plan was written that limited the scope of drilling for oil and natural gas in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. Oil companies were quick to complain about these restrictions, and Trump’s administration was all too eager to listen.

“This is land that was set up with the sole intention of oil and gas production; however, years of politics over policy put roughly half of the NPR-A off-limits,” Zinke said in a statement. “Using this land for its original intent will create good-paying jobs and revenue.”

ANWR is a 19-million-acre reserve that was originally established by congress in 1980. Today, it is estimated that 12 billion barrels of crude oil sits below the reserve, which has drawn the interest of oil companies as well as politicians.

Environmental advocates are already pushing back.

“It’s hard to see how they could open up more land to development without putting at risk some pretty sensitive areas,” said Kate Kelly, the public lands director at the Center for American Progress. “Zinke might give lip service to balance, but this announcement shows the scales are tipped pretty far in industry’s favor.”

Regardless, Zinke is pushing forward with further fossil fuel development in the region, which will only end up costing the natural environment, and you, in the long run.


This website isn’t paid for by deceitful third party ads or paywalls. If you would like to support more stories like these, visit our store and pick up a sticker or a sweet men’s or women’s I’m With Her t-shirt. They’re made in the United States and for each one sold, we plant 10 trees.