Sustainability
Give A Shit About Nature's Sustainability Content

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Coal is a dying form of energy. The writing has been on the wall for years. It’s not lost on me that thousands of families rely on jobs in the coal industry to make ends meet, but when Trump tells you that he’s going to save coal, he’s lying.

According to a report by Greenpeace, new coal power plants being built around the world dropped by two-thirds last year in comparison to 2015.

This report comes as a shock to some who knew of a decline but not this steep of one. China and India accounted for a large chunk of the declining investments, but the United States played a role as well.

The death of coal is not coming as a result of bad government policy. Coal’s is dying at the hands of the free market. Natural gas and renewable energy are simply cheaper, and more and more, the market craves cheap clean energy.

“Markets are demanding clean energy, and no amount of rhetoric from Donald Trump will be able to stop the fall of coal in the US and across the globe,” says Nicole Ghio, a senior campaigner at the Sierra Club.


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For 25 years now, the Energy Star program has given homeowners an easy insight into energy efficient products, from computers to toasters to ovens. Many homeowners seek out the blue logo to help save big bucks on the energy cost of their appliances.

But Trump, who I guess loves the idea of you paying more for operating your appliances, is set to gut the program’s already fairly limited operational budget.

Donald Trump is obsessed with blowing up the size of the U.S. military’s budget another $54 billion, but has to justify paying for it somehow. The $57 million budget for Energy Star is a part of his absurd, terrifying military buildup.

In total, Energy Star has saved $430 billion and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by around 2.7 billion tons, according to estimates in 2015.

Energy Star gives consumers a chance to make an educated, environmentally friendlier choice. Donald Trump doesn’t give a shit about you or the environment. Period.


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Even after a deal was brokered with the EPA to keep it running through 2044, the owners of the Navajo Generating Station, the 7th largest carbon polluter in the U.S., have decided to shut it down.

The station, which is located near Page, Arizona, pumps out 14 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year, but that’s not the reason it’s being closed down. At the core of the issue is money: cheap natural gas has made it so the NGS is just not viable anymore.

Even though there are clear negative effects on the health of the Navajo who live near it, the Navajo and Hopi tribes are bothered by the loss of revenue from the plant’s closure. The tribes are hoping that President Trump, an advocate for coal, will step in and intervene.

But even if the president did want to help, it would only delay the inevitable. No amount of money or deregulation can save coal at this point. It’s dying at the hands of the free market, and that’s okay.

While the plant is closing down, the infrastructure exists in the reservation for new electrical generation plants. The area is prime real estate for solar and wind power in particular. My hope is that the NGS will be replaced by cleaner power generation.


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The Trump administration is expected to come out with a plan to cut a quarter of the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget, causing layoffs for about 20% of the agency.

The proposed cuts would remove about $2 billion from current spending and about 3,000 employees.

The White House has been laying out its plan for federal agencies as well as the budget as a whole, announcing a plan to add more than $50 billion to the defense budget and cutting domestic discretionary spending, like the safety net, by about the same amount.

Ultimately, congress is responsible for making the budget, but they will doubtless be looking to the White House for guidance. Democrats are gearing up to oppose it as furiously as possible, but without a majority in either legislative chamber, it will likely be futile.

These cuts will give us an EPA with fewer resources than at any time since Reagan was president. Their ability to enforce regulations that keep our air and water clean will be severely hindered. When it comes time to vote in 2018 and 2020, don’t forget this.


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To Bill Nye and Bernie Sanders, ending climate change isn’t just about saving the planet: it’s a huge jobs creator too. That’s the opening point that Nye made in today’s live chat with Bernie Sanders on climate change.

As of this writing, the video has been viewed 2.4 million times and has received more than 65,000 shares.

Sanders, a former presidential candidate, has been an outspoken critic of Donald Trump on a number of issues, including climate change.

“We have a president of the United States who thinks that climate change is a ‘hoax’ emanating from China,” Sanders said in his opening remarks. “We have a new administrator of the EPA—somebody who I strongly opposed—who is in the process of dismembering environmental protection regulations in this country.”


holierThis site is not paid for by third party ads or annoying popups that don’t go away. If you want to support more articles like these, consider picking up a Resist Tee or bumper sticker. Together, we’ll resist environmental destruction by planting 10 trees for each one sold. ✊

September 10, 2012- REC Solar employees Brian Webster, left and Mario Richard, right, install PV modules on a Englewood, Colorado home participating in the Solar Benefits Colorado program. (Photo by Dennis Schroeder / NREL)

It’s no secret that the coal industry is a dying one. A large part of why it’s dying is because, currently, natural gas is a cheaper source of energy. As solar power has gotten cheaper, the industry has grown and with it, new jobs have been created.

The solar industry is growing jobs almost 17 times faster than the economy as a whole. More than twice as many people work in the solar industry than the coal industry according to a survey by the Solar Foundation, a nonprofit org.

Some politicians are trying to revive the dying coal industry, but last year alone, 40 coal plants were shuttered and none were built. The solar industry, however, added 14,000 megawatts of new power generation.

It may seem like a lot, but solar still only accounts for about 1% of the country’s total power generation. That means there’s a lot of room for the industry to grow and a lot of potential jobs.

Despite Trump’s opposition, solar power will likely grow from its current 39,000 megawatts of installed power to 100,000 by 2021. Of course, progressive policy can help grow the industry even faster, but what’s becoming clear is that the industry will grow regardless of what state and federal governments decide to do.

It’s a popular form of energy too. The survey found that 83% of Republicans and 97% of Democrats want to see more solar installed. The future is looking bright!


holierThis site is not paid for by third party ads or annoying popups that don’t go away. If you want to support more articles like these, consider picking up a Resist Tee or bumper sticker. Together, we’ll resist environmental destruction by planting 10 trees for each one sold. ✊

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Last week, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer indicated that the president was strongly considering a significant crackdown on states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use.

Whether or not that happens is anyone’s guess. The president is a dangerous, unpredictable lunatic who often says one thing, does another, and then says the first thing again in a 2am tweet. It’s hard to gauge what Trump is going to do next.

What isn’t so hard to predict is the trajectory of the cannabis industry. According to a report from New Frontier Data, there will be 250,000 legal cannabis-related jobs by 2020, outpacing the expected jobs number for manufacturing.

Last year, the legal cannabis market was estimated to be worth about $7.2 billion. It’s expected to grow by a rate of 17% annually, with recreational sales growing from $2.6 billion last year to more than $11 billion in 2020.

That growth, of course, is if Trump doesn’t start enforcing archaic, faulty federal laws on states that have decided to go a different direction.


holierThis site is not paid for by third party ads or annoying popups that don’t go away. If you want to support more articles like these, consider picking up a Resist Tee or bumper sticker. Together, we’ll resist environmental destruction by planting 10 trees for each one sold. ✊

One of the numerous bizarre, unattainable things that Trump ran on during the presidential campaign was saving coal, a dirty and dying form of energy production.

But while Trump chases coal down the drain, states are doubling down on renewable energy, which creates more jobs than every type of fossil fuel combined.

In California, Senate leader Kevin de León introduced a bill that would make the state’s grid carbon-free by 2045 and to hit 50% renewable energy by 2025.

In Massachusetts, legislators have introduced two bills to promote renewable energy, HD.3357 and SD.1932. They would require the state get all of its electricity from renewable sources by 2035 and 100% of energy needs, be it heating or transportation, by 2050.

Hawai’i also has an aggressive standard enacted back in 2015 mandating 100% renewable energy by 2045.

A bill introduced in Nevada also sets a fairly rigorous standard of 80% renewable energy by 2040. Their current goal is 22% by 2040.

So while Trump digs coal, the states are being realistic and implementing renewable energy. Let’s see who wins this contest.


holierThis site is not paid for by third party ads or annoying popups that don’t go away. If you want to support more articles like these, consider picking up a Resist Tee or bumper sticker. Together, we’ll resist environmental destruction by planting 10 trees for each one sold. ✊

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The EPA’s newly installed head, Scott Pruitt, said on Saturday that U.S. President Donald Trump will begin to roll back Obama-era environmental protection rules in an “aggressive way” beginning possibly next week.

“I think there are some regulations that in the near-term need to be rolled back in a very aggressive way. And I think maybe next week you may be hearing about some of those,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said at the Conservative Political Action summit.

Pruitt also stated that by focusing on climate change, the EPA was costing jobs and preventing growth. He says the agency’s public image is damaged.

“I think its justified,” he said. “I think people across this country look at the EPA much like they look at the IRS. I hope to be able to change that.”

But Pruitt, like Trump, insists that removing these regulations won’t harm air and water quality. Of course, this is laughably false, but the madman in the White House is set to move hard on these rules. Get ready.


holierThis site is not paid for by third party ads or annoying popups that don’t go away. If you want to support more articles like these, consider picking up a Resist Tee or bumper sticker. Together, we’ll resist environmental destruction by planting 10 trees for each one sold. ✊

100507-N-6070S-316 Gulf of Mexico (May 7, 2010) -- Dark clouds of smoke and fire emerge as oil burns during a controlled fire in the Gulf of Mexico. The U.S. Coast Guard working in partnership with BP PLC, local residents, and other federal agencies conducted the "in situ burn" to aid in preventing the spread of oil following the April 20 explosion on Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit Deepwater Horizon. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Stumberg/Released)

Oil spills are an expensive thing to clean up, and you’d think with the billions they make a year, oil companies could afford to clean up their spills. But Australian treasury officials have confirmed that oil companies can claim a tax deduction for oil spill cleanup expenses under the PRRT.

“If there was a problem with an exploration well requiring remediation expenditure, to the extent that the expenditure had a close or quite direct connection with the physical activities of the petroleum project, it would be considered exploration expenditure for petroleum resource rent tax purposes and would be available to be carried forward and uplifted,” a treasury official said.

Of course, this is infuriating taxpayer and environmental advocacy groups. Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson is speaking out against the new rule.

“The rules have been written by the oil companies for the oil companies and they are laughing all the way to their banks. Parliament enacted these broken laws and its time that Parliament reasserted itself over the fossil fuel giants and rewrote them.”

Jason Ward of the Tax Justice Network called it an “absolute scandal.”

“First we learn that we are giving away our natural resources to the world’s largest oil companies for free and now we know they can get tax credits for oil spills,” he said. “It is mind-boggling that this is actually how the PRRT works.”


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