Category: Climate Change

CEO Uses Trump Tax Cut to Combat Climate Change

CEO Rose Marcario has announced her company will donating $10 million dollars to combat climate change.

In letter posted to LinkedIn, Patagonia’s CEO announced her company is donating o non-profit groups who work on issues related to climate change and the environment. The money will be coming from the tax break Patagonia received under Trump’s tax reform bill. Under the new policy, Patagonia will be paying $10 million dollars less in taxes.

“Based on last year’s irresponsible tax cut, Patagonia will owe less in taxes this year—$10 million less, in fact,” CEO Rose Marcario writes. “Instead of putting the money back into our business, we’re responding by putting $10 million back into the planet. Our home planet needs it more than we do.”

Marcario referred to the government’s own newly released report on climate change,

“Our home planet is facing its greatest crisis because of human-caused climate disruption. All the extra heat we’ve trapped in the earth’s atmosphere is not only melting the poles and raising sea levels, it’s intensifying drought and accelerating the extinction of species. The most recent Climate Assessment report puts it in stark terms: the U.S. economy could lose hundreds of billions of dollars, and the climate crisis is already affecting all of us. Mega-fires. Toxic algae blooms. Deadly heat waves and deadly hurricanes. Far too many have suffered the consequences of global warming in recent months, and the political response has so far been woefully inadequate—and the denial is just evil.”

“Taxes protect the most vulnerable in our society, our public lands and other life-giving resources,” she added.  “In spite of this, the Trump administration initiated a corporate tax cut, threatening these services at the expense of our planet.”

Patagonia isn’t new to environmental causes. Their “1% for the Planet” program donates profits to environmental projects around the world.

A note on their company site claims Patagonia has donated more than $89 million to such causes since the program first launched.

And CEO Marcario was singled out by the White House, Barack Obama’s White House that is, back in 2015 for her efforts to protect the environment.

In response to the Republicans approach to climate change, Bloomberg notes that Patagonia is getting increasingly political.

In 2017 Patagonia sued the Trump administration for getting rid of protections on roughly 2 million acres of land in Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. “It was the biggest elimination of public lands in a pen stroke,” Marcario says. “We’ve been protecting wilderness for decades and our customers respect nature, so if the current administration wants to sell off our cultural heritage to the highest bidder, then we’re going to do everything we can to fight it.” This year the brand also launched Patagonia Action Works, a platform customers can use to find and support environmental nonprofits based on issue and location.

In 2018, Patagonia formally endorsed two Democratic Candidates for the U.S. Senate during the 2018 midterm elections. Both candidates won. And seeing as money and politics are the two measurements of power most at the forefront of Trump’s thinking, Patagonia’s latest message is something he and his allies should take note of.

Welcome To Our Black, Leftist News And Comment Podcast #RoseTwitter

Hey gang.

We didn’t focus so hard on any particular story or topic to make it the core of the show. So we’re titling this one as a good introductory episode to our program in general.

Fisherman Sue Fossil Fuel Companies Over Climate Change

On Wednesday, West Coast crab fishermen filed a lawsuit alleging that 30 fossil fuel companies are to blame for the past several years of delayed seasons and disastrous economic losses due to ocean warming. Specific complaints include strict liability, failure to warn and negligence.

“The scientific linkage between the combustion of fossil fuels and ocean warming, which leads to domoic acid impacts in our fisheries, is clear,” said Noah Oppenheim, executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, which filed the suit in California State Superior Court in San Francisco on behalf of California and Oregon crab fishermen. “We know it, and it’s time to hold that industry accountable for the damage they’ve caused.”

West Coast crab fishermen have experienced significant losses during the past three years, starting in the 2015-16 season when massive algal blooms caused by warm ocean temperatures resulted in a domoic acid outbreak that caused a months-long delay. The season was partially delayed again during the 2016-17 season for the same reason.

In California, Dungeness crab brought in over $47 million in 2017 and $83 million in 2016; the amount was down to $17 million in 2015, during the industry’s first major problem with domoic acid. Oppenheim said that that the 2015-16 closure cost the industry $110 million in lost revenue. There are nearly 1,000 Dungeness crab permit holders in California and Oregon.

This year, the commercial season is opening on time — Nov. 15 — but only south of Bodega Bay to the Mexican border. It will remain closed north of Bodega Head because domoic acid is showing up in crabs tested by the California Department of Public Health in certain parts of the north coast.

“Even though this year we’ve dodged a bullet, we still have a closed area, we’re still seeing hot tests,” said Oppenheim. “It could be that this year there could be a financial impact as well.”

In Oregon, the area of the coast that borders California has been closed to commercial and sports fishing since October because of domoic acid.

The lawsuit filed by the firm Sher Edling claims that the defendants, which include Chevron and Exxon Mobil, have known about the harm caused by climate change, including warming oceans, for 50 years.

“Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a global issue and requires global participation and actions. Lawsuits like this — filed by trial attorneys against an industry that provides products we all rely upon to power the economy and enable our domestic life — simply do not do that,” said Scott J. Silvestri, corporate media relations manager of Exxon Mobil Corp., in an email.

The cities of San Francisco and Oakland also filed lawsuits against five oil companies earlier this year, seeking to recover the cost of paying for seawalls to fend off sea-level rise. Those lawsuits were thrown out by a federal judge in June, who said that courts couldn’t decide who should be held accountable for as an issue as big as climate change.

In October, the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations successfully sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Association to protect salmon and steelhead trout populations in the Columbia River basin from warm water temperatures caused by dams and climate change.

Omarosa, Catholics, And Explosive Misogyny

With William working extra hours to try to get promoted to another department, The Wine Cellar will be doing these fast action drive by episodes in an attempt to keep the content flowing to you. 
Thank you for checking us out. 

 

 

The Artic Circle Is Burning

There are at least 11 major wildfires currently raging in the Artic Circle, and there are even more wildfires burning across Northern Europe. Sweden is one of the countries that been hit the hardest, and the government is scrambling to control the 40 wildfires currently ravaging the central and western parts of the country. This appears to be a trend as more and bigger blazes are reported in other far northern regions like Greenland, Alaska, Siberia and Canada.

The sparks come from a variety of sources- BBQs, cigarettes and increasingly lightning, which is becoming more frequent as the planet warms.

Swedish authorities say the risk of more fires in the days ahead is “extremely high” due to temperatures forecast in excess of 30C (90F). The Nordic region of Europe has experienced an intense heat wave in the past week. Temperatures have remained high throughout Finland, Norway and Sweden. Much of the northern hemisphere has sweltered in unusually hot weather in recent weeks, breaking records from Algeria to California and causing fires from Siberia to Yorkshire.

Two Canadair CL-415 water-bombing planes are on loan from Italy and have joined the firefighting efforts that have also included six fire-fighting helicopters from Norway in response to its neighbor’s request for assistance.

“This is definitely the worst year in recent times for forest fires,” Mike Peacock, a university researcher and a local resident said, according to the publication. “Whilst we get them every year, 2018 is shaping up to be excessive.”

Phoenix Calida Is Getting Better

Hey gang. Phoenix only comes in at the end of this. She’s starting get a little better from her most recent histoplasmosis flair up.

So it’s mostly just me on here going over trans rights, rape culture, alex jones accidentally telling the truth and a little Becky lives Matter.

Phoenix should be able to slide back in a little bit more going into this week.

White House waives Jones act 

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Twitter Thursday that President Donald Trump has “authorized the Jones Act be waived for Puerto Rico.” She says Trump is responding to a request from the governor, and it “will go into effect immediately.”
Acting Homeland Security Department Secretary Elaine Duke confirmed the move, saying that the temporary waiver will last for 10 days and covers all products being shipped to Puerto Rico.

“It is intended to ensure we have enough fuel and commodities to support lifesaving efforts, respond to the storm, and restore critical services and critical infrastructure operations in the wake of these devastating storms,” Duke said.

A one-two punch by Hurricanes Irma and Maria battered the island in recent weeks, leaving residents with shortages of all supplies. Maria wiped out the power supply, destroyed cell towers and led to massive fuel shortages on the island that relies on diesel for much of its power. 

The Jones Act is a little-known federal law that prohibits foreign-flagged ships from shuttling goods between U.S. ports. Republicans and Democrats have pushed Trump to waive the Jones Act, saying it could help get desperately needed supplies delivered to the island more quickly and at less cost.

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló had tweeted earlier that he’d petitioned the White House Wednesday night for a temporary waiver, which would allow foreign ships to deliver items to the island.

Iceberg the size of Sacramento breaks off Antarctica

A 103-square-mile chunk of ice has broken off Antarctica, the latest chunk of massive ice to leave the continent. For comparison, the iceberg is approximately the same size as Sacramento, CA, the sixth largest city in California, and the 35th largest city in the country.

The Washington Post reports the iceberg disconnected from Pine Island Glacier, a part of West Antarctica that already loses 45 billion tons of ice annually, contributing to sea level rises.

The break comes two months after a 2,200 square-mile piece of ice detached from Antarctica in July. At nearly the size of Delaware, the iceberg was one of the largest ever recorded. In 2014, a 255-square-mile iceberg also calved from Antarctica.

The iceberg is now “producing a batch of smaller icebergs as it drifts out to sea,” Gizmodo reports.  Pine Island Glacier, the website reported, is the “fastest-melting glacier in Antarctica.”

At the time of the July iceberg, Britsh researchers at Project MIDAS said there wasn’t evidence tying the iceberg to climate change. Yet, warming oceans and temperatures have been widely accepted as causes of other examples of deteriorating ice shelves.

NASA and two Ohio State University scientists studying Pine Island Glacier confirmed the break, the Washington Post reported. OSU’s Seongsu Jeong and Ian Howat published findings, that shows rifts in Pine Island have started to form in the center of the glacier, according to the Post. The Post said the scientists “suspect this is a function of warmer ocean waters reaching the base of the glacier and weakening it.”

Thousands flee Mt. Agung, as volcanic earthquakes are being reported

Residents, tourists and climbers are being told to stay far away from Mount Agung, a large volcano in Bali where hundreds of shallow volcanic earthquakes have been recorded in recent days. The volcano’s last eruption, in 1963, killed more than 1,000 people.
The Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation raised the alarm on Friday.

“The disaster mitigation agency said 48,540 people had fled and the number was expected to rise because more than 60,000 people lived in the danger zone,” Agence France-Presse reports.

Agung is the highest point in Bali. An eruption would likely bring deadly threats from a rain of heavy ash, as well as from pyroclastic flares (volcanic stones) and pyroclastic flows (lava).

As the Smithsonian’s Global Volcanism Program reminds us, “A VEI 5 eruption during 1963-64 produced pyroclastic flows and lahars that caused extensive damage and resulted in more than 1,100 deaths.”
The government has imposed a 12 kilometer (7.5 miles) exclusion, or “danger zone” around the volcano, according to the Associated Press. People who live in the area are being warned to prepare masks and other gear that could protect their nose, mouth and eyes.

The GOP Congress killed Obama’s Stream Protection Rule. Now what?

In one of its first acts, the Republican-controlled Congress overturned the Department of the Interior’s recent Stream Protection Rule. Coal companies are thrilled about the change, but some mining communities aren’t quite so sure about it.

The rule was originally designed to address problems with mountaintop removal, a type of mining common in Central Appalachia that has buried over 1,200 miles of rivers and streams. In one of its final environmental moves, the Obama administration expanded the rule to protect streams and other small waterways from the toxic waste created by coal mining.

The rule would have tightened requirements for mining companies through more rigorous permitting, water monitoring and stream restoration requirements. But the mining industry hated it and the GOP Congress wasted little time doing away with it.

Rachel Gleason of the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance says the rule was overly broad and could have been used to regulate underground mining, like the kind commonly done in her state. “They expanded it to areas that it should not be expanded to,” Gleason says. “[They] said, ‘It’s a one-size-fits-all for the entire nation.’ That does not work.”

Gleason says her group was worried that the Stream Protection Rule would have restricted the ability of coal companies to mine beneath streams, making it virtually impossible for them to make money mining coal in Pennsylvania.

Erin Savage of the environmental group Appalachian Voices disagrees. “It was a moderate rule,” she says. “It wasn’t some sort of drastic, tree-hugger rule. It was updating an existing rule based on current science. … In laymen’s terms, basically, [mining companies] would need to assure the regulatory agency that they’re not going to ruin water quality downstream.”

Gary Bentley, a former miner in Kentucky who now works as a writer and a mechanic, says he has seen up close how mining affects the environment of surrounding communities.

“Living in the region for 30 years, water contamination has always been a problem,” Bentley says. “We grew up with water contamination issues. Not to discredit the trouble in Flint, Michigan, but when that news came out, I was like, ‘Wow, I’ve lived with these conditions all of my life’ — and it was normal. We didn’t think about it as the life-threatening issue that it was. It’s very common in my hometown to have ‘boil-water advisories’ multiple times in a month, sometimes multiple times in a week.”

Still, Bentley says he is “a little bit torn on the rule, as a person from Appalachia and as a coal miner.”

“I may not have the most popular perspective amongst people in these communities, but it’s not that they’re not concerned with the protection of their environment,” Bentley says. “You’re talking to a group of people in a region that have never been offered an alternative to this industry. They’ve relied on a single economy for over 150 years.”

Bentley says he tries to explain to people in these communities that the rule would not actually have affected the industry.

“The rule really only affected new permits,” he says. “Current mining operations weren’t going to be held to those same standards [and] with the decline of the industry, I really don’t see any new surface permits being issued or being requested at this time.” Plus, he adds, “We were already losing these jobs back in 2008. So, when you start to talk about the market change in the industry, their ideas begin to change.”

This is one reason why Bentley isn’t crazy about the idea that there is some sort of “war on coal.”

“To say there’s a war on coal, especially from a governmental standpoint, is ridiculous,” he says. “It’s just a change in markets. Natural gas is cheaper for energy. Actually, solar is now a cheaper form of energy.”

What Bentley would really like to see is legislation that helps the communities and the states affected by the dramatic drop in coal production. He wants Congress to pass the Reclaim Act, a bipartisan bill to accelerate $1 billion from the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund.

“Under the plan, $200 million would be distributed to participating states over a period of five years,” Bentley says. “We already have support from numerous senators in West Virginia, Ohio and Virginia. As a Kentuckian, I’m working alongside other Kentuckians to encourage support from the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell. The bill has been presented since February of 2016, and he has set it aside numerous times for well over a year now.”

This article is based on interviews that aired on PRI’s Living on Earth with Steve Curwood.