Rep. Kevin Cramer says global environmental benefits not worth “disarming our economy”

NOW? — ROWLING TAKING HIS SIDE NOW? >> I'M FERNANDO ESPUELAS. WELCOME TO "MATTER OF FACT." WHEN DONALD TRUMP TAPPED CONGRESSMAN KEVIN CRAMER TO HELP CHANGE HIS ENERGY POLICY, HE CHOSE A REPUBLICAN WHO ONCE RODE A BIG OL' BOOM, NORTH DAKOTA, NOW FACING A BUST. TRUMP: SO OBAMA IS TALKING ABOUT ALL OF THIS WITH GLOBAL WARMING. A LOT OF IT IS A HOAX. FOR MONEY. A LOT OF IT. FERNANDO: WHAT ADVICE DOES HE HAVE FOR THE PRESUMED REPUBLICAN NOMINEE. CONGRESS CRAMER JOINS ME NOW. WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM. KEVIN: THANK YOU. THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME. FERNANDO: WHY DID YOU ENDORSE DONALD TRUMP? KEVIN: A LOT OF REASONS. NORTH DAKOTA CHOSE NOT TO HAVE A PRIMARY OR CAUCUS, WHICH VIOLATES MY FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE THAT EELECTION ARE WON BY INCLUSION, NOT BY EXCLUSION SO I DID MY OWN ONLINE STRAW POLL, GATHERED SYSTEM INFORMATION AS I COULD FROM AS MANY NORTH DAKOTA REPUBLICANS AS I COULD. THE COMBINATION OF BEING INFORMED BY CONSTITUENTS, I FELT MR.

TRUMP HAD A BETTER CHANCE TOE WIN. FERNANDO: AND WHAT ARE SOME OF HIS POLICIES THAT YOU KNOW ARE GOOD FOR AMERICA? KEVIN: THE BIGGEST THING FOR ME IS HIS ABILITY TO CREATE JOBS. HE'S PROVEN THAT AS A BUSINESS PERSON, HE'S SURROUNDED HIMSELF WITH REALLY GOOD PEOPLE AND LISTENS TO THEM AND HIS ATTITUDE ABOUT AMERICA FIRST IS REALLY IMPORTANT AND BY THAT I DON'T MEAN TO THE EXCLUSI NECESSARILY OF OTHERS BUT OUR COUNTRY AND OUR COUNTRY ICE NEEDS, WHETHER IT'S TRADE, POLICY, GLOBAL POLICY AS IT RELATES TO NATIONAL DEFENSE. FERNANDO: DOES THAT MEAN YOU AGREE WITH HIS INTENTION AS AT A TIME STA — STATED OF ENDING MANY TRADE AGREEMENTS WITH FOREIGN COUNTIES? KEVIN: AT THE LEAST, I'D LIKE TO SEIBERT TRADE AGREEMENTS. — SEE BETTER TRADE AGREEMENTS. FERNANDO: NORTH DAKOTA, OF COURSE, THE HUGE ENERGY STATE. YOUR ECONOMY HAD A BIG BOO. UNFORTUNATELY NOW A BIG BUST. YOU'VE BEEN ASKED TO ADVISE TRUMP ON HIS ENERGY POLICY. KEVIN: MY ADVICE IS LET'S MAKE AMERICAN ENERGY MORE COMPETITIVE.

WE SNOW THAT SAUDI ARABIA CAN PRODUCE OIL AT $5 TO $10. THEIR ECONOMY CAN'T SUSTAIN THAT BUT THEY'RE TRYING TO DRIVE PLACES LIKE NORTH DAKOTA AND TEXAS OUT OF THE SHAL E-BIZ. RATHER THAN PUNISHING THE SAUDIS FOR THEIR SUCCESS, WE SHOULD SOME PUSHING — PUNISHING AMERICAN BUSINESSES BY ADDING LAYERS AND LAYERS OF RULES AND REGULATIONS. I WOULD LOOK AT A WAY TO UTILIZE NOT CREDITS OR SUBSIDIES BUT RAMP DEDUCTIONS FOR ANYTHING THAT'S AMERICAN MADE. SO IF YOU'RE IN THE WIND INDUSTRY AND BUILDING WIND TUR BINS OR POWERS — TOWERS OR CREATING PIPE AND DRILLING FOR OIL OR SOLAR POWER OR DRAG LINES FOR COAL MINING, IT'S AMERICAN MADE AND AMERICAN MADE ENERGY, LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD. FERNANDO: ARE YOU IN FAVOR OF HAVING THE ECONOMY CONVERT TO RENEWABLE ENERGY? KEVIN: I'VE ALWAYS SUPPORTED EARLY TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENTS IN PUBLIC SECTOR INVESTMENT IN EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES.

WHAT I OPPOSE IS THESE INVESTMENTS GO ON FOREVER. FERNANDO: AND YOU SAID THAT THE E.P.A. IS A FRAUDULENT SCIENCE, TALKING ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE. WHAT'S THE PROOF OF THAT? KEVIN: I SAID IT SKEPTICAL OF THE HUMAN BEING'S CONTRIBUTION TO GLOBAL CHANGE. FERNANDO: BASED ON WHAT? KEVIN: LET'S SAY THE UNITED STATES, FOR EXAMPLE — THIS IS BASED ON SCIENTIFIC THINGS I'VE READ THAT HAVE NOT BEEN DISPUTED — IF THE UNITED STATES CEASED TO EXIST, NO ANYTHING. NO UNITED STATES, BY 2015, THE IMPACT ON GLOBAL CLIMATE WOULD BE NEGATIVE .08 DEGREES. SO THE UNITED STATES UNILATERALLY — FERNANDO: BY — BUT AFTER THE PARIS ACCORDS, IT'S NOT UNILATERAL, RIGHT? KEVIN: WE ARE PRESUMING THAT A BUNCH OF COUNTRIES WITHOUT OUR HISTORY ARE GOING TO ADHERE TO THE DEAL. FERNANDO: THE FLY IN THAT OINTMENT IS IF WE DO NOTHING, NOTHING WILL CHANGE BUT ISN'T CHANGE BY DEFINITION A SET OF INCREMENTAL SHIFTS THAT IT WOULD HAPPEN IN THE UNITED STATES AND CHINA AND EUROPE — KEVIN: LET'S CARRY THAT THOUGHT FORWARD. WE SAY WE'RE GOING TO HAVE INCREMENTAL CHANGE.

THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES GLOSHTSE A DEAL WITH CHINA THAT FROM NOW UNTIL 2030, THEY GET TO EMMITT THEIR EMISSIONS WHILE THE U.S. DECREASES ITS. CREATING AN ADVANTAGE FOR CHINA IN WHAT'S SUPPOSED TO BE A GLOBAL PROBLEM. FERNANDO: THANK YOU SO MUCH. KEVIN: MY PLEASURE..

Trump Got Climate Change Pretty Wrong in His Paris Speech (HBO)

— Thus, as of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the nonbinding Paris Accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country. — And with that, Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the most comprehensive climate deal in the history of the planet— and the best hope of limiting continued global warming. Trump spent most of his 28-minute Rose Garden speech talking about economics: — The Paris Climate Accord is simply the latest example of Washington entering into an agreement that disadvantages the United States to the exclusive benefit of other countries, leaving American workers, who I love, and taxpayers to absorb the cost. — But when he did talk about the Paris Agreement, he was almost entirely wrong: — Even if the Paris Agreement were implemented in full, with total compliance from all nations, it is estimated it would only produce a two-tenths of one degree— think of that. This much.

— Actually, the Paris Climate Agreement wasn’t going to reduce global temperatures at all. The goal was always to cap the rise in global warming at 2°C— and even that goal meant coming to terms with a future in which tidal areas disappear, climate refugees are a daily part of life, and food and water scarcity could lead to greater violence between people and countries. Paris was hardly optimistic. — India will be able to double its coal production by 2020. Think of it—India can double their coal production, we’re supposed to get rid of ours… — Actually, India has canceled plans to build nearly 14 gigawatts of coal-fired power stations. Claims of China getting a “better deal” are just as baseless, but that’s not even the point. Part of the reason 194 other parties signed on to the Paris Agreement is that it doesn’t actually require any of them to do anything specific. They each got to pick their own path to reaching their commitments.

So if the United States wanted to, for example, double coal output and quadruple solar, it could do that. It would break the pledge, but there are no consequences for breaking it. The entire agreement is a giant global pinky promise in which everybody tries to do the right thing for the planet. — As the Wall Street Journal wrote this morning, the reality is that withdrawing is in America’s economic interest and won’t matter much to the climate. — The numbers are pretty simple. If the U.S. doesn’t drastically reduce its current carbon output, it’ll be responsible for an additional 0.3°C of global warming by 2100. And it’s not like other countries could simply pull more weight. According to a study in Nature Climate Change, any delay from the United States makes the overall target of limiting warming to 2° unreachable. You can say it was a jobs speech.

You can say it was a brilliant tactical speech that will allow Trump to re-negotiate for terms that benefit Americans— and some Trump supporters will say that. What you can’t say is that Trump’s speech was fluent in the facts of the very agreement he’s pulling out of..

Trump Dismantles U.S. Climate Rules, Virtually Ensuring U.S. Will Break Paris Accord Promises

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. President Trump signed an executive order Tuesday to dismantle a slew of climate rules established by President Obama. If carried out, the executive order will virtually guarantee that the United States will fail to meet its 2015 Paris Agreement pledge to reduce emissions in order to curb the effects of climate change. The executive order marks the first step to undo Obama’s Clean Power Plan to limit emissions and replace coal-fired power plants with new solar and wind farms. Trump signed the executive order at a ceremony at the Environmental Protection Agency while being surrounded by a group of coal miners, as well as EPA head Scott Pruitt, who himself denies the human impact on climate change. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Today I’m taking bold action to follow through on that promise. My administration is putting an end to the war on coal. Gonna have clean coal, really clean coal.

With today’s executive action, I am taking historic steps to lift the restrictions on American energy, to reverse government intrusion and to cancel job-killing regulations. AMY GOODMAN: The executive order also ends President Obama’s 2013 Climate Action Plan, which outlined the federal government’s approach to curbing climate change. Trump never mentioned climate change or global warming during his remarks, even though 2016 was the warmest year on record, breaking the record set in 2015. He also only mentioned the EPA’s mission to protect the environment once. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We’re going to continue to expand energy production, and we will also create more jobs in infrastructure, trucking and manufacturing. This will allow the EPA to focus on its primary mission of protecting our air and protecting our water. Together, we are going to start a new energy revolution, one that celebrates American production on American soil.

AMY GOODMAN: For more, we’re joined by Jacqueline Patterson, director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program, joining us from New Orleans. Welcome to Democracy Now!, Jacqueline. Talk about the effect of this executive order, its significance. JACQUELINE PATTERSON: Yes, it is so significant. Thanks for having me. So, there are so many far-reaching implications for this rule, if the actions go forward as presented. Certainly—certainly, fortunately, labor experts and market experts say that regardless of this rule, which seeks to release the restriction on leasing of federal lands for coal, they’re saying that it’s not necessarily going to bring back the coal industry. But if it did, the coal industry is so harmful not only to the communities that are host to coal-fired power plants, but also to the very workers whose jobs that President Trump purports to save, including the fact that 76,000 coal miners have died of black lung disease since 1968, while the industry has fought against the regulations to protect them from coal mine dust. So we have those implications. We have implications like the communities that are host to coal-fired power plants are choking down sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury, arsenic, lead, not to mention that coal is the number—coal-based energy production is the number one contributor to greenhouse—to carbon dioxide emissions, which is the number one greenhouse gas emission that drives climate change.

So, those implications are significant. AMY GOODMAN: And can you talk about how, in particular, it will affect communities of color? JACQUELINE PATTERSON: Yeah, so, for example, African American—68 percent of African Americans live within 30 miles of a coal-fired power plant. And we know that with the emissions, such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, they’re known to have a link to exacerbating respiratory conditions such as asthma. We also know that African Americans—71 percent of African Americans live in counties in violation of air pollution standards. And we know that the African-American children are three to five times more likely to enter into the hospital from asthma attacks and two to three times more likely to die of asthma attacks. When we connect the dots in terms of exposure and in terms of the health conditions of African-American children and people, we start to see the ties in terms of the impact, the disproportionate impact, of the coal industry, in particular, on communities of color.

We know that African-American adults are more likely to die from lung disease, but far less likely to smoke. When we put out our report, "Coal Blooded: Putting Profits Before People," back in 2012, we went around, and we visited with communities that were host to coal-fired power plants. And we heard time and time again from folks who had—half the kids in their school were on inhalers. Half the people in their church were on respirators. I spoke to a fellow in Indiana whose wife had died of lung disease. They lived within seeing distance of a coal-fired power plant. She had never smoked a day in her life. I spoke to a woman whose father worked in a coal plant and who died of lung cancer, but had never smoked a day in his life. So we see these stories—we hear these stories, and we see the statistics. And the disproportionate exposure and the differential impact are clear.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to turn to Earthjustice Policy Vice President Martin Hayden, who questioned whether President Trump’s executive order will have a significant effect on the coal industry. MARTIN HAYDEN: [We] are a net exporter of coal, by a long shot. So, producing more coal isn’t going to make us more energy independent. And the other piece of producing more coal—and you saw many of the coal company executives say this last night—that while it may raise coal production some, it’s not going to create many more jobs, because they are more automated today, that the—that the trend has been fewer and fewer jobs in the coal fields, irrespective of how much coal is mined, because they’re using more mechanized approaches and less people approaches. AMY GOODMAN: So, that issue, Jacqueline Patterson, of what the president keeps pushing, the issue of coal jobs? JACQUELINE PATTERSON: Yes, so—yes, so, as I was saying at the very beginning, both the labor industry and the market say that it’s not necessarily going to bring back coal.

I was saying what the implications would be if it did, in any way, increase—increase coal production—coal-based energy production in the United States. But then there’s the other side of the fact, that even if we’re exporting coal, and other countries are using coal, as we know, any use of coal burning to produce energy affects climate change overall. And we know that communities of color and low-income communities are more likely to feel the impacts from climate change. And so, whether it’s communities that have poor housing stock, communities that are underinsured, communities that are—whose homes are located in the floodplains, we see that these communities are disproportionately vulnerable to climate change and more likely to be impacted by climate change. We know that these communities are often the ones that are—don’t have access to healthy and nutritious foods.

They have food insecurity. And we know that shifts in agricultural yields is another impact of climate change and that—and that this might make food insecurity even greater in these communities. So the far-reaching implications of any type of increase in coal-based energy production are felt no matter where it happens, are felt globally, and particularly in vulnerable communities and vulnerable countries. AMY GOODMAN: We’ve been talking about coal plants, but let’s talk about coal-fired plants. Jacqueline, talk by your own growing up in Chicago. JACQUELINE PATTERSON: Yeah, so I grew up on the South Side of Chicago, where there were three coal-fired power plants within a 15-mile radius of where I lived, the Fisk and Crawford plants on the South Side of Chicago and the State Line plant on the northwest side of Indiana. So, unbeknownst to me, really, because, you know, these things are there, and you often just don’t know the impacts of these—of these facilities in your community, I was living in this toxic corridor. And fast-forward to today, when I was doing the work on the "Coal Blooded" report, I visited with the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, PERRO and others in Chicago who were doing work on the Fisk and Crawford plants.

And they had done a partnership with the Harvard School of Public Health. And through the community-campus partnership, they found that 40 asthma deaths and a thousand hospitalizations were attributed to the Fisk and Crawford coal plants, which gave them what the—the fuel that they needed to be able to inform the community, which eventually resulted in the City Council passing an ordinance around clean air and Mayor Rahm Emanuel giving a ultimatum to either clean these coal plants up or shut them down, which eventually did happen. And so, again, I was growing up in harm’s way. My father—my father passed away a few years ago of lung disease. And his doctor specifically cited that it was due to environmental exposures. And now I wonder what the cumulative impact might have been of living on the South Side of Chicago in that toxic corridor with those three coal plants and other toxins in the air. AMY GOODMAN: Finally, Jacqueline Patterson, just the overall broader issue of cuts to the EPA and the whole direction the Trump administration is going? And, I mean, he signed this executive order at the Environmental Protection Agency, which he said he is going to slash by almost a third.

This is with the acquiescence of the head of the EPA—right?—the former Oklahoma attorney general, Scott Pruitt, who sued the EPA 14 times before he’s now become its head. JACQUELINE PATTERSON: Mm-hmm, yes. And unfortunately, not only—if it was just slashed off of the EPA budget in general, that would be bad enough. But the fact that it’s targeted slashing of environment justice programs, that are meant to protect communities like Mossville, Louisiana, which is in this petrochemical corridor, which is a cancer cluster, which has already these existing impacts for their community, communities like Uniontown, Alabama, which, again, has multiple assaults in terms of its environmental exposures, the communities across the nation that are, again, disproportionately communities of color, disproportionately indigenous communities and low-income communities, communities in Appalachia, who are suffering under the impacts of mountaintop removal and so forth and so on.

And so, the Environmental Protection Agency, as we—as per its name, it is there to ensure that we have the monitoring and the enforcement of safeguards for our health and well-being. So I shudder to think what the impacts will be if that agency does not serve that function. AMY GOODMAN: Jacqueline Patterson, I want to thank you for being with us, director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program, speaking to us from New Orleans. This is Democracy Now! When we come back, the House votes on internet privacy. Stay with us..

Trump Fails To Mention Climate Change During Earth Day Address

This past Saturday was Earth Day, and during his Earth Day address President Donald Trump failed to mention the terms climate change or global warming, even one time. During his entire address there was not a single mention of climate change or any climate change related events. Basically, Donald Trump went out there on the day that we're supposed to acknowledge that we as human beings are destroying this planet, he went out there and said basically nothing. He didn't talk about the fact that we've got to cut carbon emissions. He didn't talk about the fact that we have to protect coastal low lying communities from the increase in water level. He didn't say anything about actually protecting, preserving, and making the planet better. Instead, he gave us typical republican talking points. Smart regulations, you know, ones that don't hurt businesses. Well, I have news for you Mr. Trump, and every republican ever.

Regulations don't kill jobs. In fact, according to every study on the issue, regulations actually provide a net benefit to economies as opposed to letting those regulations go away. Meaning that regulations create more jobs, create more economic activity than undoing those regulations would do. Furthermore, repealing regulations, which is what this Trump White House is all about, that's why they're cutting the EPA by 31% and laying off over 3,000 workers, we're losing economic activity. We're losing human health because we're letting corporations get away with destroying the environment. An American Lung Association report last year showed that air quality in 2016 actually improved. Now, there's still 166 million American citizens living in areas where the level of air pollution is considered dangerous, but overall things are getting better.

Donald Trump is going to undo all of that. That's not speculation, that's not hyperbole, that is what he said he's going to do. Why? To benefit corporations in the fossil fuel industry. Unless you are a CEO of a fossil fuel company, repealing environmental regulations has no benefit to your life. Basically what, there's maybe 30, 40 people in this country who would benefit from that? That's it. Is that worth laying off 3,000 people from that their government jobs? Is that worth risking the lives of 4,000 people every year by doing away with Obama's Clean Power Rule? We're putting the profits of corporate fossil fuel CEOs over the lives of American citizens. You know, since the Clean Air Act was passed in the 1970s an estimated 160,000 lives have been saved per year from reduced airborne particulate in this country.

160,000 lives every year. We're still losing on average 200,000 lives every year in the United States, premature deaths due to air pollution alone. We could keep reducing that number. We could literally save lives, thousands of lives, possibly hundreds of thousands of lives every year if we would just say, "Hey corporation, fossil fuel, coal power plant, you can't spew that crap into the air anymore." That's all it takes. That is all it would take to save American lives, reduce the number of people who have asthma attacks every year, reduce the number of sick days that employees take so productivity actually increases, but we're not willing to do that because of 30, 40 fossil fuel CEOs that we want to take care of. That's what's more important in this country today. Your life is worth less than the few extra dollars that a corporate CEO gets to put in his pocket. I want you to realize that, and I want you to think about that next time you head into your precinct and cast your vote. Which candidate is supporting the money of the fossil fuel companies, and which candidate thinks that your life is more important than a $10 or $20 bill going to a corporate CEO?.

Local effects of climate change: protecting Dublin from flood risks

Ireland has experienced devastating floods in recent years which has affected thousands of people and caused millions of Euros worth of damage. Nowhere in Ireland has remained untouched by the deluges now part of our annual weather pattern. I met with Ray McGrath from the National Weather Centre to find out how Ireland is being affected. Ray have we seen changes in our weather patterns in recent years? Well in the case of rainfall it looks like there has been an increase in the amount of rainfall that is falling over Ireland. And is it more deluges of rain or what’s the pattern? The heavier rainfall events have increased in frequency. Are we seeing changes in our oceans also? Yes. The most obvious change is that the temperatures in the oceans are increasing and this is leading to more moisture being pushed into the atmosphere. That of course means that there is a greater potential for more extreme weather.

Of course this is more likely to lead to flooding events. The east coast is now susceptible to surge events bringing higher than usual tides which combine into perfect storm scenarios such as what happened in 2002. The way it works is the surge actually sucks up the ocean surface and this in combination with a wind which may be pumping, pushing the water towards the coastline this is what effectively creates the surge conditions. If this happens to coincide with a high tide, it obviously worsens it so you can get a much greater surge effect affecting the coastline and the research we have done in Met Éireann it does indeed suggest that in the future climate change will bring more intense surge events to these coastlines. Being on the frontline is something Dubliners have known about for a long time. 200 years ago Dublin was a sea port on a wide estuary surrounded by marshland. We’ve a long history of reclaiming land that was liable for flooding but back then the big storm was looked on as a rare event.

Not anymore. The residents of Dublin’s East Wall were badly hit in 2002 and have been living in fear of another storm ever since. Most of it came from the sea originally to that point but it was a mixture of canal and sea water because it came up the Liffey, up the canal and of course once the canal level went too high it overflowed. It was terrifying for me walking around in it I have to admit but in saying that, the elderly people and to look at their faces, and to look at their homes devastated with the dirt five foot up the walls; it was absolutely horrendous. We were out of the house for 7 months. Had to get the builders in: floors, walls, furniture everything thrown out, rip it all up. It wasn’t just a matter of drying out stuff, this stuff was destroyed. Over €6 million has been spent in the risk area on defences and early warning systems have been put in place to give the residents the highest levels of alert.

There is a number of defences put out there. There’s a monitor out at the Kish which’ll give us advanced warning of the sea and there’s depth warnings in both of the rivers in the Tolka and in the Liffey which at least is a help. At least we will know in advance if something is going to happen. Dublin City Council has an emergency plan coming into force soon. We have a lot of volunteers in the area, at the moment we have the church set up in case of an emergency that we can bring people, particularly the elderly. It’s the elderly and the infirm we need to get out of the area quickly if we did have another flood. The changes coming mean rethinking our strategies for everything: from river and sea defences, to where we build and live in the future.

Mark Adamson from the OPW showed me the first line of flood defences for Ringsend being built on the Dodder by Dublin City Council. These are flood protection works that we are currently building to protect against tidal flooding, such as the very severe event that happened in February 2002 here in Ringsend. What happened? Well the sea level came up the river and spilled over the banks flooding some areas to a depth of maybe 3 metres so the wall we are currently leaning on here is to protect against exactly that kind of flooding. So all of these houses here were flooded in 2002? That’s right yes. So what are they actually doing? Well over here they’re currently putting in piles and they’ll be building a defence wall to protect against the high sea levels. So what sort of work have we got to do in the future to protect us against what’s coming with flooding? Well we’ll obviously keep building flood protection schemes such as these for areas of significant existing risk. We’re also producing flood maps to identify other areas that are at risk or that could be at risk if people were to build in them.

The massive development that has changed the face of our cities over the last 10 years hides what’s happening beneath our feet. Under the millions of tonnes of concrete, are water courses now cut off and rivers and streams we’ve diverted. Tom Leahy told me about the Dublin City Council strategies to future-proof the city. we’ve seen some big floods in recent years are we going to see more floods in Dublin? Well Duncan, Dublin is located in the floodplain of 3 major rivers. 200 years ago the land we’re standing on was once under the sea. That’s just one of the challenges we face. Over the years Dublin has grown. It’s been intensively developed, houses wherever you see and we’ve changed water courses as well. So each of those poses its own challenge and hazard which we have to deal with. So how are you going to deal with these sorts of challenges? Well we have noticed that the weather patterns have changed quite significantly. We’ve also noticed the phenomenon called pluvial flooding, now that’s a very technical term, the Dutch have a much better name they call it “monster rain”.

What it means is very heavy monsoon-like rainfall that falls over a short period of time will overwhelm any drainage system. So that’s a challenge, one of the challenges we’re going to have to deal with. Is this the sort of flooding we’ve seen in the last couple of years? Yes, particularly last August and September that’s exactly what happened to Dublin. We had 3 floods in 2 months and the intensities were the sort of recurrence period that would be one in 150 years. Dublin City Council’s new strategy is being created and funded in tandem with European partners who face the same problems we do. The Flood Resilient Cities Programme follows on from the Safer Programme and looks to deal with the effects of “monster rain”. Well the sort of things that we can do, we can look at ways to control water flow at source, we’ve also identified the areas that might be at risk and logically they’re close to the coast and then if we know there is a high risk at a particular time we can mobilise all the resources of the State, fire brigade, emergency services, our own City Council personnel.

We can also link in with householders because everybody has a part to play in making their own property that little bit more flood resilient. When the next flood comes another team ready are Commandant John Moriarty’s Civil Defence volunteers. They’ll be on the front line to back up the fire brigade and I joined them on one of their drills. We learned a lot from the floods back in 2002 where we didn’t have the equipment; people were going into flooded areas and contaminated water in fire gear whereas now we have dry suits to protect them and so on. They’ve been trained by Dublin Fire Brigade in water awareness; our boat people obviously are trained in relation to water and so on. So there’s been a lot of training has been going on over the past number of years and we’ve also a lot of vehicles, a lot of four wheel drive vehicles which are very suitable for the flooding scenarios. Right guys how’s it going there? There is a way of laying these is there? There is a way of laying them yeah. You bring them close to each other first is it? Yes.

It’s the first line across and the next ones go in between and you can see where they cause the seal here. And that’ll totally seal water? That’ll totally seal and have a look at the door we went in with a line then right across the front of the lower part of the lower sandbag as well when we were finished building up. The fear at the back of my mind is that we get the combination of torrential rain with a very high tide and onshore winds and we get a combination of coastal flooding and torrential rain and rivers overflowing. That’s kind of a nightmare scenario. Flooding is a problem we all share throughout Ireland. As an act of nature it can’t be totally avoided, but we can lessen its worst effects. As we look for the solutions for the future we should focus on the underlying causes of climate change that we are currently failing to address..

Climate Change Wiped from White House Records

>> Kait: So Trump has held true to his word of denying climate change with his first stop being the White House Website. >> Chris: Which should not be a surprise what so ever. >> Kait: Not at all. So according to PRI, shortly after Trump was inaugurated all mentions of the phrase climate change have been wiped out. So, I actually tested this. I went to the White House website a couple of days ago and I typed in climate change and only two links came up for me. None of which were related to the environment. One was, like, the change of something, but I don't know what we are changing, and the other the climate of a state. Like oh it's a beautiful climate in the state. >> Chris: It's a good thing you don't work for the state of Florida. And we're, ah, right now in Washington because otherwise. >> Kait: Because you could be arrested. >> Chris: Ya, you could be arrested for mentioning climate change.

Maybe Trump will make the whole nation that way. You know. >> Kait: Oh great. Don't give him any ideas. He could be watching this. So, instead of climate change being on there Trump has put his own future plans on the website. Those include… In the proposal, Trump commits to elimination the Climate Action Plan, a sweeping set of policies aimed at cutting carbon pollution, including a number of President Barack Obama's executive actions. Trump also promises to eliminate the Waters of the United States rule, a technical document that defines which waterways come under the jurisdiction of federal regulations under the Clean Water Act. The 2015 rule is intended to protect smaller streams, tributaries and wetlands from development and has drawn sharp criticism from Republican lawmakers and from the farm and manufacturing interests. So, these are not the only ones that he put on the website. Those are just a few that we wanted to mention.

But, ultimately this really comes at no surprise. I mean he mentioned it in his campaign. But, he also nominated Scott Pruitt to be his head of EPA. And, we all know how much Scott Pruitt just loves the EPA. He loves them so much that he sued them 13 times. And when he was, you know, I think it was Oklahoma. >> Chris: Ya >> Kait: He actually removed the EPA from his own state. >> Chris: Well, it's funny because during his own nomination process that was a hot topic was the EPA. >> Kait: Yes. So, [laugh] this is really bad news. I mean ultimately Trump is, you know, is trying to make moves to shut down the EPA but the Washington Times spoke out about their joys of the fact that the EPA's trying, going to be shut down by saying….What great news for an agency with a history of executive overreach and lawlessness (using the Clean Power Plan to wipe out the coal industry, expanding its authority to lay claim on any pond or waterway, colluding with the environmental groups to expand their own power through rule-making).

So, some people are celebrating. >> Chris: Ya. Ya, definitely some people are celebrating. >> Kait: I'm not celebrating. >> Chris: It's not like the EPA does ton of stuff for us. >>Kait: Ya. >> Chris: They just sit around sucking us dry. >> Kait: I know. >> Chris: They're like the lazy people… >> Kait: With their 8 billion, you know. >> Chris: Ya >> Kait: Drain on our money, you know…. Blah blah blah. I mean it doesn't make sure we have clean water or that the entire United States doesn't turn into LA with all the smog and air pollution. >> Chris: Exactly. It's not like they have regulation that specifically states that we have to have clean air, clean water, clean lands. That we have to restore the lands that we have used for mining or for fracking. >> Kait: Or monitor and create Superfund sites so that more people don't get sick. >> Chris: Nah, they don't do any of that. Nothing.

>> Kait: Oh no. And they don't even hold the rules for the emissions of the cars so that we have more electric vehicles or anything like that. They don't do any good. Their just a drain. >> Chris: Completely. Completely a drain. >> Kait: So, I don't know what's going to happen if Trump follows through with this but ah, ya. >> Chris: Well, climate change is ah Chinese hoax. >> Kait: Oh I know right. >> Chris: At least that is what Trump tells me. Is that, and I believe everything that he tells me. Everything. He has pretty big hands. >> Kait: [laughing] So, ya, let's just keep an eye on this. I mean nothing has fallen through altogether. A lot of it, there is going to take a while to cut it all back. I mean at first he was just talking about cutting it back a little bit, maybe even just 10%.

I'm not really sure. I mean Scott Pruitt might be in his ear talking a lot. But ah, just keep an eye out. Heard though. and I don't know how accurate this is. If we have information we will put it on our website. But, there might actually be an Earth, a rally Earth march on Earth day. To help to protect the environment. So, keep a look out about that event. Try and see if there is anything in your area. But, um, that is definitely I think something we should do if this is happening. >> Chris: Definitely, definitely think so. >> Kait: And if you like this content and want to hear more please subscribe to us..

I’m a Tea Party conservative. Here’s how to win over Republicans on renewable energy.

This is my cell phone, okay? Does that look like that is the cell phone case of a liberal? My dad is a retired baptist minister. He told me that in order to get people to hear your message, you have to get them in the church. That is a mistake that a lot of environmentalists make when talking to Republicans and conservatives about solar, about clean energy. They lead off with climate change. That is the wrong message. If you deliver the message of energy freedom, energy choice, competition, national security, innovation — all of the sudden you have a receptive audience and they will listen to you. If you lead off with climate change, they're not going to pay a bit of attention to anything else you say. They've been brainwashed for decades into believing we're not damaging the environment. Unfortunately, a lot of these fossil fuel interests and giant monopolies have been telling activists for decades that we're not damaging the environment… Everyone agrees that burning fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide, and that such concentrations in the atmosphere are rising.

But it’s a long and dangerous leap to conclude that we should therefore cut fossil fuel use. You have industries that have a lot of money in deep pockets and they're willing to use that money to put out negative facts and bogus studies to convince us that renewables are bad. Get the facts about these out-of-state solar companies at AZSolarFacts.com And by God, they are not going to get away with it. You have to understand one thing: The Republican party has always been, in the past, a party of conservation. Richard Nixon, a Republican president, actually created the EPA to make sure we had clean air and clean water. Each of us all across this great land has a stake in maintaining and improving environmental quality. Ronald Reagan is not actually known as an environmental president. But he was a conservationist. He actually believed man was damaging the environment and he advocated very strongly for and signed the Montreal Protocol that banned fluorocarbons. If Ronald Reagan were alive today and he wanted to ban aerosols, fluorocarbons, because he saw scientific evidence that they were damaging the environment, some of these same groups that are attacking renewables would be attacking the conservative icon Ronald Reagan.

One of the reasons I’m fighting very hard to bring conservatives on board and to educate conservatives to advance renewables: Failure is not an option. This earth is not a Republican earth. It’s not a Democrat earth. This earth belongs to all of us. If you think fossil fuel is not damaging the environment, pull your car in a garage, start up your engine and inhale the exhaust fumes for a few minutes and see what happens..

Judicial Review: Crash Course Government and Politics #21

Hi. I'm Craig, and this is Crash Course Government and Politics, and today we're going to talk about the most important case the Supreme Court ever decided ever. No, Stan, not Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company vs. Sawyer. Although, that is one of my favorites. Loves me some sheet and tube. And no, it's not Ex parte Quirin. Although I do love me some inept Nazi spies and submarines. And no, it is not Miller v. California. Get your mind out of the gutter Stan. We could play this game all day, but this episode is about judicial review: the most important power of the Supreme Court and where it came from. Don't look so disappointed. This is cool! [Theme Music] When you think of the Supreme Court, the first thing you think about, other than those comfy robes, is the power to declare laws unconstitutional. The term for this awesome power, the main check that the court has on both the legislative and executive branches, is judicial review.

Technically, judicial review is the power of the judiciary to examine and invalidate actions undertaken by the legislative and executive branches of both the federal and state governments. It's not the power to review lower court decisions. That's appellate jurisdiction. Most people think of judicial review as declaring laws unconstitutional, and that definition is okay. The legal purist will quibble with you since judicial review applies to more than just laws. Appellate courts, both state and federal, engage in some form of judicial review, but we're concerned here with the federal courts especially the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court has the power to review the following: One, Congressional laws a.k.a. statutes! Statutes. Since judicial review is a form of appellate activity, it involves upholding or affirming the validity of laws, or denying it, invalidating the law in question. You might think that the Supreme Court does this a lot, but it doesn't and historically it almost never happened before the twentieth century.

If the court were always striking down congressional statutes, it would be hard for people to know which laws to follow, and you'll remember that one of the main things that courts do is create expectations and predictability. For instance, you could predict that I would eventually be punching this eagle! Another reason why they don't invalidate laws often is that if the Court frequently overruled Congress, the Court would seem too political and people would stop trusting its judgment. If the Court has any power at all, it largely stems from its prestige and reputation for being impartial and above politics. No one has any problems with the Supreme Court decisions, at all. Two, the Court can also overturn state actions which include the laws passed by state legislatures and the activities of state executive bureaus, usually the police.

The power to review and overturn states comes from the Supremacy Clause in the Constitution. Most of the time that the Supreme Court extends civil rights, it comes out of a state action. A good example is Brown vs. Board of Education where the Court struck down the idea of separate accommodations being equal in the context of state public schools. Three, the Court can review the actions of federal bureaucratic agencies. Although, we usually defer to the bureaucrat's expertise if the action is consistent with the intent of the legislature which the Court usually finds it is. The Court almost never strikes down Congressional delegation of power to the executive. Although, you might think that it should. The fourth area where the Court exercises judicial review is over Presidential actions. The Court tends to defer to the President, especially in the area of national security. The classic example of the Court overturning executive action happened in U.

S. vs. Nixon where the Justices denied the President's claim of executive privilege and forced him to turn over his recordings relating to the Watergate scandal. More recently, the Court placed limits on the President's authority to deny habeas corpus to suspected terrorists in Rasul vs. Bush. So, the Supremacy Clause gives the Court the authority to rule on state laws, but where exactly in the Constitution does the power of judicial review come from? Trick question! It's not there, go look ahead, look. I'll wait. See, not there. Wow, you went through that whole thing really quickly. Fast reader. The crazy thing is that the power of judicial review comes from the Court itself. How? Let's go to the Thought Bubble. The Supreme Court granted itself the power of judicial review in the case of Marbury vs.

Madison. You really should read the decision because it's a brilliant piece of politics. The upshot of the case was that Chief Justice John Marshall ruled that the Court had the power to review, uphold, and strike down executive actions pursuant to the Judiciary Act of 1789, and in doing this, to strike down part of that federal law. How he got there was pretty cool. So, Marbury was an official that President John Adams, at the very end of his term, appointed to the position of Justice of the Peace. When Marbury went to get his official commission certifying that he could start his job, James Madison, who was Secretary of State, refused to give it to him. So, Marbury did what any self-respecting petitioner would do, he went to the Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus that would force Madison to give Marbury his job. This is what he was supposed to do according to the Judiciary Act of 1789. What Marshall did was brilliant! He ruled that yes, Marbury had a right to the commission but that the Supreme Court could not grant his writ because the law directing them to do so was unconstitutional.

This is brilliant for two reasons. First, by the time the time the case came before the Court, Thomas Jefferson was President. Those of you who remember Crash Course U.S. History will recall that that less handsome man told you that Jefferson was a Democratic Republican while Adams, Marbury, and even Marshall were all Federalists. By ruling against his own party, Marshall made a decision that was favorable to Jefferson and thus, likely to be supported. The second move was even cooler. Marshall's ruling took the power of writs of mandamus away from the Court, making it look weaker, while at the same time giving the Court the power to declare the law that had granted it the mandamus power in the first place unconstitutional. So by weakening the Court in this instance, like Daredevil going blind as a kid, Marshall made it much stronger for the future, like Daredevil getting stronger in the future. Thanks, Thought Bubble! So that's where judicial review comes from, but that still leaves many questions.

A big question is, why has this ruling stuck around and hasn't been overturned by other laws or later court decisions? Another question is, is judicial review a violation of separation of powers? Some say that it's judges making laws and thus an anti-democratic usurpation of the legislature's power. Let's talk about this rulings longevity first. Remember when I said last time that the Supreme Court rulings are binding in lower courts? You don't remember do ya? You were sleepin'. Wake up! Well, in general, Supreme Court precedents are binding on future Supreme Courts too because of the principle of stare decisis, which is Latin for "let the decision stand." This doesn't mean that future Supreme Court's can never overturn the decisions of prior Courts, it's just that they try very hard to not do it. This idea of precedent is one way that judges can be said to make laws. Appellate decisions are like common law in that they are binding on future courts and constrain their decisions and because they don't have to be grounded in a specific statute.

Other courts have to follow the higher court's interpretation of the law, and this interpretation has the effect of redefining the law without actually rewriting the statute. On the other hand, appellate decisions are technically not common law in that they are only binding on courts, not executive agencies or legislatures. They are, however, signals to courts and legislatures about how courts will rule in the future. Maybe an example will help. If you watch cop shows, or you get arrested a lot, you probably know something about Miranda vs. Arizona which gave us the Miranda Warning. You have the right to remain silent and all that stuff. Hopefully, you've never heard that in person, though. But hey, we're not here to judge. That's what the courts are for! Bahahahaha. Okay.

In that case, the Supreme Court threw out Miranda's conviction because he hadn't been told he had the right to remain silent. Without knowing that he didn't have to talk, he made a confession that got him convicted. The court didn't rewrite Arizona's law but it sent a signal to Arizona's law enforcement agencies, and those in all the other states, that in the future courts would throw out the convictions of defendants who hadn't been informed of their rights. As a result, police procedures changed in every state, and now the police are supposed to read the Miranda Rights to anyone they arrest. So those are the very basics of judicial review. We've probably raised as many questions as we've answered, but that's why we're making a bunch of these videos! So we can teach it all! All of it! Anyway, the big concern for many is that cases like Marbury vs.

Madison, which give courts the power to strike down pieces of legislation, overturn the judgment of the elected representatives that made the laws and violate the idea of separation of powers. Well, that is a thorny issue, but it's one that we don't have time to de-thorn today. For now, understand that judicial review is how the courts work in practice and not necessarily a defined power granted by the Constitution. Just remember, the executive and legislative branches also operate with a lot of implied powers that aren't explicitly granted to them in the Constitution. That's because the governance of the United States has evolved and changed over time to hopefully, suit the needs of the country as they change over time. Thanks for watching.

Crash Course Government and Politics is produced in association with PBS Digital Studios. Support for Crash Course U.S. Government comes from Voqal. Voqal supports non-profits that use technology and media to advance social equity. Learn more about their mission and initiatives at voqal.org. Crash Course is made with the help of these nice people who have the right to remain silent. Thanks for watching. You have the right to stop watching..

Bill introduced in Congress to “Terminate the EPA”

Bill introduced in Congress to �Terminate the EPA� by: Mike Adams (Natural News) The EPA was originally founded on principles of solid science and a commitment to protecting the environment. For many years, it actually did a lot of good by clamping down on corporate polluters and reducing the contamination of rivers and streams. But today, the EPA is better known as the �Environmental POLLUTION Agency� that spouts totally fabricated quack science while destroying the careers of honest scientists inside the agency who attempt to blow the whistle. To give you just a quick overview of the EPA�s outrageous crimes against the environment, consider these facts: * The EPA caused the Gold King Mine large-scale toxic spill into the Animas river, unleashing vast quantities of mercury and other toxic metals into sacred waterways of Native American communities.

In fact, the EPA�s extreme incompetence remains a grave threat to the safety of nature and our fragile ecosystems. * The EPA �legalized� the mass pollution of farm soils and children�s playgrounds across America with �biosludge,� a highly contaminated byproduct of raw human sewage and industrial pollution. This product � also called �biosolids� � is currently �recycled� back into the U.S. food supply (via �fertilizer� distribution) despite alarming scientific evidence showing its extreme dangers. See the trailer for my new film �Biosludged� at Biosludged.com and you�ll hear from a former EPA scientist whose career was destroyed by the EPA when he tried to sound the alarm. * The EPA routinely colludes with pesticide companies like Monsanto and Syngenta to grant approval to extremely toxic pesticides that are devastating the natural world (such as the neonics that are decimating bee pollinators). Thanks to the independent media like Natural News, we now know that the EPA actively covered up evidence for decades that linked pesticides to the death of pollinators. Just recently, the EPA approved yet another toxic herbicide (Dicamba) that�s been linked to infertility, birth defects and lung cancer.

And even when the EPA is forced to admit that toxic pesticides are killing honeybees, it still allows their widespread use on food crops. * For the last decade or so, the EPA has aggressively pushed the climate change science hoax, ridiculously claiming that carbon dioxide is a toxic poison that will doom humanity. In truth, CO2 is a blessing to the planet, giving rise to reforestation, more efficient food production and the more rapid growth of plants and trees in areas threatened by desertification. CO2 is a scarce resource, barely at 400 ppm in the atmosphere, and plant-based ecosystems are starving for it! (See more reports on the kind of fake science pushed by the EPA at FakeScience.news) * The EPA runs armed paramilitary �enforcement� teams that stomp around streams and ponds, threatening farmers and ranchers by claiming federal control over every last drop of water that might eventually drain into a river or stream. Quite literally, the EPA spends money on AR-15s, ballistic vests and other paramilitary gear in order to pull off its mission of expanding its power into an armed, unelected bureaucracy of dangerous science quacks.

Here�s a depiction of what the EPA�s armed �enforcement� teams might look like (not an actual photo, just a dramatization) See this Natural News article which describes the terrifying rise of �militarized federal agencies� including the USDA and EPA: The USDA has used its new military power to threaten people who grow lemon trees; force large fines on people for selling bunnies; confiscate raisins for no real reason; and ruin the livelihoods of small farmers. One USDA SWAT team even seized bees privately owned that were proven resistant to Monsanto�s GMO Roundup and killed all remaining Queens. This shows the incestuous relationship between crooked corporations like George Soros� Monsanto and government agencies. The USDA is not alone in its abuse of power.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have recently used their swat teams to bully Americans for lobbyist interests or to punish political enemies. I could go on, but the bigger point here is that the EPA is a quack science ministry of environmental B.S. that must be stopped. Introducing H.R.861 � �To terminate the Environmental Protection Agency� Fortunately for our future, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has introduced a bill to terminate the EPA and end its reign of anti-science terror over America. Via Congress.gov, here�s a glance at H.R.861: The bill is cosponsored by Rep. Thomas Massie, Rep. Steven Palazzo and Rep. Barry Loudermilk. Beyond its introduction, no action has yet been taken on the bill.

It rests in committee at �House � Energy and Commerce; Agriculture; Transportation and Infrastructure; Science, Space, and Technology.� With President Donald Trump having now nominated Scott Pruitt to head the EPA, it begs the question: Will Pruitt actively seek to dismantle or even shut down the agency�s he�s running? If so, it would be an historic victory for liberty in America. The EPA no longer serves the interests of the American people. It exists primarily to serve the profit interests of poison-pushing corporations while pumping up the climate change hoax for political purposes. While poisoning America and selling out to corporate interests, EPA leaders pay themselves inflated salaries and bonuses while collecting lucrative government pensions paid by future taxpayers. It�s all such a massive, evil scam that the EPA must be shut down to save the environment. This doesn�t mean we don�t need some level of government regulation of polluters, but this EPA as it exists today has zero interest in pursuing that goal anyway.

It�s time to bulldoze the EPA and start over. Stay informed about the EPA at EPA.news and EPAwatch.org. And read the book �Science for Sale� by David Lewis, PhD..

Global Warming is Destroying People’s Homes

Global warming is already destroying the environment. Climate change has started its path of destruction and Kiribati is the warning light for the world. Signs of global warming can be observed on the Kiribati islands, which is an Island Republic, comprised of 33 coral atolls, stretching along the equator. Most of the islands rise only about 2 meters above sea level and most of them are, only about, 2 km wide. There, climate change already affects the local’s way of life. Cyclones are destroying local towns. The scary part is that the Kiribati Islands are located on the equator, where cyclones actually form. Then they travel either North or South.

Not this time though. This time it actually affected the Islands themselves, which has never happened before. Because of that, communities already had to be dislocated to a safer area. By 2100 it’s said that sea levels are going to rise by 1 meter. But what a lot of people don’t know, this doesn’t come gradually. Along with the rising waters, Hurricanes come, along with huge waves. In this scenario The Kiribati are doomed, since waves will just cover the whole islands in water. They do not have higher ground, and the can’t get away from the shoreline far enough, since the further you get from one shoreline the closer you get to the one on the other side of island. They are already building walls around Islands to protect themselves. Kiribati’s president Anote Tong says: “We are fighting a war we have no hope of winning”. But still they do not lose their hope. Already ideas are being brought up to address this horrible issue.

Idea number 1: Build floating Islands. This may sound funny, but it isn’t, when you understand that these people are seriously considering this option, in order to survive. Japan is already building those after all. Idea number 2: Planned migration. The Kiribati people don’t want to end up migrating when the natural disaster strikes them, but rather have the option to migrate early on, so to avoid the catastrophe that is coming. But under these circumstances they will lose their identity as a culture. Idea number 3: Cut emissions to prevent the rising of sea levels. Recently, when Pacific countries leaders met, they had an argument. The president of the Kiribati asked New Zealand and Australia to further cut emissions, but they refused. Kiribati can’t solve this problem on their own. Only a global initiative will bring results. If not, the Kiribati will not survive. To fight sacrifices are required.

As president Anote Tong said: “Something has to be done about Climate Change for the children”. It’s not about national interest, everyone affects the world. It’s a global phenomenon and has to be dealt with collectively. Our planet is at stake. From the 30th of November to the 11th of December a United Nations conference on climate change will be held in Paris, addressing all of the major issues of global warming. Your voice matter too, let’s tell the leaders of the world, that we want this issue to be solve