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The fight for Clean Energy in the US

On 9 February, in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) “stayed” (put on hold) the enforcement of the Clean Power Plan – a plan which President Barrack Obama hailed as the “most important step” toward addressing climate change. Opponents of the Clean Power Plan claimed that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had overstepped their authority as a regulator. The EPA counter they have the authority to regulate carbon pollution from the energy sector. While some states approve of the block, others are forging ahead to reduce carbon emissions in spite of the decision.

The biggest challenge that President Obama and the EPA now face has come again from SCOTUS, but not in the form of a court decision. The death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on 13 February has led to questions about the survival of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan and the potential unravelling of the international climate agreement. Understanding how the SCOTUS decision will affect climate action is essential to identifying the actions that we can take for climate today. 

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Air Pollution

Air pollution may well be your cause of death someday. According to the World Health Organization, 7 million people died of air pollution in 2012. By this reckoning, air pollution caused no less than an eighth of all human deaths that year. The WHO also predicts that deaths from outdoor air pollution will rise from somewhat more than 3 million a year now to 6.6 million a year in 2050, a rate that exceeds the U.S. Census Bureau’s projections for global population growth. This is in spite of all the technologies that we assume are making our world a cleaner, safer place.

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SPOTLIGHT: The Young Voices For The Planet - Films

You can watch the Young Voice for the Planet films at:

http://www.youngvoicesonclimatechange.com

The Young Voices for the Planet (YVFP) films, produced by Lynne Cherry of Young Voices on Climate Change (YVCC), take a fundamentally different approach than other climate education efforts by documenting and communicating the role youth ages 9-19 are playing in helping solve the climate crisis. The young people in the YCFP films find creative win-win solutions to reduce the carbon footprint of their homes and schools and engage parents administrators, local governments, and communities.

 

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The Ugly Animals

Photograph: Blobfish wins ugliest animal vote,

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-24040130. Web (12/18/2015)

 

Almost everyone has heard of at least one animal listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as an Endangered Species. There are many famous species in their ranks, ones we have recited since elementary school; the Siberian Tiger, the Giant Panda, the African Elephant, etc. These iconic animals are favorites of people all over the world. But how many species, out of all the birds, mammals, insects, reptiles, amphibians, fish and more, actually make up this list of endangered species? I was idly curious, so I went on a research spree. I was shocked at what I found. Over two thousand species make up the list under the Endangered Species Act.[1] As I scrolled through, most of the names were unfamiliar. More research led me to a site that inspired thoughtful critique of our society, one I wanted to share. It is called “Ugly Animal Preservation Society.”



 

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