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Author Topic: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️  (Read 76073 times)

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AGelbert

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Re: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️
« Reply #1200 on: January 05, 2018, 02:21:37 pm »
 

January 5, 2018

2017's Weather Disasters Broke Insurance Records
Insurance claims due to natural disasters reached a record $135 billion in 2017, insurance firm Munich Re reported Thursday. The world's largest insurance firm said that the United States, which faced three major hurricanes and multiple wildfires, made up nearly 50 percent of global insured losses, compared to its average rate of 30 percent.

The 2017 hurricane season caused $215 billion in damage worldwide, making it the costliest on record. "Even though individual events cannot be directly traced to climate change, our experts expect such extreme weather to occur more often in future," Munich Re board member Torsten Jeworrek said in a statement.
https://thinkprogress.org/weather-disaster-record-cost-4948070d8e53/



Pulling Back The Curtain On the Red Team, CPP and Pruitt’s Agenda for the EPA

As Rebecca Leber of Mother Jones pointed out this summer, Scott Pruitt and his closest cohorts at EPA are uniquely reluctant to engage with journalists outside the conservative echo chamber. The agency’s new approach to press has also been revealed to be rather stormy: see the press office’s bizarre interchanges with New York Times reporter Erik Lipton and attacks on the AP’s Michael Biesecker this fall.

Because getting past the wall of Heartland-and-Koch-ghostwritten talking points during an interview with an EPA official can be a bear, we like to highlight when a reporter’s pushed through. This month’s hat tip goes to Robin Bravender at E&E.

In December, Bravender wrote on a meeting between EPA air chief Bill Wehrum and the White House, in which she reported that the White House put the Red Team attack “on hold.” Then yesterday, E&E published an interview between Bravender and Wehrum that offers up some intel into the EPA’s otherwise opaque thinking on the Clean Power Plan repeal process, the Red Team, and Pruitt’s priorities for 2018.

As Wehrum told Bravender, the Red Team project is still in the “talking and thinking about it” stage. While Wehrum indicated the agency has no “current plans” for a Red Team, Pruitt “would very much like to initiate a process to at least solicit additional input on the scientific basis for the endangerment finding.”

While we’ve assumed the end goal of the Red Team is overturning the endangerment finding, Wehrum’s statements confirm that this supposedly good faith examination of the science has a very specific policy goal . The endangerment finding is the White Whale for deniers. Whether Pruitt is just placating these tireless Ahabs with this seemingly unending “talking and thinking about it” stage or whether he really charts a course to somehow sail around the mountain of scientific evidence underpinning the finding is yet to be seen. 

What we do know is that either way, he’ll be doing what he can to roll back climate protections. On the Clean Power Plan, Wehrum told Bravender that the EPA is “setting out a range of possible outcomes” for repealing and replacing. But when asked specifically about the inside-the-fence approach that we’ve discussed before, Wehrum indicated “that's pretty much what [the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is] all about.”

Beyond that, Wehrum tips the EPA’s hand on another new regulation agency leadership is targeting, saying a priority for 2018 is to “take a hard look at” the rule requiring oil and gas drilling companies to limit methane and ozone-causing emissions.

Going beyond merely tweaking the rule to make it more palatable for the fossil fuel industry , Wehrum thinks they will “take a hard look at whether it really is appropriate to regulate methane under that rule.” (Quick catch up: an August ‘17 ruling of the D.C. Circuit court put the rule in effect, at least until Pruitt successfully finalizes a replacement.)

A well-deserved kudos to Bravender for managing to get the EPA to tip its hand, even just so slightly, and letting us know what our public servants are planning to do in the coming year. Keep up the good work, along with all the other great reporters out there. When it comes to Pruitt’s wall of secrecy at the EPA, we trust the press to eventually Wehrum down.   
 



Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

 

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