Left, GOP mailer in Connecticut, 2018. Right, Russian anti-semitic poster.

 I bring rage out. I do bring rage out. I always have. I think it was . . .  . I don’t know if that’s an asset or a liability, but whatever it is, I do. – Donald Trump

When I named the original video series “Climate Denial Crock of the Week”, there was a school of thought that said, “You shouldn’t call people “climate deniers”, because that sounds like “holocaust deniers”, and it’s over the top, and therefore rude and counterproductive.”
But my reasoning was, if you can deny objective science in regard to the greatest threat in history to life on this planet, what exactly should I call you?

Well, I stuck with it, and in a few years, even President Obama was saying “Climate denier”.

And as for the nasty, Holocausty associations, – well, here we are.
The party of climate denial has become the home for white supremacists and Neo-Nazi sympathizers.

“Soul-crushing to see how…GOP in my lifetime has gone from being a conservative party w/ a white nationalist fringe to essentially a white nationalist party w/ a conservative fringe..” – Conservative columnist Max Boot

Hartford Courant:

A campaign mailer showing a Jewish candidate for state Senate with a fistful of money is drawing condemnation for what critics say is its blatant anti-Semitic imagery.

It was sent out by Republican Ed Charamut and targets Democratic state Rep. Matthew Lesser, his opponent in the race for the 9th Senate District seat, which represents Middletown, Wethersfield, Newington, Cromwell and Rocky Hill.

The mailer, which arrived in some mailboxes Monday, has stoked controversy just days after 11 people were killed and six others were wounded in a synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh in what investigators have categorized as a hate crime.

It coincides with a spike in the number of reported anti-Semitic incidents across the nation, which the Anti-Defamation League says rose by 53 percent last year.

“I started getting text messages about it when I was at a forum with teachers in Cromwell [on Monday], people said they got an anti-Semitic flyer,” Lesser said. “I did not believe them, I thought there was a mistake. Someone showed it to me and I think it would be a gross understatement to say I was surprised.”

Lesser, 35, has served five terms as Middletown’s 100th House District representative.

Charamut, 60, a member of the Rocky Hill Town Council, stood by the content of the flyer in an email to The Courant Tuesday and accused Lesser of playing identity politics.

“Those wishing to portray a graphic illustration as something hateful are completely wrong,” Charamut wrote. “I reject hate speech in all its forms. The mailer draws a stark contrast between myself and Matt Lesser. Do you want to protect your wallets, or do you want to make Matt Lesser your new state Senator?”

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Global war by monied Oligarchs on rule of law and democracy continues in Brazil.


It is not hyperbole to wonder if the outcome of Sunday’s presidential election in Brazil is a planetary game over when it comes to climate change.

Proto-fascist Jair Bolsonaro handily won the presidency on Sunday on a platform of xenophobia, homophobia, and a promise to silence political dissidents. It’s a dark day for the world’s ninth-biggest economy and the 47 million Brazilians who didn’t vote for Bolsonaro or subscribe to his views. But his plans for the Amazon are what will reverberate far beyond the country’s borders and well into the future.

“[Bolsonaro] wants to massacre our diversity sexual, gender, cultural, racial, and biological,” Felipe Milanez, a humanities and political ecology expert at Brazil’s Universidade Federal da Bahia,told Earther. “It means turning the Amazon into a huge soya field and killing all the diversity.”

The Washington Post reports that Bolsonaro has a plan to privatize vast swaths of the forest, turning it over to agribusiness and mining. In addition, he would like to expand hydropower and nuclear power in the region, and has indicated he will not let outside environmental groups have much sway over conservation. He also said he would like to pull Brazil out of the Paris Agreement, meaning two of the world’s six largest carbon emitters will have potentially turned their back on international climate action.

His policies of environmental and cultural violence could work in tandem in the Amazon to devastating effect. The forest is already in a weakened stateafter decades of logging, extraction, and agribusiness interests taking their toll. And while previous governments have paid lip service to protecting the region, degradation has continued.

How Bolsonaro proceeds has the potential to ripple across the Amazon and its people. Brazil is home to the largest chunk of Earth’s largest rainforest, but that forest stretches across eight other countries.

“The boundaries of ecosystems don’t follow political boundaries just like the atmosphere doesn’t,” Adrian Forsyth, the founder of the Andes Amazon Fund who has spent decades studying the region, told Earther. “If you dam the Amazon or disrupt the forest, you will destroy the food base for people in other countries.”

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Watch the vid above till at least :28.

American Territories in the Pacific finding out what Puerto Rico knows.

Honolulu Civil Beat:

America tries to paint a perfect picture of loyalty and allegiance — in which they defend their own no matter the circumstances. They pride themselves in their military, assuring all U.S. citizens that we are protected in the toughest of times.

It’s important to keep in mind that some of the most important U.S. military bases are located in satellite locations on the Northern Mariana Islands.

Regrettably, this country, deemed to be the strongest and most resilient in the world, failed thousands of their own people when those individuals needed them most.

On Wednesday, the Northern Marianas experienced the most powerful storm to hit the United States since 1935. Typhoon Yutu demolished Tinian and Saipan, also known as the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, with 180-mph winds and tropical cyclones that tore through these small islands affecting about 51,000 people.

The residents of Saipan woke up Thursday morning to see their homes shattered and their lives changed forever. Buildings were demolished and about a hundred power poles were scattered throughout the streets. This is inherently going to leave the island with no electricity or water for God knows how long.

A Nightmare

There was no way to escape this nightmare; there never is. When islanders are about to experience natural disasters, they don’t have the option to get in their cars and drive as far as possible. Rather, they must secure their homes, buckle down, and pray that they can stay safe through the horrific ordeal that is approaching.

The Northern Mariana Islands became an American territory subsequent to World War II. That being said, what has the United States done to try and indemnify the horror that these U.S. residents just encountered? The answer to that is simple: Nothing.

Since Wednesday, Donald Trump has not publicly commented on the typhoon nor has he assured the territory that the U.S. is doing all it can to assist in the matter. No one is talking about Typhoon Yutu and the impacts it placed on these people’s lives.

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Transport & Environment:

Aviation is responsible for 5% of global warming and its rapid growth puts it on track to consume a quarter of the world’s carbon budget by 2050. There is a way to avoid this outcome but we need to act fast, a green transport NGO has said. By driving out the use of fossil kerosene fuel through carbon pricing and requiring aircraft to switch to synthetic fuels, the climate impact of flying can be reduced dramatically, according to a new report by Transport & Environment (T&E).

While high profile promises such as short-haul electric aircraft or more efficient aircraft designs every 20 years won’t be sufficient to solve aviation’s climate problem, new near-zero-carbon electrofuels can be produced today and deployed immediately using existing engines and infrastructure. Electrofuels are produced by combining hydrogen with carbon dioxide, but to do this sustainably the hydrogen must be produced using renewable electricity and the CO2 captured directly from the air.

Synthetic fuels have been used in the past to power aircraft but are significantly more expensive than aviation kerosene, which is tax free. Running aircraft entirely on synthetic fuels would increase the cost of a plane ticket by 58% assuming kerosene remains untaxed, or 23% if a proper carbon price would be levied on kerosene, the report finds. Biofuels produced from wastes and residues can make a limited contribution to replacing fossil kerosene. Norway recently announced it would require jet fuel providers to blend half a percent of advanced biofuels into jet fuels from 2020.[1]

Andrew Murphy, aviation manager at T&E, said: “This report confirms that we need to decarbonise aviation if we want to avoid catastrophic global warming. The good news is that radically cleaner aviation is possible even with today’s technology. Getting to zero starts with properly pricing flying, and progressively increasing the use of sustainable synthetic fuels. There is a cost to this, but in light of how cheap subsidised air travel has become, and the incalculable cost of runaway climate change, it’s a price worth paying.”

To facilitate the progressive switch to electrofuels, demand for kerosene must start to be cut and carbon pricing must gradually be increased to the equivalent of €150 a tonne, the report finds. Taxing aircraft kerosene – currently exempt – and a strengthened EU ETS can help achieve this as can strict CO2 efficiency standards for planes and greater incentives for fleet renewal.

Cutting the emissions in air travel is proving particularly difficult.

With aircraft having a lifespan of 20 to 30 years, the models that are currently being used are locked into old and unsustainable methods of fuel consumption – while tax cuts on jet fuel kerosene are making alternative fuel sources comparatively more expensive.

Transport and Environment (T&E), a European non-governmental group for cleaner transport, has proposed the new fuel as a possible alternative route to zero emissions in a new report.

Andrew Murphy, aviation manager at T&E, said: “This report confirms that we need to decarbonise aviation if we want to avoid catastrophic global warming.

“The good news is that radically cleaner aviation is possible even with today’s technology.”

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Fracking Water Use Explodes

October 29, 2018


Inside Climate News:

As the fracking boom matures, the drilling industry’s use of water and other fluids to produce oil and natural gas has grown dramatically in the past several years, outstripping the growth of the fossil fuels it produces.

A new study published Wednesday in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances says the trend—a greater environmental toll than previously described—results from recent changes in drilling practices as drillers compete to make new wells more productive. For example, well operators have increased the length of the horizontal portion of wells drilled through shale rock where rich reserves of oil and gas are locked up.

They also have significantly increased the amount of water, sand and other materials they pump into the wells to hydraulically fracture the rock and thus release more hydrocarbons trapped within the shale.

The amount of water used per well in fracking jumped by as much as 770 percent, or nearly 9-fold, between 2011 and 2016, the study says. Even more dramatically, wastewater production in each well’s first year increased up to 15-fold over the same years.

“This is changing the paradigm in terms of what we thought about the water use,” Avner Vengosh, a geochemist at Duke University and a co-author of the study, said. “It’s a different ball game.”

Monika Freyman, a water specialist at the green business advocacy group Ceres, said that in many arid counties such as those in southern Texas, freshwater use for fracking is reaching or exceeding water use for people, agriculture and other industries combined.

“I think some regions are starting to reach those tipping points where they really have to make some pretty tough decisions on how they actually allocate these resources,” she said.

Rapid Water Expansion Started Around 2014

The study looked at six years of data on water use, as well as oil, gas and wastewater production, from more than 12,000 wells across the U.S.

According to Vengosh, the turning point toward a rapid expansion of water use and wastewater came around 2014 or 2015.

The paper’s authors calculated that as fracking expands, its water and wastewater footprints will grow much more.

Wastewater from fracking contains a mix of the water and chemicals initially injected underground and highly saline water from the shale formation deep underground that flows back out of the well. This “formation water” contains other toxics including naturally radioactive material making the wastewater a contamination risk.

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30 years late, and only in the wake of horrendous climate-fueled disasters, but we’ll take it.

New York Times:

Conventional political wisdom says you don’t talk about climate change on the campaign trail.

That’s mostly because it’s a deeply polarizing issue. In a recent Pew Research Center survey, 72 percent of registered voters supporting Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections said climate change was a “very big” problem, compared with 11 percent of Republican voters.

That divide has led many candidates and the groups that support them, even those who favor addressing planet-warming emissions, to struggle with discussing the issue during election campaigns.

But that’s starting to change. Across the country, there’s been a small explosion of political ads about global warming.

In Nevada, the Democratic candidate for governor, Steve Sisolak, pledged in an ad to uphold the Paris Agreement. In Illinois, a Democratic candidate for the House, Sean Casten, assailed President Trump for calling climate change a “hoax.” And more than two dozen other candidates in tight races have released ads highlighting their views on climate change.

Environmental groups like the League of Conservation Voters also are spending millions of dollars on ads backing candidates who favor policies to address rising emissions.

“At the national level, it’s very clear it’s not going to be the issue that brings people to the polls,” said Anthony Leiserowitz, the director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. But, he said, “It is an issue that is at least being talked about in some races, and that is new.”

For the most part, political analysts say, climate ads in this campaign involve one candidate attacking the global warming stance of another, or, by proxy, attacking the climate position of President Trump.

Case in point: this League of Conservation Voters ad assailing Representative Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican, as “radically opposed” to fighting climate change. The ad superimposes the wildfires that raged through California this year with Mr. Rohrabacher declaration that “global warming is a fraud.” (above)

Some candidates prefer to talk about the potential economic benefits of addressing climate change, even if they don’t always use the phrase. The incumbent governor of Rhode Island, Gina Raimondo, for example, describes the state’s offshore wind farm and plans for solar developmentas part of a drive for “lower energy costs” and a “cleaner environment.”

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Follow the money, and the jobs.
Renewable energy makes so much sense, even deep red state conservatives can love it, even if it is good for the environment.

Washington Examiner:

Republicans used to deride so-called “green jobs” when former President Barack Obama promised to create millions of them with subsidies and loan guarantees. Mitt Romney, the GOP nominee for president in 2012, attacked Obama’s “unhealthy obsession with green jobs.” During a campaign stop in Colorado, he famously asked mockingly, “Have you seen those jobs anywhere?”

But now that those jobs exist — increasingly in rural, Republican-leaning states and districts — GOP lawmakers at the state and federal level are dropping the “green” moniker, and boasting of clean energy credentials ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. They are doing so even as President Trump has prioritized restoring coal jobs, of which there are half as many as solar.

“Republicans are seeing a huge number of big paying jobs being created in their districts and in their states,” said Dan Reicher, the Assistant Secretary of Energy in the Clinton Administration who was formerly Google’s director of climate and energy. “It’s the economic reality. It was inevitable they would come to this conclusion.”

The economic numbers are stark for clean energy, a category that supporters define as including jobs in solar, wind, energy efficiency, and electric vehicles.

There are now nearly 3.2 million clean energy jobs in America, and the industry employs more workers than the fossil fuel industry in 42 states and Washington D.C., according to the nonpartisan business group Environmental Entrepreneurs.

Solar panel installers and wind turbine technicians are the two fastest growing occupations in America, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says. California, unsurprisingly, has the most clean energy jobs, ranking first in solar and fifth in wind.

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