"Climate Change Section" discussion topics discussion topics for the group "Climate Change Section". http://iaiaconnect.iaia.org/groups/discussion/list/groupid/1675 en-us http://www.rssboard.org/rss-specification 90 Trump’s Administration Action Against NEPA and GHG Mitigation Alarming http://iaiaconnect.iaia.org/groups/discussion/view/topic/17407/group/1675 Stephen Lintner (former IAIA President) sent this around to folks on his mailing list. Many of you may not have seen it, but it is part of a continuing onslaught of efforts to address climate change and other environmental tipping points.&nbsp; I have responded to Stephen's post with the following comments.&nbsp; What are your thoughts as IA professionals?&nbsp; Wes&nbsp; ---------------------- &nbsp; &nbsp; Weston A. Fisher&nbsp;&lt;weston2.fisher@gmail.com&gt; Jan 9, 2020, 11:26 PM (8 days ago) &nbsp; &nbsp; to&nbsp;Stephen &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; Thanks Stephen! I saw this article too this morning.&nbsp; I regard this as a form of dysfunctional economic and political behavior, involving major sectors of the industrial economy, driven by perceived benefits to investors and stockholders. Hard to grasp this, including the climate change language. &nbsp; Legislative and tax policy corrections are going to take much time and effort.&nbsp; &nbsp; I think the future points to a stronger alliance among IA folks and environmental attorneys to protect existing environmental laws and regulations, but also to examine ways to make SEA and cumulative effects assessment more effective, as well as time - and cost-efficient. I think this kind of collaboration is going to be especially important for several reasons: accelerating economic and political pressure from extractive and resource intensive industries; &nbsp;rapid transition and massive infrastructure development in energy efficient transport, buildings and industry; unprecedented expansion in low-carbon or net-zero carbon renewable energy systems, especially photovoltaic solar and wind farrms (off-shore and on-shore);&nbsp; new infrastructure to adapt to the effects of climate, sea level rise, flooding, and temperature rise; adaptive infrastructure to respond to protection and management of marine resources; fresh-water resources and water supply; shifts toward more sustainable soil management and agricultural production, protection of biodiversity;&nbsp; continuing growth in global armaments and military infrastructure&nbsp; &nbsp; Wes &nbsp; On Thu, Jan 9, 2020 at 3:59 PM Stephen Lintner &lt;sflintner@gmail.com&gt; wrote: ---------- Forwarded message ---------From:&nbsp;Stephen Lintner&nbsp;&lt;sflintner@gmail.com&gt;Date: Thu, Jan 9, 2020 at 3:49 PMSubject: The New York Times: Trump moves to exempt big projects from environmental reviewTo: Stephen Lintner &lt;sflintner@gmail.com&gt; Trump moves to exempt big projects from environmental reviewThe White House, hoping to speed infrastructure projects like pipelines, will formally introduce changes to a half century-old landmark environmental law.Read in The New York Times:&nbsp;https://apple.news/A3o1fLQ49SuevhvmEuxuuZAShared from&nbsp;Apple News Sent from my iPhone &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;NEWS ANALYSIS &nbsp; &nbsp; Trump's Move Against Landmark Environmental Law Caps a Relentless Agenda &nbsp; &nbsp; Sections of pipeline awaiting installation near Elliston, Va., in September.Credit...Charles Mostoller/Reuters By&nbsp;Lisa Friedman Published&nbsp;Jan. 9, 2020Updated&nbsp;Jan. 13, 2020 703 WASHINGTON - President Trump on Thursday capped a three-year drive to roll back clean air and water protections by proposing stark changes to the nation's oldest and most established environmental law that could exempt major infrastructure projects from environmental review. The revisions to the law -&nbsp;the 50-year-old National Environmental Policy Act, a landmark measure that touches nearly every highway, bridge, pipeline and other major federal construction in the country - underscored Mr. Trump's focus on stripping away regulations, to the consternation of conservationists. In the middle of a foreign-policy crisis and on the cusp of an impeachment trial in the Senate, Mr. Trump appeared in his element on Thursday, flanked by men in hard hats and orange safety vests. "America's most critical infrastructure projects have been tied up and bogged down by an outrageously slow and burdensome federal approval process, and I've been talking about it for a long time," he said. Mr. Trump, who made his fortune as a real estate developer, spoke as if personally aggrieved: "The builders are not happy. Nobody's happy." ADVERTISEMENT Continue reading the main story &nbsp; Since taking office Mr. Trump has proposed&nbsp;nearly 100 environmental rollbacks, including&nbsp;weakening protections for endangered species, relaxing rules that&nbsp;limit emissions from coal plants&nbsp;and blocking the phaseout of&nbsp;older incandescent light bulbs. Hundreds of thousands of public comments against the president's moves have flowed in. Scientists have spoken out in opposition. Democrats have vowed to stop him, all with little effect. "He sees himself as the kingpin of an anti-federal-regulatory movement," said Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian at Rice University who has written about environmental policy. But&nbsp;haste and zeal may work against the administration. Nearly 70 lawsuits have been filed to challenge the administration's deregulatory moves, asserting that officials have violated federal procedures in their rollback efforts.&nbsp;The Trump administration has, so far, been successful just four times, according to New York University School of Law data. Editors' Picks The Sex Scene Evolves for the #MeToo Era Where Trails Are for Skating, Not Hiking The Cookbooks You Need for 2020, as Selected by Chefs Continue reading the main story &nbsp; A RELENTLESS ROLLBACK 95 Environmental Rules Being Rolled Back Under Trump June 2, 2019 Some of Mr. Trump's moves have been never been tried before, such as the&nbsp;reversal of national monument designations&nbsp;by his predecessors. Some have been remarkably defiant, like Thursday's effort to alter a half-century-old law by decree, carving out a new category of infrastructure projects not subject to environmental review. ADVERTISEMENT Continue reading the main story &nbsp; The interior secretary, David Bernhardt, who has overseen plans to weaken limits on the release of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and loosen offshore drilling safety rules, called the proposed changes to the National Environmental Policy Act the Trump administration's most significant deregulatory proposal yet. Critics agreed. James A. Thurber, a political-science professor at American University, described Mr. Trump's latest actions to "altering the Ten Commandments of environmental policy." All told, Mr. Trump has gone further than any other president, including Ronald Reagan, in dismantling clean air and water protections. The National Environmental Protection Act was signed into law by Richard M. Nixon after calls for greater oversight when the heavily polluted Cuyahoga River in Ohio caught fire and a tanker spilled three million gallons of crude off the coast of Santa Barbara, Calif., in 1969. "No other president has had the gall to try to back polluters and turn back the clock to pre-Santa Barbara," Mr. Brinkley said. "Nothing compares to what Donald Trump is doing." But Mr. Trump's moves also have won wide praise - not just from the oil and gas industry but also from labor unions that Mr. Trump is eager to win over in November. In 2016, union members, who had traditionally voted for Democrats, helped Mr. Trump win the White House. Under the National Environmental Policy Act, major federal projects like bridges, highways, pipelines or power plants that will have a significant impact on the environment require a review, or environmental impact statement, outlining potential consequences. The proposed new rules would change the regulations that guide the implementation of the law in a number of ways, including by narrowing the range of projects that require such an assessment and by imposing strict new deadlines on completing the studies. ADVERTISEMENT Continue reading the main story &nbsp; The changes would also eliminate the need for agencies to consider the "cumulative impacts" of projects. In recent years, courts have said that includes studying the planet-warming consequences of emitting more greenhouse gases. Mary B. Neumayr, the chairwoman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said the change did not prevent or exclude consideration of the impact of greenhouse gases; consideration would no longer be required. And the changes would set hard deadlines of one year to complete reviews of smaller projects and two years to complete reviews of larger ones. "Today it can take more than 10 years to build just a very simple road," Mr. Trump said. "And, usually, you're not able to even get the permit." Mr. Bernhardt said he had seen environmental studies that prevented the timely construction of schools on tribal lands and visitor centers at national parks, and hindered the ability of farmers to secure water supplies. Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker, saw it differently. "This means more polluters will be right there next to the water supply of our children," she said. "That's a public health issue." The changes were expected to appear in the federal register on Friday. There will be a 60-day window for public comment and two public hearings before a final regulation is issued, most likely in the fall. Richard L. Revesz, a professor of environmental law at New York University, said he did not believe the changes would hold up in court. The National Environmental Policy Act requires that all the environmental consequences of a project be taken into account, he said, and that core requirement cannot be changed by fiat. ADVERTISEMENT Continue reading the main story &nbsp; "A regulation can't change the requirements of a statute as interpreted by the courts," Mr. Revesz said. In fact, he argued, under the Trump administration's guidance, federal agencies are more likely to be sued for inadequate reviews, "leading to far longer delays than if they had done a proper analysis in the first place." The proposed regulation does not set a dollar threshold for what constitutes a large federal footprint, a factor that one official said could also allow major mining, drilling and other projects to avoid environmental assessments. Representative Rob Bishop of Utah, the ranking Republican on the House Natural Resources Committee, said he believed the changes would bring "rationality" to federal bureaucracy. "There has been nothing more detrimental to the development of transportation, clean water, and energy infrastructure than America's broken environmental review and permitting process," he said. Environmental groups said the revisions to the act would threaten species and lead to more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The proposal does not mention the words "climate change," but courts have interpreted the requirement to consider "cumulative consequences" as a mandate to study the effects of allowing more planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. It also has meant understanding the impacts of rising sea levels and other results of climate change on a given project. That means agencies will not have to examine whether a pipeline, mine or other fossil fuel project would worsen climate change. It also means there will not be any requirement to understand how or whether a road or bridge in a coastal area would be threatened by sea-level rise. William K. Reilly, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under President George Bush, said of the changes, "This one hits home for me." He wrote the first regulations for environmental impact statements as a White House aide in 1970. ADVERTISEMENT Continue reading the main story &nbsp; The National Environmental Policy Act, he said, has been "very important" in preventing environmental harm on major infrastructure projects. He particularly took issue with Mr. Trump's remarks Thursday that other countries "look at the United States and they can't believe" the restrictions on development. "It has been a model," Mr. Reilly said of the law. "It's one of those things that other countries around the world have copied and admired." The National Environmental Policy Act Faces Changes Trump Rule Would Exclude Climate Change in Infrastructure Planning Jan. 3, 2020 95 Environmental Rules Being Rolled Back Under Trump June 2, 2019 For more climate news sign up for&nbsp;the Climate Fwd: newsletter&nbsp;or follow&nbsp;@NYTClimate on Twitter. &nbsp; Lisa Friedman reports on climate and environmental policy in Washington. A former editor at Climatewire, she has covered nine international climate talks.&nbsp;@LFFriedman A version of this article appears in print on&nbsp;Jan. 10, 2020, Section&nbsp;A, Page&nbsp;1&nbsp;of the New York edition&nbsp;with the headline:&nbsp;Move to Curb Pollution Law Caps Agenda.&nbsp;Order Reprints&nbsp;|&nbsp;Today's Paper&nbsp;|&nbsp;Subscribe READ 703 COMMENTS <br /><br /> Last Post: Weston Fisher 6 days ago<br/>5 replies Fri, 17 Jan 2020 17:02:32 -0500 1675_17407 World Hunger Rises with Climate Shocks, Conflict and Economic Slumps http://iaiaconnect.iaia.org/groups/discussion/view/topic/17384/group/1675 "The report underscores the complex interplay among climate change, conflict and economic stagnation and their combined impact on malnourishment. In drought-ravaged parts of Central America for example, a prolonged drought is stoking higher hunger rates and migration to the region's cities and northward to the United States."&nbsp;&nbsp; https://insideclimatenews.org/news/15072019/world-hunger-rising-climate-shocks-and-conflicts-and-economic-slumps-slow-recovery<br /><br /> Last Post: Bridget John 6 months ago<br/>0 replies Tue, 23 Jul 2019 10:59:42 -0400 1675_17384 Is it time to retire ‘climate change’ for ‘climate crisis’? http://iaiaconnect.iaia.org/groups/discussion/view/topic/17376/group/1675 See the entire article at http://bit.ly/2WNvESV I spent a lot of time reflecting on this article and how the emotive language surrounding climate change and other environmental topics is being altered more and more within media reports.&nbsp; In respect of IAIA and the global IA community, what struck me most was not the language we use in EIS or Environmental Reports but whether our own behaviours as a professional community has failed to alert others to the significance of what our words are conveying.&nbsp; If it takes a 16 year old Swedish student two years to activate the global population on the crisis we face regarding carbon emissions, then it is only fair that we hold up a mirror to our own activities and ask ourselves - 'What have we been doing individually and collectively for the last 3 decades in comparison?' &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Whilst not advocating the use of such emotive language in our work or debates with society, perhaps our resolve to lead on climate change in our work, how we communicate or emphasis our views within the institutions we support, and how we could have placed greater emphasis on challenging substandard polies, plans and programmes now needs greater consideration and part of a more general debate on professional leadership traits within our standards of conduct.&nbsp; If we as IA professionals agree it is a global crisis, then surely the first steps for IAIA and the IA community in general is for others to see that we are treating it as a crisis in our work and words.&nbsp; I would value your insights, views and feedback?<br /><br /> Last Post: Gunnar Baldwin 6 months ago<br/>6 replies Wed, 19 Jun 2019 08:45:39 -0400 1675_17376 A Draft Proposal to the IAIA Board on IA and Environmental Law at IAIA 19 Brisbane draft revision http://iaiaconnect.iaia.org/groups/discussion/view/topic/17375/group/1675 This draft proposal to the Board on increased support and collaboration with environmental attorneys and Environmental Law Institutions was very well received and is posted here for member review and comment.&nbsp; It is suggested that the first step in implementation should be the selection of key climate change and deep decarbonisation legislation (enacted or proposed) drawn from around the world.&nbsp; These models would be presented for comment and review at a Theme Forum or special session. at IAIA 2020 in Seville.&nbsp; Examples have already been compiled in a newly released compendium edited by Michael Gerrard of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law and published by the Environmental Law Institute.&nbsp; See&nbsp;https://www.eli.org/eli-press-books/legal-pathways-deep-decarbonization-united-states.&nbsp;We are anxious to identify and discuss models from the Netherlands, Germany, the Scandinavian countries, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and elsewhere. &nbsp;<br /><br /> Last Post: Weston Fisher 7 months ago<br/>0 replies Sun, 09 Jun 2019 00:19:19 -0400 1675_17375 IAIA '19 Brisbane Climate Change and IA Roundtable Summary Report http://iaiaconnect.iaia.org/groups/discussion/view/topic/17374/group/1675 All CC Section Members are asked to review this summary of the Climate Change and Impact Assessment Roundtable Discussion and Next Step that took place at IAIA 19 in Brisbane.&nbsp; Your participation in efforts to implement the next steps recommendations for IAIA 2020 in Seville is urgently requested.&nbsp; &nbsp;Session proposals are due by July 12th, 2019.<br /><br /> Last Post: Terry Calmeyer 7 months ago<br/>5 replies Sat, 08 Jun 2019 23:06:36 -0400 1675_17374