MoJo Author Feeds: Jeremy Schulman | Mother Jones Mother Jones logo en A GOP Senate Candidate Just Got Angrily Booed for Denouncing Trump <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>The Republican running for US Senate from Nevada was angrily booed at his own campaign rally today when he told the crowd that he could no longer support Donald Trump and that the GOP nominee should drop out of the race.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Joe Heck, campaigning to take retiring Harry Reid's seat, gets heckled and booed after saying Trump should drop out <a href=""></a></p> &mdash; Colin Jones (@colinjones) <a href="">October 8, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Heck was reacting to the 2005 video <a href="" target="_blank">published Friday by the<em> Washington Post</em></a>, in which Trump bragged that his fame enabled him to "do anything" to women. "Grab them by the pussy," he said in the video. "You can do anything."</p> <p>At the rally, Heck&mdash;a congressman locked in a tight race to fill Harry Reid's seat in the Senate&mdash;said, "I can no longer look past the pattern of behavior and comments that have been made by Donald Trump. Therefore I cannot in good conscious continue to support Donald Trump. Nor can I vote for Hillary Clinton." That drew a mix of applause and jeers.</p> <p>Moments later, when Heck said that Republicans should "formally ask Mr. Trump to step down" from the ticket, the crowd erupted in loud boos.</p> <p>Heck is one of several prominent GOP politicians to un-endorse Trump in the wake of Friday's revelations. Others include New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo, and Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz.</p></body></html> Politics 2016 Elections Donald Trump Sex and Gender Top Stories Sat, 08 Oct 2016 17:30:50 +0000 Jeremy Schulman 316081 at Here's What Donald Trump Really Thinks of America's Scientists <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="Trump hats" class="image" src="/files/trumphats2000full.jpg" style="height: 516px; width: 630px;"><div class="caption">JRLPhotographer/iStock</div> </div> <p>It wasn't much of a surprise Thursday when Donald Trump's campaign issued a <a href="" target="_blank">blistering statement</a> condemning the Paris climate agreement. The deal&mdash;which has now been ratified by enough countries to go into effect next month&mdash;is a giant first step toward cutting the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing global warming. "Politicians like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton continue to make bad deals that undermine the interests of the American people," said a Trump spokesman. "The Paris Accord is just the latest example. Hillary Clinton and other supporters of this global political agreement ignore the reality that it will cost the American economy trillions of dollars."</p> <p>It was a bit more surprising, however, that Team Trump decided to use the opportunity to criticize the nation's scientists. "Mr. Trump and Gov. Pence appreciate that many scientists are concerned about greenhouse gas emissions," said the statement. It then added, "We need America's scientists to continue studying the scientific issues but without political agendas getting in the way."</p> <p>A few months ago, the implication that scientists were skewing their results to match their supposed political agendas might have seemed like a relatively tame statement from Trump. After all, he spent years declaring that global warming is a "hoax" perpetrated by "<a href="" target="_blank">scientists [who] are having a lot of fun.</a>" In July, he defended his use of the word "hoax" by <a href="" target="_blank">invoking</a> the widely debunked <a href="" target="_blank">"ClimateGate" scandal</a>: "If you look at Europe where they had their big summit a couple of years ago, where people were sending out emails&mdash;scientists&mdash;practically calling it a hoax, and they were laughing at it."</p> <p>But more recently, Trump has been trying to run away from that rhetoric. During the first debate, Trump insisted (<a href="" target="_blank">falsely</a>) that he'd never described climate change as a Chinese hoax. The following day, Pence&mdash;who once <a href="" target="_blank">described climate change as a "myth"</a>&mdash;acknowledged that human activities do "have some impact on climate." Regardless, it's now clear that Trump still thinks scientists are lying to us.</p> <p>I reached out to a few climate scientists to get their reaction to Trump's latest attack on them. Needless to say, they weren't pleased. Trump's statement is "just another underhanded way of dodging the scientific reality and engaging in mud-slinging against honest scientists by arguing they are engaging in a political agenda," said Michael Mann, an atmospheric scientist at Penn State, in an email. "This is very Trumpian projection, since of course it is only him and Pence and their fellow congressional climate change deniers who are engaged in a political agenda."</p> <p>But years of Trump-like rhetoric seems to have taken its toll. A <a href="" target="_blank">new survey from the Pew Research Center</a> found that just 32 percent of respondents believe that climate science is guided by the "best available evidence" most of the time. Meanwhile, large majorities of respondents say that climate research is influence&nbsp;at least some of the time by the scientists' political beliefs and efforts to advance their careers.</p> <p>All of this helps explain why, according to Pew, just 21 percent of respondent have "a great deal" of confidence that scientists will act in the best interests of the public. Of course, that doesn't mean the public trusts Trump. In the same survey, just 4 percent of respondents had a great deal of confidence in the nation's business leaders.</p></body></html> Environment 2016 Elections Climate Change Climate Desk Donald Trump Energy Science Top Stories Fri, 07 Oct 2016 21:33:57 +0000 Jeremy Schulman 315961 at Someone Finally Asked a Debate Question About the World's Most Important Issue <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>It's been <a href="" target="_blank">nearly eight years</a> since American presidential candidates were last asked about climate change during a general election debate. Lester Holt didn't ask Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump about the issue<strong> </strong>when they met last week at Hofstra University. Bob Schieffer, Jim Lehrer, and Candy Crowley <a href="" target="_blank">never asked about global warming during</a> the 2012 debates. Nor did Martha Raddatz, who moderated that year's vice presidential showdown.</p> <p>As it turns out, though, the problem goes well beyond presidential debates. During the first 10 general election debates in competitive Senate and gubernatorial races this year, moderators asked no questions about global warming, according to <a href="" target="_blank">research released last week</a> by the liberal group Media Matters for America. Candidates occasionally brought up climate change on their own&mdash;that <a href="" target="_blank">happened briefly</a> in last week's presidential debate&mdash;but the moderators simply ignored the issue. That meant zero questions about <a href="" target="_blank">rising seas</a>; zero questions about how <a href="" target="_blank">devastating floods</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">heat waves</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">wildfires</a> are becoming more likely; and zero questions about the threat that the changing climate poses to our <a href="" target="_blank">food supply</a> and to <a href="" target="_blank">our military operations</a> and to <a href="" target="_blank">international stability</a>.</p> <p>Finally, on Friday&mdash;the day after Media Matters published the initial installment of its debate scorecard&mdash;a moderator got around to asking about climate change. During a debate broadcast by WMUR (a Manchester ABC station), New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) and her challenger, Gov. Maggie Hassan (D), were both asked whether global warming is real and what the government should do about it. Ayotte is somewhat unique among GOP politicians: She embraces climate science and even supports the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan&mdash;a set of regulations designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector. The result was a pretty informative exchange. You can watch it below:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" class="video-embed" frameborder="0" height="360" scrolling="no" src="" width="480"></iframe></p> <p>The Media Matters scorecard is an impressive undertaking&mdash;one that the researchers plan to update daily until the election. According to Andrew Seifter, the group's climate and energy program director, the project involves constant news and database searches to track dozens of upcoming debates across the country, the videos and transcripts of which the researchers obtain and analyze. (Full disclosure: I used to work at Media Matters. Seifter is a friend and former colleague.)</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="Media Matters debate scorecard" class="image" src="/files/debatescorecard1003.png" style="height: 583px; width: 630px;"></div> <p>In addition to showing what (if anything) was said about climate change at debates that have already taken place, the scorecard lists the broadcasters and moderators in charge of those that are coming up. The goal, says Seifter, is to empower concerned citizens to pressure moderators into addressing the issue. Rather than waiting until after the election season to release the results, he says, the scorecard will serve as a "living, research-based resource" that people can use to "demand change."</p> <p>The debates, Seifter argues, are the "best opportunity for the voters to learn about where the candidates stand" on climate change. So let's hope more moderators start asking about it.</p></body></html> Environment 2016 Elections Climate Change Climate Desk Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Media Top Stories Mon, 03 Oct 2016 21:18:22 +0000 Jeremy Schulman 315511 at Did Trump Call Global Warming a Chinese Hoax? (Yes. And Tonight He Lied About It.) <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>According to Donald Trump, Donald Trump <a href="" target="_blank">never supported the Iraq war</a>; he <a href="" target="_blank">never called pregnancy</a> an "inconvenience" for employers; and he certainly never&mdash;ever&mdash;<a href="" target="_blank">called climate change a Chinese hoax</a>.</p> <p>Trump, you'll be shocked to learn, wasn't exactly telling the truth. Let's focus on the climate claim, which you can watch in the video above.</p> <p>During Monday night's presidential debate, Hillary Clinton said: "Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. I think it's real. I think science is real."</p> <p>"I did not, I did not," countered Trump. "I do not say that."</p> <p>Clinton is correct. Here's what Trump tweeted in 2012:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.</p> &mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="">November 6, 2012</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Trump has <a href="" target="_blank">since suggested that this comment was a joke</a>&mdash;a hilarious one, no doubt. Regardless, Trump has repeatedly called global warming a "hoax." On Fox News in 2014, for instance:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" class="video-embed" frameborder="0" height="360" scrolling="no" src="" width="480"></iframe></p> <p>And on Twitter:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Ice storm rolls from Texas to Tennessee - I'm in Los Angeles and it's freezing. Global warming is a total, and very expensive, hoax!</p> &mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="">December 6, 2013</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">We should be focused on magnificently clean and healthy air and not distracted by the expensive hoax that is global warming!</p> &mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="">December 6, 2013</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">NBC News just called it the great freeze - coldest weather in years. Is our country still spending money on the GLOBAL WARMING HOAX?</p> &mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="">January 25, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Any and all weather events are used by the GLOBAL WARMING HOAXSTERS to justify higher taxes to save our planet! They don't believe it $$$$!</p> &mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="">January 26, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">The weather has been so cold for so long that the global warming HOAXSTERS were forced to change the name to climate change to keep $ flow!</p> &mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="">January 29, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Snowing in Texas and Louisiana, record setting freezing temperatures throughout the country and beyond. Global warming is an expensive hoax!</p> &mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="">January 29, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Massive record setting snowstorm and freezing temperatures in U.S. Smart that GLOBAL WARMING hoaxsters changed name to CLIMATE CHANGE! $$$$</p> &mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="">February 5, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script></body></html> Environment 2016 Elections Climate Change Climate Desk Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Top Stories Tue, 27 Sep 2016 03:39:32 +0000 Jeremy Schulman 314996 at Why One Scientist Went Public With Her Sexual Harassment Story <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>In the past few years, sexual harassment in the sciences has become an increasingly visible problem. Disturbing allegations about the <a href="" target="_blank">Environmental Protection Agency</a>, the <a href="" target="_blank">National Park Service</a>, and the former head of the UN's <a href="" target="_blank">Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change</a> have all made headlines. So have a number of cases involving prominent university professors.</p> <p>On the latest episode of the <em>Inquiring Minds</em> <a href="" target="_blank">podcast</a>, Kishore Hari talks to Sarah Ballard, an accomplished exoplanet researcher who was also a complainant in one of the most high-profile recent harassment controversies. Last year, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>BuzzFeed</em></a> reported that Geoff Marcy, a renowned astronomer at the University of California-Berkeley, had faced sexual harassment accusations. A <a href="" target="_blank">report</a> produced by the university found that Marcy had "violated the relevant UC sexual harassment policies"; it cited allegations that he had inappropriately touched students. Initially, Marcy was placed on probation; he was instructed by the university to comply with its sexual harassment policies and to avoid physical contact with students (except to shake their hands).</p> <p><iframe scrolling="no" src="" style="width: 100%; height: 200px; border: 0 none;"></iframe></p> <p>But the <em>BuzzFeed</em> story sparked a national outcry, and many began demanding a more severe punishment. Marcy posted an <a href="" target="_blank">apology</a> on his website, though he denies some of the allegations in the report and says that his actions didn't harm his students' professional lives. He ultimately retired under <a href="" target="_blank">pressure</a> from faculty at the university.</p> <p>On <em>Inquiring Minds</em>, Ballard depicts Marcy as a professor who praised her talent yet abused her trust. She first met him when she was an undergraduate student in one of his classes, but her excitement to work with one of the world's foremost experts on exoplanets soon took a dark turn. On one occasion, Marcy told Ballard a detailed story about his sexual history. On another occasion, she says, he attempted to massage her neck after driving her home.</p> <p>After that, Ballard agonized over whether to confront Marcy about his behavior, ultimately deciding to do so. As described in the Berkeley report, this prospect caused "great anxiety" for Ballard, "in part because she believed such a confrontation would effectively forfeit any opportunity of receiving a letter of recommendation" from Marcy. But it never came to that. Ballard says Marcy's behavior suddenly changed and the harassment stopped. She later found out that a graduate student had confronted Marcy about unwelcome behavior Marcy had allegedly exhibited toward a different student.</p> <p>Marcy didn't deny Ballard's allegations&mdash;though he does deny some of the other allegations in Berkeley's report. (According to the Berkeley report, he told the university investigator that he didn't recall touching Ballard in the car but that it was possible he did.) In an interview with <em>Mother Jones</em>, Marcy's attorney, Elizabeth Grossman, argued that Marcy's actions weren't serious enough to justify the backlash he's experienced. "There is not a single allegation of sexual assault [against Marcy]," said Grossman. "There is not a single allegation of soliciting sex, of requesting sex in exchange for academic favor. There is not a single suggestion of his interfering with anyone's ability to thrive on campus."</p> <p>Ballard, however, says she was deeply affected by her interactions with Marcy. "To have [Marcy] say, 'You are talented, you are full of promise'&mdash; that is so compelling," she explains. "And then to have all of the sudden the knowledge that&hellip;that message might not have been delivered in good faith: You feel like the rug has been pulled out under you. So does that mean that I'm not promising? Does that mean that all of it was a lie?&hellip;It was profoundly rattling to my nascent sense of self as an astronomer, as a scientist."</p> <p>Years later, when Ballard heard that allegations against Marcy were going to become public, she made the decision to come forward and identify herself as one of the victims. She hopes that by doing so, she'll make things easier for other women.</p> <p>"There was one principle which helped me to unravel the tangled knot of my feelings that I could always return to&hellip;and that was you have to be the woman you needed then," says Ballard. "You couldn't protect yourself then, but you can protect younger you today, and you can protect women who are 20 today."</p> <p>Ballard went on to receive a Ph.D. in astronomy and astrophysics from Harvard (she notes that Marcy wrote a recommendation letter that helped her get into the prestigious university). She now researches exoplanets at MIT. But across the country, many other women have left the sciences. That's partly because of widespread sexual harassment, argues&nbsp;Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.). Indeed, a 2014 <a href="" target="_blank">study</a> found that roughly two-thirds of female scientists surveyed said they had experienced harassment while doing field research.</p> <p>In January, Speier gave a <a href="" target="_blank">speech</a> on the floor of the US House of Representatives recounting the allegations against Timothy Slater, who taught astronomy at the University of Arizona and is now a professor at the University of Wyoming. Speier had <a href=";view=article&amp;id=1838:congresswoman-speier-speaks-about-university-of-arizona-sexual-harassment-report-on-the-house-floor&amp;catid=20&amp;Itemid=7" target="_blank">obtained the results</a> of a <a href="" target="_blank">confidential 2005 investigation</a> conducted by the University of Arizona. "Dr. Slater himself admitted that he gave an employee a vegetable-shaped vibrator and that he frequently commented to his employees and students about the appearance of women," said Speier on the House floor. "My staff spoke with one female grad student who was required to attend a strip club in order to discuss her academic work with Dr. Slater. The woman has since left the field of astronomy." After reading the report, "I was physically sickened," Speier says on <em>Inquiring Minds</em>.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="400" src="" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Slater declined to answer specific questions from <em>Mother Jones</em> about the allegations, though he did provide a letter his lawyers had sent to the University of Arizona threatening to sue the university for defamation and breach of privacy over the release of the report. In the letter, Slater's attorneys said the university's report "contains numerous false and misleading allegations, which Rep. Speier and the media has reported as fact." Specifically, the attorneys state that Slater "never gave a vibrator" to "any graduate student, ever" and that Slater "denies that he ever pressured anyone to go to the strip club or that anyone ever complained about going to strip club."</p> <p>Speier proposes one solution to the problem of sexual harassment in the sciences. The federal government has the power under Title IX to fight harassment, she notes. Because so many universities, even private ones, rely on federal dollars, they could lose federal funding in the form of grants or student loans if they violate the law. Last week, she <a href="" target="_blank">introduced</a> legislation requiring universities to inform federal grant-making institutions when they determine a professor has engaged in sexual harassment.</p> <p>Speier isn't optimistic that the bill will pass in the current Congress, but she wants harassment victims to know they have an advocate on Capitol Hill. Her message to them? "They've been heard."</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Inquiring Minds</a><em> is a podcast hosted by neuroscientist and musician Indre Viskontas and Kishore Hari, the director of the Bay Area Science Festival. To catch future shows right when they are released, subscribe to </em>Inquiring Minds<em> via <a href="" target="_blank">iTunes</a> or <a href="" target="_blank">RSS</a>. You can follow the show on Twitter at <a href="" target="_blank">@inquiringshow </a>and <a href="" target="_blank">like us on Facebook</a>.</em></p></body></html> Environment Interview Podcasts Climate Desk Science Sex and Gender Top Stories Inquiring Minds Mon, 26 Sep 2016 18:41:30 +0000 Natalie Schreyer and Jeremy Schulman 314206 at Gary Johnson Wants to Ignore Climate Change Because the Sun Will Destroy the Earth One Day <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src=";end=3279" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate for president, takes what he calls the "long-term view" of climate change. "In billions of years," <a href="" target="_blank">he said</a> in 2011, "the sun is going to actually grow and encompass the Earth, right? So global warming is in our future."</p> <p>The former New Mexico governor did acknowledge that humans are making the world warmer in the near term, too&mdash;but he doesn't think the government should do much about it. In the same speech, he denounced "<a href="" target="_blank">cap-and-trade</a> taxation," said we "should be building new coal-fired plants," and argued that the "trillions" of dollars it would cost to combat climate change would be better spent on other priorities.</p> <p>All of that makes Johnson's popularity among younger voters pretty surprising. <a href="" target="_blank">Surveys have consistently found</a> that millennials care deeply about climate change. A November 2015 <a href="" target="_blank">ABC News/<em>Washington Post </em>poll</a>, for example, found that 76 percent of 18- to-29-year-olds see global warming as a serious problem, and 64 percent want the federal government to do more to combat it. Nevertheless, a <a href="" target="_blank">recent Quinnipiac poll</a> found that Johnson is now running second among 18- to-34-year-old voters, just 2 percentage points behind Hillary Clinton.</p> <p>Johnson's 2011 comments weren't an aberration. Over the past few years, he has spoken out repeatedly against environmental regulation. In a <a href="" target="_blank">2011 NPR interview</a>, he instead called for a "free-market approach" to reducing carbon emissions, arguing that consumer demand for cleaner energy, coupled with cheap natural gas, was causing a shift away from coal. He made the same argument during a <a href="" target="_blank">Libertarian presidential candidate debate in May 2012</a>. "If government gets involved" in fighting climate change, he said, "we are going to be spending trillions of dollars and have no effect whatsoever on the desired outcome."</p> <p>During his 2012 campaign, Johnson called for cutting federal spending by 43 percent. In one interview, he noted that this would also mean <a href="" target="_blank">a 43 percent reduction</a> in the Environmental Protection Agency's budget. (During that same interview, he repeated his statement about the <a href="" target="_blank">sun eventually destroying the planet</a>: "Long-term consequence of our existence in the whole scheme of things is the sun is getting closer to the Earth and that at a point in the very distant future, the sun will actually encompass the Earth. So global warming is something that's going to be inevitable.")</p> <p>For most of his 2016 campaign, Johnson has maintained his opposition to government efforts to deal with global warming. His campaign website <a href="" target="_blank">acknowledges</a> that the climate is "probably" changing and that humans are "probably" contributing to that change. But, it adds:</p> <blockquote> <p>[T]he critical question is whether the politicians' efforts to regulate, tax and manipulate the private sector are cost-effective&mdash;or effective at all. The debate should be about how we can protect our resources and environment for future generations. Governors Johnson and [Libertarian vice presidential nominee William] Weld strongly believe that the federal government should prevent future harm by focusing on regulations that protect us from real harm, rather than needlessly costing American jobs and freedom in order to pursue a political agenda.</p> </blockquote> <p>In July, Johnson was asked during on appearance on <em>Real Time with Bill Maher </em>whether he had a "comprehensive plan to combat climate change." Johnson's answer: "No." He went on to argue that the coal industry's recent struggles were a result of free-market forces (such as cheap natural gas) rather than the Obama administration's new climate regulations. (Many experts say both factors have played significant roles in coal's decline. Former Climate Desk reporter Tim McDonnell <a href="" target="_blank">has argued</a> that of the two, the market forces are indeed more important.)</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>But then Johnson's stance changed dramatically. In an August <a href="" target="_blank">interview with the <em>Los Angeles Times</em></a>, he announced he was "open" to the idea of the federal government imposing a revenue-neutral tax on carbon emissions. Economists have long viewed a <a href="" target="_blank">carbon tax</a> as the most efficient way of putting a price on greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to limit warming&mdash;many see it as preferable to the complex <a href="" target="_blank">cap-and-trade proposal</a> backed by President Barack Obama during his first term. In a subsequent <a href="" target="_blank">interview on CNBC</a>, Johnson called a carbon tax a "very libertarian proposal" under which "the market will take care of" climate change. (During the Democratic primaries, <a href="" target="_blank">Bernie Sanders endorsed a carbon tax</a>; Clinton did not.)</p> <p>Many Libertarians and conservatives were outraged by Johnson's sudden embrace of a carbon tax. "<a href="" target="_blank">It's Official: Gary Johnson Is a Left-Wing Candidate</a>," declared the <em>Federalist</em>, a conservative publication. After plenty of public criticism from the right, Johnson changed his mind, <a href="" target="_blank">telling supporters at a New Hampshire rally</a> that after considering a carbon tax, "I have determined that, you know what, it's a great theory, but I don't think it can work, and I've worked my way through that." His flip-flop drew loud applause from the<strong> </strong>crowd.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Johnson elaborated in an <a href="" target="_blank">interview</a> the following day with the libertarian magazine <em>Reason. </em>He declared himself a "skeptic" when it comes to the idea "that government policy can address" climate issues and said a carbon tax "sounds good in theory, but it wouldn't work in practice."</p> <p>"So, no support for a carbon fee," Johnson added. "I never raised one penny of tax as governor of New Mexico, not one cent in any area. Taxes to me are like a death plague."</p> <p>And besides, what good will all those taxes do for us when the sun engulfs our planet?</p></body></html> Environment 2016 Elections Climate Change Climate Desk Energy Top Stories Gary Johnson Thu, 22 Sep 2016 10:00:32 +0000 Jeremy Schulman 314536 at Donald Trump Made a Chart, and It's Totally Wrong <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="630" src="" width="630"></iframe><script src=""></script></p> <p>The world is getting really hot. The first six months of 2016 was the <a href="" target="_blank">warmest January-to-June</a> on record, according to NASA. Last year was the hottest year on record. This year will almost certainly be hotter. <a href="" target="_blank">Eighteen of the 20 warmest</a> years on record have occurred in the past two decades. "Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia," <a href="" target="_blank">writes the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change</a>&mdash;a UN-affiliated body that includes the world's leading climate scientists. These scientists are 95 percent certain that humans are the "dominant" cause of the warming.</p> <p>Here's a NASA chart showing what all of this looks like:</p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/nasatemps.png" style="height: 335px; width: 630px;"></div> <p>But Donald Trump has a chart of his own (sort of). The real estate mogul was in South Florida last week, and a <em><a href="" target="_blank">Miami Herald </a></em><a href="" target="_blank">reporter</a> asked him about one of the greatest threats facing the region: <a href="" target="_blank">sea level rise</a>. "I'm not a big believer in man-made climate change," Trump responded. "There could be some impact, but I don't believe it's devastating impact."</p> <p>The world's temperature, Trump insisted, isn't doing anything unusual. "No, I would say that it goes up, it goes down," he said, moving his hand up and down like a wave. "I think it's very much like this over the years."</p> <p>It's worth taking a moment to watch him do this in the video above. Think of Trump's hand-waving as an attempt to chart historical temperature data. Now compare that to NASA's chart, which shows what the climate is actually doing.</p> <p>Trump, of course, is fully aware of the scientific consensus on global warming. He just thinks it's all part of a <a href="" target="_blank">grand conspiracy of lying scientists</a>:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Any and all weather events are used by the GLOBAL WARMING HOAXSTERS to justify higher taxes to save our planet! They don't believe it $$$$!</p> &mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="">January 26, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Trump returned to his completely wrong argument moments later. "You've had a change in weather patterns, and you've had it for many years," he said. "You know, many years ago&mdash;I believe it was in the 1920s&mdash;they talked about the phenomenon of global cooling. They thought the planet was getting cooler. Now they think the planet is getting warmer."</p> <p>"I have a feeling, it's sort of this," added Trump, making the wave motion with his hand once more. "But nobody knows for sure."</p> <p>You can watch the full <em>Miami Herald </em>interview with Trump below:</p> <style type="text/css">.mcclatchy-embed{position:relative;padding:40px 0 56.25%;height:0;overflow:hidden;max-width:100%}.mcclatchy-embed iframe{position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%} </style><div class="mcclatchy-embed"><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="394" src="" width="630"></iframe></div></body></html> Environment 2016 Elections Climate Change Climate Desk Donald Trump Science Top Stories Mon, 15 Aug 2016 18:02:02 +0000 Jeremy Schulman 311706 at Watch a 7th Grade English Teacher Explain the Melania Trump Plagiarism Scandal <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p><iframe height="354" src=";type=video&amp;title=Middle%20school%20teacher%20grades%20Melania%20Trump's%20RNC%20speech&amp;site=73&amp;playerid=6918249996581&amp;dfpid=32805352&amp;dfpposition=Video_prestream_external%C3%82%C2%A7ion=home" style="border-width:0" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>The controversy surrounding Melania Trump's GOP convention speech has dominated the media for the past 36 hours. Side-by-side comparisons with Michelle Obama's 2008 convention speech have been shown again and again on cable news.</p> <p>It's not just the national media, however. As the absolutely brutal clip above makes clear, this is one of the select group of political controversies that breaks through to local newscasts. KUSA 9News&mdash;the largest NBC station in the swing state of Colorado&mdash;<a href="" target="_blank">interviewed Maggie Flynn</a>, a 7th grade English teacher, to determine once and for all whether Trump's speech was plagiarized. With red pen in hand, Flynn marks up the speech and gives Trump a failing grade. She even announces that the controversy has provided her with a brand new "easy way to teach what plagiarism looks like." You can watch the segment above.</p> <p>And, just to show you how big this story has become, <a href="" target="_blank">here's yet another 9News segment</a>. This one examines the long history of political plagiarism scandals, including ones involving President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.</p> <p><iframe height="354" src=";type=video&amp;title=Political%20plagiarism%20has%20happened%20before&amp;site=73&amp;playerid=6918249996581&amp;dfpid=32805352&amp;dfpposition=Video_prestream_external%C3%82%C2%A7ion=home" style="border-width:0" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> Politics Top Stories Republican National Convention Wed, 20 Jul 2016 15:20:00 +0000 Jeremy Schulman 309551 at Donald Trump Finally Released a Plan to Fight Global Warming <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>This is Donald Trump's public position on climate change:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.</p> &mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="">November 6, 2012</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>More recently, Trump <a href="" target="_blank">has claimed</a> that this tweet was some sort of joke, but regardless, he's repeatedly called global warming a "hoax." So it was astounding to read in <em>Politico</em> Monday morning that the real estate mogul is trying to persuade government officials in Ireland to allow him to "build a sea wall designed to protect one of his golf courses from 'global warming and its effects.'" <a href="" target="_blank">According to <em>Politico</em></a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>The New York billionaire is applying for permission to erect a coastal protection works to prevent erosion at his seaside golf resort, Trump International Golf Links &amp; Hotel Ireland, in County Clare.</p> <p>A permit application for the wall, filed by Trump International Golf Links Ireland and reviewed by POLITICO, explicitly cites global warming and its consequences&mdash;increased erosion due to rising sea levels and extreme weather this century&mdash;as a chief justification for building the structure.</p> <p>[&hellip;]</p> <p>Days before he concluded his purchase [of the golf club in 2014], a single storm eroded as much as eight meters of frontage in some parts of the golf course. Since acquiring the property, Trump has been trying to build coastal protection works to prevent further erosion.</p> </blockquote> <p>Earlier this month, Trump's golf club submitted an application to local officials in County Clare, Ireland, in an attempt to gain approval for the sea wall. An environmental impact statement accompanying the filing argued that if little or nothing is done to combat the coastal erosion, "the existing erosion rate will continue and worsen, due to sea level rise, in the next coming years, posing a real and immediate risk to most of the golf course frontage and assets."</p> <p>Trump's spokesperson didn't respond to <em>Politico's </em>request for comment, and she didn't immediately respond to me, either. But it's pretty hard to see how anyone could reconcile Trump's sudden interest in climate resilience with, say, this:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">NBC News just called it the great freeze - coldest weather in years. Is our country still spending money on the GLOBAL WARMING HOAX?</p> &mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="">January 25, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>And it's not just sea level rise that apparently has Trump concerned. <em>Politico </em>reports that the golf club distributed a document to residents of the area warning that coastal protections will also be needed to defend against "more frequent storm events [that] will increase the rate of erosion throughout the 21st century." Which seems like a bit of a departure from this:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Any and all weather events are used by the GLOBAL WARMING HOAXSTERS to justify higher taxes to save our planet! They don't believe it $$$$!</p> &mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="">January 26, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Of course, this isn't the only Trump-branded facility that is threatened by climate change. Check out these <a href="" target="_blank">amazing gifs that BuzzFeed created</a> to show what sea level rise could do to Trump resorts in the United States.</p></body></html> Environment 2016 Elections Climate Change Climate Desk Donald Trump Top Stories Infrastructure Mon, 23 May 2016 16:10:41 +0000 Jeremy Schulman 304621 at 20 Percent of Plant Species Could Go Extinct <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>One out of every five plant species on Earth is now threatened with extinction. That's the disturbing conclusion of a <a href="" target="_blank">major report released this week</a> by scientists at Britain's Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. The planet's vegetation&mdash;from grasslands to deserts to tropical rainforests&mdash;is being hit hard by human activity. And deforestation, pollution, agriculture, and climate change are all playing a role.</p> <p>The sliver of good news, though, is that some researchers are hopeful that people will be able to act in time to avert the worst of the impending crisis. "I am reasonably optimistic," said Kathy Willis, Kew's science director, in an interview with our partners at <a href="" target="_blank">the <em>Guardian</em></a>. "Once you know [about a problem], you can do something about it. The biggest problem is not knowing."</p> <p>But others take a darker view. "Regardless of what humans do to the climate, there will still be a rock orbiting the sun," said University of Hawaii scientist Hope Jahren in a recent interview with Indre Viskotas on the <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Inquiring Minds </em>podcast</a>. Jahren is a geobiologist&mdash;she studies how the earth ("geo") and life ("bio") come together to shape our world. "I'm interested in how the parts of the planet that aren't alive&mdash;rocks and rivers and rain and clouds&mdash;turn into the&hellip;parts of the world that are alive: leaves and moss and the things that eat those things," she explains. And what she's seeing isn't good. "We are already seeing extinctions," she says. "We're already seeing the balance of who can thrive and who can't thrive in&hellip;the plant world radically shifted. In a lot of ways, I think that train has passed." You can listen to her full interview below:</p> <p><iframe scrolling="no" src="" style="width: 100%; height: 200px; border: 0 none;"></iframe></p> <p>Jahren, who is the author of a new book called <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Lab Girl</em></a>, was recently included on <em>Time </em>magazine's list of the <a href="" target="_blank">100 most influential people</a>. She's also an <a href="" target="_blank">outspoken voice</a> for gender equality and the fight against sexual harassment and assault in the scientific community.</p> <p>Part of <a href="" target="_blank">Jahren's work</a> has focused on reconstructing the climate of the <a href="" target="_blank">Eocene</a>, the geologic epoch that lasted from about 56 million years ago to about 34 million years ago. In the middle of that period, about 45 million years ago, the world was so warm that massive deciduous forests were growing above the Arctic Circle&mdash;despite the fact that, as Jahren points out, the region saw little-to-no sunshine for part of the year. Jahren and her colleagues study fossilized plant tissues left over from these ancient forests in order to understand how the climatic factors of the time&mdash;light levels, atmospheric composition, water, etc.&mdash;combined to "make possible this life in the darkness." She compares her work to investigating a crime scene. "Almost anything you come upon could have information in it," she says.</p> <p>Jahren's description of a lush Arctic full of plants and animals is striking. Imagining that world, she says, is "a really neat thing to do when you're&hellip;juxtaposing that image against that fact that you're near the North Pole, and there's not a soul in sight for thousands of miles, and there's not a green thing in sight for hundreds of miles." That may be one of the reasons why she speaks so passionately about environmental destruction in the present day. "The world breaks a little bit every time we cut down a tree," she says. "It's so much easier to cut one down than to grow one. And so it's worth interrogating every time we do it."</p> <p>In the end, though, Jahren isn't sure that science will lead humanity to make better decisions about the planet. Instead, she says, "I think my job is to leave some evidence for future generations that there was somebody who cared while we were destroying everything."</p> <p name="b990"><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Inquiring Minds</a><em> is a podcast hosted by neuroscientist and musician Indre Viskontas and Kishore Hari, the director of the Bay Area Science Festival. To catch future shows right when they are released, subscribe to </em>Inquiring Minds <em>via </em><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><em>iTunes</em></a><em> or</em> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><em>RSS</em></a><em>. </em><em>You can follow the show on Twitter at </em><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><em>@inquiringshow</em></a><em>, </em><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><em>like us on Facebook</em></a><em>, and check out show notes and other cool stuff on <a href="" target="_blank">Tumblr</a>.</em></p></body></html> Environment Podcasts Climate Change Climate Desk Science Top Stories Inquiring Minds Thu, 12 May 2016 12:31:32 +0000 Jeremy Schulman 303776 at