It’s gonna be a hot time on the Big Blue Marble if the GOP has its way.
We begin the presumptive presidential candidate, via the Associated Press:
Presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump unveiled an “America first” energy plan he said would unleash unfettered production of oil, coal, natural gas and other energy sources to push the United States toward energy independence.
Mr Trump promised on Thursday to cancel the Paris climate agreement and stop all payments of US tax money to a United Nations fund to mitigate effects of climate change worldwide.
He said he would do everything he could “free up the coal” and bring back thousands of coal jobs lost amid steep competition from cheaper natural gas and regulations designed to cut air pollution and reduce greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.
And then there’s the second place candidate, whose noxious schemes are no less inflammatory than the first place finisher.
From the Houston Chronicle:
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas called on the Justice Department to back off the oil industry, joining other Republican lawmakers asking Attorney General Loretta Lynch to drop any investigations into whether oil companies committed fraud in past statements downplaying the science and impact of climate change.
“The Obama administration and its allies in state attorney general offices across the country are threatening to use the power of government to intimidate and ultimately silence companies and researchers who do not agree with the government’s opinions about the allegedly harmful effects of climate change and what should be done about it,” Cruz, an unsuccessful Republican presidential candidate, said in a statement. “This is an abuse of power and a direct assault on the First Amendment.”
The Justice Department did not respond to a request for comment.
Next up, two different responses the the fate of the world’s rapidly bleaching coral reefs.
Al Jazeera English focuses on dirty tricks Down Under:
Australia’s government has intervened to have all references to the country removed from a United Nations report examining the effect of climate change on world heritage sites over concern it could have a negative impact on tourism.
The World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate report – released on Friday – has upset climate scientists, who were not informed that their contributions had been removed upon the request from Australia’s Department of the Environment.
Will Steffen, a climate scientist at the Australian National University, who had been asked to contribute to the report, told Al Jazeera from Canberra that the report was scientifically sound and would have had no effect on tourism.
“It simply put out the facts about what the risks were to the reef and what needed to be done to deal with those risks,” he told Al Jazeera.
“So to have that pulled out was quite a shocking event for us scientists down here in Australia. I think very few tourists would pick up a UNESCO report and read it before they decided where to go on their holidays.”
And, finally, the opposite approach, via the Guardian:
Thailand has shut down 10 popular diving sites in a bid to slow a coral bleaching crisis, an official said Thursday, in a rare move to shun tourism profits to protect the environment.
The tropical country’s southern coastline and string of islands are home to some of the world’s most prized white sand beaches and scuba sites, and the booming tourism industry props up Thailand’s lagging economy.
But warming waters and ever-growing swarms of visitors have damaged coral reefs and local ecosystems.
The National Parks department has now indefinitely closed at least 10 diving spots after a survey found bleaching on up to 80% of some reefs.