Leaked climate e-mails make waves in Congress
A row over leaked emails from a British scientist hinting at a global warming cover-up has reached the US Congress, where climate change skeptics are seeking to thwart key legislation.
British Professor Phil Jones has stood aside as director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, after his emails calling into question the scientific basis for climate change fears were leaked.
Hackers had penetrated the center’s network and posted online thousands of emails from researchers, including Jones, ahead of a landmark Copenhagen summit which opens next week.
The leader of a US group of so-called “climatology skeptics”, Republican Representative James Sensenbrenner, said “if the emails are genuine it is very disturbing because they call into question the whole science of climate change.”
He told the House committee on energy independence and global warming that data from the East Anglia university had “been used as a basis for the IPCC report as well as for the US global research program.”
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) benchmarks for CO2 concentrations in a 2007 report serve as a guidepost for the UN-backed talks in Copenhagen.
The e-mails showed “an increasing evidence that scientific fascism is going on,” Sensenbrenner added.
“As policy makers are making decisions about the state of the American economy for the next several generations, we have to have accurate science and it appears that there is enough questions on whether the science we have is accurate.”
Skeptics, including many Republicans, say global temperatures may be warming naturally, and argue the costs of implementing legislation to curb greenhouse gas emissions will be too heavy for American industry.
US President Barack Obama is to attend the Copenhagen climate conference next week with an offer to cut US emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020.
The White House has said Obama would also lay out a longer-term plan for a 30 percent reduction of US emissions from 2005 levels by 2025, a 42 percent reduction by 2030 and an 83 percent cut by 2050.
The United States is the world’s second largest greenhouse gas emitter.
Greta Thunberg slams climate change inaction as Davos awaits Trump
Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg on Tuesday slammed global inaction on climate change in front of the world's top business leaders, as the annual Davos forum faced up to the perils of global warming while bracing for an address from US President Donald Trump.
The 50th meeting of the World Economic Forum in the Swiss Alps resort got under way seeking to meet head-on the dangers to both the environment and economy from the heating of the planet.
Trump, who has repeatedly expressed scepticism about climate change, is set to give the first keynote address of Davos 2020 on Tuesday morning, on the same day as his impeachment trial opens at the Senate in Washington.
Trump arrives in Davos hours before impeachment trial reopens
US President Donald Trump arrived in Davos on Tuesday for the annual WEF forum, where he was to give a keynote speech just hours before his impeachment trial kicks into high gear in Washington.
Trump's Marine One helicopter touched down in the picturesque Swiss ski resort shortly ahead of his scheduled speech to the World Economic Forum, which this year is focusing on climate change.
He was also due to meet separately with the president of Iraq, Pakistan's prime minister and the head of the European Union executive body.
Meanwhile in Washington, Trump's impeachment enters a new phase in the Senate with legislators debating the format for the trial.
These corporations are spending the most to undo our democracy — thanks to Citizens United
It has now been exactly 10 years since the U.S. Supreme Court opened the floodgates for special-interest political advertising in its Citizens United ruling. To mark the occasion, the Center for Responsive Politics has published an excellent report detailing how political spending has changed over the last decade.
One significant finding is that, although Citizens United overturned the prohibition on independent political expenditures by corporations, most companies have not taken advantage of that new right directly. The biggest surges in spending have come from wealthy individuals and from Super PACs.