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Green News Roundup: Week of July 12, 2013

12 Jul 2013  |   Amanda Giddon

Tags: General Environment

It was a big week for climate champion Rep. Henry Waxman, who released a report on Monday finding a “climate disconnect” between soaring temperatures and congressional voting records. With over 30k record high temps in US in 2012 climate change deniers continue to reject the science and cast anti-climate votes. [Energy Commerce]

Waxman also partnered up with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse in challenging the State Department’s climate impact analysis of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, making clear that the dirty energy project would have a substantial effect on climate. Go Whitehouse-Waxman! [Energy Commerce]

Keystone’s impact would also extend beyond climate. An eye-opening interactive map from the Huffington Post shares the stories of individuals living along the proposed path for Keystone XL, why they oppose the project, and how the pipeline could affect their livelihoods. [Huffington Post] 

Echoing Rep. Waxman’s climate report, a paper from the Harvard Economics Program found that there was a correlation between more extreme weather and increased frequency of pro-environment votes. However, the correlation weakened for members of Congress with LCV scorecard ratings of under 50.  Overall, we are encouraged by the general trend that members of Congress are more likely to vote for climate action when their home states experience extreme weather events. [Fierce Government]  

These analyses of Congressional voting records remind us that elections have consequences. As President Obama said in his climate speech, we should make climate action a prerequisite for our vote. This article by the Gainesville Sun tells us to “vote like the future depends on it.” 

Businesses should also innovate like the future depends on it, and Tom Matzzie’s new company Ethical Electric is doing just that. Ethical Electric powers American homes and businesses with 100% clean energy from renewable sources. But there is something else that sets this energy company apart – political activism. One percent of every dollar earned is spent on progressive political causes. [Green Tech Media]

China and the U.S. have continued what Grist calls their “climate-protecting love affair,” a relationship that appears to be getting serious. China and the U.S. agreed to cooperate on 5 initiates to reduced Greenhouse Gas emissions on Wednesday, following last months agreement between Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping to reduce climate-changing HFC emissions. [Grist]

President Obama could soon get another ally in combating the climate crisis. Senator David Vitter has dropped his threat of a filibuster, allowing an up-or-down vote to confirm Gina McCarthy to lead the EPA. As the New York Times said, “This is welcome news, not just for the agency but for the planet.” [New York Times]

An article appeared in Grist this week highlighting “five gorgeous landmarks threatened by rising seas.” The National Trust for Historic Preservation identified these historic sites as locations it considers most susceptible to flooding due to sea level rise. Climate action may be the only solution to keep these prized landmarks afloat.  [Grist]

(Photo found on spanginator Flickr page)

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