climate emergency

climate emergency

Top Story Weekly Briefing

North Carolina climate change deniers owe the world an apology

As you’ve no doubt noticed, our state, nation and planet are experiencing yet another summer of record heat and intense storms. As scientists have been explaining and predicting for decades, climate change resulting from carbon-pollution-driven global warming is altering weather patterns and spurring big and deeply problematic changes in the Earth’s environment.

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Environment News Top Story

Old-growth trees on federal lands at risk despite Biden order, environmentalists say

Century-old trees in NC are on the hit list; could be clear-cut before protections take effect Plans for commercial logging of old-growth forests on federal lands have moved forward this year, despite an executive order signed on Earth Day by President Joe Biden, according to a report from environmental groups published Tuesday.

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Congress Environment Law and the Courts News Top Story

U.S. Supreme Court curbs federal power to regulate greenhouse gases, in blow to Biden

 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday the Environmental Protection Agency does not have the authority to regulate greenhouse gases as pollutants, siding with a group of Republican attorneys general and coal companies in a major blow to the executive branch’s power to curb climate change.

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Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
Top Story Weekly Briefing

The five freedoms we must champion in the New Year

Eighty-one years ago this week, President Franklin Roosevelt delivered what was, from a substantive perspective, the most important speech of his unique and remarkable presidency. While the 1933 inaugural speech (“We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”) is almost certainly better known, FDR’s January 6, 1941 address to Congress – commonly referred to as the “Four Freedoms Speech” – is now rightfully remembered...

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Original Commentary Top Story Weekly Briefing

Toyota deal highlights the political right’s detachment from reality on the seminal issue confronting humanity

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in North Carolina – or, at least, the Christmas we’ve come increasingly to expect. This week’s forecast shows high temperatures will average in the 70s on multiple days. Meanwhile, across the nation and the globe, similar weather events that would have been seen as extraordinary in past decades have, increasingly and worrisomely, become the norm.

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Environment News Top Story

Obama at world climate conference: We are falling short

Returning to the world stage on climate change, former President Barack Obama on Monday told world leaders and young people gathered in Glasgow, Scotland, that time is running out to prevent life-threatening degradation of the planet’s climate, and he called on the world’s young people to demand better. “Collectively and individually, we are still falling short. We have not done nearly enough to address this crisis,” Obama said in an address broadcast from the main stage of the COP 26 world conference on climate.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

For the good of the country and the planet, Democrats in Congress must stick together

There are several hugely important items that were left out of the compromise domestic policy plan that President Biden urged Congress to pass last week before he left for the global climate change summit in Scotland. The list, which if common sense and broadly shared common good thinking had been ascendant in American politics and policy in recent years...

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Environment News Top Story

Special report: Americans in climate-threatened regions anxious for solutions from world summit

Flooded beach towns will be abandoned along millions of miles of coastlines. Islands will be inundated. It has already begun. Heat will become so oppressive that field workers can’t endure it and crops fail. It’s already happening.

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Environment Top Story

Offshore wind industry leaders ask Congress to back long-term plans to increase production

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is making a significant push for new offshore wind development to meet ambitious climate goals, but industry leaders say they also need long-term commitments and support from Congress to reach their potential. Leaders of the burgeoning U.S. offshore wind industry called on Congress to invest in renewables at a hearing of a House Energy and Commerce Committee panel Thursday.

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Education News Top Story

U.S. House committees advance ambitious education and climate initiatives

Proposals would fund universal pre-K and free community college, hasten shift to renewable energy WASHINGTON—Two important U.S. House committees advanced ambitious plans to address national education needs and the global climate emergency late last week.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

America dumbs down freedom, with disastrous consequences

Death and tragedy were front and center in the news again last week. In Winston-Salem, a young high school student was shot and killed by another child. Only a few hours later, tragedy was mercifully avoided at a Raleigh high school when two guns were taken from a student who had brought them to campus.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

State lawmaker’s take on climate change is sadly emblematic of a toxic worldview

It’s relatively rare that North Carolina lawmakers utter illuminating statements during committee discussions, but it happened last week at the Senate confirmation hearing for Governor Cooper’s latest nominee to head the Department of Environmental Quality, Elizabeth Biser. Paul Newton is a Republican senator from Cabarrus and Union Counties and during an exchange with Biser, he reiterated an argument that he and many others of the right have previously championed...

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Ideology, fear, and denial: the GOP and the state budget

By far the single most important legislation with which North Carolina elected leaders grapple each year is the state budget bill.  The budget details how the state will spend tens of billions of tax dollars on hundreds of core public services and structures and includes scores of other large and important changes to state law. Virtually all other priorities at the General Assembly pale in comparison.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

It’s time to say ‘no’ to the massive tax conservatives are imposing on Americans

As P.T. Barnum is so famously credited with observing a century and half ago, Americans can be a surprisingly credulous people. Whether it’s a circus sideshow curiosity, a new cure-all elixir or a supposedly surefire “get rich” scheme, ours is a nation of hopeful people who like to believe...

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

The legislature’s secret energy bill: For our children and grandchildren, we simply must do better

In these divided, tumultuous and, occasionally, frightening times we inhabit, one powerful source of shared solace and hope for people of all identities and beliefs is this: we humans love our children and grandchildren. We may differ sharply on countless social, political, religious and ethical issues, but when it comes to our kids and their future, there is precious little to distinguish two gay parents...

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