President Donald Trump has falsely called climate change a “hoax” invented by China, incorrectly suggested that wind turbines cause cancer and dismissed a landmark scientific report produced by the federal government’s own scientists. His Administration has sought to roll back key climate regulations at every turn.
That didn’t stop him from holding an event Monday afternoon to argue for his environmental record as he heads into a tough re-election campaign.
Speaking from the White House, Trump made a number of arguments, ranging from standard boasts about the state of the economy to dubious claims that the United States has some of the world’s cleanest air and water.
But one claim stood out as particularly surprising: Trump specifically cited a reduction in climate change-causing carbon dioxide emissions and bragged that the U.S. has exceeded other countries in nixing greenhouse gas emissions. “Every single one of the signatories to the Paris climate accord lags behind America,” he said.
As Europe heats up, Greenland melts and the Midwest floods, many news organizations are devoting more resources to climate change as they cover the topic with more urgency.
In Florida, six newsrooms with different owners have taken the unusual step of pooling their resources and sharing their reporting on the issue. They plan to examine how climate change will affect the state’s enormous agriculture sector as well as “the future of coastal towns and cities — which ones survive, which ones go under,” according to a statement released when the initiative was announced last month.
Florida’s record-breaking heat waves, devastating storms like Hurricane Michael and increased flooding at high tide have not been lost on Mindy Marques, the publisher and executive editor of The Miami Herald, one of the six organizations taking part in the effort.
“It’s undeniable that we are living with the impact of changes in our climate every day,” Ms. Marques said.
Allowing the earth’s forests to recover could soak up a significant amount of humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to new research.
The worldwide assessment of current and potential forestation using satellite imagery appeared Thursday in the journal Science. It estimates that letting saplings regrow on land where forests have been cleared would increase global forested area by one-third and remove 205 billion metric tons of carbon from the atmosphere. That’s two-thirds of the roughly 300 billion metric tons of carbon humans have put up there since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution.
“The point is that [reforestation is] so much more vastly powerful than anyone ever expected,” said Thomas Crowther, a professor of environmental systems science at ETH Zurich and a co-author of the paper. “By far, it’s the top climate change solution in terms of carbon storage potential.”
Some climate scientists who were not involved with the study disagree with its calculations and are warning against its “silver bullet” message. Still, supporting natural systems that can soak up carbon is widely accepted as a major component of any climate change mitigation strategy — in addition to deploying clean energy, switching to electric vehicles, and curbing consumption overall.
Rising sea levels will create the need for more than $3 billion in new sea walls in Sarasota and Manatee counties by 2040, according to a new report that highlights the fiscal threat climate change poses to Southwest Florida.
The data compiled by the Center for Climate Integrity, an environmental activist group, raises questions about how communities will afford the enormous costs of climate change.
As a low-lying peninsula, Florida is especially susceptible to the effects of rising seas. Florida has more coastline than any state other than Alaska, and armoring much of it to protect against sea level rise will be hugely expensive, costing roughly $76 billion statewide by 2040, according to the report.
Florida’s price tag for sea wall construction is nearly double the cost faced by Louisiana, the state that will need the next-highest amount of coastal armoring by 2040.
“The Invading Sea” is a collaboration of four South Florida media organizations — the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Miami Herald, Palm Beach Post and WLRN Public Media.
The Invading Sea is a non-partisan source for news, commentary and educational content about climate change and other environmental issues affecting Florida. The site is managed by Florida Atlantic University’s Center for Environmental Studies in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. Read more