Beto O'Rourke just hired a "senior advisor" who used to lobby for Keystone XL, Seaworld and private prisons

Jeff Berman's got a new job! The former Obama/Clinton staffer is now Beto O'Rourke's senior advisor, having moved laterally from his post-Obama-campaign career working for the DC lobbyists Bryan Cave, where he lobbied on behalf of Seaworld, the Keystone XL pileline and the private prison industry. Read the rest

Pompeo: Arctic ice melting means 'new opportunities for trade’

Trump's Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday gave a speech in which he praised the Arctic region's rapidly shrinking sea ice for all the economic opportunities the melting waterways present to shipping commerce. No mention of climate change or any risks from anthropogenic changes at all, nothing bad, just new trade routes. Read the rest

NYC adopts law targeting the handful of skyscrapers that are spiking the city's carbon footprint

New York City's just-passed Climate Mobilization Act rolls up six climate-mitigation laws that comprehensively remake the city's approach to climate change (it's colloquially known as the Green New York Deal). Read the rest

Polar bear got lost in Russia, hundreds of miles from home [video, photo]

“Environmentalists say the bear could have lost its bearings while drifting on an ice floe.”

The Pinkertons' plan for climate change: a mercenary army that guards one-percenters as the seas rise

The Pinkertons rose to notoriety as a vicious army of mercenary strikebreakers who beat and murdered working people who stood up to robber barons like Andrew Carnegie; now they are a division of Securitas, a global private security giant at the forefront of profiting from human misery. Read the rest

UN partnership backs "floating city" research

Floating communities aren't just for libertarian billionaires looking for places to do things they might not otherwise get away with. A UN partnership is looking into whether they could be part of a sustainable urban development program, for when the floods roll over the lowlands and don't go away. Read the rest

#JoinJuliana: Kids suing U.S. government over climate change need your help

'They said we could never win. And then we started winning.' — Young people around the U.S. are taking legal action in the fight against climate change. #JoinJuliana

NOAA says 2018 was 4th warmest year on record, in an undeniable global warming trend

2018 was the fourth warmest year ever recorded on planet Earth, NOAA reported today. Read the rest

Manhattan-sized hole opens up under Antarctic glacier

A massive cavity so large you could fit New York City inside of it has opened up under Thwaites glacier in Antarctica. Scientists say if it collapses, as it's likely to do within the next 50 to 100 years, it could cause a catastrophic rise in sea levels capable of flood coastal cities around the world. Read the rest

Trump picks former oil lobbyist David Bernhardt to run U.S. Interior Department

They're just gonna drill everything they can while Trump's in power, aren't they. Read the rest

1,500 private jets coming to Davos

Even though jet travel is a major contributor to global warming, the pluto-kakisto-klepto-cracy coming to the World Economic Forum in Davos will arrive in an estimated 1,500 private jets. One of the topics that the 0.001% will be discussing at the Swiss Ski resort is global warming.

From Inquisitr:

In general, private jet travel to the event has increased by about 11 percent year over year, according to the Air Charter Service (ACS), which charters aircraft for cargo and private use.

“There appears to be a trend towards larger aircraft, with expensive heavy jets the aircraft of choice,” said Andy Christie, private jets director at the ACS. “Gulfstream GVs and Global Expresses [were] both used more than 100 times each last year.”

Image: Tyler Olson/Shutterstock Read the rest

Pantone chose this 'life-affirming' shade as 2019's Color of the Year

In 2019, we'll move out of Ultra Violet and into Living Coral, according to the Pantone Color Institute. Their color experts have determined that their Color of the Year will be the "vibrant, yet mellow" PANTONE 16-1546.

Here's what they have to say about this "life-affirming" shade:

In reaction to the onslaught of digital technology and social media increasingly embedding into daily life, we are seeking authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy. Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity. Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral embodies our desire for playful expression.

Representing the fusion of modern life, PANTONE Living Coral is a nurturing color that appears in our natural surroundings and at the same time, displays a lively presence within social media.

How do they come to pick their Color of Year? Well, they write that "the selection process requires thoughtful consideration and trend analysis" and that their color experts "comb the world looking for new color influences."

Don't get me wrong, it's a lovely color, but the cynic in me is screaming, "But climate change is bleaching the coral reefs!"

(After I wrote this up, I found this searing Slate article that agrees with me, "Pantone might as well have named it 'The Rare Coral That Has Not Yet Been Bleached, as It Inevitably Someday Will in This Increasingly Toxic Toilet Bowl We Call Earth.'")

images via Pantone

(It's Nice That) Read the rest

California Fires: Why doesn't cable news cover them as much as East Coast hurricanes?

It's not your imagination. The big cable news networks like CNN, MSNBC, and Fox pay way more attention to hurricanes and extreme weather on the east coast than they do to major firestorms in California, like the recent Camp and Woolsey fires. But why? Read the rest

California Fires: 83% of Santa Monica Mountains federal parkland burned by Woolsey Fire

In addition to destroying hundreds of homes and claiming human lives, the Woolsey Fire that began last Thursday burned 83% of federal park land in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, per Cal Fire. Read the rest

I’m suing the U.S. government for causing the climate change crisis #YouthVGov

My name is Kelsey Juliana and I’m suing the United States government for causing and accelerating the climate change crisis. I’m 22 years old and I’ve been a climate advocate for more than half of my life. Read the rest

Extreme weather has caused Japan cherry blossoms to bloom in fall, when it's supposed to be in the spring

People flock to Japan in the spring in hopes of catching the cherry blossom season, which, in full bloom, lasts only about a week. This usually happens in April (although a bit earlier or later depending on the region and climate of the year). But never has there been a widespread cherry blossom season in the fall – until now.

Most likely because of Japan's recent two typhoons followed by warm weather, people have spotted cherry blossoms from "Kyushu, in western Japan, to Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s main islands," according to Smithsonian.

Hiroyuki Wada of the Flower Association of Japan tells NHK that the Yoshino cherry tree, which puts on a particularly lovely display of blossoms, buds in the summer, but hormones in the trees’ leaves stop the buds from opening until spring. This year, however, typhoons whipped the leaves from the cherry blossom trees, or otherwise exposed the trees to salt that caused their leaves to wither. The lack of hormones to keep the buds in check, coupled with warm temperatures that followed the storms, prompted the buds to blossom.

“This has happened in the past,” Wada tells NHK, “but I don’t remember seeing anything on this scale.”

Over the last 150 years, the season for cherry blossoms has been slowly moving its start time to an earlier date. "In Kyoto in 1850, for instance, the average bloom date was April 17. Today, the average date is around April 6." Unless, that is, it's an autumn blossom we're talking about. Read the rest

Slaves - including children - make the bricks for Cambodia's housing bubble

Two bedroom apartments in Phnom Penh start at $260,000 -- equivalent to 2,000 years' worth of average annual wages for Cambodia's workers. Read the rest

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