Daily Daily PlanetWatch for Tuesday, July 30

Thomas Schueneman

Thinking about the latest environmental news headlines every weekday afternoon from the Daily PlanetWatch
  • Selling oxygen. It's not that Brazil doesn't understand the importance of the Amazon Rainforest in the global ecosystem. In fact, you're breathing some of its oxygen right now, and Brazil wants to charge you for the privilege. Affirming that the Amazon is known as the "lungs of the planet," Brazilian Economic Minister Paulo Guedes thinks Brazil proposes the idea of "oxygen ownership".  Hey! That breath you just took wasn't yours! You owe me!
  • Your science does not comport. "Two words that national security professionals abhor are uncertainty and surprise, and there's no question that the changing climate promises ample amounts of both," writes Dr. Rod Schoonover in the New York Times. He tells the story of why he left his job as an analyst for the State Department.

    For more than a decade at least, top military and intelligence strategists have warned of the global threat presented by environmental degradation and climate change. That is old news. Scientific and strategic analysis can only inform policy, but only when it is not censured and hidden from public view.

    For ten years, Dr. Schoonover worked in the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research. "I enjoyed the apolitical nature of our work," says Schoonover. While he had some qualms about Trumps policy, "no one had ever tried to influence my work or conclusions". That all changed last month when the White House shut down Schoonover's written testimony on the national security implications of climate change. The reason given by the administration is that "the scientific foundation of the analysis did not comport with the administration's position on climate change".

    After much 11th-hour back-and-forth between the White House and State Department, Dr. Schoonover was allowed to give a 5-minute verbal summary of the 11-page written testimony. Congress was denied access to the full summary analysis.
    As if climate change gives a damn about what Trump thinks. Does not comport.
  • Solar means business. The continuing assertion from some quarters of society that renewable energy isn't economically viable is a false a false narrative. Writing in Triple Pundit, Tina Casey explains why.

The Daily PlanetWatch is updated every 24 hours Monday through Friday. Here is our latest issue:

How you can support the Daily PlanetWatch