Wednesday, May 7, 2014

  • Foretelling Devastating Impact, Will White House Climate Report Spark Action on Global Warming?

    Scorched_america02

    A new report warns human-driven climate change is having dramatic health, ecological and financial impacts across United States. The White House’s "National Climate Assessment" details how the consequences of climate change are hitting on several fronts — rising sea levels along the coasts, droughts and fires in the Southwest, and extreme rainfall across the country. It warns that unless greenhouse emissions are curbed, U.S. temperatures could increase up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century. Reportedly the largest, most comprehensive U.S.-focused climate change study ever produced, the report is being called a possible "game changer" for efforts to address climate change. We speak with Radley Horton, a climatologist at the Center for Climate Systems Research at Columbia University, who co-wrote the Northeast region chapter of the National Climate Assessment. "This report really tells the story very succinctly about how all Americans will be impacted by climate change," Horton says. "It’s a nonpartisan issue."

  • Stanford Divests: Student-Led Movement Forces Elite School to Pull Its Money from Coal Companies

    Diveststanford

    One of the country’s most prestigious universities, with one of the world’s largest endowments, has joined the student-led movement to divest from the fossil fuel industry. Stanford University’s Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to stop investing in coal-mining companies because of climate change concerns. The board said it acted in accordance with guidelines that let them consider whether "corporate policies or practices create substantial social injury" when choosing investments. Stanford’s endowment is valued at $18.7 billion. The move comes as the divestment movement heats up across the country. Seven students at Washington University in St. Louis were arrested last week following a 17-day sit-in calling on the school’s board of trustees to cut ties with coal industry giant Peabody Energy. Also last week, students at Harvard blockaded the office of Harvard President Drew Faust. We are joined by Stanford University junior Michael Peñuelas, one of the lead student organizers with Fossil Free Stanford.

  • Will Dark Money Reshape North Carolina Political Landscape from Senate Race to State Supreme Court?

    Northcarolinadarkmoney

    In one of the first closely watched races of the 2014 primary season, North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis has won the Republican Senate nomination. Tillis will face Democratic Senator Kay Hagan in November in a race that could decide which party controls the U.S. Senate. The North Carolina primary drew national attention pitting Tillis, backed by much of the Republican establishment, against candidates with close ties to the tea party and religious right. As speaker of the North Carolina House, Tillis was a frequent target of the Moral Monday protests over the past two years. Primaries were also held Tuesday to determine who will sit on the state’s Supreme Court. The races have gained national attention because millions of dollars from outside groups have poured in to the state to back conservative candidates. One TV ad bought by a secretive outside group accused state Supreme Court Judge Robin Hudson of being "not tough on child molesters." North Carolina is one of 22 states where judges on higher courts are elected rather than appointed. We are joined from North Carolina by Chris Kromm, executive director of the Institute for Southern Studies.