The Climate Crisis & The Inverted Pyramid

As extreme weather events caused by the climate crisis become more prevalent, reporters should make the cause-effect connections in their ledes or second paragraphs, not at THE END.

Reporters Can and Should Restructure Their Stories About Climate-Change-Related Severe Weather Events

About a month’s worth of rain fell on Washington, D.C. in one hour.

The torrent resulted “…in one of (the city’s) worst flooding events in years,” according to the Washington Post.

“The sheets of rain, with nowhere to run off, turned major roads into rivers while streams and creeks shot up 10 feet in less than an hour. The rushing water stranded scores of people in their vehicles, poured into businesses and the Metro systemsubmerged cars in parking lotsswamped basements and caused some roads to cave in, forming massive sinkholes,” the reporters wrote.

Climate change wasn’t mentioned until much later in the story, despite the proven connection between climate change and extreme weather events like this one.

Three days later, Bobby Magill, a national reporter for Bloomberg Environment, used their reporting as an example of stories mentioning climate change in the context of unprecedented weather events, suggesting reporters are already making the connection for readers.

Magill was on Climate Cast on Minnesota Public Radio. He was arguing that reporters shouldn’t be making decisions about whether a weather event is related to the climate crisis.

Just one problem –

Journalists make decisions about their stories every time they piece one together.

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The New Leaders on Climate Change

The next generation has been waiting, watching, listening… and getting frustrated about the lack of action on climate change by governments around the world. Now they’re taking the lead.

More Kudos to the Kids

Tomorrow is a big day for the planet.

The kids are stepping out and speaking out once again. They’re demanding action on global warming and climate change. They’re sick and tired of waiting around for my generation and the one before it to do all the things that should’ve long since been done.

Before today, they’ve filed a lawsuit against the government of the United State of America. They’ve walked out of school to protest inaction by governments around the world. And tomorrow, March 15, they’re walking out again, but in a more organized fashion.

This time it’s being billed by some as a “coming out party” for the international Youth Climate Strike, a movement that started with a 15-year-old girl who’s had enough.

I’ve written about the lawsuit before, giving the kids behind it a shout-out. Today, once again, I say…

Kudos to the Kids!

The youth of the United States and the world have been gathering steam for several years now, beginning even before 21 of them filed suit against the U.S. government for not acting on what it knew about global warming and its effects.

That was in 2015.

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North Dakota Legislature Should Pass Net Metering Bill

A Senate committee is expected to issue a “do not pass” recommendation on a net metering bill introduced by Sen. Merrill Piepkorn, D-44. The full Legislature should pass it, anyway. It’s the right thing to do.

SB 2322 Will Provide Universal Benefits

The N.D. Senate Industry, Business and Labor Committee is expected to issue a “do not pass” recommendation on a bill that would benefit farmers, ranchers, businesses, workers and homeowners. More importantly, it would limit negative impacts to the environment.

The committee heard testimony from environmental advocates, utilities and others on Tuesday, February 5, on Senate Bill 2322, which is related to net metering of electricity.

The purposes of the bill, introduced by Sen. Merrill Piepkorn, D-44, are to make it economical for utility customers to install expensive renewable energy generation equipment and provide more equitable reimbursement for customer-generated electricity by utilities across the state.

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Establishment Democrats – You Can’t Have It Both Ways

The new generation of progressives is here. Democratic Party, it’s time to listen and act on their priorities, and in the aggressive manner they demand.

“Their Judgement Cometh and That Right Soon”

I’ve been listening to Democrats bemoan disengagement by the younger generation for decades now. “Young people don’t vote,” they’ve whined, and, “young people don’t get involved.”

For a long time, they’ve been right.

Guess what. The young people have arrived. They’re voting. They’re getting involved. And they’re making their voices heard among Democrats and Republicans both.

But many establishment Democrats aren’t too happy about it.

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Top 10 Reasons to Become a North Dakota Progressive

Being a “progressive” in North Dakota is the greatest. Just check out all these kick-ass reasons to become one….

Being a “progressive” in North Dakota can be tough. No doubt about it.

This state is so deep red that even the sky is crimson a good part of the time. Especially around suppertime. What’s up with that? To be fair, it’s blue once in a while, too, but always a very light hue.

Even so, there are some things about being a “progressive” in North Dakota that are worth considering. Here are the top 10:

10. Enter a crowded room and you’ll always know exactly where you stand. Don’t worry, it doesn’t take long to get used to being alone in the corner…

9.  Few people around here really understand “progressive” – they’ve never seen one in real life – so you’ll be surrounded by an aura of mystery. The only downside is no one appreciates the sarcastic messages on your political T-shirts.

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North Dakota Moves to Weaken Bakken Crude Conditioning Rules

Five years after Casselton’s near miss with exploding oil cars, the North Dakota Industrial Commission is loosening rules for testing Bakken crude set to ship by rail. What do YOU think?

Industrial Commission Actions Come on 5th Anniversary of Casselton Explosions

Five years after railroad cars carrying Bakken crude oil derailed and exploded near Casselton, N.D., the N.D. Industrial Commission is weakening rules for conditioning oil destined for railroad transport.

The irony is so thick it cuts like Jack the Ripper’s blade through London fog.

But this ain’t London, folks.

It’s our own backyards.

Too Close to “An Ink Spot”

Rory Peterson, who runs the Hardware Hank in Casselton, was spot on when he commented recently to The Forum News Service about the explosions five years ago.

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Trump Assertions on Climate Change are a Global Joke

The Trump administration tried to pitch “clean fossil fuels” during a global climate change convention this week. The world is laughing at the USA. Again.

Other Nations Laughing – Literally – But Not in Good Humor

The world is laughing at us. Maybe not all of us, the people, but definitely at Donald Trump’s USA, especially when it comes to climate change.

If you doubt it, listen to the laughter at his surrogate during this final week of COP24, where he told people the Trump administration believes “clean” fossil fuels will play a significant role in the world’s energy future.

Image for link to National Public Radio story on COP24 climate change conference
Listen from 1:31 to about 2:11 to hear the lead-up and literal laughter.

COP24 is more formally known as the 24th Session of the of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The convention of nations, convened in Katowice, Poland, comes on the heels of two science-based global warming and climate change reports on the already devastating impacts and dire projections for the future.

Despite that, the Trump administration chose to use the occasion to talk about coal and oil.

Not. Even. Joking.

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Citizens’ Climate Lobby Offers Reasonable Approach to Addressing Climate Change

New climate change legislation championed by the Citizens’ Climate Lobby and introduced by three Democrats and two Republicans is a reasonable approach. We need to support it, call our representatives about it and talk about it with our neighbors.

New Legislation Backed by Members of Both Major Parties

You have to admire the audacity of the four volunteers from Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) who recently completed a “Climate Conversation Tour” of North Dakota.

This is a deep red state; 63 percent of voters here cast their ballots for Donald Trump in 2016. And Trump is the world’s most devout fossil fuel apostle, its greatest denier of human-caused global warming.

“I don’t believe it,” he infamously said a couple of weeks ago when the Fourth National Climate Assessment produced by 13 U.S. federal agencies provided a dire assessment for the United States.

“The report found that climate change will cost the US hundreds of billions of dollars annually and damage health,” the BBC reported.

Even so, the CCL volunteers – Paul Thompson and Mindy Ahler from the CCL’s North Wind Region and Brad and Linda Kingery from the Bemidji, Minn. chapter – came to North Dakota for six events in four communities to spur discussion about climate change and let people know about Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s efforts.

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Citizens’ Climate Lobby Brings “Climate Conversation Tour” to North Dakota

Volunteers from the North Wind Region of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby recently traveled to North Dakota for a “Climate Conversation Tour.” During six events, they discussed climate change and new legislation in the U.S. House to address it.

Volunteers Discuss Potential of New Carbon Dividend Legislation

Bi-partisan deliberation, collaboration and respect for opposing views are the keys to addressing climate change in meaningful ways, volunteers from Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) told a group in Fargo on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018.

Four volunteers from CCL’s North Wind Region visited North Dakota to kick-start the discussion here. Their Fargo presentation was the final stop in a week-long, six-event “climate conversation tour” of the state, which included a presentation of a new bill in Congress that could have a major impact on the release of carbon into the atmosphere.

“Wherever we go, interested people show up and are always curious about how Citizens’ Climate Lobby operates,” CCL North Wind Regional Coordinator Paul Thompson said. “The culture of North Dakota is unique due to its heavy dependence on fossil fuels. That’s why more bi-partisan discussion and training needs to happen here.”

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Green Assault

While we gawk at the Executive, the Legislative is decimating environmental protections.

170215_Green-Assault-1

Safe drinking water. Clean air. Wild lands that maintain plant and animal diversity. The very health of the planet itself.

They were all here, in great shape and in abundance before any of us arrived. In my judgment, they should all be here when we turn things over to our children and grandchildren.

If you agree, start paying attention. Not to the broad executive order strokes of 45, but to the details of what’s happening in Congress.

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