Earth Day 2021: Climate Summit and Action to Restore Our Earth

On Earth Day President Joe Biden is convening a historic two-day virtual climate summit that heralds the return of the United States to the forefront of the climate fight. On April 20-22, Chinese General Secretary Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin will come together with and 38 other world leaders to discuss global efforts to address climate change. The leaders of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate are all invited which includes the 17 countries responsible for about 80 percent of global emissions and GDP. It also includes the heads of countries that are especially vulnerable to...

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GOP’s Voter Suppression Efforts Underscore the Need for Electoral Reform

In an epic showdown, Democrats are trying to protect democracy from Republican efforts to suppress the vote.  While Republicans are working feverishly to undermine voting rights in state legislatures across the country, Democrats are advancing electoral reforms at the federal level.  The calls for electoral reforms grew louder in the wake of the Republican coup attempt, and the former president's call for an insurrection. The GOP has launched what has been described as the broadest assault on voting rights since the Jim Crow era. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, lawmakers in 43 states have crafted more than 253 bills that...

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Carbon Emissions – Red States and Blue States (Infographic)

Red states produce and consume more carbon than blue states. This holds true for both Republican state economies and the lifestyle choices of citizens in red states. GOP-controlled states produce and burn more fossil fuels than their blue counterparts. The 26 mostly red states that generate the highest levels of carbon pollution (including per capita emissions) are concentrated in the Deep South, Appalachia, and the Great Plains. Texas is the nation's largest domestic oil producer and they also have the largest carbon footprint. Texas has almost twice the level of emissions compared to second-place California even though the latter has...

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China’s Climate Leadership?

Chinese President Xi Jinping has put the development of an "ecological civilization" at the core of his policies and he is calling other nations to embark on a "green revolution" as part of global recovery efforts. China's ambitious climate action plan is at the core of the nation's most recent five-year plan.  President Xi has indicated that China's emissions will peak before 2030 and the nation will be carbon neutral by 2060.  To achieve these goals China will need to massively increase clean energy infrastructure alongside equally massive reductions in the nation's reliance on fossil fuel.  Decarbonization is at the...

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A Review of Biden’s Climate Plan

In his first week as president, Joe Biden's climate plan did more for climate action than his predecessor did in four years. On January 27th U.S. President Joe Biden signed a raft of executive actions. that focus on the interrelated issues of climate change, environmental justice, infrastructure investments and job creation. These moves build on the executive actions he signed on his first day in office. This includes beginning the process of reversing the environmentally destructive legacy of his predecessor.  At a January 27th press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, "President Biden is continuing to follow through...

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Biden Gets to Work on Climate Action

On Wednesday January 20th America started writing a new chapter in the nation's long and storied history.  On day one new U.S. President Joe Biden began dismantling the failed legacy of his predecessor. Within hours of being inaugurated Biden rejoined the Paris accord, killed the Keystone XL pipeline and ended drilling in the Artic wildlife refuge. Biden undid his predecessors regulatory approval process and instructed the OMB director to develop recommendations to modernize regulatory review. Biden has also taken executive actions designed to depoliticize the Justice Department. Going forward all executive branch appointees must sign an ethics pledge barring them from...

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Taking Stock of Trump’s Dismal Legacy

The presidency of Donald J Trump ended as it began, with dysfunction and narcissistic self-preoccupation. Trump's presidency is a stain that will not wash. His four years in office have been defined by divisiveness, lies, corruption and abject failure. Trump will live in infamy for his insurrection, his complicity in the spread of COVID-19 and his exacerbation of climate change. It was not only that Trump defied all the norms of the executive branch, it is that he systematically tried to dismantle the institutions he was charged to oversee. He may not be remembered for the misogyny in the Access Hollywood...

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Trump Leads an Insurrection after He and the GOP are Rejected in a Historic Election

January 6, 2021 is a historic day, it is also a day that will live in infamy.  The day that started with historic electoral victories and ended with a mob sacking the Capitol of the world's oldest democracy. After a decisive victory in the general election, Georgia voters gave Democrats control of the Senate, then came the insurrection call from the outgoing commander-and-chief.  Early Wednesday morning, it was already clear that Democratic challenger Rev. Raphael Warnock had defeated Republican incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler. Later that day, Democrat Jon Ossoff was declared the winner against Republican incumbent David Perdue. These are...

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American Courts are Defending Democracy and the Environment

Despite unprecedented challenges, America's legal system has held. In recent weeks the courts have repeatedly defended democracy and in the last four years they have overturned a wide range of environmental assaults. The stacking of the Supreme Court with conservative justices did not prevent the highest court in the land from rebuffing baseless accusations of voter fraud. Dozens of lower court rulings have also denied lawsuits designed to overturn election results. Trump and his allies are currently 1 for 59 in their legal efforts to subvert democracy. The Supreme Court denied Texas' petition to invalidate election results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania,...

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Boycott Culture and Brand Influence During Trump’s Presidency and Beyond

Brands wield enormous influence over popular culture and whether they are pursuing core social values or trying to preempt boycotts, brands are finding it harder to ignore social, environmental and political issues. Boycott culture has grown since Donald Trump emerged as a candidate in 2015. Trump has repeatedly used his office to advocate boycotts as have anti-Trump advocates. Earlier this year Trump called for a boycott of Goodyear after company guidelines were leaked that instructed employees to avoid wearing politically affiliated attire including MAGA hats. Goodyear issued a  nuanced statement that read as follows, "we ask that associates refrain from workplace...

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