The ongoing Six Americas study, a nation-wide report conducted by Yale and George Mason Universities which reviews how Americans think about climate change, released its most recent results in late June. The study breaks Americans into six categories based on their level of belief in, and concern over, human-induced climate change, ranging from the alarmed to the dismissive. This most recent iteration found that while government agencies such as NOAA are perceived as trustworthy sources of information about climate change, politicians are generally treated skeptically. While 25% of Americans fell into either the doubtful or dismissive categories, 39% were identified as either alarmed or concerned about climate change.
EPA Grants Biomass a Final Reprieve from CO2 Rules, NY Times, July 5
The EPA has finalized its plan to exempt biomass from rules which require large stationary sources of CO2 (25,000 tons of GHGs per year or more) to purchase permits, a rule which aims to use best practices and efficient technologies to reduce emissions. Because of the complexity of biomass (although biomass could replace fossil fuel sources and thereby reduce emissions, perverse incentives could encourage the destruction of live forests), the EPA has requested more time to study the life-cycle emissions associated with biomass and to determine rules for accounting biomass emissions.
Europe ‘Falling Behind’ in Green Investment Race, The Guardian, July 7
Investment in the ‘green investment race’ fell by one fifth in Europe, while such investment in the developing world was particularly strong: in India, Latin America, and especially in China, green investment was strong, with almost $50 billion coming from China alone, compared to only $35 billion in financial sector investment in Europe.
Climate Change and Disaster in Montana, LA Times, July 7
According to Exxon and government officials, the oil spill that has devastated the Yellow Stone riverbed was exacerbated by the unusual flooding of the Yellowstone River earlier this year, as oiled water reached farmland and hindered cleanup efforts. In addition, the spill may have been caused in part by the flood as fast-moving waters exposed the pipes to debris. Although no single flooding event can be linked to climate change, the recent flooding was certainly a result of record rainfall and runoff from heavy snowfall. Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and intensity of rain and snowfall in certain regions.