People, planet, and the path ahead

Trump team's approach to climate change: Emphasize uncertainty

In this edition: How President Trump's Cabinet nominees talk about climate; why Scott Pruitt sees an EPA in need of restraint; will Republicans curb Endangered Species Act?

What we're writing

U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke (R-MT), a former Navy SEAL commander, testifies before a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee confirmation hearing on his nomination to be Interior Secretary at Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 17, 2017.
Carlos Barria | Caption

On global warming, Trump nominees try having it both ways

Cabinet candidates aren't calling climate change a 'hoax,' but they're taking on climate science by emphasizing a lack of modeling precision and disagreements among scientists. // Zack Colman and Amanda Paulson 

Why the EPA nominee wants to be a political wrecking ball

Scott Pruitt has made a career of asserting states' rights against federal authority, primarily by suing the agency he may run. Now, he gets a chance to shift that balance. // Zack Colman

Endangered Species Act: get ready for big changes, says GOP

Republican lawmakers are preparing to roll back the influence of the Endangered Species Act, arguing that the law is an unnecessary hindrance to economic development. // Gretel Kauffman

Does the bald eagle's comeback spell bad news for other species?

The national bird has made a dramatic comeback in the last few decades. But now, the predator is seeking out livestock and even some endangered species as food. // Weston Williams

What we're reading

Climate Change in the American mind: post-election

The number of Americans "very worried" about climate change reached a record high (19 percent) since measurements began in 2008. // The Yale Program on Climate Change Communication

$500 million for the UN

Days before leaving office, the Obama administration gave half-a-billion dollars to the United Nations Green Climate Fund, which helps the poorest countries tackle the effects of climate change. President Trump has threatened to halt US contributions to the fund. // BBC

California releases sweeping plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

The plan, which aims to cut carbon emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, is being seen as a counter to the incoming Donald Trump administration. // Reuters

100-mile crack expands along Antarctic ice shelf

Only 12 miles of ice now connect an ice shelf larger than Rhode Island to Antarctica, researchers say. // Reuters

What's trending

2016 Officially declared hottest year on record

"[Consecutive annual records] are capturing the same signal. It's a pretty unmistakeable signal.... They're singing the same song, even if they're hitting different notes along the way." // Deke Arndt, chief of the monitoring branch of the National Centers for Environmental Information, quoted by ClimateCentral

Nominee for Interior vows to preserve, and develop, public lands

"I am absolutely against transfer and sale of public lands. I can’t be more clear." // Ryan Zinke, nominee for Secretary of the Interior, quoted by The New York Times

‘Learning curve’ as Rick Perry pursues a job he initially misunderstood

"If you asked him on that first day he said yes, he would have said, ‘I want to be an advocate for energy'.... If you asked him now, he’d say, ‘I’m serious about the challenges facing the nuclear complex.’ It’s been a learning curve." // Michael McKenna, a Republican energy lobbyist, quoted by The New York Times