People, planet, and the path ahead

Fossil fuel jobs easier to promise than to deliver

In this edition: President Trump's pipelines actions and the bid for fossil-fuel jobs; a week of confusion and fear; Al Gore's new movie.  

What we're writing

President Trump signs an executive order to advance construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, at the White House Tuesday.
Kevin Lamarque/Reuters | Caption

Behind Trump pipeline orders, a pledge to deliver energy jobs

He's issued executive orders backing pipelines, and wants to open federal lands and loosen regulations. All that may add jobs in the industry, but market forces are in driver's seat. // Henry Gass

Trump's first week sparks confusion and fear

News headlines blared about media blackouts and orders to delete climate-change information. Some of the reports proved overblown. And there's the prerogative of a new administration to set its own priorities. Yet the Trump team's defiance of the consensus view on climate change is real, which explains why watchdog groups remain on high alert. A closer look at ethical boundary lines that are in play. // Zack Colman

Scientists, in unusual activism, go on the march

Amid worry about a possible Trump crackdown on researchers, science-community responses range from defending facts to actually entering the political fray. // Henry Gass

Can Gore reach GOP? How his hope lies in Texas town.

'An Inconvenient Sequel' takes viewers to Georgetown, a place in energy-rich Texas that will soon draw all its electricity from wind and solar. But filmaker Al Gore is still a polarizing messenger on climate change. // Patrick Reilly

What we're reading

Growing lettuce on world's largest rooftop farm

 A Chicago greenhouse grows nearly 10 million heads of leafy greens a year, with 'coddled' plants that require 25 percent less energy than conventional techniques. // Yale Climate Connections

Flooding events have soared in Europe and globally

For every degree of global warming, the atmosphere can hold about 6 percent more moisture by some estimates. // The Guardian

Solar-roof installations: the bipartisan truth

Forget the D.C. shouting for a moment; here's a study on home-solar rates, and donors to the two major parties are roughly tied. // Grist

Carbon-storage payments: solution for deforestation?

Well, there's a difference between Indonesian peat forests and low-carbon forests in Tanzania, one study concludes. // Mongabay

What's trending

Sea level forecast is now higher (and it's highest in the Northeast)

"Under a worst-case scenario, climate change could raise the oceans an average of more than 8 feet by 2100, about 20 inches more than a previous federal estimate published in 2012. The best case now projected would be an average of about a foot." // A new NOAA report, as summarized by Nicholas Kusnetz of InsideClimate News

Climate believer Musk surprises with praise of Tillerson

"Rex is an exceptionally competent executive, understands geopolitics and knows how to win for his team. His team is now the USA."  // Tweet by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, as reported by CNBC.

Scotland seeks half its energy from renewables by 2030

"The Scottish Government is determined to support a stable, managed transition to a low carbon economy." // Paul Wheelhouse, minister for business, innovation, and energy, in a statement released by the Scottish government