Ohio governor candidates spar at final debate
By JULIE CARR SMYTH
Monday, October 8
CLEVELAND (AP) — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray repeatedly faulted Republican rival Mike DeWine during their final debate Monday for failing to lead as Ohio’s attorney general, while DeWine hit back at Cordray for misleading Ohioans on his record and for what he called a lack of judgment on Issue 1.
The two appeared focused and prepared as they met for their final televised faceoff at Cleveland State University just two days ahead of early voting.
The matchup is one of the nation’s most expensive, closely watched governor’s races. Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich is vacating the seat due to term limits.
“This election will decide our future, so don’t misunderstand,” Cordray told viewers who have watched the candidates’ attack ads fly for months. “This election is not personal for me. It’s bigger than that. It’s about us and how we can more forward together. The governorship is not a gold watch to be given out to the guy who’s been here the longest.”
DeWine portrayed himself as a pragmatic problem-solver who brings people together.
“I run for governor because I know that I can make a difference,” he said. “Throughout my career, I’ve been able to take problems on and I’ve been able to fix those problems. And the way I’ve done it is to bring people together. I’ve brought Democrats, Republicans, independents and brought them together.” He named children’s health care in the U.S. Senate and the testing of thousands of untested rape kits.
Cordray said DeWine should have used the power of his office more effectively to protect consumers and to train police.
“His budget is $40 million higher this year than it was last year; zero hours for police training,” Cordray said. “Our law enforcement need that training. This is probably one of the reasons why law enforcement in this state are endorsing me, not Mike DeWine, in the governor’s race. Because they know when it comes to being tough and effective on crime, he hasn’t delivered.”
DeWine said the police training curriculum he developed is “revolutionary.” He said Issue 1, a proposed constitutional amendment that Cordray supports, would open the doors to drug traffickers and ruin the state’s successful drug courts.
“Richard, the problem is you’ve never been a county prosecuting attorney and you don’t know anything about it, and you’re dead wrong,” said DeWine, who began his career as Greene County prosecutor. DeWine repeated his claim that the amendment would allow someone to legally carry 19 grams of fentanyl, “enough to kill 10,000 people.”
Cordray said, “Anybody with enough fentanyl to kill 10,000 people needs to be prosecuted for drug trafficking, and they would be. You just got that wrong, and the newspapers have said that claim on your part is an outright lie.” He called DeWine “a fentanyl failure” on the opioid crisis.
DeWine said Cordray’s proposals to provide more funding to transit, infrastructure and broadband across the state are good talking points for local governments but probably can’t be accomplished with tax increases.
“We will be a good partner (to local government). We will work with them,” DeWine told moderator Karen Kasler, of Ohio Public Radio. “What we’re not going to do, Karen, is promise everything in the world to everybody. We don’t know where that budget is going to be.”
US bans new mining claims on public land near Yellowstone
By MATTHEW BROWN
Tuesday, October 9
EMIGRANT, Mont. (AP) — U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke approved a 20-year ban on new mining claims in the towering mountains north of Yellowstone National Park on Monday, after two proposed gold mines raised concerns that an area drawing tourists from the around the globe could be spoiled.
As Zinke signed the mineral ban at an outdoor ceremony in Montana’s Paradise Valley, a bank of clouds behind him broke apart to reveal the snow-covered flank of Emigrant Peak. The picturesque, 10,915-foot (3,327-meter) mountain has been at the center of the debate over whether mining should be allowed.
The former Montana congressman was joined by local business owners and residents who pushed for the ban after companies began drafting plans for new mines in an area frequented by wolves, elk, bears and other wildlife.
“I’m a pro-mining guy. I love hardrock” mining, Zinke said. “But there are places to mine and places not to mine.”
Zinke’s order extends a temporary ban imposed in 2016 under former President Barack Obama on new claims for gold, silver and other minerals on 47 square miles (122 square kilometers) of public lands in the Paradise Valley and Gardiner Basin. Most of the land is within the Custer Gallatin National Forest.
The rocky peaks and forested stream valleys covered by the ban are popular with hikers and other recreational users. Wildlife roam back and forth across the Yellowstone border, and the scars of historical mining still are visible on some hillsides.
Mining companies and industry representatives said the area includes historical mining districts that shouldn’t be barred from future development. Mining claims give their holders legal rights to explore for minerals.
Monday’s action does not stop mining on private land or take away pre-existing mining claims on public lands. But supporters said it would make a large-scale mine in the area much less likely because adjacent public lands would be needed to make such a project economically feasible.
John Mears, president of Lucky Minerals, said his company is not backing down. The Vancouver, Canada-based company plans to press ahead with exploration work next year on private lands around Emigrant Peak that are inside one of the areas where mining has been banned.
Mears was parked down the road from Monday’s event with a large sign propped against his truck that read, “Sec. Zinke … Why won’t you meet with me?”
“It’s up to the government to decide if we have valid existing rights, but in the meantime, we’ll carry on,” Mears said. “We won’t be able to acquire any more ground, but we have enough.”
Mining opponents expressed optimism that the ban would make it impossible for Lucky Minerals or any other company to develop mines.
“When you take the public lands out of the equation, it really dampens it,” said Bryan Wells, who lives in the small community of Old Chico at the base of Emigrant Peak.
The administration’s action was notable given President Donald Trump’s outspoken advocacy for the mining industry and his criticism of government regulations said to stifle economic development.
It comes as Trump has sought to lift protections on public lands elsewhere, including his controversial decision to shrink the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments in Utah.
Zinke said the threat of mining near Yellowstone was different because residents and business owners were in agreement on the issue. The Utah monuments have been controversial since their creation.
The mining ban had bipartisan backing in Montana, where Democrats and Republicans alike have been eager to cast themselves as protectors of the natural beauty of the Yellowstone region.
Colin Davis with the Yellowstone Gateway Business Coalition said the group will now focus on making the ban permanent through pending measures in Congress.
“Our eye is still on permanent legislation,” said Davis, owner of Chico Hot Springs Resort. “The prize is permanent legislation so we’re not doing this again in 20 years.”
A House committee on Sept. 26 approved permanent withdrawal legislation sponsored by Republican U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte. A Senate committee last week approved identical legislation from Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester that’s also backed by Republican U.S. Sen. Steve Daines.
Follow Matthew Brown on Twitter at www.twitter.com/matthewbrownap .
New UN report outlines ‘urgent, transformational’ change needed to hold global warming to 1.5°C
October 7, 2018
Director, Climate Change Institute, Australian National University
Knowledge Exchange Specialist, Climate Change Institute, Australian National University
Professor Howden is Vice-Chair of IPCC Working Group II (Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability), and acted as a review editor of Chapter 4 of the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C.
Rebecca Colvin does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
Australian National University provides funding as a member of The Conversation AU.
A landmark report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, commissioned at the breakthrough 2015 summit that brokered the Paris climate agreement, outlines what’s at stake in the world’s bid to limit global temperature rise to 1.5℃.
The report, released today, sets out the key practical differences between the Paris agreement’s two contrasting goals: to limit the increase of human-induced global warming to well below 2℃, and to “pursue efforts” to limit warming to 1.5℃.
Two and a half years in the making, the report provides vital information about whether the Paris Agreement’s more ambitious goal is indeed achievable, what the future may look like under it, and the risks and rewards of hitting the target.
Here are five key questions to which the report provides answers.
Can we limit warming to 1.5℃?
There is no clear yes or no answer to this question.
Put simply, it is not impossible that global warming could be limited to 1.5℃. But achieving this will be profoundly challenging.
If we are to limit warming to 1.5℃, we must reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 45% by 2030, reaching near-zero by around 2050.
Whether we are successful primarily depends on the rate at which government and non-state bodies take action to reduce emissions. Yet despite the urgency, current national pledges under the Paris Agreement are not enough to remain within a 3℃ temperature limit, let alone 1.5℃.
Global warming is not just a problem for the future. The impacts are already being felt around the world, with declines in crop yields, biodiversity, coral reefs, and Arctic sea ice, and increases in heatwaves and heavy rainfall. Sea levels have risen by 40.5mm in the past decade and are predicted to continue rising for decades, even if all greenhouse emissions were reduced to zero immediately. Climate adaptation is already needed and will be increasingly so at 1.5℃ and 2℃ of warming.
Rapid action is essential and the next ten years will be crucial. In 2017, global warming breached 1℃. If the planet continues to warm at the current rate of 0.2℃ per decade, we will reach 1.5℃ of warming around 2040. At current emissions rates, within the next 10 to 14 years there is a 2/3 chance we will have used up our entire carbon budget for keeping to 1.5.
How can we limit warming to 1.5℃?
The report says “transformational” change will be needed to limit warming to 1.5℃. Business as usual will not get us there.
Global emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases need to reach net zero globally by around 2050. Most economists say putting a price on emissions is the most efficient way to do this.
By 2050, 70-85% of electricity globally will need to be supplied by renewables. Investment in low-carbon and energy-efficient technologies will need to double, whereas investment in fossil-fuel extraction will need to decrease by around a quarter.
Carbon dioxide removal technology will also be needed to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. But the IPCC’s report warns that relying too heavily on this technology would be a major risk as it has not been used on such a large scale before. Carbon dioxide removal is an extra step that may be needed to keep warming to 1.5℃, not an excuse to keep emitting greenhouse gases.
Production, consumption and lifestyle choices also play a role. Reducing energy demand and food waste, improving the efficiency of food production, and choosing foods and goods with lower emissions and land use requirements will contribute significantly.
Taking such action as soon as possible will be hugely beneficial. The earlier we start, the more time we have to reach net zero emissions. Acting early will mean a smoother transition and less net cost overall. Delay will lead to more haste, higher costs, and a harder landing.
Reducing emissions quickly will also ensure warming is capped as soon as possible, reducing the number and severity of impacts.
Yet severe impacts will still be experienced even if warming is successfully capped at 1.5℃.
What is the cost of 1.5℃ of warming?
Although the Paris Agreement aims to hold global warming as close to 1.5℃ as possible, that doesn’t mean it is a “safe” level. Communities and ecosystems around the world have already suffered significant impacts from the 1℃ of warming so far, and the effects at 1.5℃ will be harsher still.
Poverty and disadvantages will increase as temperatures rise to 1.5℃. Small island states, deltas and low-lying coasts are particularly vulnerable, with increased risk of flooding, and threats to freshwater supplies, infrastructure, and livelihoods.
Warming to 1.5℃ also poses a risk to global economic growth, with the tropics and southern subtropics potentially being hit hardest. Extreme weather events such as floods, heatwaves, and droughts will become more frequent, severe, and widespread, with attendant costs in terms of health care, infrastructure, and disaster response.
The oceans will also suffer in a 1.5℃ warmer world. Ocean warming and acidification are expected to impact fisheries and aquaculture, as well as many marine species and ecosystems.
Up to 90% of warm water coral reefs are predicted to disappear when global warming reaches 1.5℃. That would be a dire situation, but far less serious than at 2℃, when the destruction of coral reefs would be almost total (greater than 99% destruction).
How do 1.5℃ and 2℃ compare?
Impacts on both human and natural systems would be very different at 1.5℃ rather than 2℃ of warming. For example, limiting warming to 1.5℃ would roughly halve the number of people globally who are expected to suffer from water scarcity.
Seas would rise by an extra 10cm this century at 2℃ compared with 1.5℃. This means limiting global warming to 1.5℃ would save up to 10.4 million people from the impacts of rising seas.
At 1.5℃ rather than 2℃: up to 427 million fewer people will suffer food and water insecurity, climate risks, and adverse health impacts extreme weather events, heat-related death and disease, desertification, and wildlife extinctions will all be reduced it will be significantly easier to achieve many of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, including those linked to hunger, poverty, water and sanitation, health, and cities and ecosystems.
How does the 1.5℃ target fit with the Sustainable Development Goals?
The Sustainable Development Goals aim for a world in which people can be healthy, financially stable, well fed, have clean air and water, and live in a secure and pleasant environment. Much of this is consistent with the goal of capping global warming at 1.5℃, which is why the IPCC notes there are synergies if the SDG initiatives and climate action should be explicitly linked.
But some climate strategies may make it harder to achieve particular SDGs. Countries that are highly dependent on fossil fuels for employment and revenue may suffer economically in the transition towards low-carbon energy.
Carefully managing this transition by simultaneously focusing on reducing poverty and promoting equity in decision-making may help avoid the worst effects of such trade-offs. What works in one place may not work in another, so strategies should always be locally appropriate.
Limiting global warming to 1.5℃ will require a social transformation, as the world takes rapid action to reduce greenhouse gases. The effects of climate change will continue to shape the world we live in, but there is no doubt we will be far better off under 1.5℃ than 2℃ of global warming.
The choices we make today are shaping the future for coming generations. As the new report makes clear, if we are serious about the 1.5℃ target, we need to act now.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the substantial contribution to authorship of this article by of Lamis Kazak, an Australian National University Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (Sustainability) student, as part of a Science Communication Internship with the Climate Change Institute.
Sanders barnstorming country ahead of midterm elections
By KEN THOMAS
Tuesday, October 9
WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Bernie Sanders is embarking on a nine-state battleground tour on behalf of Democratic candidates competing in the November elections, returning to the campaign trail ahead of a decision on another White House bid.
The packed October schedule marks the Vermont independent’s most extensive stretch of campaigning since the 2016 presidential race. It will include stops in Iowa, South Carolina and Nevada, home to crucial early contests on the 2020 primary calendar.
Sanders is expected to make a decision on whether to launch another campaign in the coming months and the tour could inform his decision. It will allow him to test the durability of the left-leaning coalition he assembled in 2016 and build relationships with elected officials who could serve as allies should he run again.
“He wanted to go where he thinks he can be helpful in energizing the base and bringing in young people and independent voters and working-class voters who supported him,” said Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ 2016 campaign manager and longtime political adviser.
Weaver said Sanders had “no timeline or deadline” for making a decision on 2020 but much of his consideration was focused on who is best able to defeat President Donald Trump. “His message has reached across the Democratic base and positions him well were he to decide to run in the primary but also in the general election as the candidate who can best beat Trump,” he said.
Sanders’ challenge to Hillary Clinton made him the main alternative in the 2016 Democratic primaries, but the next presidential campaign is expected to be a wide-open contest that could include several senators such as Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California, plus former Vice President Joe Biden, other members of Congress, governors and mayors.
Sanders has been at the center of a debate over the party’s future and whether his agenda of free college tuition, a $15 hourly minimum wage and a “Medicare for all” health care can win over general-election voters. The senator is coming off a victory after Amazon announced last week it would raise its wages for its workers to $15 per hour starting next month, and will raise pay for employees who make more than that, responding in part to pressure from Sanders.
On Tuesday, Sanders focused on foreign policy during a speech at The Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. He warned of the rise of oligarchies and authoritarianism around the world and said the U.S. needs to counter it “with a strong progressive movement that speaks to the needs of working people.”
Sanders said the movement needs to address “the massive global inequality that exists, not only in wealth but in political power.”
His tour will kick off on Oct. 19 in Bloomington, Indiana, and Ann Arbor, Michigan, with rallies and events on behalf of Liz Watson, who is challenging Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, R-Ind., and Gretchen Whitmer, who is running for Michigan governor.
Sanders will hold rallies and other events in South Carolina and Iowa on Oct. 20-21, including stops in Iowa in Sioux City, Fort Dodge and Ames on behalf of J.D. Scholten, who is challenging Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa. His Iowa visit, his first since February, will come amid a boost of political activity in the caucus state, including Booker, who addressed Democratic activists last weekend, and Trump, who will hold a rally in Council Bluffs on Tuesday night.
The itinerary will also include rallies in Wisconsin, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and California, spanning a number of competitive races key to Democrats’ electoral success. He will be campaigning alongside Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin; David Garcia, who faces Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey; Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo.; and Jacky Rosen, who is aiming to unseat Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev. Sanders’ California swing will help Rep. Barbara Lee and two California congressional hopefuls, Ammar Campa-Najjar and Mike Levin.
Through early October, Sanders has traveled to 17 states this year and 30 states since the 2016 election in support of Democratic candidates and an array of policy issues. An online fundraising powerhouse in 2016, Sanders has maintained a list of millions of his supporters that he can use to help endorsed candidates.
Sanders is heavily favored to win re-election next month to a third term as Vermont’s senator, allowing him to travel the nation in the weeks before the election. Sanders has called Trump a “pathological liar” who has bitterly divided the nation on social policies while overseeing an economic agenda that has further aggravated income and wealth inequality.
Follow Ken Thomas on Twitter at https://twitter.com/KThomasDC