Climate Science Special Report
On November 3rd, The White House released a Climate Science Special Report written by 13 federal agencies. The Report concludes that it is extremely likely that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. For the warming over the last century, there is no convincing alternative explanation supported by the extent of the observational evidence.
This report comes as a surprise to many because it was released by the Trump White House and Scott Pruitt’s Environmental Protection Agency. Donald Trump has expressed his opinion that Climate Change was a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese, while Scott Pruitt has refused to link human CO2 emissions and global climate change and has been systematically rolling back Obama era environmental protections. Furthermore, the EPA has scrubbed climate change from its website and barred its scientists from presenting scientific reports on the subject. This makes this report unique in that it runs completely at odds with the policy position of the current administration.
In the wake of the report’s release, White House put out a statement that seemed to undercut the high level of confidence of the report’s findings. Despite this, Robert Kopp, a climate scientist at Rutgers, believes that the report is the most comprehensive climate science report in the world right now.
Earth’s Ozone Hole is smallest it’s been since 1988
On November 2nd, NASA put out a statement saying that the ozone hole over Antarctica shrank to its smallest observed size since 1988. According to NASA, the Ozone hole reached its peak size this year on Sept. 11, covering a size about two and half times the size of the United States, and then declined to its current size. This is over one million square miles less than the peak size last year. However, NASA scientists say that this drop is due to natural variability and not a signal of rapid healing. In this particular shrinkage is attributed to warmer-than-average stratospheric weather conditions reducing ozone depletion during the past two years.
ISPs lobbying FCC to prevent State Regulation
Verizon and Comcast are currently lobbying the FCC to prevent States from creating state level privacy regulations. After Congress rolled back Obama-era FCC rules meant to protect consumer privacy, many states have begun trying to write their own regulations. While these bills have faced problems getting passed by state law makers, Verizon submitted a paper to the FCC explaining that the FCC can and should preempt the state broadband laws. Comcast also threw in its support for Verizon’s position. This comes during a time when the FCC is preparing to gut its net neutrality rules which has caused significant concerns for net neutrality activists.