Scientists say GND and AOC are spot on: “There is no scenario for stabilizing warming below 2°C that doesn’t require rapid reductions in carbon emissions over the next decade”

Scientists say Ocasio-Cortez’s dire climate warning is spot on:  Michael Mann: “There is no scenario for stabilizing warming below 2°C that doesn’t require rapid reductions in carbon emissions over the next decade.” By Joe Romm,, 31 Jan 2019.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks at 3rd Annual Woman's March in New York City on January 19, 2019. Signs behind her that say "End Proverty" and "Green New Deal". CREDIT: Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images.

Back in October, the nations of the world unanimously approved a landmark report from scientists warning that we must make sharp reductions in global carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 to have any plausible chance of averting catastrophic climate change.

This report — published by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — led to headlines like “We have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe, warns UN” by The Guardian, and “The world has just over a decade to get climate change under control, U.N. scientists say” from the Washington Post.

But when the popular freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) made the exact same point as the IPCC, the world’s foremost scientific panel on climate change — that millennials in the U.S. fear “the world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change” — the right-wing and even some in the media pounced.

So, ThinkProgress contacted leading experts on exactly what the science says. They confirmed that, yes, as Ocasio-Cortez says, we must act swiftly if we’re to maintain any plausible hope that we can avoid the catastrophic impacts that come with warming of 2°C or more above pre-industrial temperatures.

“Projected impacts look especially bad beyond 2°C or so of planetary warming,” leading climate expert Michael Mann told ThinkProgress. “And there is no scenario for stabilizing warming below 2°C that doesn’t require rapid reductions in carbon emissions over the next decade.”

Andrew Jones, co-director of Climate Interactive, a U.S. think tank that generated some of the scenarios the IPCC used in its report, said he “definitely” agreed with Mann’s assessment. Rapid reductions means a 30-50 percent decrease in global emissions by 2030, rather than the 10 percent increase we are currently looking at.

It is not possible to overstate the urgency of the matter. As Debra Roberts, a co-chair of the report’s working group on climate impacts, told The Guardian back in October, “This is the largest clarion bell from the science community and I hope it mobilizes people and dents the mood of complacency.”

Within this, it’s also important to note that some Ocasio-Cortez critics took her comments out of context and tried to make it seem as if she was declaring literally, “the world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change.”

But as the video of her interview with the writer Ta-Nehisi Coates makes clear, she was talking about why millennials and younger people have a different sense of urgency about climate change — it is because they are the ones who will have to deal with the consequences. For them, the world they once knew will be dramatically and irreversibly altered.

“I think the part of it that is generational,” Ocasio-Cortez explained, “is that Millennials and people, you know, Gen Z and all these folks that will come after us, are looking up and we’re like: The world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change, and your biggest issue is how are we gonna pay for it?”

She added, “This is the war — this is our World War II.”

A few hours later, after conservatives had begun taking her line out of context and attacking her, she tweeted, “For some reason GOP seems to think this is a gaffe, but it’s actually a generational difference. Young people understand that climate change is an existential threat: 3,000 Americans died in Hurricane Maria.”

Ocasio-Cortez added, “The U.N. says we’ve got 12 years left to fix it.” She included a link to The Guardian piece that made the exact same point back in October when the IPCC report first came: “We have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe”

So did The Guardian and the Washington Post and Ocasio-Cortez understand the IPCC correctly? What exactly does the IPCC’s “Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC” say?

First and foremost, the report makes clear that on our current emissions path, we will cross a key threshold of dangerous climate change — 1.5ºC (or 2.7°F) — soon, by 2040. Furthermore, reversing any amount of global warming, and its accompanying impacts, is all but impossible on a time scale of decades if not centuries.

Even worse, absent much stronger global action and a very sharp reversal of President Donald Trump’s anti-climate policies, the world would hit a truly alarming threshold of catastrophic climate change (2°C or 3.6°F) just two decades after that.

Human-caused warming reached 1°C [1.8°F] above pre-industrial levels in 2017. At the present rate, global temperatures will hit 1.5°C around 2040 and 2°C soon after 2060. CREDIT: IPCC.

Back in December 2015 in Paris, the world’s nations unanimously committed to make a series of increasingly deeper emissions reductions aimed at keeping total warming “to well below 2°C [3.6°F] above preindustrial levels.”The Paris Climate Accord further committed the world “to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C [2.7°F] above preindustrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.”

The 2018 IPCC report makes the strongest case so far that going beyond 1.5ºC warming is much, much more dangerous than we realized just a few years ago. It shows that as the planet warms from 1.5°C to 2°C, the risks grow rapidly for some very dangerous tipping points, including the irreversible collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet (which would raise sea levels 20 feet).

For instance, the report notes that “Limiting global warming to 1.5°C rather than 2°C is projected to prevent the thawing” of as much as 1 million square miles of permafrost. And that matters because the northern permafrost contains twice as much carbon as the atmosphere does today.

This means we face the very real possibility of a snowballing catastrophe — where global warming of 2°C or more thaws a huge area of permafrost, and the resulting carbon emissions released because of this would create, say, another 1°C of warming that in turn releases yet more heat-trapping gases from the permafrost.

The IPCC report says that keeping total warming to 1.5°C is still technologically possible, but it would require “rapid and far-reaching transitions in energy, land, urban and infrastructure (including transport and buildings), and industrial systems… These systems transitions are unprecedented in terms of scale.”

The following chart shows the kind of abrupt reversal of emissions trends needed in order to avert dangerous global warming.

If you think that such a U-turn is increasingly unlikely given that Trump has started the process of undoing every major U.S. climate policy and abandoning the Paris Accord, you aren’t alone.

“Given the present political debate, I don’t see much chance of these near-term cuts happening,” Texas A&M climatologist Andrew Dessler emailed ThinkProgress back in October. “Overall, I’m worried people will look at this and conclude that we’re totally screwed and give up.”

But that would be a mistake. Because, as dangerous as 1.5°C warming is, 2°C is catastrophic — and warming of 3°C (5.4°F) to 4°C (7.2°F) would be worst of all, pushing us toward what would inevitably destroy human civilization as we have come to know it. Our children and grandchildren would be facing inundation of every coastal city, Dust-Bowlification of much of the world’s best farmland, and accelerating climate feedbacks (like the thawing permafrost) that could push us into a “Hothouse Earth” — warming of 5°C (9°F) or more.

Since the primary reason the IPCC wrote this special report was to create urgency, the question remains, what are reasonable rhetorical ways of conveying the extreme urgency the world faces while still being true to the science?

Jones from Climate Interactive explained to ThinkProgress how he discusses with others why many, like The Guardian, picked up on the “12 years” framing from the 2018 IPCC report.

First, he highlights a line from the report pointing out that limiting global warming to no more than 1.5°C above preindustrial levels requires very deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions — “a 40-50% reduction from 2010 levels” — by 2030.

Then Jones shows this simple box which does some simple math; there are just 12 years between when the report was released and 2030.

We must make sharp cuts in greenhouse gases (ghgs) in the 12 years from 2018 to 2030 to keep total warming to 1.5°C. CREDIT: Climate Interactive.

But absent an increasingly implausible U-turn in emissions starting immediately we are going to warm more than 1.5°C.  That means we face a multitude of dangerous impacts: more sea level rise, more extreme droughts, more extreme deluges, more loss of permafrost carbon, and so on.

So we’re stuck with some dangerous warming. But how do we avoid the catastrophe of 2°C and beyond?

“For limiting global warming to below 2°C, CO2 emissions are projected to decline by about 25% by 2030 in most pathways” compared to 2010 emissions, the report states, “and reach net zero around 2070.”

So, under most scenarios where the world is taking strong action to curb emissions, these emissions will need to start declining almost immediately.

The thing is, even as the IPCC report was being written, global CO2 emissions, which had flattened out in the middle of this decade, were on the rise again — as seen in this International Energy Agency chart from last fall:

Global CO2 emissions are on the rise again. CREDIT: IEA.

The world’s failure to reverse emissions this decade means that instead of having 20 years — 2010 to 2030 — to cut emissions some 25 percent, we now have 12 years to cut CO2 emissions more than 30 percent.

However, there is no precise amount of emissions cuts by 2030 that avoids catastrophe. Indeed, even if we hit a 2030 target, we then have just four decades or so to drive global emissions down to near zero.

And no, 2030 “isn’t a cliff we fall off, it’s a slope we slide down,” as NASA climatologist Kate Marvel explained to Axios last week. But for her, getting language right means not understating the urgency: “We don’t have 12 years to prevent climate change — we have no time. It’s already here.”

And no, “the world isn’t going to end in exactly twelve years,” Marvel said. But she added that Ocasio-Cortez is “right that decisions we make in the next decade will determine how bad climate change gets — we can’t prevent bad things, but we have the power to avoid the worst-case scenario.”

So, the world will not literally end in 2030 if we fail to make deep cuts. But figuratively, the stable climate of the past 10,000 years that made modern civilization possible will have ended. Young people today will face a lifetime of ever worsening and irreversible impacts.

Here’s one way to frame the urgency: If the world does not make substantial and sustained progress in cutting total global warming emissions by 2030, then the window will be effectively closed for averting the catastrophic warming of 2°C or higher.

Having lost the war to avoid catastrophic impacts, we will instead be fighting a war to save civilization itself.

Ocasio-Cortez is right. “This is the war — this is our World War II.” But it is a war that will last many, many decades.

Since she was speaking at a January 21 event honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., she repeated his famous line about “the fierce urgency of now.”

It’s also worth repeating his next few lines, “In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there ‘is’ such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.”


solar panels

A solar farm in Brockville, Ontario. (Photo: Jonathan Potts/flickr/cc)

Bolstering urgent warnings from the global scientific community that the world must rapidly transition away from fossil fuels to avert climate catastrophe and keep global warming below 1.5°C within this century, a new study out Tuesday suggests meeting that end is simply a matter of political will.

“We are basically saying we can’t build anything now that emits fossil fuels.”
—Christopher Smith, University of Leeds

Published in the journal Nature Communications, the key takeaway from the study is that “although the challenges laid out by the Paris Agreement are daunting, we indicate 1.5°C remains possible and is attainable with ambitious and immediate emission reduction across all sectors.”

While that goal is described by some as “daunting,” critics of the Paris accord—which is backed by every nation on Earth except the United States under President Donald Trump—and its recently established rulebook have concluded that neither go far enough. Beyond those squabbles, though, there is a general consensus among the world’s scientists that tackling the climate crisis requires “rapid, far-reaching, and unprecedented” societal reforms.

Specifically, the new research shows that if carbon-intensive infrastructure is phased out from this point forward, there is a 64 percent chance of keeping global temperature rise within this century below 1.5°C. However, the window of opportunity is closing quickly. According to the report, “delaying mitigation until 2030 considerably reduces the likelihood that 1.5°C would be attainable even if the rate of fossil fuel retirement was accelerated.”

“It’s good news from a geophysical point of view. But on the other side of the coin, the [immediate fossil fuel phaseout] is really at the limit of what we could we possibly do,” lead researcher Christopher Smith, of the University of Leeds, told the Guardian. “We are basically saying we can’t build anything now that emits fossil fuels.”

While the findings suggest the world still has the option to meet the Paris agreement’s ambitions, there are some limitations to the research. As the Guardian pointed out, “the analysis did not include the possibility of tipping points such as the sudden release of huge volumes of methane from permafrost, which could spark runaway global warming.”

Smith, for his part, anticipates that global warming will surpass 1.5°C. “We are going the right way, but I don’t think we will do enough, quickly enough. I think we are heading for 2°C. to 2.5°C,” he said, but “if you don’t have a goal, you are not going to get anywhere. If you have a target that is really hard to achieve and you miss it slightly, that is better than wandering aimlessly into a future climate that is no good for anybody.”

The study comes as a new report from Oil Change International warns the United States is “drilling toward disaster” with fossil fuel expansion, and that if it doesn’t rapidly shift course—such as by implementing Green New Deal—the country “will impede the rest of the world’s ability to manage a climate-safe, equitable decline of oil and gas production.”

The planet, meanwhile, is experiencing the consequences of ongoing fossil fuel production. According to recently published research, the world’s oceans are warming about 40 percent faster than scientists believed in 2013, and Antarctica is melting six times more quickly than it was in the 1980s. As oceans and the atmosphere warm, ice melts, and sea levels rise, experts have also warned that extreme weather will grow increasingly more common—and deadly.


These dozen states could move to 100% renewable electricity, By IRINA IVANOVA, CBS News, Jan 31, 2019

Last year, California set the most ambitious energy goal in the nation: reaching 100 percent renewable energy in just over 25 years. This year, as many as 13 other states are rearing to join it.While the federal government seeks to roll back climate-change regulation, state politicians — many, though not all, Democrats with newfound majorities — are signaling they won’t wait for the feds to reverse course again.”Despite the fact that this isn’t going to happen on the federal level, there are places around the country, in a lot of the most populated states, where people want this,” said Mark Morgenstein, a spokesman for Environment America.Environment America has launched a campaign calling out nine states to become 100 percent renewable by 2050. Several other states are already on their way toward reaching that goal. Together, they represent 42 percent of the U.S. population and more than a quarter of its economic output.

The push for state legislation comes as renewable energy is growing overall, spurred by consumer demand and favorable economics. By 2050, if no new laws are passed, 31 percent of U.S. electricity will come from renewable sources, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Here are the states that are set to go even further.

The climate leaders: Washington, Massachusetts, New Jersey

Massachusetts, by many measures the bluest state in the U.S., started work last year on the country’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm and plans to double its wind generation in the next two years. Lawmakers in both houses of the legislature have introduced bills to make the state’s power 100 percent renewable by 2045.

New Jersey has taken a series of aggressive climate steps since the 2017 election of Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy. The state adopted a goal last year of 50 percent renewable electricity and is in the process of creating an Energy Master Plan, which environmentalists hope will push renewables further.

Washington came close to becoming the first state to tax carbon last year.  Washington State introduced a bill this year that aims to eliminate coal within six years, require 80 percent clean utilities five years after that and make all electricity carbon-free.

Washington has a leg up as the nation’s top producer of hydroelectric power, which accounts for two-thirds of all electricity generated in the state. Last year’s wildfires across the Northwest also mean the state is deeply familiar with the effects of climate change.

Former coal producers: Pennsylvania and Illinois

Pennsylvania is the fourth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the country (after Texas, California and Florida). The state’s economy, until a few decades ago, relied largely on coal. In recent years, it has become a lead generator of natural gas, a coal replacement that still creates carbon emissions, but on a smaller scale.

That’s why its recent about-face on clean energy is notable. Last year, a Republican legislator led a bill to put the state on a path to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. Another Republican is set to introduce it sometime this month, according to PennEnvironment, a state environmental group. The group is hopeful this will be the year it passes.

“We’re not California. We’re not Hawaii,” said David Masur, executive director of PennEnvironment. “When you have a purple state that Trump won, where the general assembly is dominated by conservative Republicans, it’s significant and shows that other states with a history of fossil fuel production can lead the way.”


Illinois’ statehouse is far bluer than Pennsylvania’s, but the state is just as dependent on coal. The country’s sixth most populated state, it still gets nearly two-thirds of its energy from fossil fuels.

But the new Democratic governor, J.B. Pritzker, has signaled a change in direction. Last week he signed on to the U.S. Climate Alliance, a pact that commits the 18 states in it to the goals of the Paris climate agreement, which the U.S. exited in 2017. Pritzker also campaigned on a goal of 100 percent clean energy.

Solid blue states: Colorado, Maine, New Mexico, New York

All four of these states have newly elected Democratic “trifectas,” in which the party controls both chambers of the state legislature and the governor’s mansion — and they’re pushing for an energy overhaul.

In Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis has set the most ambitious target of any state — going to 100 percent renewable energy by 2040, a full five years earlier than California and Hawaii. A recent study found that consumers would save $250 million if the state achieves that goal. Colorado’s largest utilty, Xcel Energy, last month promised to go carbon-free by 2050, a move it a said was “motivated by customers who are asking for it.”

“Consumers look to their utilities to be good citizens, and that includes protection of the climate,” said Andrew Heath, senior director of the utilities practice at J.D. Power. When utilities announce they’re shifting to renewable energy — whether it’s a response to law or on their own initiative — it’s met favorably, he added.

Maine is already the top wind-power producer in New England, and new Gov. Janet Mills offers the strongest contrast with her Republican predecessor. Former Gov. Paul LePage routinely drew criticism for his anti-environment moves, including quashing bipartisan pro-solar legislation and putting a moratorium on new wind turbine development.

On her inauguration, Mills set a goal to have 80 percent of the state’s electricity come from renewable energy sources. Another Maine legislator is already leading the push for a “Green New Deal” in Maine, which would make the state’s energy entirely renewable by 2030.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has called for 100 percent clean energy by 2040, a plan that would require boosting the state’s solar, wind, hydroelectric and nuclear resources. The state legislature, which is Democrat-controlled for the first time in 10 years, must approve his plan by April 1.

And New Mexico is eyeing a goal of 80 percent renewable electricity by 2040, which Environment America calls “a first step” to being 100 percent renewable.

Great Lakes states: Michigan and Minnesota

Both these states have Republican-controlled legislatures and Democratic governors, and they have a higher-than-average reliance on coal (getting 36 percent and 41 percent of all electricity from it, respectively). Minnesota environmental groups, in addition to pushing for 100-percent renewability by 2030, are seeking a moratorium on new pipelines in the state. Those in Michigan have set 2050 as the target date.

Both states have a higher-than-average reliance on nuclear power (as do others on this list, like Pennsylvania and Illinois), which is excluded from the planned legislation — and that could be a problem when it comes to emissions.

Nuclear power has divided environmentalists because, while it emits no carbon, it isn’t renewable and has the potential to cause massive devastation. Many clean-energy groups favor phasing out nuclear, but doing so makes it harder to reduce emissions.

“What we’re starting to see is [renewable-energy requirements] are increasing market pressure on nuclear power plants, and the emissions increase from the loss of those plants offsets the gain in renewable energy,” said Whitney Herndon, a senior analyst at Rhodium.

She added: “In order to get the emissions benefit, you really want an increase in renewables, plus keeping the existing nuclear power there.”

When she was 12, Chloe Maxmin formed a Climate Action club at her school. At Harvard, where she graduated in 2015, she co-founded a campaign calling for the university to sell its fossil fuel investments.

And after running as a Democrat and winning a House seat in November in a heavily Republican district that includes her hometown of Nobleboro, Maxmin is following her convictions as the lead sponsor of a bill to create a Green New Deal in Maine.

The bill would chart a path for Maine to get all its power from renewable sources by 2030, transforming the economy and creating clean-energy-sector jobs. In important ways, it mirrors national aspirations to slow global warming that are embodied in controversial Green New Deal legislation being championed in Congress by another young newcomer, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.

“I know it’s a very ambitious goal,” Maxmin said. “But climate change threatens to undermine our entire economy and culture. So we’re putting out a bold idea.”

In Maine, Maxmin’s bill also is emblematic of the surge of energy-related proposals in Augusta this year. More than 60 separate working titles are being proposed for the committee that handles energy and utility matters. At least 10 more are pending for potential hearings in other committees.

Initial proposals, of course, don’t mean much. Language is still pending on many bills, and most will be modified, combined or withdrawn as the legislative session progresses. But their titles indicate the new direction and broad scope of energy policy debate about to take place in Augusta, where Gov. Janet Mills and majority Democrats will embrace clean-energy strategies both as an economic development tool and to blunt the impacts of climate change.

Taken together, they would have the effect of reversing the priorities of former Gov. Paul LePage and his hand-picked representatives to the Public Utilities Commission, who have largely focused on short-term costs.

An early event highlighting the change is a news conference set for Tuesday to announce Maine’s participation in a nine-state coalition readying bills aimed at limiting carbon emission through a market-driven fee system. Rep. Deane Rykerson, D-Kittery, is the lead sponsor in Maine.

The idea of taxing carbon pollution and using the money to boost clean-energy projects and offset electric bills is in play around the country. A plan in Washington state was defeated in November. The concept is strongly opposed by fossil fuel interests and will be fought by Maine oil dealers.

Another key marker will be the reaction to bills set for public hearings Jan. 29, before the energy committee.

One, L.D. 91, has been designated emergency legislation, which means it would take effect when approved. The measure would eliminate so-called gross metering, a rule enacted last year by the PUC for how rooftop panel owners are compensated for power that critics say amounts to a tax on solar installations. It would essentially restore “net-energy billing” to the way it was in 2017.

Also being teed up is L.D. 41, a far-reaching solar bill that, among other things, attempts to replace net-energy billing with a market-based system after 2019. It also aims to boost larger-scale community solar, in which customers can buy into a project not on their property and benefit from a share of the output. Notably, it’s being sponsored by Republican lawmakers.

Other bills would specifically expand community solar projects, which now are limited by a low, random cap on the number of customers who can participate.


Other bills would update the Renewable Portfolio Standard, which requires certain amounts of the state’s electric supply to come from sources such as wind, solar and wood.

One proposal would require the PUC to approve a long-term power contract for offshore wind energy, aimed at advancing the Maine Aqua Ventus floating offshore demonstration project near Monhegan.

Frustration over Central Maine Power’s error-prone billing system, as well as plans to build a transmission line for Canadian hydropower, has worked its way into several bills.

One would require a study of greenhouse gas emission reductions from the proposed line. Another would amend the state’s eminent domain laws for utilities.

Also in the mix are bills to prop up struggling biomass energy plants and fund energy efficiency through a surcharge on heating oil and other fuels.

“In the 12 years since I began serving in the Legislature, I have never seen such excitement around energy,” said Rep. Seth Berry, D-Bowdoinham.

Berry co-chairs the energy committee and is sponsoring several of the bills. The overall effect of these proposals, he said, will be to start a conversation around moving Maine beyond a centralized power grid, to one where electricity is produced sustainably and closer to where it’s used.

That discussion is taking place in other states, according to Chris Rauscher, policy and storage market strategy director for Sunrun, the large, California-based rooftop solar installer. Rauscher, who lives in Maine, said in some California utilities half of all of Sunrun’s solar customers are incorporating battery storage into their systems. Storage can bring down rates by reducing the need for costly power plants during hours of peak demand, and by making the grid more resilient to storms and other threats.

A bill title this session calls for a wide-scale study of the benefits of battery storage in Maine.


Ideas like these wouldn’t have gotten far in the LePage years, when any proposal with costs that appeared to be above market prices today was a nonstarter or prone to a veto.

“Everyone had a good sense of where the governor was and it was a very small box you had to fit into,” said Jeremy Payne, executive director of the Maine Renewable Energy Association. “We’ve spent eight years talking about costs. Now we’re talking about return on investment.”

But investment money typically comes from two sources: utility customers or taxpayers. Often, they are the same. So short-term costs will remain a red flag to many lawmakers, according to Rep. Jeff Hanley, R-Pittston.

“When the dust settles, what does this do to commercial and residential ratepayers?” asked Hanley, the ranking Republican on the energy committee. “If it affects ratepayers in a negative way, I’m always going to oppose those things.”

Solar energy is an example, Hanley said. He’s not against expanding its use, but wants people with panels to pay their fair share.

“I have seven or eight trailer parks in my district and no one has solar panels on their roof,” he said. “Every dollar matters to those people.”

On the national level, the original New Deal was a series of programs, financial actions and public works projects initiated by President Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s. The crisis then was the Great Depression.

For climate activists such as Chloe Maxmin, global warming is a contemporary equivalent that needs strong government action. As the legislative session gets underway, reaction to these energy-related bills will be one barometer for how Mainers weigh the costs and benefits of a state response.

In drafting the Green New Deal bill for Maine, Maxmin said her inspiration came from campaigning and hearing concerns voiced by people in her rural midcoast district, southeast of Augusta. She said she’s aware that cost will be a concern.

But working for a small nonprofit called Campaign Earth, she embraces the social movement known as climate justice, a concept that the impacts of global warming are suffered disproportionately by those less responsible for causing it. In her area, that includes lobster fishermen and farmers, who are being affected by warming oceans and more-severe weather.

“You can say that the cost of ignoring this crisis is far greater than what we need to do to protect Maine and our way of life,” she said.

Tux Turkel can be contacted at 791-6462 or at:

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