Trump Ally Lindsey Graham Says Climate Change Is Real and Trump Should Admit It
Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Senate Republican who has been a close ally of Donald Trump, did not mince words last week on the climate crisis and what he thinks the president needs to do about it.
"I would encourage the President to look long and hard at the science and find a solution. I'm tired of playing defense on the environment," he said in a news conference alongside other GOP lawmakers who gathered to announce the formation of the Roosevelt Conservation Caucus, which will "embrace and promote constructive efforts to resolve conservation and environmental problems," as USA Today reported.
The group of House and Senate Republicans formed a list of priorities to address, including public land access, water quality and ocean pollution. The new caucus named themselves after Teddy Roosevelt, the ardent outdoorsman who founded the National Parks Service.
In the news conference, following the announcement, the climate crisis was a major topic since the president has been openly hostile to it and Republican congressmen have fallen in line. The president has called the climate crisis a hoax, withdrawn the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement, and opened up leases for greenhouse gas emitting fossil fuels.
"When nine out of 10 scientists say (carbon dioxide) emissions are creating a greenhouse gas effect and the planet is warming up, I believe the nine and not the one," Sen. Graham said, as South Carolina's Post and Courier reported.
Noting that Republicans seemed out of step with the general public and ignored the climate crisis at their own peril, Graham added, "We will win the solution debate, but the only way you're going to win the debate is admit we've got a problem. Let's talk about climate change from the innovative and not the regulatory approach."
This is not the first time Graham has differed with Trump on the climate crisis. Two years ago, he asked Trump to keep the U.S. in the Paris agreement. And, in April, he said, "Climate change is real, the science is sound and the solutions are available. If I told Trump that [special counsel Robert] Mueller thinks climate change is a hoax, we'd be well on our way," as CNN reported.
In announcing the Roosevelt Conservation Caucus, Graham showed a difference of opinion from the president, but he did not put forth any new ideas, nor did he back bold action. In fact, he used the moment to take a swipe at Democrats, calling the Green New Deal "crazy economics."
"Innovation is going to do more to solve this problem than any government mandate," he said. "We believe our friends on the other side care about the environment, but they care so much they're going to destroy the economy in the name of saving the environment," as The Hill reported.
The Republican group hinted that that plans for a carbon tax, climate-resilient infrastructure and increased funding of clean energy research will be some of their first proposals, according to the National Review. And Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, added that environmental responsibility means addressing ocean plastics, but she did not specify how, as the Post and Courier reported.
9 Out of 10 States Most at Risk From Climate Change Voted for Trump https://t.co/1uH5JO1y0t— DeSmogBlog (@DeSmogBlog) February 1, 2019
Sweden's reindeer have a problem. In winter, they feed on lichens buried beneath the snow. But the climate crisis is making this difficult. Warmer temperatures mean moisture sometimes falls as rain instead of snow. When the air refreezes, a layer of ice forms between the reindeer and their meal, forcing them to wander further in search of ideal conditions. And sometimes, this means crossing busy roads.
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By Aaron W Hunter
A chance discovery of a beautifully preserved fossil in the desert landscape of Morocco has solved one of the great mysteries of biology and paleontology: how starfish evolved their arms.
The Pompeii of palaeontology. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<h2></h2><p>Although starfish might appear very robust animals, they are typically made up of lots of hard parts attached by ligaments and soft tissue which, upon death, quickly degrade. This means we rely on places like the Fezouata formations to provide snapshots of their evolution.</p><p>The starfish fossil record is patchy, especially at the critical time when many of these animal groups first appeared. Sorting out how each of the various types of ancient starfish relate to each other is like putting a puzzle together when many of the parts are missing.</p><h2>The Oldest Starfish</h2><p><em><a href="https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/216101v1.full.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Cantabrigiaster</a></em> is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. It was discovered in 2003, but it has taken over 17 years to work out its true significance.</p><p>What makes <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> unique is that it lacks almost all the characteristics we find in brittle stars and starfish.</p><p>Starfish and brittle stars belong to the family Asterozoa. Their ancestors, the Somasteroids were especially fragile - before <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> we only had a handful of specimens. The celebrated Moroccan paleontologist Mohamed <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.06.041" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Ben Moula</a> and his local team was instrumental in discovering <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031018216302334?via%3Dihub" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">these amazing fossils</a> near the town of Zagora, in Morocco.</p><h2>The Breakthrough</h2><p>Our breakthrough moment came when I compared the arms of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> with those of modern sea lilles, filter feeders with long feathery arms that tend to be attached to the sea floor by a stem or stalk.</p><p>The striking similarity between these modern filter feeders and the ancient starfish led our team from the University of Cambridge and Harvard University to create a new analysis. We applied a biological model to the features of all the current early Asterozoa fossils in existence, along with a sample of their closest relatives.</p>
Cantabrigiaster is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<p>Our results demonstrate <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> is the most primitive of all the Asterozoa, and most likely evolved from ancient animals called crinoids that lived 250 million years before dinosaurs. The five arms of starfish are a relic left over from these ancestors. In the case of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em>, and its starfish descendants, it evolved by flipping upside-down so its arms are face down on the sediment to feed.</p><p>Although we sampled a relatively small numbers of those ancestors, one of the unexpected outcomes was it provided an idea of how they could be related to each other. Paleontologists studying echinoderms are often lost in detail as all the different groups are so radically different from each other, so it is hard to tell which evolved first.</p>
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