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Elizabeth Warren Adopts $3 Trillion Climate Crisis Plan, Challenges All 2020 Candidates to Do Same

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U.S. presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks at a house party in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire on Sep. 2. Nic Antaya / The Boston Globe / Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren announced that she would adopt Gov. Jay Inslee's climate crisis plan and add in an $1 trillion in investments to help protect workers and to fund a dramatic shift in infrastructure away from fossil fuels if she is elected president, as CNN reported.


Warren said her plan includes a "federal investment of $3 trillion" and "will leverage additional trillions in private investment and create millions of jobs," as reported by Fox Business.

"One of the most important of these ideas is the urgent need to decarbonize key sectors of our economy," Warren wrote on Medium yesterday. "Today, I'm embracing that goal by committing to adopt and build on Inslee's ten-year action plan to achieve 100% clean energy for America by decarbonizing our electricity, our vehicles, and our buildings. And I'm challenging every other candidate for President to do the same."

Earlier this summer, Warren announced she would invest $2 trillion in her Green Manufacturing plan. That plan, which she also posted to Medium, seeks to pivot the American energy and manufacturing sector toward the $23 trillion market for renewable energy.

Last week, Warren met with Inslee, who campaigned for president on the climate crisis issue but recently suspended his campaign after failing to gain traction in polls, as the New York Times reported.

"Jay didn't merely sound the alarm or make vague promises. He provided bold, thoughtful and detailed ideas for how to get us where we need to go, both by raising standards to address pollution and investing in the future of the American economy," Warren wrote on Medium yesterday. "While his presidential campaign may be over, his ideas should remain at the center of the agenda."

Her new plan was released a day before CNN hosts 10 of the Democratic candidates, including Warren, in a town hall dedicated to the climate crisis.

In her latest proposal, which builds on her Green Manufacturing plan, the Massachusetts senator incorporates Inslee's plan to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, vehicles and buildings over 10 years. She argues that the spending would easily be paid for by cancelling the Trump tax breaks for wealthy individuals and corporations, according to the New York Times.

Warren's plan, like Inslee's, would look to close down coal-fired electricity plants within a decade, but also funds health care and pensions for coal miners. Her plan and Inslee's share a new federal regulation on cars with the aim of zero-emissions for most cars, pickup trucks and busses by 2030, as the New York Times reported.

While Inslee's candidacy is over, his influence is clear as candidates scramble to release plans to address the climate crisis ahead of the climate change town hall, which Inslee lobbied for. In her maneuver to adopt Inslee's plan, she has won over some close to the Washington governor.

"Gov. Inslee has made his Climate Mission plan an open source document, and he's pleased to see Sen. Warren taking up major elements of his plan," said Jamal Raad, a spokesman for Inslee, as CNN reported. "He is particularly impressed that Senator Warren is adopting his aggressive targets to reach 100% clean energy in electricity, cars and buildings, ending coal power, and making a commitment to investing in good, union jobs and a just transition for front-line communities."

In addition to Warren, several candidates are releasing their climate crisis plan. California Sen. Kamala Harris unveiled her $10 trillion plans on Wednesday. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and former Obama cabinet member Julián Castro presented theirs on Tuesday. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar released hers over the weekend. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders released his plan last week, which is the boldest and most expensive of all at $16.5 trillion. Entrepreneur Andrew Yang also released his $4 trillion plan last week. While South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg unveiled a $1.1 trillion plan earlier today.


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Farms with just one or a handful of different crops encourage fewer species of pollinating and pest-controlling insects to linger, ultimately winnowing away crop yields, according to a new study.

Up to half of the detrimental impacts of the "landscape simplification" that monocropping entails come as a result of a diminished mix of ecosystem service-providing insects, a team of scientists reported Oct. 16 in the journal Science Advances.

Monocrop palm oil plantation Honduras.

SHARE Foundation / Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0​

"Our study shows that biodiversity is essential to ensure the provision of ecosystem services and to maintain a high and stable agricultural production," Matteo Dainese, the study's lead author and a biologist at Eurac Research in Bolzano, Italy, said in a statement.

It stands to reason that, with declines in the sheer numbers of insects that ferry pollen from plant to plant and keep crop-eating pests under control, these services will wane as well. But until now, it hasn't been clear how monocultures affect the number and mix of these species or how crop yields might change as a result.

Aiming to solve these questions, Dainese and his colleagues pulled together data from 89 studies cutting across a variety of landscapes, from the tropics of Asia and Africa to the higher latitudes of northern Europe. They tabulated the number of pollinating and pest-controlling insects at these sites — both the absolute number of individuals and the number of species — along with an assessment of the ecosystem services the insects provided.

In almost all of the studies they looked at, the team found that a more diverse pool of these species translated into more pollination and greater pest control. They also showed that simplified landscapes supported fewer species of service-providing insects, which ultimately led to lower crop yields.

The researchers also looked at a third measure of the makeup of insect populations — what they called "evenness." In natural ecosystems, a handful of dominant species with many more individuals typically live alongside a higher number of rarer species. The team found as landscapes became less diverse, dominant species numbers dwindled and rare species gained ground. This resulting, more equitable mix led to less pollination (though it didn't end up affecting pest control).

"Our study provides strong empirical support for the potential benefits of new pathways to sustainable agriculture that aim to reconcile the protection of biodiversity and the production of food for increasing human populations," Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter, one of the study's authors and an animal ecologist at the University of Würzburg in Germany, said in the statement.

The scientists figure that the richness of pollinator species explains around a third of the harmful impacts of less diverse landscapes, while the richness of pest-controlling species accounts for about half of the same measure. In their view, the results of their research point to the need to protect biodiversity on and around crops in an uncertain future.

"Under future conditions with ongoing global change and more frequent extreme climate events, the value of farmland biodiversity ensuring resilience against environmental disturbances will become even more important," Steffan-Dewenter said.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Mongabay.

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