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climate change

Ann Arbor at sunset.
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

The city of Ann Arbor plans to become carbon neutral over the next 10 years. Ann Arbor City Council voted unanimously early Tuesday morning to adopt guidelines for community-wide carbon neutrality by 2030.

The A2 Zero Carbon Neutrality plan would significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and offset the remaining emissions so that the community's overall carbon output is zero.

VW showed off their Gold TDI Clean Diesel at the 2010 Washington Auto Show. The company has since admitted to evading emissions standards for the last seven years.
wikimedia user Mariordo / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Michigan has joined 22 other states and the District of Columbia to challenge an effort to roll back Obama-era fuel efficiency standards.

Attorney General Dana Nessel announced the lawsuit Wednesday.

The lawsuit claims new federal rules are illegal and would set back efforts to fight climate change.

Winters are warming faster than other seasons across much of the United States. While that may sound like a welcome change for those bundled in scarves and hats, it's causing a cascade of unpredictable impacts in communities across the country.

Temperatures continue to steadily rise around the globe, but that trend isn't spread evenly across the map or even the yearly calendar.

Ann Arbor city hall.
Heritage Media / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS HTTP://MICHRAD.IO/1LXRDJM

The city of Ann Arbor is considering a carbon tax on internal operations that rely on fossil fuels and carbon emissions. This comes three months after the city declared a climate emergency and set a goal of carbon neutrality for the city by 2030.

Source: https://water.weather.gov/precip/ / NOAA

Parts of Michigan ended the year under flood advisories, as the state’s rivers continue to be high from an extremely wet 2019.

The National Weather Service issued flood warnings for parts of the Grand, Muskegon and Saginaw rivers.

Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

In a few short weeks, the 2010s will be over, and the 2020s will begin. It's the end of a decade (even if some people insist it's not exactly the end of the decade). Life in Michigan on the cusp of 2020 is quite a bit different than it was in 2010. Our newsroom has been reflecting on the stories that most shaped Michigan in the 2010s. Below is our list. What would you add? 

Centering the classroom on climate resilience

Dec 9, 2019
Lauren Janes

Once a week, two young men take over Jessica Krueger-Koupal’s Algebra II classroom at Ypsilanti Community High School.

Their names are Logan Applebee and Keem King, and they work for the Detroit-based non-profit EcoWorks. They help teachers facilitate discussions on climate resilience, in communities that could see a disproportionate share of climate disruption.

michigan.gov

Today on Stateside, a team from Emory University is in Michigan this week to take blood samples from people who were exposed to polybrominated biphenyls—or PBBs—in the 1970s. Plus, is new technology the key to fighting climate change—or is a radical cultural shift needed? 

migrating birds
Photo by Barth Bailey on Unsplash

A new study out of the University of Michigan finds the bodies of migratory birds are shrinking - and it could be due to climate change.

The data was collected in Chicago over roughly 40 years. Researchers collected the bodies of birds that collided with buildings. The study uses some 70,000 birds covering 52 species as its data set.

Protesters standing with signs
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

More than 150 protesters gathered in downtown Grand Rapids as part of a national climate strike Friday.

They want Senator Gary Peters and other Democrats to commit to the Green New Deal.

Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, we hear about the plan for a unique “net-zero” community in Ann Arbor. Plus, dispelling the stereotype that Michigan wine can't compete on the world stage. 

aeiral view of flooded Grand River
City of Grand Rapids / Facebook

A majority of Michigan’s rivers have more water than usual for this time of year. That’s according to measurements from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Elevated water levels are causing issues for water infrastructure in the state.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

We know that burning fossil fuels releases a lot of greenhouse gases. But there are other human-caused sources that contribute to climate change. As Lester Graham with the Environment Report found, one of them is how farmers plant crops.

NASA

Ann Arbor's City Council has declared a "climate emergency." That includes the aggressive goal of reaching carbon neutrality for all of Ann Arbor by 2030.

The declaration is in line with a consensus among climate scientists: that humans need to move much faster in reducing carbon emissions if they wish to avoid the worst effects of a rapidly warming globe.

A sign reading "The climate is changing and so should we #actnow"
Unsplash

Today on Stateside, what does the resignation of a member of the Michigan State University Board of Trustees mean for the university moving forward? Plus, how Kalamazoo and other cities are preparing for, and trying to mitigate, the impacts of climate change.

a portrait of Governor Stevens T Mason
Courtesy of the Michigan History Center

 

Today on Stateside, one University of Michigan professor says we are in the midst of a "Re-Englightenment" when it comes to cultural attitudes about climate change. Plus, we talk to Democratic Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin about her work on a package of bills aimed at protecting U.S. elections from foriegn interference.

people holding climate change protest signs
Bob Blob / Unsplash

 

Science shows climate change is real and humans are contributing to the problem. So, how did something science-based cause such a cultural and political divide?

University of Michigan professor Andrew Hoffman has an answer to that question.

In September, he wrote an article called “Climate Change and Our Emerging Cultural Shift.” It addressed the unique backlash to climate change science among some religious communities.

Jeff Kowalsky / Detroit Economic Club

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler spoke at a Detroit Economic Club event in Detroit on Tuesday to promote President Donald Trump's environmental agenda.

Wheeler announced what he called an aggressive action plan for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

He said President Trump does not intend to cut the initiative's $300 million budget. The announcement is a reversal of the Trump administration's efforts over the last three years to eliminate funding for the initative.

Wheeler said the new action plan lays out priorites for the next five years.

Every year, the company Ingredion buys millions of tons of corn and cassava from farmers and turns them into starches and sugars that go into foods such as soft drinks, yogurt and frozen meals.

Lots of things can go wrong along the way. Weather can destroy crops. Machinery can break.

Lately, though, Ingredion's top executives have been worried about a new kind of risk: what might happen on a hotter planet.

DTE Energy

DTE Energy says it is committing to achieve net carbon neutrality by the year 2050.

The term, "net carbon neutrality," means reducing carbon emissions, along with offsetting emissions by supporting outside carbon reduction efforts, in order to achieve a 100% reduction in CO2 emissions attributable to the utility.

Trevor Lauer, president and chief operating officer for DTE Electric, says the path to 100% carbon neutrality will require utilization of technologies that are not currently fully developed.

A group of elementary school children hold signs at the Washtenaw County protest.
Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

 

“Climate strikes” are being held around the world today, including here in Michigan. The youth-led movement aims to pressure corporations and governments to do more to reduce the greenhouse gases that are causing climate change.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio


As Rising Heat Bakes U.S. Cities, The Poor Often Feel It Most

Sep 3, 2019

When Shakira Franklin drives from West Baltimore to her job near the city's Inner Harbor, she can feel the summer heat ease up like a fist loosening its grip.

"I can actually feel me riding out of the heat. When I get to a certain place when I'm on my way, I'll turn off my air and I'll roll my windows down," says Franklin. "It just seems like the sun is beaming down on this neighborhood."

a postcard featuring an old steamer ship from Chicago
Public Domain

Today on Stateside, the latest on the road funding dispute between Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Republican leadership in the Michigan Legislature. Plus, while some retirees might be getting ready to head to Florida for the winter, one Florida couple recently uprooted their life to move to Michigan to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

Bill Lovis stands to left of Inca mummy
Michigan State University

Today on Stateside, we hear about a lawsuit, filed by the Michigan Republican Party, that aims to block an independent commission from redrawing legislative maps. Plus, we talk about the tough ethical choices people face when trying to do something about climate change.

led light bulbs on a light blue background
voloshin311 / Adobe Stock

Consumers Energy CEO Patti Poppe pulled no punches at a kickoff event for the utility's campaign to encourage customers to use less energy in the war against climate change.

"I cannot stress firmly enough that we are in a crisis and must take action right now," she said.  "We can't do this ourselves, we need your help."

If you want to know what climate change will look like, you need to know what Earth's climate looked like in the past — what air temperatures were like, for example, and what ocean currents and sea levels were doing. You need to know what polar ice caps and glaciers were up to and, crucially, how hot the oceans were.

Adobe Stock

When President Donald Trump announced in 2017 that the United States would pull out of the Paris Agreement, cities across the country declared that they would uphold the goals of the accord on their own.

Two years later, a handful of Michigan cities have plans in place to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but many more are just in the process of putting a plan together. Which is good, says Jenna Jorns, because cities are especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Jorns is the program manager for the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments Center.

Malak Silmi / Michigan Radio

At times, the threat of climate change can feel overwhelming. Up to one million species are on track to become extinct in the near future, water levels are rising at a rapid pace, and parts of northern Michigan are warming at a faster pace than other parts of the state and the country. 

young african american girl in a blue tshirt using an inhaler outside
Adobe Stock

 

Climate change doesn’t just hurt our environment. It affects food production, insect outbreaks, precipitation. And, as health professionals are starting to see, it’s causing problems for human health.

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