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The past few weeks have produced a steady stream of bad news for the Earth.

Here’s a look at some stories making headlines.

President says he doesn't know if global warming is manmade.

US President Donald J. Trump’s October 14 interview with 60 Minutes was noteworthy for several reasons, though less for the president’s words on climate change than for the slowly—but meaningfully—changing political climate around him. 
Over the weekend, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a new report, authored in part by US scientists and approved by US officials, that provides an updated snapshot of the likely future impacts from increasingly severe climate change, as well as the world’s progress toward avoiding them. The report has drawn significant media attention, not least because it brings renewed scrutiny and debate to just what the world, and particularly the United States, can and should be doing to avoid the disruption, instability, and costs of a warming world.
US President Donald J. Trump on September 25 used his second address to the United Nations General Assembly to reaffirm his commitment to an America First approach to foreign policy.

“America will always choose independence and cooperation over global governance, control, and domination,” Trump told the gathering of world leaders at the opening of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. He laid out his vision for US foreign policy, with an emphasis on protecting US sovereignty from global governance and rising globalization.
Describing energy security as “tantamount to national security,” US Energy Secretary Rick Perry urged Europe to reduce its dependence on Russian gas and diversify its energy sources.

Europe’s dependence on Russian natural gas “is truly a cause for concern,” Perry said in remarks at the closing session of the Three Seas Initiative’s Business Forum in Bucharest on September 18.

Perry also affirmed US President Donald J. Trump’s opposition to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will deliver gas from Russia across the Baltic Sea to Germany and Western Europe. Supported by Berlin, Nord Stream 2 received an endorsement from Austrian President Alexander van der Bellen at the first day of the Three Seas summit on September 17. Central European countries and the United States oppose the project.
US President Donald J. Trump on September 12 issued a new executive order (EO) authorizing sanctions in response to interference in US elections, likely as an attempt to stave off two bipartisan bills circulating in the Senate that would mandate significant sanctions against Russia. The EO is a mixed bag; it directs cabinet officials to produce reports on interference following every US federal election—a good step toward showing seriousness—but the sanctions in the EO do not substantially change the status quo, especially from the perspective of providing an effective deterrent to Russian aggression. 
Very little is likely to actually happen immediately on May 8 if US President Donald J. Trump does not renew sanctions waivers for Iran.

Indeed, there is only one waiver scheduled for renewal by a May 12 deadline. That provision is Section 1245 of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Washington has been replete with pre-planned symbolism, well-orchestrated photo ops, and abundant re-affirmations of the bonds between France and the United States. In terms of substance, however, Macron saved his best for last, calling on US President Donald J. Trump to step up to the plate and act on climate change.

In a long, rousing speech before a joint meeting of US Congress, Macron touched on a wide variety of issues, and consistently underscored the need for the United States to have an active role in creating a “new breed of multilateralism” fit for modern challenges.
An increase in gas prices in the United States may have pushed US President Donald J. Trump to criticize the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in a tweet on April 20.

“Oil prices are artificially Very High! No good and will not be accepted!” Trump tweeted as OPEC and non-OPEC members met in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to assess their agreement to curtail production.

The tweet comes as the US benchmark for oil prices, WTI, is close to $69 per barrel, while the international benchmark Brent exceeded $73 per barrel.


    

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