He launched a two-year investigation of University of Virginia climate scientist Michael Mann — which the Virginia Supreme Court eventually shut down. He has sued to block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating the fossil-fuel pollution that causes global warming. In his new book, The Last Line of Defense: The New Fight for American Liberty, Cuccinelli ramped up his attack on EPA’s climate rules, warning that they’ll slow the U.S. economy and force Americans to live in a future of brownouts and endless gas-station lines.
His likely opponent, former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe, is planning to attack Cuccinelli for his hard-right views on climate change as part of a broader effort to paint the Republican as an extremist on a range of hot-button issues, including abortion, gay rights, and immigration, the McAuliffe campaign says.
But Cuccinelli’s climate crusade, in particular, will resonate with his party’s base nationally as well as with conservative Virginians. The race is kicking into gear just as President Obama declared, in his State of the Union and inaugural speeches, that he plans to aggressively fight climate change — a cause the president sees as a legacy issue. And Obama’s climate agenda is almost certain to lead to more of the EPA regulations that Cuccinelli has warred against.
The latest column by Thomas Friedman lays out the ways climate change can act as destabilizing stressor on geopolitics, especially through its effect on food prices. [NYTimes]
A new effort is underway to measure methane leakage along the United States’ supply chain of natural gas, in order to determine the full extent of the industry’s effect on climate change. [WaPo]
While the latest snowstorms to hit Kansas have been an inconvenience, they’ve also brought the area much-needed precipitation. However, without further rainfall, the drought that has plagued the state will continue. [Topeka Capital-Journal]
In a rare instance of cooperation, Russia and the United States have now joined forces to push for greater protection for the polar bears under a global treaty on endangered species, which is being reviewed this week at a conference in Bangkok. [NYTimes]
According to Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology, the three summer months that ended in February were the hottest season ever recorded in the country, leading Australia’s Climate Commission to label it the “Angry Summer” in a new report. [The Telegraph]
China’s potential carbon tax may spur U.S. lawmakers “to more seriously consider what the appropriate U.S. actions should be on market-based climate policies,” according to a trader representative. [Bloomberg]
Flooding in the country of Wales last year is the likely reason a new national survey found that concern about climate change amongst the Welsh population is greater than it was two years ago. [Wales Online]