Nearly 1,400 Arrested in Protests, Stoking Fears of Second Coronavirus Wave in U.S

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Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin Charged With Murder And Manslaughter In George Floyd Case

Growing civil unrest, riots and protests are raising the possibility of a second wave of the coronavirus outbreak, city and state officials warned, as the violence and public gatherings intensified into Sunday morning.

Thousands have gathered across multiple states to demonstrate following the death of George Floyd, who died after a police officer put his knee on his neck while arresting him in Minneapolis.

According to an Associated Press tally, nearly 1,400 arrests have been made across the nation during the demonstrations, amid concerns some are attending the protests not to demonstrate but as a springboard for violent actions. Clashes have broken out with police using tear gas and rubber bullets against the crowds.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who had encouraged those involved to go home, on Saturday evening, said: “If you were out protesting last night, you probably need to go get a COVID test this week. There is still a pandemic in America that’s killing black and brown people at higher numbers.”

In Minneapolis, where protests were first held near to the scene of Floyd’s arrest, there had previously been warnings the gatherings could prompt further coronavirus cases.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey spoke of there being “two crises that are sandwiched on top of one another,” as he spoke of peaceful protests earlier in the week changing as people from outside of the city coming to join the gathering, stating they had created a shift to violence.

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Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey: “This is about violence, and we need to make sure that it stops. We’re in the middle of a pandemic right now. We have two crises that are sandwiched on top of one another.” https://cnn.it/36IoZQg 

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Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm told reporters earlier this week: “I’m understanding the forecast is for very large protests this weekend, with a lot of people coming in from across the state and around the country and gathering in large groups.

“That’s almost sure to have an impact on furthering spread.

“As we know, large gatherings do pose a risk in any epidemic, but certainly where we stand today with the state of COVID-19 spread in our community. Knowing that we have community spread, we just want to again encourage folks who gather to be mindful of the risk.”

minneapolis police
Police in riot gear block a road near the 5th police precinct following a demonstration to call for justice for George Floyd on May 30, 2020.KEREM YUCEL/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

In a statement released by the Minnesota Health Department, she urged people “to take steps to limit the risk of COVID-19 spread.”

“This is essential not only to protect themselves but also to protect their loved ones and the larger community. This includes wearing masks when in public and maintaining social distancing as much as possible,” she said. The death toll linked to coronavirus in Minnesota topped 1,000 according to figures on Saturday, while the tally of confirmed cases hit 21,490.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also raised concern over the potential spread at protests, addressing an absence of face masks among some of those gathered.

minneapolis protest
Demonstrators gather to protest the killing of George Floyd on May 30, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.SCOTT OLSON/GETTY IMAGES

“You have a right to demonstrate, you have a right to protest—God bless America,” he said Saturday. “You don’t have a right to infect other people. You don’t have a right to act in a way that’s going to jeopardize public health.”

As states across the U.S. lift lockdown measures, concerns have been raised that COVID-19 cases could again spike as communities return to normality.

Guidance for people to wear masks and to maintain social distancing has been issued in order to try and stem the potential spread.

Newsweek has contacted the Minnesota Health Department, the New York Governor’s office and the Atlanta Mayor’s office for comment.

The “Pro-Life” Movement’s Response to COVID-19 Reveals Its Hypocrisy

As communities reel from the devastating impacts of COVID-19, conservative politicians and lawmakers in an alarming number of states have capitalized on the fear and scarcity surrounding the pandemic. They are using legitimate health concerns as a smokescreen to enact anti-choice abortion bans. They have done so under the pretense of public safety, but their actions jeopardize the health and well-being of their communities.

Abortion clinics in Texas have been locked in a legal battle with the state government in recent weeks, leaving vulnerable patients in limbo, after Gov. Greg Abbott deemed abortion a “non-essential” medical procedure. This was purportedly a decision made in the interest of public health, and yet Abbott has also asserted that religious services conducted in “churches, congregations, and houses of worship” are “essential” and therefore should not be subject to stay-at-home orders. He has also openly talked about his plans to re-open the economy as soon as possible, via executive order. This calls his actual commitment to the preservation of life into question.

Likewise, Kentucky’s state legislature just moved to grant Attorney General Daniel Cameron the authority to enforce abortion bans and shut down clinics. He has justified this ban as an effort to “conserve medical supplies” — never mind the fact that medical abortions require little to no personal protective equipment (PPE). Additionally, continuing a pregnancy and giving birth would require significantly more PPE and doctor’s visits than a one-time abortion. While Cameron also claimed that the bans are meant to “follow social distancing protocols,” he then went on to override local officials who tried to ban drive-in church services for Easter weekend. These officials felt that the sheer number of people gathered would pose too big of a health risk, but Cameron disagreed. A similar dynamic is happening in Mississippi, where Gov. Tate Reeves has vowed to shut down the state’s one remaining abortion clinic under the guise of public health, yet instructed Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons to lift his ban on drive-in church services.

Life Tabernacle Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, made headlines when Rev. Tony Spell openly defied state orders by continuing to hold church services, boasting about attendances of upwards of 1,000 parishioners. He justified these gatherings by pointing out that Planned Parenthood was staying open, and said that if Planned Parenthood were to shut down, “we’d save more lives than would be taken by the coronavirus.” Recently, an elderly member of the church died from COVID-19, yet Reverend Spell continues to show little remorse or responsibility, claiming that the cause of death is a fabrication. Life Tabernacle Church’s lawyer, Jeff Wittenbrink, has also been diagnosed with COVID-19 and is currently hospitalized.

Even worse, there are clergy who are opposing stay-at-home orders while also engaging in clinic protests. Kentucky’s Shelbyville Church of God, led by Pastor Joshua Nunley, continues to attend in-person protests at a Louisville abortion clinic. The protesters have come within inches of clinic staff and patients, invading their personal space, compromising their safety, and engaging in intimidation tactics such as yelling. Some clinic escorts have actually stopped volunteering due to fears of contracting COVID-19 from the protesters.

Another congregation in Merrillville, Indiana, has gone so far as to travel out of state to protest abortion clinics in Kentucky. While they affirm the right to make decisions based on their own religious beliefs and sensibilities, once again, they do not extend that same respect for others.

The Fairway Christian Church in Ocala, Florida, plays a leading role in a crisis pregnancy center (CPC), Alpha Center for Women. CPCs like this one function as ploys to manipulate vulnerable pregnant people into giving birth no matter what, often through lies, misinformation, fraud and scare tactics. The Alpha Center claims to “offer life affirming choices to those experiencing unplanned pregnancies” and “educate, equip, support, restore, and empower moms and dads to choose life.” Meanwhile, the church continues to conduct their worship services in person, with worship leaders themselves sitting, standing, singing and preaching in such close proximity to one another that it belies their “pro-life” stance.

While abortion clinics are being kneecapped left and right in places like Texas, Ohio and Alabama, crisis pregnancy centers have been allowed to remain open in those very same states. For example, in Texas, the Houston Pregnancy Help Center has announced an intention to stay open throughout the course of the pandemic.

Thomas Glessner, president of National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, an organization that heads up CPCs across the country, was quoted in VICE News stating that, “the health resources provided by these dedicated life-affirming ministries are absolutely essential” and that “abortion is deadlier than the coronavirus.”

Crisis pregnancy centers do not provide actual health care and they do not offer clients the full range of reproductive health care options. Oftentimes, staff members will pose as medical professionals and give false medical advice. Even though other public establishments (like movie theaters, restaurants, book shops, etc.) have had to close, CPCs have effectively granted themselves the status of providing “essential” medical services, and some state governments are allowing them to remain in operation.

The actions of anti-choice politicians and religious communities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have elucidated the hypocrisy of the “pro-life” movement that, from its inception, has been more interested in preserving political power than promoting human flourishing. This has always been true, but it has never been more apparent.

New Research Affirms Modern Sea-Level Rise Linked to Human Activities, Not to Changes in Earth’s Orbit

New Research Affirms Modern Sea-Level Rise Linked to Human Activities, Not to Changes in Earth’s Orbit

Extreme Sea Level Rise

Scientists boarding the D/V JOIDES Resolution off New Jersey in 1993. The sea level in an ice-free world would be 66 meters (216.5 feet) higher than now — shoulder-high to the Statue of Liberty. Credit: Kenneth G. Miller, James V. Browning, and Gregory S. Mountain.

Surprising glacial and nearly ice-free periods in last 66 million years.

New research by Rutgers scientists reaffirms that modern sea-level rise is linked to human activities and not to changes in Earth’s orbit.

Surprisingly, the Earth had nearly ice-free conditions with carbon dioxide levels not much higher than today and had glacial periods in times previously believed to be ice-free over the last 66 million years, according to a paper published in the journal Science Advances.

“Our team showed that the Earth’s history of glaciation was more complex than previously thought,” said lead author Kenneth G. Miller, a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences in the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. “Although carbon dioxide levels had an important influence on ice-free periods, minor variations in the Earth’s orbit were the dominant factor in terms of ice volume and sea-level changes — until modern times.”

Sea-level rise, which has accelerated in recent decades, threatens to permanently inundate densely populated coastal cities and communities, other low-lying lands and costly infrastructure by 2100. It also poses a grave threat to many ecosystems and economies.

The paper reconstructed the history of sea levels and glaciation since the age of the dinosaurs ended. Scientists compared estimates of the global average sea level, based on deep-sea geochemistry data, with continental margin records. Continental margins, which include the relatively shallow ocean waters over a continental shelf, can extend hundreds of miles from the coast.

The study showed that periods of nearly ice-free conditions, such as 17 million to 13 million years ago, occurred when the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide — a key greenhouse gas driving climate change — was not much higher than today. However, glacial periods occurred when the Earth was previously thought to be ice-free, such as from 48 million to 34 million years ago.

“We demonstrate that although atmospheric carbon dioxide had an important influence on ice-free periods on Earth, ice volume and sea-level changes prior to human influences were linked primarily to minor variations in the Earth’s orbit and distance from the sun,” Miller said.

The largest sea-level decline took place during the last glacial period about 20,000 years ago, when the water level dropped by about 400 feet. That was followed by a foot per decade rise in sea level — a rapid pace that slowed from 10,000 to 2,000 years ago. Sea-level rise was then at a standstill until around 1900, when rates began rising as human activities began influencing the climate.

Future work reconstructing the history of sea-level changes before 48 million years ago is needed to determine the times when the Earth was entirely ice-free, the role of atmospheric carbon dioxide in glaciation and the cause of the natural fall in atmospheric carbon dioxide before humans.

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Reference: 15 May 2020, Science Advances.
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz1346

Rutgers coauthors include Professor James V. Browning, doctoral student W. John Schmelz and professors Robert E. Kopp, Gregory S. Mountain and James D. Wright, the senior author of the study.

Hurry, See “Planet of the Humans,” Before It’s Banned

Planet of the Humans, the new documentary film from director Jeff Gibbs and executive producer Michael Moore, contains a stunning evisceration of so-called green energy and the people profiting from it. It was released on April 21 for free viewing on YouTube and as of the afternoon of Friday, April 24, had been viewed over 1.5 million times.However, Marc Morano reported on Climate Depot that a pressure campaign has succeeded in getting the distributor to pull the film. Josh Fox, who directed 2010’s semi-factual anti-hydraulic fracturing documentary, Gasland, launched the campaign on Twitter and tweeted Friday afternoon that the distributors had agreed to withdraw Planet of the Humans. Fox also tweeted that he didn’t blame the distributors because they hadn’t seen the film before releasing it.

Gibbs and Moore approach green energy from the perspective of the ultra-far left. They believe that everything wrong and evil in the world is caused by “cancerous” capitalism and the billionaire plutocrats who control the global economy. In addition to anti-capitalism, Gibbs has been strongly influenced by Deep Ecology, the anti-human ideology that preaches that drastic population control and near-total deindustrialization are necessary to save the planet.

Much of the analysis is taken from a 2012 book, Green Illusions: The Dirty Secrets of Clean Energy and the Future of Environmentalism by Ozzie Zehner, who was a co-producer of the film and gives a key interview in it.

A better title for the film would be, The Luddite Left Eats the Climate Industrial Complex. Every type of green energy is exposed as phony, useless, and inextricably dependent on fossil fuel production and large-scale hardrock mining. The targets include wind power, solar power, ethanol, biomass, battery storage, electric vehicles, and seaweed. After revealing the manifold shortcomings in each type of renewable energy, Gibbs, who narrates the film, remarks, “It was enough to make my head explode. I was getting the uneasy feeling that green energy was not going to save us.”

The film also goes after the leading green energy promoters and profiteers. Bill McKibben of 350.org is the leading target, but Al Gore, Michael Brune and the Sierra Club, Michael Bloomberg, Goldman Sachs, Elon Musk and Tesla, Arnold Scwarzenegger, the Nature Conservancy, Vinod Khosla, the Union of Concerned Scientists, Van Jones, Richard Blood, and Jeremy Grantham are also featured. And—of course—the Kochs.

For more on Planet of the Humans, James Delingpole has a great column on Breitbart and the Washington Times has published an excellent article by Valerie Richardson. The Guardian’s review is also worth reading.

To combat climate change, human activities more important than natural feedbacks

February 21, 2020
two scientists pose at ice drill in Antarctica.Researchers including Michael Dyonisius , left, drill ice cores in Antarctica. The researchers used the ice cores to determine how much of the potent greenhouse gas methane from ancient carbon deposits might be released to the atmosphere in warming conditions. (University of Rochester image / Vasilii Petrenko)

Permafrost in the soil and methane hydrates deep in the ocean are large reservoirs of ancient carbon. As soil and ocean temperatures rise, the reservoirs have the potential to break down, releasing enormous quantities of the potent greenhouse gas methane. But would this methane actually make it to the atmosphere?

Researchers at the University of Rochester—including Michael Dyonisius, a graduate student in the lab of Vasilii Petrenko, professor of earth and environmental sciences—and their collaborators studied methane emissions from a period in Earth’s history partly analogous to the warming of Earth today. Their research, published in Science, indicates that even if methane is released from these large natural stores in response to warming, very little actually reaches the atmosphere.

“One of our take-home points is that we need to be more concerned about the anthropogenic emissions—those originating from human activities—than the natural feedbacks,” Dyonisius says.

What are methane hydrates and permafrost?

When plants die, they decompose into carbon-based organic matter in the soil. In extremely cold conditions, the carbon in the organic matter freezes and becomes trapped instead of being emitted into the atmosphere. This forms permafrost, soil that has been continuously frozen—even during the summer—for more than one year. Permafrost is mostly found on land, mainly in Siberia, Alaska, and Northern Canada.

Along with organic carbon, there is also an abundance of water ice in permafrost. When the permafrost thaws in rising temperatures, the ice melts and the underlying soil becomes waterlogged, helping to create low-oxygen conditions—the perfect environment for microbes in the soil to consume the carbon and produce methane.

Methane hydrates, on the other hand, are mostly found in ocean sediments along the continental margins. In methane hydrates, cages of water molecules trap methane molecules inside. Methane hydrates can only form under high pressures and low temperatures, so they are mainly found deep in the ocean. If ocean temperatures rise, so will the temperature of the ocean sediments where the methane hydrates are located. The hydrates will then destabilize, fall apart, and release the methane gas.

“If even a fraction of that destabilizes rapidly and that methane is transferred to the atmosphere, we would have a huge greenhouse impact because methane is such a potent greenhouse gas,” Petrenko says. “The concern really has to do with releasing a truly massive amount of carbon from these stocks into the atmosphere as the climate continues to warm.”

Gathering climate change data from ice cores

In order to determine how much methane from ancient carbon deposits might be released to the atmosphere in warming conditions, Dyonisius and his colleagues turned to patterns in Earth’s past. They drilled and collected ice cores from Taylor Glacier in Antarctica. The ice core samples act like time capsules: they contain tiny air bubbles with small quantities of ancient air trapped inside. The researchers use a melting chamber to extract the ancient air from the bubbles and then study its chemical composition.

gloved hand holding a thing section of ice showing the air bubbles trapped inside.

A thin section of an ice core collected at Taylor Glacier in Antarctica. The ice core samples contain tiny air bubbles with small quantities of ancient air trapped inside. The researchers use a melting chamber to extract the ancient air from the bubbles and then study its chemical composition. The Rochester research focused on measuring the composition of air from the time of Earth’s last deglaciation, 8,000-15,000 years ago. This time period is a partial analog to today. (University of Rochester photo/ Vasilii Petrenko)

Dyonisius’s research focused on measuring the composition of air from the time of Earth’s last deglaciation, 8,000-15,000 years ago.

“The time period is a partial analog to today, when Earth went from a cold state to a warmer state,” Dyonisius says. “But during the last deglaciation, the change was natural. Now the change is driven by human activity, and we’re going from a warm state to an even warmer state.”

Analyzing the carbon-14 isotope of methane in the samples, the group found that methane emissions from the ancient carbon reservoirs were small. Thus, Dyonisius concludes, “the likelihood of these old carbon reservoirs destabilizing and creating a large positive warming feedback in the present day is also low.”

Dyonisius and his collaborators also concluded that the methane released does not reach the atmosphere in large quantities. The researchers believe this is due to several natural “buffers.”

Buffers protect against release to the atmosphere

In the case of methane hydrates, if the methane is released in the deep ocean, most of it is dissolved and oxidized by ocean microbes before it ever reaches the atmosphere. Rochester earth and environmental science professor John Kessler studies these processes. If the methane in permafrost forms deep enough in the soil, it may be oxidized by bacteria that eat the methane, or the carbon in the permafrost may never turn into methane and may instead be released as carbon dioxide.

“It seems like whatever natural buffers are in place are ensuring there’s not much methane that gets released,” Petrenko says.

The data also shows that methane emissions from wetlands increased in response to climate change during the last deglaciation, and it is likely wetland emissions will increase as the world continues to warm today.

Even so, Petrenko says, “anthropogenic methane emissions currently are larger than wetland emissions by a factor of about two, and our data shows we don’t need to be as concerned about large methane releases from large carbon reservoirs in response to future warming; we should be more concerned about methane released from human activities.”

This study, supported by the US National Science Foundation and the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, is a recent example of Rochester’s initiatives to better understand the global methane budget. Scientists from Rochester’s Earth and Environmental Science Department have conducted field research in Antarctica, Greenland, the Great Lakes, and Earth’s oceans, and have used machine learning and climate models to advance an understanding of the potent greenhouse gas methane and the ways it affects global warming and climate change.

We’ve Vastly Underestimated How Much Methane Humans Are Spewing Into The Atmosphere

main article image
(Алексей Филатов/Getty Images Plus)

CARLY CASSELLA
19 FEB 2020

Tiny bubbles of ancient air trapped in ice cores from Greenland suggest we’ve been seriously overestimating the natural cycle of methane, while vastly undervaluing our own terrible impact.

Methane is an ‘invisible climate menace‘ – roughly 30 times more potent as a heat-trapper than carbon dioxide  – and while some of this atmospheric gas is produced naturally, new research indicates humans are responsible for far more of it than we thought until now.

Before the industrial revolution, when humans began to extract and burn fossil fuels on the regular, natural methane emissions were an order of magnitude smaller than current estimates, the study suggests.

Today, this means our own methane emissions might be up to 40 percent higher than suspected.

“Our results imply that anthropogenic methane emissions now account for about 30 percent of the global methane source and for nearly half of [all] anthropogenic emissions… ” the authors write.

Over the past three centuries, methane emissions have shot up by roughly 150 percent, but because this atmospheric gas is also produced naturally, it’s been difficult to tell exactly where the emissions are coming from.

To figure out the scope of our own impact from coal, oil and natural gas, it’s therefore necessary to know how much methane comes from wetlands and other natural sinks.

“As a scientific community we’ve been struggling to understand exactly how much methane we as humans are emitting into the atmosphere,” says Vasilii Petrenko, a geochemist from the University of Rochester.

“We know that the fossil fuel component is one of our biggest component emissions, but it has been challenging to pin that down because in today’s atmosphere, the natural and anthropogenic components of the fossil emissions look the same, isotopically.”

There is one rare radioactive isotope however, known as carbon-14, which is contained in biological methane and not in fossil fuel methane.

By drilling and collecting ice cores in Greenland, Petrenko and his colleagues were able to use this isotope as a sort of time capsule for past atmospheres, ranging from roughly 1750 to 2013.

Until about 1870, the findings suggest very low levels of methane were emitted into the atmosphere and almost all of it was biological in nature. Only after this date was there a sharp increase in methane, coinciding with an increase in fossil fuel use.

In practice this means that each year, the scientific community has been underestimating methane emissions from humans by as little as 25 percent and as high as 40 percent. And while that might sound entirely grim, the authors see a silver lining on the edge of this dark cloud.

“I don’t want to get too hopeless on this because my data does have a positive implication: most of the methane emissions are anthropogenic, so we have more control,” says University of Rochester geochemist Benjamin Hmiel.

“If we can reduce our emissions, it’s going to have more of an impact.”

Compared to carbon dioxide, methane is short-lived in the atmosphere, so stricter regulations could have a sizeable impact on future greenhouse gas emissions.

And, at least in the United States, there’s plenty of room for improvement in that respect. A study in 2018, for example, found methane emissions from oil and natural gas were 60 percent higher than those reported by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

This missing chunk could be part of the reason why we are currently underestimating methane emissions so much. It seems that what we are reporting on the ground is not matching up with what’s going on in the sky.

The study was published in Nature.

President Trump speaks at March for Life anti-abortion rally

President Trump on Friday became the first sitting president to speak at the annual March for Life rally — a visible show of support for those who want to restrict abortion access. The event comes six weeks before Supreme Court arguments in one of the most important abortion cases since Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide.

Mr. Trump has in the past called himself “very pro-choice,” but since becoming president has identified as “pro-life” and pushed policies that support efforts to limit abortion.

“From the appointment of pro-life judges and federal workers, to cutting taxpayer funding for abortions here and abroad, to calling for an end to late-term abortions, President Trump and his administration have been consistent champions for life and their support for the March for Life has been unwavering,” said Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life, in a statement announcing the appearance.

On the campaign trail in March 2016, Mr. Trump even said that “there has to be some form of punishment” for women who receive abortions if the procedure were to become illegal, an idea he hasn’t revisited since winning the election, after the idea was criticized even by conservatives.

Mr. Trump announced he’d be attending the rally on Wednesday, the 47th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.

Until this week, the highest-ranking White House official to attend March for Life was Vice President Mike Pence, who has gone every year since 2017. Other presidents have delivered remarks over the phone, but never attended in person.

Friday’s event will begin with a rally at noon at the National Mall, where a group of speakers, including Mr. Trump, will address the crowd. Attendees will then march down Constitution Avenue and end at the steps of the Supreme Court.

Abortion and access to the procedure have emerged as a major issue in the 2020 election. Planned Parenthood’s political arm announced it plans to spend a record $45 million to elect politicians who support abortion access, while the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion advocacy group, plans to spend $52 million, the most it has ever spent on a single election.

The state lawmaker from Louisiana who wrote the bill at the center of the upcoming Supreme Court case will also be speaking. Representative Katrina Jackson introduced the state’s “Unsafe Abortion Protection Act,” a 2014 law not currently in effect that requires abortion-providing doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. If the Supreme Court allows the law to go into effect, abortion access could be entirely eliminated in Louisiana.

In an exclusive interview with CBS News, Planned Parenthood’s acting president Alexis McGill Johnson said she was worried about the upcoming case and warned that other states may follow.

“I think what it will do is actually emboldened state legislatures across the country to enact these similar bans and TRAP (targeted regulation of abortion providers) laws around abortion providers,” Johnson said on Wednesday in Davos, Switzerland, noting that the impact would “effectively gut Roe.”

In a tweet Wednesday evening, Johnson addressed Mr. Trump’s attendance at March for Life, writing, “further confirmation that the sitting President of the United States is determined to end the American people’s ability to access abortion.”

New data released on Wednesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that the majority of Americans supported abortion access. According to the report, 79% of those surveyed said they do not want to see Roe v. Wade overturned and 63% said they personally knew someone who had an abortion.

“There’s a vocal minority who control the levers of power and our work is to really shift those levers of power in 2020 to ensure that the will of the people actually remains the law of land,” Johnson said.

Support for abortion, however, depends on the trimester. A 2018 Gallup poll found six in 10 U.S. adults think abortion should generally be legal in the first three months of pregnancy. That support drops to 28% for abortions in the second trimester and 13% in the third trimester.

Trump to attend anti-abortion March for Life in a presidential first

Abortion wasn't always taboo in America

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Abortion wasn’t always taboo in America 01:36

(CNN)President Donald Trump will attend Friday’s March for Life, an annual anti-abortion event in Washington, he announced on Twitter.

“See you on Friday…Big Crowd!” Trump tweeted Wednesday, sharing a video from last year’s march.
Trump will be the first president to attend the march, according to Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life. Trump was also the first president to speak at the march via video feed when he addressed participants in the 2018 march.
The administration has consistently worked to regulate or restrict abortion access since Trump assumed office. His expected attendance at the march comes on the heels of his return from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and as the Senate impeachment trial into his conduct regarding Ukraine is underway.
Mancini said in a statement Wednesday that March for Life is “deeply honored” to welcome Trump to the group’s 47th annual march.
“He will be the first president in history to attend and we are so excited for him to experience in person how passionate our marchers are about life and protecting the unborn,” she said. A press release for the march says Trump will speak at the event.
Mancini called Trump and his administration “consistent champions for life,” adding that “their support for the March for Life has been unwavering.”
During his tenure, Trump has appointed anti-abortion judges and opposed abortions later in pregnancy, and his administration has taken efforts to further separate federal funds from abortion services.
The Friday event — themed “Life Empowers: Pro-Life is Pro-Woman” — will kick off with a rally on the National Mall followed by a march that concludes at the steps of the Supreme Court. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, a Louisiana Republican, and GOP Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey also are slated to speak at the march.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List, said the President’s “presence at the March for Life, the world’s largest pro-life event, signals a watershed moment for the Pro-life Movement.” Dannenfelser previously served as the national chairwoman of the 2016 Trump campaign’s Pro-life Coalition.
Abortion rights activists slammed Trump’s announcement as a ploy to appeal to a minority of supporters on the issue.
NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue called Trump’s move “an act of desperation, plain and simple,” accusing him of “turning to deception and disinformation about abortion to gin up a vocal and extreme minority as he faces the escalating reality that his presidency is crumbling around him.”
Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the political arm of the nonprofit reproductive health care organization, tweeted that “since day one, the Trump-Pence admin has sought to undermine our access to health care, including safe, legal abortion.”
“But the 77% of us who support that access will have our say in November,” the group added. “Let’s make sure that next year, he’s there as a private citizen.”

The Concession to Climate Change I Will Not Make

And illustration of the earth melting
THE ATLANTIC

Our first child was born at the end of August. I am not a young parent; I was born in 1974, and in the span of this one generation, global carbon levels rose by nearly twice as much as in all of human history before. I teach environmental law, so naturally people get around to asking whether my wife and I struggled with what it means to bring a child onto this troubled planet, and whether it is a good thing to do at all.

I take the point. James added his seven pounds, 10 ounces to a planet where humans and our domestic animals together outweigh the other land-based vertebrates by 24 to 1. As an American, he can expect to emit 16 metric tons of carbon a year, compared with five for a French newborn and about two for a baby in India or Indonesia. Unless he’s a saintly hermit, he’ll have little personal choice about that carbon load. Most of it is dictated by the roads, engines, and sources of energy that will keep him cool or warm, provide his food, and move him around. He can’t opt out of these systems without opting out of human life as we live it now.

Sometime not too long after he starts asking about the change from winter to spring, or the migration patterns of the geese that sometimes pass high overhead, I will need a way to explain that climate change is destroying habitats, acidifying the oceans, and making large parts of the planet’s land uninhabitable for people. To quote the cards from friends and family that we’ve lovingly placed around our apartment: Welcome, baby.

On one level, my answer to “How can you have a child now?” is simple. I have never been tempted to think we should all stop having children and disappear. Part of the reason climate change is so terrible is the threat it poses to human life and culture, and I want to help them go on. So the question I ask myself every day is how to explain this suffering world to a newcomer. This is what I find myself saying, to this little person who can’t understand me quite yet: “The world is good, for all the bad in it—a good place. And you are good: full of joy, born innocent. But you are not good for the world. When you do all the things you will do—work, play, love—you will be breaking down its systems, making it unlivable. And there is very little that you, personally, can do about it.” What kind of welcome is that?

It is a truthful one, at least, but it raises more questions. What does it mean to teach a child to live in a time of perennial crisis, always in the shadow of loss? I think about trying to teach him love and wonder first, before he inevitably learns fear. I would like him to be fascinated by a Manhattan red oak, a red-tailed hawk perched in its limbs, or a morel mushroom at its roots, before he thinks, This forest is going to die, with everything in it. When the thought of climate doom arrives, I hope it will arrive in a mind already prepared by curiosity and pleasure to know why this world is worth fighting to preserve.

And I hope it will soften the edge of doom for him to know that the world we love has been desolated and climate-changed for a very long time. I imagine we’ll conjure together the ghosts of the wolves and elk that once lived in Manhattan, and the long-lost bison in the West Virginia hills where his grandparents live. A little later, he will know that 10,000 years ago there were giant ground sloths, dire wolves, mastodons, and more. He will learn that before 125th Street was a commercial hub of southern Harlem, it was a streambed running out of the stony flanks of Morningside Heights and curving down to what is still a wetland at the northeastern corner of Central Park. Some of the wonder of the world is what is already gone from it. Nothing he learns to love will be undamaged. Love for half-broken things and places is what he will have to practice, like all of us.

A love for imperfect and impermanent things isn’t a bad starting point for passionate democratic politics. We’ll be sure to tell him that being personally powerless to change the world doesn’t mean being collectively powerless, that we can still make a politics big and generous enough to change course. James was less than a month old when tens of thousands of people rallied in New York City for the global climate strike. We walked him down Riverside Drive and quietly joined in with the chants of elementary-school children marching for the planet. “Look, James,” I whispered, “big kids!” I hope he and his classmates will assume that the Green New Deal is only the beginning of what we need to make peace with the planet, and with one another.

Much of our unease about having children today is rooted in fear of what they will do to the planet. We fear, too, what this changing world will do to them. Children in some places, unprotected by wealth or geography, will be predictably less safe than others, but no one will be beyond danger. Like any parent, I feel this like a cold hand on my heart. But most human lives have begun under threat, from war, exploitation, disease, starvation, or storm and drought. Our moment is radically exceptional in that a few hundred million people have been able to imagine real safety as the normal background of human life.

That is a precious thing, but to preserve and extend it, we have to be willing to go on without its assurance. The only alternative to giving up on humanity is to have children whom we cannot keep as safe as we would wish, or as safe as some of us were raised to imagine we could. And if we are ultimately going to build a world that is both safer and fairer, we will have to start by working to save as well as transform the same civilizations that have ruinously misused the Earth. For now, as the poet Wallace Stevens wrote in a 1942 poem eerily titled “The Poems of Our Climate,” the imperfect is our paradise. This ever more broken world is the only route to a better one.

New York City is a good place for a post-natural naturalist’s education in uncertainty. It has been climate-changed forever. We can study seasons by looking upriver at the forest-topped cliffs of the Palisades near the George Washington Bridge, already bare in late fall while the trees of Manhattan’s heat island stay halfway green. He will learn that in the city, raccoons are not nocturnal as they are elsewhere, not afraid of dogs or people—that, like other migrants to New York, they have adapted to its rhythms. He will learn that in this beautiful place, nothing is permanent or entirely secure.

After James had his vaccinations, his 7-year-old cousin, William, came into the city to meet the baby. While James slept, William and I walked into Riverside Park, to what I think is one of the last free-flowing springs in Manhattan, which pops out of a hillside and flows less than 100 feet to a drain running to the Hudson. I helped him gather stones, branches, and leaves to dam the little stream. We watched our pool build up, then broke the dam for the brief pleasure of watching newly freed water leap downhill, for just a moment, as wild as anything in the world.