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D.C. readers: Join Axios' Mike Allen and Evan Ryan tomorrow morning at 8:30am for our next News Shapers event.
Onto music. Happy birthday to the late and incomparable Nina Simone, who opens today's edition...
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
We’re at the beginning of a make-or-break period to confront global warming. A combination of forces, from dire scientific reports to extreme weather events, have crystallized the need for bold steps, Axios' Andrew Freedman reports.
The big picture: It's a rare convergence of science that reveals the urgency of the problem, extreme events that highlight threats almost nationwide, and shifting public views that are fueling support for stronger policies, scientists and polling experts say.
In the past 2 years, a spate of dire scientific reports have hammered home the urgency of acting.
The collective message from these studies is that the actions we take in the next 10 to 20 years will be crucial to determining the climate for centuries.
Public polling shows evidence that these reports, plus extreme weather events like the deadly California wildfires, are changing some minds.
In a sign of climate science's influence, the Democrats' Green New Deal resolution championed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez cites both the UN report and the Black Friday report.
A new grassroots movement has also started to develop, like the recent school walkouts in Europe led by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg that are expected to reach the U.S. and other countries on March 15.
But, but, but: There are other reasons for some of these changes, such as having a climate change denier in the White House and the galvanizing effect that's having on the left.
The bottom line: The next few years will show us whether that means there's a window for action, or whether we'll just be more aware of our fate.
A new Morgan Stanley note says Amazon's $700 million investment in the electric vehicle company Rivian is the biggest moment for EVs since Tesla's 2010 IPO — and may be the year's biggest auto story.
The big picture: Research analyst Adam Jonas and several colleagues argue that this single deal is important because...
The intrigue: Another big takeaway is their argument that Amazon's investment represents an eventual challenge to Tesla's dominance in U.S. production.
What's next: The move is wrapped up in Amazon's related and growing efforts to move toward autonomous electric fleets, Axios' Joann Muller and Erica Pandey report.
The Trump administration might form a committee to re-examine the view of many intelligence and defense analysts that climate change poses a national security threat, according to a White House memo obtained by the Washington Post.
What to watch: William Happer, a Princeton physicist and well-known denier of mainstream climate science findings, will reportedly participate in the panel.
The big picture: Axios' Orion Rummler notes that multiple reports from U.S. intelligence agencies have already concluded that climate change poses security risks, including the administration's latest Worldwide Threat Assessment from the director of National Intelligence.
The White House declined comment for this story.
Crude oil: Via Argus, "US upstream mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are expected to slow further in 2019 amid a volatile crude market, but large corporate consolidation may still continue as companies seek to build scale and lower costs."
Pressure: Bloomberg has a look at Climate Action 100+, an increasingly powerful network of institutional investors that's pretty new to the scene but has recently won concessions from Shell, BP and mining giant Glencore.
EPA: Politico obtained documents that shed light on a rather secretive, longstanding coalition of big coal-burning power companies and their connection to Bill Wehrum, a senior EPA official and former partner at a law firm that works with them. From their piece on the Utility Air Regulatory Group...
Carbon injection site well near Iceland's Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Plant. Photo: Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images
Axios Expert Voices contributor Luca Mastropasqua sizes up a Clean Air Task Force study showing that recently enacted tax credits could spur carbon capture deployment in the U.S. power sector that's equivalent to taking 7 million cars off the road.
Why it matters: The oil and gas industry has experimented with CO2 removal technology since the 1930s to purify process streams from CO2. Now similar technology could be used to ease the transition from fossil fuels to more sustainable energy sources.
Background: Carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) is considered an important medium- and long-term means of reducing carbon emissions in fossil fuel–intensive industries.
Details: The Trump administration approved a new tax credit in the February 2018 budget legislation for CCUS, which made several changes:
Read more of the full piece by Mastropasqua, who's a senior research scientist at UC Irvine's Advanced Power and Energy Program.