Connecting climate change dots

Let’s connect a few dots on climate change from the day’s news.

Attorney General Maura Healey is locked in a fierce legal battle with ExxonMobil over her request for decades of documents that might suggest the energy giant has misled the public about the impact of climate change.

Meanwhile, President-elect Donald Trump said on Sunday that “nobody really knows” whether climate change is real. And Trump doesn’t seem to think ExxonMobil is a climate change villain; news reports suggest he is leaning toward hiring Rex Tillerson, the chairman and CEO of the company, as his secretary of state.

Bjorn Lomborg, the president and founder of the Copenhagen Consensus Center and a visiting professor at the Copenhagen Business School, suggests in a Boston Globe op-ed that the debate over climate change has become oversimplified. Climate change will not necessarily lead to more extreme weather (hurricanes, droughts), he says, but will lead to higher temperatures.

“Climate change itself will be tackled not through expensive, inefficient carbon cuts, but by investing in research and development of green energy sources to make them so cheap they will outcompete fossil fuels,” Lomborg writes.

Bill Gates seems to agree. He is leading a $1 billion fund focused on clean energy innovation and is assembling an all-star list of investors.

BRUCE MOHL


BEACON HILL

Conservative columnists take aim at Attorney General Maura Healey for her climate change jihad against ExxonMobil.The Globe’s Jeff Jacoby says Healey is mounting a politically motivated, unconstitutional attack on the company. The Boston Herald’s Adriana Cohen, meanwhile, calls Healey a “rogue attorney general” who is engaged in “nothing more than a ‘witch hunt.’” But for those with a conspiracy bent, one of the lawyers for Exxon has a familiar nameTed Wells, the attorney who led the NFL’s investigation into Deflategate. (New Boston Post)

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

Tension is brewing between Boston City Councilor Andrea Campbell and some black clergy leaders over how to address violence in the city’s black community. (Boston Globe)

Brookline is swimming in development proposals under the state’s Chapter 40B affordable housing law. (Boston Globe)

Instead of granting Millennium Partners a waiver from a law protecting Boston parks from shadows from tall buildings, Renee Loth says the city should tell the developer to make its tower at Winthrop Square conform to the statute meant to protect treasured open spaces like the Boston Common and Public Garden. (Boston Globe)

The Worcester Redevelopment Authority is preparing to spend about $6.5 million fixing leaks at Union Station. (Telegram & Gazette)

A Herald editorial says Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is “talking out of both sides of his mouth” by pushing last month’s approval of a tax surcharge via the Community Preservation Act but now moving to cut residential property taxes.

The Peabody Essex Museum in Salem launches an online exhibit. (Salem News)

The former Brockton city auditor, who Mayor Bill Carpenter said okayed his using city funds to purchase funeral flowers, burial suits, and a language course, said she only recalls one invoice for flowers crossing her desk. (The Enterprise)

WASHINGTON/NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL

Despite President-elect Donald Trump’s disdainful rejection of their conclusions, CIA officials say a mountain of circumstantial evidence points to Russia’s attempt to tip the election in Trump’s favor. (New York Times)

Foreign policy experts from both parties say K.T. McFarland, tapped by Trump to be deputy national adviser to Michael Flynn, whose appointment has also raised plenty of questions, is “a policy lightweight with no real personnel or crisis management experience.”  (Politico)

A one-time aide to former Fall River mayor Will Flanagan was a key advisor for the successful campaign and victory last month of Haiti’s president-elect  Jovenel Moà se. (Herald News)

He wasn’t there himself, but here is Bob Dylan’s speech, delivered on his behalf, accepting the Nobel Prize from the Swedish Academy. (Time)

ELECTIONS

US Rep. Stephen Lynch said President-elect Donald Trump successfully sold himself as the “hero of the American worker” while Hillary Clinton and Democrats were talking about “which bathroom to use” and “free-range chicken.” (Keller@Large)

Former Lawrence mayor William Lantigua confirms he is planning to return from the Dominican Republic to challenge Mayor Daniel Rivera. Lantigua, 61, has a 6-month-old baby girl with a 24-year-old woman he plans to marry in 2017. The baby is his fifth child and the woman would be his fourth wife. (Eagle-Tribune)

It’s time to stop elected presidents using the antiquated Electoral College, says Stonehill College political science professor Peter Ubertaccio, who says a fix is possible without even amending the Constitution. (CommonWealth)

Though they’re not all thrilled with every move he’s made, conservative Republicans in the state are generally rallying around Gov. Charlie Baker’s reelection in two years (not that he’s formally said he’s running or anything). (Boston Herald)

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

An investor in a development project in downtown Quincy is tearing down a building it owns and n the center to put in a drive-thru ATM. (Patriot Ledger)

EDUCATION

Remember the two Babson College students who allegedly drove around the Wellesley College campus shouting racist and homophobic rants? It turns out they may have only shouted their support for Donald Trump; an attorney representing one of the students is threatening a defamation lawsuit. (Boston Herald)

Enrollment at Massachusetts public colleges and universities is down for the third straight year. (Telegram & Gazette)

Milton police and Curry College officials are investigating a spike in hate-filled messages and symbols left around the campus in recent months directed at racial and religious minorities, women, and gay people. (Patriot Ledger)

HEALTH/HEALTH CARE

Urgent care clinics are gaining traction in Massachusetts. (Salem News)

Dr. Kami Phillips, the board chair of the Massachusetts Academy of Family Physicians, says the Bay State is a primary care doctor desert. (CommonWealth)

TRANSPORTATION

James Aloisi and Elon Levy debunk the Track 61 plan. (CommonWealth)

Performance by commuter rail operator Keolis has gotten worse, not better, with far more trains cancelled this fall than last fall. (Boston Globe)

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

Federal regulators are looking at how they are managing the catch quota for halibut — which they have labeled as “overfished” but commercial fishermen say have rebounded — after landings of the flat fish last year were the highest since 1972. (Standard-Times)

A tagging study to determine the number of gray seals around Cape Cod could cost as much as a half-million dollars but is unlikely to take place because of the low-priority of such a census due to the seals’ population rebound from near extinction. (Cape Cod Times)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE/COURTS

An investigator hired by the town of Shirley finds credible evidence that Sgt. Alfreda Cromwell was discriminated against several times, despite claims to the contrary by Police Chief Thomas Goulden. (Lowell Sun)

A 2004 law gives those wrongfully convicted of crimes in the state the right to collect damages up to $500,000, but the case of a former Framingham man, convicted of rape when he was 20 years old in 1983, shows the difficulty of prevailing. (The Eye)

Prosecutors will recommend six months of house arrest when a former Teamsters leader is sentenced on Thursday in federal court for his role in strong-arming a production crew filming an episode of Top Chef. (Boston Herald)

The state Appeals Court rejected a motion by a 21-year-old Braintree woman to dismiss a suit by a man convicted of raping her when she was 14. The man is seeking visitation rights for the daughter conceived by the rape. (The Enterprise)

A New York Times analysis of diversion programs in 37 states finds a wide disparity in application with one frequent recurring theme: Those with money usually avoid jail and have their records expunged while indigent defendants often face prosecution.