1/ The United Nations World Meteorological Organization declared 2023 the warmest year ever recorded. Data from January through October showed global temperatures were around 1.4C (2.5F) above the pre-industrial average from 1850 to 1990, according to the provisional findings in the 2023 State of the Global Climate Report. “Record global heating should send shivers down the spines of world leaders and it should trigger them to act,” U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said. “We are living through climate collapse in real time, and the impact is devastating.” The nine years from 2015 to 2023 have been the warmest nine in 174 years of scientific recording, with 2023 breaking the previous single-year records set in 2020 and 2016. Petteri Taalas, the secretary general of the World Meteorological Organization, called it “a deafening cacophony of broken records.” July was Earth’s hottest month ever observed and may have been warmer than any time in the last 125,000 years. (New York Times / Washington Post / ABC News / Bloomberg / Associated Press)

  • Study warns about climate change misinformation during extreme weather. “A new study warns that some politicians and their followers have been using recent extreme weather events to spread misinformation about climate change.” (Axios)

2/ The annual United Nations climate summit convened with the goal of finding agreement on whether to phase out fossil fuels – the primary driver of global warming – or to scale up carbon capture technology to reduce emissions. The International Energy Agency, however, has called the idea of widespread carbon capture an “illusion.” The COP28 climate summit is hosted this year by the United Arab Emirates – an OPEC member – and the person responsible for brokering a global climate deal is Sultan al-Jaber – the CEO of one of the world’s largest oil producers. Days before COP28 began, it was reported that Sultan Al Jaber planned to use his role as COP president to promote Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. fossil fuel sales. In his opening address, Jaber told delegates they must “ensure the inclusion of the role of fossil fuels” in any climate agreement, and suggested that oil and gas companies “can lead the way.” [Editor’s note: Shocker.] (Washington Post / Bloomberg / Associated Press / NBC News / Politico / ABC News / CNN)

  • Nations at COP28 agreed to an unprecedented fund aimed at helping poor and vulnerable nations deal with the climate emergency. Diplomats from nearly 200 countries pledged about $549 million for the new fund, which “will pay for loss and damage, which occurs when rising seas, drought or other effects of climate change are so destructive that communities can no longer adapt.” Wall Street Journal / New York Times / Associated Press / The Guardian / Reuters

3/ The EPA proposed requiring water utilities nationwide to replace all of their lead pipes within 10 years in an effort to prevent another public health catastrophe like the one in Flint, Michigan, where approximately 99,000 residents were exposed to lead. Lead is a neurotoxin that can cause irreversible damage to the nervous system and the brain, and the EPA estimates that 9.2 million lead pipelines bring water to people across the U.S. If finalized, utilities for the first time would be required to dig up and replace their lead piping, even if their lead levels aren’t too high. The EPA has said it could cost $45 billion. (Axios / Associated Press / Washington Post / New York Times)

4/ The Senate Judiciary Committee authorized subpoenas for conservative billionaire Harlan Crow and judicial activist Leonard Leo about their close personal and financial relationships with some Supreme Court justices. The subpoenas were approved by 11 Democratic senators after Republicans members refused to vote and walked out of the committee room. Despite the successful vote, Senate would be forced to hold a vote to enforce the subpoenas – if Leo and Crow choose not to comply – which might not win the required 60 votes in the closely split chamber. The subpoenas are part of an ongoing investigation into Supreme Court ethics, and how undisclosed activists and donors have used gifts and luxury travel to gain access to the justices. (Axios / Politico / NBC News / Washington Post / CNN)

5/ An appeals court reinstated Trump’s gag order prohibiting him from attacking court staff in his ongoing $250 million civil fraud trial in New York. The gag order was first put in place by Judge Arthur Engoron in early October after Trump attacked his law clerk on social media. A New York appeals court earlier this month temporarily halted the gag order, which allowed Trump to again attack Engoron and the clerk. Engoron has said his chambers “have been inundated with hundreds of harassing and threatening phone calls, voicemails, emails, letters and packages,” and repeatedly warned about the possibility of violence stemming from Trump’s political rhetoric. After a panel of appeals court judges put the gag orders back in place, Engoron said he plans to enforce it “rigorously and vigorously.” Trump also faces a gag order in his federal 2020 election subversion case, which is currently on pause as a panel of federal judges weighs its merit. (New York Times / Associated Press / Axios / Politico / NPR / Washington Post / CNN / NBC News)