Each of us can make a positive difference stepping up & doing our best / Becoming Planet Citizens
GreenPolicy360 Archive Highlights 2021
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On the Last Day of 2021
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E.O. Wilson: Planet Citizen
E.O. Wilson: He discovered hundreds of new species by putting his hands in the dirt as a field biologist, synthesized evolving thinking in science and coined new terms, such as biodiversity and biophilia, to explain it. Of his many accomplishments in evolutionary biology, his biggest contribution was probably in the new scientific field of sociobiology, in which he addressed the biological basis of social behavior in animals, including humans.
E.O. Wilson: His 2006 book "The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth," a series of letters written to an imaginary Baptist preacher in pursuit of an ecological alliance to save the Earth.
E.O. Wilson: Naturalist dubbed a modern-day Darwin, dies at 92
Protect Life, Be Pro-Life, Prevent Extinction
E.O. Wilson: The 8 Million++ Species We Don’t Know
On the Way to Cosmology
December 25th.... Launched !
"The launch of the Webb Space Telescope is a pivotal moment -- this is just the beginning for the Webb mission," said Gregory L. Robinson, Webb's program director at NASA Headquarters.
"Now we will watch Webb's highly anticipated and critical 29 days on the edge. When the spacecraft unfurls in space, Webb will undergo the most difficult and complex deployment sequence ever attempted in space. Once commissioning is complete, we will see awe-inspiring images that will capture our imagination."
Mark today, December 19, 2021
One Senator today, a Senator elected by 290,000 voters in one of the least populous states, goes on the Fox channel to announce, suddenly, that he, in explanation, has 'done everything humanly possible'. As 'swing vote' in the U.S. Senate, he will kill the Build Back Better Act and all its climate provisions. That the U.S. and world are facing #ClimateCrisis does not enter this man's mind as he explains his motive. What is seen as needed and necessary by Americans across political divides and by scientists, by young people and people of the world is nowhere seen by this man Manchin as explains to Fox on Sunday, amid Christmas season decorations, why he's bearing destructive news. What is as key to economic well being in the U.S., competitive moves as promised with infrastructure and energy, and #EnvironmentalProtection at home and as a global leader becomes, in one fell swoop, a tragic collapse.
'Senator Manchin's Surprise' sweeps across U.S. and world media. The Office of the President reacts to Manchin's news with an immediate, and harsh press office statement ending with a promise to continue trying for passage 'next year'.
Across the globe, the U.S. is now again seen as failing by the nations of the world. The costs of this failure will be extensive, as the U.S. comes across as untrustworthy and dysfunctional as some 200 nations attempt to put forward their own climate plans after the Glasgow Climate Summit. Calls for action, real climate action beyond promises, are a highest priority. Governments are attempting to step up and confront the clear and present danger of the #ClimateCrisis, the U.S., after 4 years of Trump administration climate change denial, attacks on environmental science and retreat from global and national environmental protection, now faces another profound national security challenge. -- GreenPolicy360 #StrategicDemands #NewDefinitionsofNationalSecurity
Press Secretary Jen Psaki:
"... Sudden and inexplicable reversal"
"Breach of his commitments to the President and the Senator’s colleagues in the House and Senate"
“Senator Manchin’s comments this morning on FOX are at odds with his discussions this week with the President, with White House staff, and with his own public utterances.”
“Weeks ago, Senator Manchin committed to the President, at his home in Wilmington, to support the Build Back Better framework that the President then subsequently announced. Senator Manchin pledged repeatedly to negotiate on finalizing that framework ‘in good faith.'”
"Senator Manchin’s statement about the climate provisions in Build Back Better are wrong. Build Back Better will produce a job-creating clean energy future for this country — including West Virginia.''
Manchin, who owns a coal company, continues to reject the notion that climate change demands urgent action. He called the climate provisions in Biden’s bill “catastrophic.”
An explosive chain reaction of finger-pointing and hand-wringing followed Sen. Joe Manchin’s declaration yesterday that he would oppose President Biden’s signature climate bill.
Climate experts started scrambling for workarounds to compensate for the money and policies killed by the West Virginia Democrat’s decision that he announced during a "Fox News Sunday" interview yesterday. The White House began picking up the pieces of a political coalition riven by distrust and recriminations. And climate diplomacy, already staggering from this year’s disappointing global climate summit, was poised to sink to a new low.
The bill’s defeat would mark the third time since 1993 that Democrats have failed to pass a climate law after winning unified control of government — only now, scientists say there’s no time left to preserve a safe climate.
Global temperatures already have risen about 1.1 degrees Celsius from preindustrial levels. Biden has set a goal of cutting U.S. emissions in half by 2030 — roughly the same rate the entire world must follow, scientists say, in order to keep warming well below 2 C.
The $1.7 trillion "Build Back Better Act" opposed by Manchin would have directed $550 billion to climate policy, the largest pot of money in the bill. The version passed by the House included over $300 billion in clean energy tax credits and a methane fee for the oil and gas industry.
Its collapse raises new problems for Democrats’ 2022 midterm campaigns, as well as future international efforts to combat global warming.
Internationally, the ramifications of Biden’s failure could take longer to materialize. America’s ability to meet its own climate commitments is seen as key to getting other countries to do more to tackle the climate crisis.
For now, some deals struck on the sidelines of COP 26 likely will be unaffected by Congress’ inaction. Those agreements include a commitment among more than 100 countries to cut methane emissions and a new corporate-centered campaign to get heavy-polluting companies to green their supply chains (Greenwire, Oct. 5).
Where it will matter most is on U.S. credibility.
“The diplomacy around climate change is easy to overstate," said David Victor, a public policy professor at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at the University of California, San Diego. “But it’s got to make enough progress that everyone in the world sees that as a legitimate process and that there are efforts being made.”
Before and after COP 26, U.S. climate envoy John Kerry pushed China, India, Russia and several other large emitters to step up their climate mitigation efforts — even as they have chided the United States for failing to pass climate legislation.
Kerry told E&E News in October that the United States could meet its climate goals without legislation. As an example, he pointed to the role businesses could play in helping reduce global emissions (Climatewire, Oct. 15).
So please, with me, just close your eyes for just a moment, and imagine the world as it should be. A world of peace, trust, and empathy, bringing out the best that we can be.
Open your eyes. Now go, we have to make it happen. Please, let’s hold the line together. Thank you.
Bringing a Critical Eye to the 'Summit for Democracy' and the Role of a Free (and Thriving) Press
“Given the increasing challenges journalists face all around the world, is it time to rebuild journalism, not simply as a media sector, but as a piece of essential infrastructure for any functioning democracy?” the agenda states.
Yes... yes. Yes and yes, but how?
“What would a New Deal for journalism look like, and what national and international commitments are required to foster consistently independent, reliable, accessible and compelling public-interest journalism all around the world?”
Focusing in on Dangers to Democracy around the World and Clear and Present Danger to Democracy in the U.S.
Steve Clemons 'Bottom Line' / 'Democracy vs Hypocrisy': Biden's 'Summit for Democracy'
Interview with Daniel Fried, Foreign Policy magazine; foreign policy writer/columnist Elise Labott; and Progressive International Coordinator David Adler
November 25, 2021
Steve Clemons segment intro: "2021 wasn't exactly the best year for Democracy around the world, so is Joe Biden's 'Summit for Democracy' supposed to come in and save the day..."
US President Joe Biden had been in office for a few days when he announced that he would hold a virtual “Summit for Democracy” to “push back authoritarianism’s advance” worldwide.
But after the world watched the disregard for rule of law, expansion of executive power and mistrust of elections spread throughout the United States, the question is: What moral authority does Washington have to lecture the rest of the world about democracy?
Host Steve Clemons speaks with former US diplomat Daniel Fried, Foreign Policy magazine columnist Elise Labott, and Progressive International Coordinator David Adler about the prospects for the summit.
Remembering Carl Sagan's Warning - 30 Years Ago
"If you burn a lump of coal somewhere the carbon dioxide goes up in the atmosphere and you know carbon dioxide molecules are exceptionally stupid. They don’t know anything about national boundaries. They don’t have passports. They are wholly innocent of the important concept of national sovereignty. They just casually cross over national boundaries once after the other. There is a lesson – the world is a unity – the national boundaries have no bearing on these global environmental issues. No one nation can solve this problem by itself. It has to be all of the nations working together."
On Our Planet Connection, on the Science, on the Threats: Carl Sagan explains in 1990
Carl Sagan talks about the 'big picture', about life, about threats to life, carbon dioxide, greenhouse gases, global warming... across national boundaries
In 1990, at an Emerging Issues Forum, Carl Sagan explains why we must be aware and act now to protect life on Earth
Solving the serious emerging problem of climate change requires 'transnational' cooperation to realize and confront the coming climate crisis
GreenPolicy360: Watch & listen carefully to Carl Sagan's one hour+ tour de force speech
Carl Sagan’s Keynote Speech at the 5th Emerging Issues Forum - February 1990
He spent almost 50 years alone at 10,000 feet. His hobby helped shape climate research in the Rockies
An amateur scientist began logging snowfall to keep busy. Along the way, he became an unwitting chronicler of climate change in a region known as the water tower for the drying American West
Via the Washington Post
GOTHIC, Colo. — As world leaders gathered across the globe this month to discuss a climate crisis that is rapidly heating the Earth, Billy Barr, 71, paused outside his mountainside cabin to measure snow... as he enters his 50th winter in Gothic, change has come, and not just in shorter snow seasons and higher temperatures... he doesn’t relish the frozen solitude so much anymore. He is, though, determined to keep gathering his data. He says he feels an obligation — to the records themselves, and the precise way he has kept them since the early ’70s... He’d always liked numbers; as a kid, he counted gas stations on family trips. That’s what inspired his records, not some grand scientific ambition. Over time, Barr found he liked comparing one year to others... After filling 10 notebooks with his records, Barr now organizes them in Excel and publishes them on his website. Researchers regularly ask him for data, he said, and he always obliges... In the numbers, he points out patterns. Nearly half the record low temperatures came in his first decade here, and more than half the record highs occurred in the last one. The years between 1974 and 2000 averaged 10 more days with snow on the ground than the years since. The number of consecutive days when temperatures stayed below freezing has plummeted.
“Back in the ’70s, there were winters where we had well over 100 days in a row where it didn’t get [above] freezing. Last winter, the most was nine,” Barr said. “It doesn’t take much to break that — it could have been 200 days with one in between. But still, there’s a trend there.”
Down the hill from Barr’s cabin and outside the lab is a new recognition of that: Eight white trailers forming the core of the Surface Atmosphere Integrated Field Laboratory (SAIL), a massive federally funded effort that relies on dozens of instruments measuring precipitation, wind, aerosols, clouds, radiation and more. Much of the equipment arrived in September after deployment on a ship in the Arctic, where it was part of an expedition documenting climate change.
It is in Gothic now because climate change in this spot has enormous implications but is not fully understood. Snowmelt here eventually flows to the Colorado River — a key and declining water source for 40 million people in the West.
The campaign builds on an existing study of the East River watershed headed by Ken Williams, a Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientist who is co-leading SAIL. He chose to work here in part, he said, because the area’s diversity — in vegetation, elevation, geology — is representative of mountain watersheds across the West. The lab’s wealth of long-term observations were also a draw — including Barr’s, he said.
“If you’re in the business of trying to understand how ecosystems function now and in the future, you have to have a long record of data against which to compare one year to the next...”
U.S. House of Representatives passes biggest climate investment in U.S. history
'Build Back Better' Reconciliation Act Goes to the Senate
November 19, 2021
$555 billion in climate programs
(The overall 'Build Back Better' legislative package's) biggest climate spending components include 10-year tax credits to expand and accelerate investments in renewable power, including wind, solar and nuclear. The bill also includes a proposal to raise the electric vehicle tax credit to up to $12,500 for vehicles made at a unionized factory in the U.S.
Other climate-related items in the legislation include:
- Delivering consumer rebates for shifting to clean energy and electrification
- Advancing environmental justice by investing in disadvantaged communities
- Creating a new Civilian Climate Corp to create jobs and conserve public lands
- Investing in coastal restoration, forest management and soil conservation.
“This is the most consequential climate vote in our history,” Manish Bapna, president and CEO of the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement. “It’s about creating jobs, driving innovation, advancing equity, and confronting at last the rising costs and mounting dangers of the climate crisis.”
Glasgow's hope for the climate battle
- by Michael E. Mann and Susan Joy Hassol
"Our future now depends on holding leaders accountable for carrying out the pledges they made at Glasgow."
November 14, 2021
November 13, 2021
At COP26, nations agree to speed climate action, but world remains off target
Exhausted negotiators from nearly 200 nations struck a deal Saturday intended to propel the world toward more urgent climate action, without offering the transformative breakthrough scientists say must happen if humanity is to avert catastrophic warming.
The two largest CO2 emitting nations arrive at a (surprise) CO2 reductions agreement
Read the draft agreement released at the 2021 International Climate Summit
Focus on the details of the deal between China (which did not send a delegation to the climate gathering) and the US (which announced that the US was back after the Trump era retreat from international climate engagement)
Countries with Largest CO2 Emissions
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November 10, 2021
COP26 Live Updates: Draft of Glasgow Climate Accord Calls for Tougher Action
Visit the climate summit site to see the first draft of 'elements' of the conference's consensus declaration being discussed/debates for final passage. It's #StrategicDemands time. #ClimateChange is *the* great threat of our generation. Read the first draft (1-CP-26) and ask -- are the international representatives, some 39 thousand registered for the Glasgow UN conference, rising to face the pressing challenges of the #ClimateCrisis??
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A First-Hand Point of View at the International Climate Summit
GLASGOW, Scotland, COP 26 – Being on the ground in Glasgow, Scotland, for COP26 is a strange and humbling experience... The work happening here is fast-paced, desperate, hopeful, angering, innovative, rooted in community … and frustrating. So many stories here plead to be heard as the world heads for further warming on a runaway train of emissions...
So, what does it truly feel like to be here at COP26? Read More
Go Gavin Go. Time for science, measuring & monitoring, facts to confront the pressing challenges of #ClimateChange
- Via NASA: "You can manage only what you can measure"
- #AtmosphericScience #EarthScience #StrategicDemands #PlanetCitizensPlanetScientists
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November 8, 2021
SpaceX Dragon Crew-2 Returns to Earth
Watch & See How Thin Earth's Atmosphere Really Is
Remember the sum of all human-produced chemical emissions is being collected in a very thin atmosphere...
- The international climate summit is now attempting to limit the emissions threatening our life enabling atmosphere...
Protect & Secure "Thin Blue"
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International Climate Summit / COP26 Progress Report
November 6, 2021
Less than a week into the international climate summit in Glasgow, known as COP26, the mood is mixed.
There have been positive developments, such as pledges to end and reverse deforestation, a deal to cut methane emission levels by 30% by 2030 and new commitments to phase out coal power.
Ultimately, however, the success of the summit will be judged on whether countries and companies can keep the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal alive. This critically important temperature threshold refers to the aspirational target of the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement.
Experts say it is difficult to see how COP26 can steer the world toward 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Cut Methane Emission Levels
Phase Out Coal Power
News from the International Climate Summit in Glasgow
Day 1 of the Earth Summit in Glasgow
Remembering the First Earth Summit
GreenPolicy360 Siterunner: Thirty years ago... and now I'm older and looking back at the first "Earth Summit" that led to the first global 'Conference of the Parties'. My reports to the Environmental News Service (ENS) picked up on the green, environmental platform planks I was also adding to the Platform in Progress for California Governor Jerry Brown's presidential campaign. The first Earth Summit and Governor Brown's energetic efforts both moved a vital, forward-looking vision and both encountered myriad obstacles from powers-that-be and business-as-usual. The obstacles didn't stop before or after 1992. The work continued on and continues to today... November 2021, fifty years on...
I'm now remembering and picking up and continuing the threads of Representative George E. Brown's work to advance climate science, beginning in earnest with the first National Climate Act of 1978 and establishment of the Office of Science and Technology Policy to push what was called a "big science, earth science" agenda with the first generation of focused earth studies and science, measuring and monitoring 'the Commons' , earth's atmosphere, natural resources (e.g., Landsat's start up and a deep, multi-decade array of NASA/NOAA/USGS missions that have now continued for half a century.
Here's to Opportunity for Citizen Activism
The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on 31 October - 12 November 2021
October 30, 2021 / Associated Press
Biden's Climate Plan Survives Negotiations in Congress
Next Step, Turn the Framework Agreement into Passed Legislation
WaPo / Biden’s new Build Back Better bill has $555 billion for climate, making it the biggest clean energy bill ever
A Seal that someone chose to be the mascot for the soon-to-start int'l climate conf in Glasgow. #ClimateCrisis is a grave challenge facing humanity. We think a blunt 'Face the Climate Crisis - Now' message and different mascot(s) with Call(s) to Action would have been a better way to go. It's not really time for a happily waving Seal as a climate emissary greeting those arriving to do Very Serious Work.
October 20, 2021
How a Single Senator Derailed Biden's Climate Plan
- The Centerpiece of the president's environmental agenda has fallen apart because of the objections of a single senator.
Does one West Virginia coal-state Senator kill the US plan to confront the #ClimateCrisis
Disabling... one week before the start of the international climate summit... the US climate response model intended to provide a guide for global nation-by-nation #ClimateAction
History will tell the story of Senator Manchin
Fact Sheet - Biden administration roadmap to build an economy resilient to climate change impacts
Google targets climate change denial
Google announces it is 'demonetizing content' that makes misleading or false claims about climate change.
As a result, content that calls into question or denies the scientific consensus around anthropogenic climate change will not have Google advertising alongside it. In addition, Google will no longer run any advertising that "contradicts well-established scientific consensus around the existence and causes of climate change."
Climate Science at the Forefront as New Nobel Prizes Are Announced
STOCKHOLM / Via the Associated Press / October 5, 2021
Three scientists won the Nobel Prize for physics today (Oct. 5) for work that found order in seeming disorder, helping to explain and predict complex forces of nature, including expanding our understanding of climate change.
Syukuro Manabe, originally from Japan, and Klaus Hasselmann of Germany were cited for their work in “the physical modeling of Earth’s climate, quantifying variability and reliably predicting global warming.” The second half of the prize went to Giorgio Parisi of Italy for explaining disorder in physical systems, ranging from those as small as the insides of atoms to the planet-sized.
In recognition of the climate challenges his work helped reveal, Hasselmann told The Associated Press he “would rather have no global warming and no Nobel prize.”
Across the Atlantic at the same time, Manabe told the AP that figuring out the physics behind climate change was “1,000 times” easier than getting the world to do something about it.
But he noted that those two things were related: Without an understanding of why the climate is changing — which his pioneering work provided — predicting such change “is no better than the prediction of a fortune teller.”
The prize comes less than four weeks before the start of high-level climate negotiations in Glasgow, Scotland, where world leaders will be asked to ramp up their commitments to curb global warming.
Every Day ... for Over 50 Years
Landsat is tracking change on Earth
NASA - Global Climate Change
Images of Change
9 Things About Landsat 9 !!!!!!!!!
- NASA (2021)
New Landsat Mission Launches Successfully
Interior Department Secretary Deb Haaland says the program provides "a rich form of data" that helps people in their everyday lives and is vital in dealing with climate change.
The U.S. Interior Department, the U.S. Geological Survey, NASA with the Congressional Science and Technology Committee (originally the Science and Astronautics Committee were responsible for building the original Landsat program (which overcame much opposition within the military). ERTS-1, the Earth Resources Technology Satellite, as the original Landsat satellite was officially first called, was 'greenlighted' to go as a real time earth observation mission in 1970. The vast digital database it gathered has proven over the years the wisdom of the visionaries who first proposed, drafted legislation creating, funding, then engineering, testing, launching and ably defending the Landsat mission from critics over the decades. Now the results are being re-considered for the unique value they provide in guiding policy discussion, debate and decisions. The Landsat library of imagery, millions of images, multispectrum observations of change on earth over the first fifty years of the mission's existence, are seen in a new light.
"We're in the thick of the climate crisis right now, we see that every day — drought, wildfires, hurricanes, Hurricane Ida that devastated parts of the South and went all the way up to New England," the current Interior Department head, Ms Haaland, the first Native American to hold the post said.
"Images like the ones that Landsat 9 will bring back to us will help to guide us in how we are approaching climate change, working to make sure that we can make the best decisions possible, so that folks have water into the future, that we can grow our food into the future."
Landsat 9 -- Unique Program of Earth Imaging, Open Access Data, and Environmental Protection
"Landsat has provided a critical reference for assessing long-term changes"
The Landsat Mission, Over 50 Years of Earth Science Observations
Landsat 9, NASA's most powerful Landsat satellite ever, is 'go' for launch on Monday, Sept. 27
Liftoff is set for 2:12 p.m. EDT (1812 GMT)
- Post to Facebook | Uploaded Sept 26, 2021
U.S. President speaks of pressing national and global challenges faced by today's generation
GreenPolicy360: Our "intergenerational" responsibility begins to be recognized, acknowledged and acted upon
In his first address to the United Nations General Assembly as president, President Joe Biden said the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other threats present world leaders with a stark choice at "the dawning of what must be a decisive decade for our world."
"We’re challenged by urgent and looming crises, wherein lie enormous opportunities, if we can summon the will and resolve to seize these opportunities," Biden said Sept. 21.
Biden addressed protecting the rights of women, nuclear disarmament, expanding individual liberty, and reducing global hunger, casting the U.S. as focused on diplomacy and partnerships.
"We are not seeking a new cold war, or a world divided into rigid blocs," Biden said. "The United States is ready to work with any nation that steps up and pursues peaceful resolution to shared challenges, even if we have intense disagreement in other areas, because we'll all suffer the consequences of our failure."
On climate change, "the scientists and experts are telling us we are fast approaching a point of no return."
Biden’s words about "approaching a point of no return" reflects the broad concern that the world is unlikely to be able to keep global warming to within the 1.5 degrees Celsius target of the Paris Agreement.
If the Paris Agreement targets are to be met, there may be very few years left for policy makers to start cutting emissions. Here we calculate by what year, at the latest, one has to take action to keep global warming below the 2 K target (relative to pre-industrial levels) at the year 2100 with a 67 % probability; we call this the point of no return (PNR).
In a landmark report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, released Aug. 9, 234 authors relying on more than 14,000 studies stated that "it is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land."
As they gather at U.N., world leaders face furious push to act quickly on climate change
‘We really are out of time,’ Secretary-General António Guterres warns, imploring countries to set aside political differences
With only six weeks left until a crucial global climate summit in Scotland, presidents and prime ministers also face pressure to set aside these diplomatic tensions and act quickly and collectively to slow the warming of the planet... This week’s U.N. General Assembly marks one of the last high-profile opportunities for countries to publicly commit to more ambitious, concrete action to cut greenhouse gas emissions ahead of November’s climate summit in Glasgow.
U.S. Congress 'Gets Its Last Best Chance at Meaningful Climate Action'
Press Herald makes the point explicit... Will the Congress act??
- GreenPolicy360 / New Horizons of Security
New Definitions of National... and Global Security
GreenPolicy360 & Strategic Demands / #StratDem
GreenPolicy360/StrategicDemands: The key to 21st century security is "strategic realism". Any full scientific assessment of security threats on the horizon is replete with environmental/global risks that are drawing daily into view. These risks are presenting a clear and present danger, in U.S. Department of Defense terms. A 'clear and present danger' has yet to be acknowledged by the US Department of Defense, or in the US military budget that approaches $1 trillion in annual spending. Other nations continue a race seeing security in terms of defense/military spending. This cannot be sustained. Forward planning with a new and more acutely aware vision of security is demanded now.
GreenPolicy360 and its associate Strategic Demands challenge prevailing views that are not focused as they must be on existential threats of our era. A new vision of security must drive the politics of our times. New definitions of national and global security must become highest priorities.
We specifically point at the US 'National Intelligence Program' and its annual threat assessment reports. We see a shift taking place in the intelligence community (IC) as it is now beginning to recognize and acknowledge environmental security as a crisis that is no longer distant. The climate crisis is real. Severe eco-impacts are being experienced by communities, national to local, as science is reporting with voluminous data and attendant warnings.
Action is demanded. We must move climate and environmental impacts from 'irritants' to a central role as we rethink security risks. GreenPolicy360 and Strategic Demands point the way toward the new definitions, responses and solutions necessary for comprehensive, and sustainable security.
GreenPolicy360 Founder / Siterunner
New definitions of national and global security, new priorities are necessary for a more rational defense of our larger security interests... It is critical to move beyond the failed national security policies of the past.
Deep Costs of War, Failed Policies:
Time for a New Vision, New Definitions of National Security
Ambitious Biden - Aims for nearly half nation's energy to come from solar by 2050
From 4% to 45%: Biden Offers Ambitious Blueprint for Solar Energy
Department of Energy Solar Futures Study Provides Blueprint for a U.S. Zero-Carbon Grid
Sept 8, 2021
This Is 'Code Red'
"We got to listen to the scientists and the economists, and the national security experts, they all tell us this is code red," Biden said... "The nation and the world are in peril. That's not hyperbole. That is a fact."
Nearly 1 in 3 Americans experienced a weather disaster this summer
Climate change has turbocharged severe storms, fires, hurricanes, coastal storms and floods — threatening millions
Extreme Weather Now
“I'm a climate scientist and on Wednesday night, I watched the rain outside my New York City window break the local record for the most accumulation in an hour. It was an event that caused catastrophic flooding and infrastructure failures across both the New York Metro area and a wide swath of the Northeast US, delivered by the remnant of a powerful hurricane that had visited even greater destruction on Louisiana a couple of days ago. This is the point in the news cycle when I would normally be called upon to explain why, in a warmer climate, hurricanes and heavy rain events get more extreme. I can't do it. Not today. At this dystopian moment, I'm just not feeling it, and I don't think I'm alone. I have many friends and colleagues who study extreme weather, in academia, government and the private sector. I think I can speak for many of us when I say we're stunned.”
--- Adam Sobel / CNN / Sept. 2, 2021
“In the United States, we have something like 450 war museums. We just have one peace museum.”
Read more at Strategic Demands
Upheaval in Central Asia Impacts the Future of Clean Energy Production?
'Rare Earth' Minerals & Mining Are Strategically Vital in EV Manufacturing
Code Red: Now What? How Will We Respond?
Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) Tweeted:
This basically sums up our current situation. The “code red” IPCC report came out a week ago. Since then not one politician has been held accountable. Not one politician has been asked how they are going to act in line with this.
Thread 1/4 (Graph by @Peters_Glen)
August 15, 2021
From Strategic Demands as the U.S departs Afghanistan after 20 years of war
GreenPolicy360's associate and Editor of StrategicDemands.com speak out on a momentous day
August 11, 2021
Senate Passes $3.5 Trillion Budget Plan
Transformational climate, energy, environmental protections and economic restructuring
Democrats muscled through the measure minutes before 4 a.m.
Via the NY Times
>The blueprint now heads to the House, where lawmakers will return early from a scheduled summer recess the week of Aug. 23 to take it up. But moderate Democrats are also agitating for a stand-alone vote on the bipartisan infrastructure package, which could complicate efforts to swiftly pass the measure. Progressives have said they will not vote on the infrastructure bill until the House approves the budget package.
>(M)onths of arduous work remain....
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Click on the following PDF for hot links to Google News articles global and online
Biden Changes the EV Game
The Biden administration announced a target for electric vehicles to make up 50% of all vehicle sales in the U.S. by 2030 early on Thursday. That includes battery, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell electric vehicles.
Auto makers, including Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler owner Stellantis will stand alongside President Joe Biden, pledging to meet the voluntary target, the White House said.
The EV charge, first led by Tesla and more recently joined at pace by traditional car manufacturers, now looks set to go up a gear.
Analysts at the brokerage Evercore said the targets could expedite adoption in the U.S. by several years, and expected big gains for EV and EV charging companies in the weeks ahead, singling out charging network operator EVgo in particular. There are more catalysts; the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill contains funding for EV charging points, and the coming budget reconciliation package is expected to include incentives.
The administration will be hoping to emulate Europe, which became the world’s biggest electric-vehicle market in 2020, before being overtaken by China. Europe adopted a two-pronged approach to boost EV adoption, introducing heavy fines for auto makers missing vehicle-emissions targets and offering consumers huge incentives to switch to electric vehicles.
No Turning Back
President Joe Biden said "there's no turning back" on the future of an electric auto industry Thursday as he signed an executive order setting a target for zero-emissions vehicles to account for half of all automobiles sold in the U.S. by 2030... a dramatic shift toward electric vehicles as part of the administration's broader agenda to tackle climate change and compete with China, a leader in the electric vehicle market.
"The question is whether we’ll lead or fall behind in the race for the future," he said before signing the order. "Right now, China's leading the race as one of the largest and fastest growing electric vehicle markets in the world."
Biden said his administration will develop long-term fuel efficiency and emissions standards that would apply to heavy-duty vehicles in addition to cars, SUVs and pickup trucks, officials said. The Environmental Protection Agency also announced they're unwinding former President Donald Trump's rollback of near-term fuel efficiency and emissions standards for gas vehicles.
August 3, 2021 - In the U.S. Senate
Bernie Sanders talking in the Senate about what's next up -- transformational change, human infrastructure legislation and confronting the existential challenge of climate change.
Climate in the Infrastructure Bill: A substantial investment in resilience
Via the NY Times / August 2, 2021
As the United States staggers through another year of devastating wildfires, drought, storms and other calamities, the infrastructure bill before Congress would pour major resources into a response. The measure agreed to over the weekend includes billions of dollars to better prepare the country for the effects of global warming, in what could be the largest investment in climate resilience in American history.
Much of the money would go toward activities that are already underway, but which experts say the government needs to do more of as the threats from climate change increase...
Via the Washington Post
When it comes to meeting President Biden’s climate goals, the math is clear: Half of all cars and SUVs sold in 2030 need to be electric
Record-breaking solar-over-water production farm announced
July 22, 2021
Plans were unveiled today for the world’s largest floating solar power and energy storage system. At a cost estimated at $2 billion, the system will be developed by Singapore’s Sunseap Group in cooperation with Badan Pengusahaan Batam (BP Batam) operators of a free trade zone in Indonesia and installed at Batam Island.
Under an MOU between the two organizations, Sunseap will develop the floating photovoltaic system (FPV) and ESS energy storage system. The FPV is projected to have a capacity of 2.2 GWp and span around 1600 hectares, making it the largest FPV in the world to date. The ESS is also slated to be the largest ESS with a storage capacity of larger than 4000 MWhr. Construction is slated to begin in 2022 with a plan to be completed in 2024.
GreenPolicy360 says: solar-over-water production is a combo that will produce multiple benefits
We've discussed the new Over-Canal study with former Governor Jerry Brown -- the Solar-Over-Water plan is engineering meant for today's climate challenge
Solar panels over water canals and aqueducts could form a real power ticket in California -- and across the planet
Save water (lower water evaporation), create energy in ideal locations (a highest use for unused above-water space), provide worldwide potential for decarbonization to mitigate effects of climate change (with small- and large-scale solar production), construction can vary with modular design and construction lowering costs (solar-over-canals can act as highways for power delivery)
“The SolarAqua Grid model provides a combined, integrated response to addressing our water/energy nexus. It can help address California’s underlying vulnerabilities while meeting both state and federal level commitments to produce renewable energy, lower greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change. Solutions such as these are not only viable but more urgently needed than ever before, particularly as the region returns to what many researchers refer to as a paleo-drought — a worst-case scenario for water managers.”
Significant evaporation savings, as much as 82% ... That amount of water can make a significant difference in water-short regions.”
The UC Solar AquaGrid study comes at a time when there is growing urgency for shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy. UC engineers are rethinking how aging water and energy infrastructure can adapt to the challenges of sustainable water management, catastrophic wildfires, multi-day power outages and the American West’s "megadrought” — an ongoing stretch of extended dry conditions worse than any experienced since 1603, according to a recent report in the journal Science.
“Aqueducts are the arteries of our economic and social development, and have captured the public’s imagination for centuries,” said former State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus. “A significant amount of our state’s electricity bill comes from moving, treating and heating water, so water efficiency is also energy efficiency. We need to find every way we can to use water more efficiently, including stemming evaporative loss, as we also scale up clean energy to meet the needs of the challenging century ahead under climate change.”
Energy and water co-benefits from covering canals with solar panels
Solar power development over canals is an emerging response to the energy–water–food nexus that can result in multiple benefits for water and energy infrastructure. Case studies of over-canal solar photovoltaic arrays have demonstrated enhanced photovoltaic performance due to the cooler microclimate next to the canal. In addition, shade from the photovoltaic panels has been shown to mitigate evaporation and potentially mitigate aquatic weed growth. However, the evaporation savings and financial co-benefits have not been quantified across major canal systems. Here we use regional hydrologic and techno-economic simulations of solar photovoltaic panels covering California’s 6,350 km canal network, which is the world’s largest conveyance system and covers a wide range of climates, insolation rates and water costs. We find that over-canal solar could reduce annual evaporation by an average of 39 ± 12 thousand m3 per km of canal. Furthermore, the financial benefits from shading the canals outweigh the added costs of the cable-support structures required to span the canals. The net present value of over-canal solar exceeds conventional overground solar by 20–50%, challenging the convention of leaving canals uncovered and calling into question our understanding of the most economic locations for solar power.
What the new U.S. Congressional budget deal means for climate policy
Via E&E News / July 15
$3.5 trillion budget resolution moves forward
Legislation being drafted include a clean electricity standard with the goal of reducing emissions 50% and hitting 80% clean energy by 2030
Proposed legislation to include a Civilian Climate Corps; expansions of clean energy; vehicle tax credits; clean energy accelerator; building weatherization program; federal procurement efforts and a fee on methane emissions
Clean Electricity Standard - CES
The budget resolution, which is not written yet, likely will not dictate which policies make it into the reconciliation package.
Current talks specify top-line numbers to each committee, which will then draw up more specific legislative language.
Typically, a CES is structured so that utilities are required to generate an increasing amount of clean electricity each year. Smith and other lawmakers have introduced versions of that model over the past few years, including in the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s “CLEAN Future Act,” H.R. 1512.
To fit the policy into reconciliation, Smith said Democrats are looking at administering it via a system of payments and penalties.
“The way we envision this is that it would be a direct incentive payment to facilities for achieving the interim goals of adding clean electricity, clean power, combined with a penalty if they fail to meet those interim goals,” Smith said. “That is a pure budget process. In fact, it matches up, and it can fit within the existing Department of Energy programs.”
Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) says Democrats have been discussing how to make the policy work with reconciliation “for months.”
“There’s been a lot of work done to structure it in a way that would be consistent with reconciliation,” Heinrich said. “I am feeling hopeful and optimistic.”
There are at least a half-dozen different legislative proposals for creating something akin to the Civilian Conservation Corps of the Great Depression era, only a few of which would put real money before the effort rather than a less daunting authorization.
In the administration’s infrastructure blueprint, President Biden pitched $10 billion for what he rebranded as the Civilian Climate Corps — $1 billion below what Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) called for in their bill to establish a “21st Century Civilian Conservation Corps” (Climatewire, April 1).
At the same time, 11 leading House progressives — including Green New Deal champion Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) wrote House Democratic leaders a letter last week demanding the Civilian Climate Corps receive $132 billion.
Wyden, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, said these were details that would be worked out.
“I think it’s clear there’s support to address this,” Wyden said. “I want to make sure we get the funding necessary to really tackle the potential there.”
Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), has a more specific vision for the reconciliation bill, saying the program would pay people $15 an hour.
“If they serve one year in the climate corps, $25,000 of funding for their college education or loan forgiveness,” Markey said yesterday during an event with Evergreen Action. “If they serve two years, $50,000 altogether that they’d be eligible for.”
“And by the way, under our concept, we’ll be doing it with AmeriCorps and help to lift the standards inside AmeriCorps as well, and how they get paid and what they are entitled to.”
Adding more 'in the House’
While the Senate deals with process, the House will likely be a focal point of politicking amid progressive demands for more spending and lukewarm feedback from the environmental community.
Green groups are calling for more than the Senate version...
“We will work on adding more in the House, but it’s a great start,” said Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), the chair of the House Oversight Subcommittee on Environment and a leading progressive voice.
Jayapal, who has pushed for adopting the broader reconciliation bill before considering bipartisan infrastructure legislation, called the Senate plan an “important movement forward.”
Jayapal said she’s waiting for more details but expects the plan will also make good on President Biden’s push to eliminate fossil fuels subsidies, a top priority for her caucus.
“I just wouldn’t want people to think that if we do this package, we’re done. We’re not going to be done. There are going to be many, many pieces that we need to continue to do.”
Historic NASA and European Space Agency Agreement on Climate Science Cooperation
WASHINGTON — NASA and the European Space Agency have agreed to cooperate on future Earth science missions and related activities in an effort to better understand climate change.
The leaders of the two agencies signed a joint statement of intent in a virtual meeting July 13, declaring their plans to cooperate on Earth science research, particularly involving climate change, ranging from missions to research and applications.
“Climate change is an all-hands-on deck, global challenge that requires action now,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement about the agreement. “This agreement will set the standard for future international collaboration, providing the information that is so essential for tackling the challenges posed by climate change and helping to answer and address the most pressing questions in Earth science for the benefit of the United States, Europe, and the world.”
The partnership was formalized through a joint statement of intent, signed Tuesday, which outlines how the agencies will collaborate to ensure continuity of Earth observations; advance understanding of the Earth System, climate change and application of that knowledge; and collaborate on an open data policy that promotes open sharing of data, information, and knowledge within the scientific community and the wider public.
“Together, NASA and ESA provide most of the world’s Earth science coverage through our Earth-observing satellites,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA associate administrator for science. “This transformative agreement will build on that capability, forging a critical international climate science partnership to tackle the most challenging climate questions in an integrated and strategic way. Not only will NASA and ESA work together to deliver unparalleled Earth science observations, research, and applications, but all of our findings will also be free and open for the benefit of the entire world as we work together to combat and mitigate climate change.”
“This is a massive step-up from anything we’ve ever done,” Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for science at NASA, told FLORIDA TODAY.
“It’s more strategic, multi-mission, multi-science as opposed to just mission by mission which is how we’ve worked before.”
Of particular interest to coastal regions like Florida, at the frontlines of the impacts of sea-level rise, NASA and ESA are planning to extend Earth science research including Sentinel-6, flying two satellites to continue a three-decade record of sea level measurements. The Sentinel monitoring and tracking program includes NASA and ESA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the United States and the European Commission, Eumetsat and French space agency CNES in Europe. NASA launched the first European-built Sentinel-6 satellite in November 2020.
Recently NASA announced that it would pursue a series of missions called the Earth System Observatory, implementing recommendations of the 2018 decadal survey. NASA requested a $250 million increase for Earth science in its fiscal year 2022 budget proposal in May, and a House bill advanced by an appropriations subcommittee July 12 included that increase.
Laudato Si Pope Plans to Present Environmental Call at Upcoming International Climate Gathering
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis will attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow in November, health permitting, Scotland’s Roman Catholic bishops said on Monday (July 12).
The bishops confirmed the pope’s presence among other world leaders in a statement on their website.
“Having written to the Holy Father to assure him of a warm welcome, should he attend the conference, they are delighted to hear that he does hope to attend and would be glad to meet with them in Glasgow.”
The COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference, hosted by the UK in partnership with Italy, will take place from 31 October to 12 November 2021 in the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow, UK.
Virginia Tower Norwood, a True Planet Citizen
- Landsat 1 and Virginia's Earth Vision Becomes Real -- and Multi-Generational
From Portland, Oregon, to Vancouver, Canada, the heat during the end of June didn't just break records; it buried them. Learn more in this Event Tracker post.
Via The Guardian
A “heat dome” without parallel trapped hot air over much of the states of Oregon and Washington in the United States, and southern British Columbia in Canada, in past days, shattering weather records in the usually temperate region.
Temperatures in tiny Lytton, British Columbia, hit 49.6C (121.3F) and set a Canadian all-time record, days before a wildfire tore through the town. Roads buckled under the heat in Washington and Oregon. Heat and heavy air conditioner use knocked out power for tens of thousands. The dead, thought to number in the hundreds, are not yet counted.
In Washington and Oregon, largely liberal, climate-conscious states, efforts to combat global heating have long been popular. The Washington governor, Jay Inslee, put himself forward as the “climate candidate” during the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. He argued residents of the region would, in the absence of federal leadership, “do our part to address a global problem”.
Climate conversations have generally centered on what north-westerners could do to protect the planet or other people in places at greater risk of extreme heat. But after three days of temperatures near or above 100F (38C) in Seattle – a city where residents often describe the sixth month as “June-uary”, as temperatures rarely reach 80F (27C) – they’re increasingly concerned about themselves.
“It felt like we’d set our Earth on fire,” said Summer Stinson, a 49-year-old resident of Seattle...
Ron Merkord: Lytton, British Columbia, Canada. Named in 1858 for a novelist named Edward Bulwer-Lytton. Two days ago, it set Canada's all time temp record of 121.3F. Yesterday, it hit 121.6F. Today, it burned to the ground.
Bulwer-Lytton, a contemporary of Charles Dickens, is responsible for the saying "The pen is mightier than the sword". He is also the writer responsible for the beginning novel line called the worst ever written -- "It was a dark and stormy night..." In Lytton today, it was indeed a dark and stormy night.
Siterunner: For some 40+ years your GreenPolicy360 siterunner has worked in many varied ways to get the word out on the crucial importance of environmental security. From the first Earth Day to the first warning from the new committee of science with the push from Congressman George E. Brown, through various career incarnations I have attempted to 'work the message', gathering (curating as it's now called) the best science and writing up and sharing key strategies and goals even against the odds. The risks we have identified and shared have now turned into a crisis. Perhaps it is human nature to be overwhelmed, or what my teacher Hannah Arendt described as the 'Human Condition' as the realms of labor, work, and action. Many choose to go along to get along, and not act when the threats grow extreme, even existential. But to those who take the chance to make a difference and stand up and do your best to make changes that change the world for the better, I salute you for your bravery.
Now comes another warning from the international science community. This warning is dire. The latest news looms to such an extent as to be overwhelming, depressing and potentially driving us toward resignation and inaction, but it should not prevent us from action as Michael E. Mann's latest book, 'The Fight to Take Back Our Planet' argues persuasively.
Act with hope and not fear. Earth is in our hands. Take in the news, consider the science, then in your own way, act. Don't give up, never give up.
Devastating News: Climate Change Impacts to Hit Sooner than Predicted
Climate change will fundamentally reshape life on Earth in the coming decades, even if humans can tame planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, according to a landmark draft report from the UN's climate science advisors obtained by AFP.
Species extinction, more widespread disease, unliveable heat, ecosystem collapse, cities menaced by rising seas—these and other devastating climate impacts are accelerating and bound to become painfully obvious before a child born today turns 30.
The choices societies make now will determine whether our species thrives or simply survives as the 21st century unfolds, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says in a draft report seen exclusively by AFP.
But dangerous thresholds are closer than once thought, and dire consequences stemming from decades of unbridled carbon pollution are unavoidable in the short term.
"The worst is yet to come, affecting our children's and grandchildren's lives much more than our own."
Crushing Climate Impacts: Draft UN report
PARIS (AFP) / June 23, 2021 - Climate change will fundamentally reshape life on Earth in the coming decades, even if humans can tame planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, according to a landmark draft report from the UN's climate science advisers obtained by Agence France-Presse.
Species extinction, more widespread disease, unliveable heat, ecosystem collapse, cities menaced by rising seas - these and other devastating climate impacts are accelerating and bound to become painfully obvious before a child born today turns 30.
The choices societies make now will determine whether our species thrives or simply survives as the 21st century unfolds, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says in a draft report seen exclusively by AFP...
"The worst is yet to come, affecting our children's and grandchildren's lives much more than our own," the report says.
By far the most comprehensive catalogue ever assembled of how climate change is upending our world, the report reads like a 4,000-page indictment of humanity's stewardship of the planet.
But the document, designed to influence critical policy decisions, is not scheduled for release until February 2022 - too late for crunch UN summits this year on climate, biodiversity and food systems...
Via E&E News / June 16, 2021
Infrastructure / American Jobs Plan
Progressives escalate climate demands
Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) ramped up the pressure with a news conference yesterday in which they said Congress should pass an infrastructure and climate deal by the August recess, or stay in town if it's not wrapped up.
"We need to move forward with 50 Democratic votes now that the Republicans have shown us they are not serious about creating clean energy jobs, jump-starting a clean energy revolution or adding the standards and investments we need to attack this crisis," Markey said.
To support a deal with the group of 10, Merkley said he would need to have 50 votes for a reconciliation vote in hand before the bipartisan bill "ever goes to the floor."
"We're telling you today we're going to get this deal," Merkley said. "We cannot let the American people down, and we cannot let our planet down. This has to be part of the deal."
House Budget Chairman John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) said yesterday that the administration is giving the bipartisan Senate talks "a week or 10 days more, and that's about it."
He said his committee will mark up a budget resolution with reconciliation instructions that cover the entirety of Biden's American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan, including "social" infrastructure and climate. That would set the stage for a partisan reconciliation bill.
Should a bipartisan deal emerge, "we just take that part out of the instructions," Yarmuth said.
- "We have to identify the problem, then act in many ways to solve the problem. Global warming is the threat of our times."
- "We’re going to need to use every tool in the toolbox if we’re going to solve this problem."
- US Interstate Transportation System... EV Charging
- Next Generation Electric Vehicles Highway Funding
- Biden proposes $174B for Charging Infrastructure; Republican counter-proposal $4B
US Announces 'All Hands On Deck' to Meet the Challenge of the Climate Change Threat
News from the Frontlines of the #ClimateCrisis
"Earth Systems Observatory"
NASA will design a new set of Earth-focused missions to provide key information to guide efforts related to climate change, disaster mitigation, fighting forest fires, and improving real-time agricultural processes.
Earth System Observatory will deliver deep real time data.
Each satellite in the constellation will be uniquely designed to complement the others, working in tandem to create a 3D, holistic view of Earth, from bedrock to atmosphere.
NASA's newly appointed and confirmed administrator, former US Senator from Florida, Bill Nelson spoke of the mission plan:
"The Biden-Harris Administration's response to climate change matches the magnitude of the threat: a whole of government, all hands-on-deck approach to meet this moment, Over the past three decades, much of what we've learned about the Earth's changing climate is built on NASA satellite observations and research. NASA's new Earth System Observatory will expand that work, providing the world with an unprecedented understanding of our Earth's climate system, arming us with next-generation data critical to mitigating climate change, and protecting our communities in the face of natural disasters."
Net Zero by 2050
The International Energy Agency weighs in with 'A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector'
End new oil, gas and coal funding to reach net zero, says IEA
Investors should not fund new oil, gas and coal supply projects if the world wants to reach net zero emissions by mid-century, the International Energy Agency (IEA) announced today (May 18, 2021), in the top global watchdog's starkest warning yet to curb fossil fuels.
"The pathway to net zero is narrow but still achievable. If we want to reach net zero by 2050 we do not need any more investments in new oil, gas and coal projects."
No place for new fossil fuels if world is to reach net zero by 2050, says landmark report
Roadmap comes just months before UK hosts major global climate summit
Via The Independent
The International Energy Agency Issues a Landmark Statement About Fossil Fuels
Our hope for a livable world rests on a series of crucial sentences
By Bill McKibben
Via The New Yorker
The crucial turning points of the climate era can be found in a series of sentences, some of them pretty opaque, but all of them critical. The latest came on Tuesday morning in a report from the International Energy Agency, in Paris, and it could very well signal the start of the end of the fossil-fuel era. So it’s important to first set it in the context of a few other such statements.
In 1995, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said, “The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate.” Ever since NASA’s Jim Hansen told Congress, in 1988, that climate change was under way, the world’s scientists and governments had been scrambling to reach workable conclusions on which to base policy. This sentence was the key line of the I.P.C.C.’s Second Assessment Report: close observers understood that, over the objections of countries such as Saudi Arabia, the world’s scientific community was announcing, irrevocably, that global warming was very real.
In 2015, in Article 2 of the Paris climate accord, the world’s governments committed to “holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.” This was the first time that the world had set a solid target, and that target was a hard one: holding the rise in warming as close as possible to 1.5 degrees Celsius, a goal urged by climate activists and the most vulnerable nations.
In 2018, the I.P.C.C. reported on what it would take to meet that Paris goal, saying, “In model pathways with no or limited overshoot of 1.5°C, global net anthropogenic CO2 emissions decline by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 (40–60% interquartile range), reaching net zero around 2050 (2045–2055 interquartile range).” Translation: if you want to have any chance of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees, you have to cut emissions in half by 2030, and to net zero by 2050.
The statement on Tuesday from the I.E.A. is a recommendation. It reads, “There is no need for investment in new fossil fuel supply in our net zero pathway. Beyond projects already committed as of 2021, there are no new oil and gas fields approved for development in our pathway, and no new coal mines or mine extensions are required.” That emphasis is in the original—in fact, in the new report that sentence is in headline-size type, as well it should be. It says that, after two hundred and fifty years, in the view of the I.E.A., the time has come to stop exploring for oil, gas, and coal. No rational plan for getting to 1.5 degrees (or anywhere near it) can deal with any new supply. Instead, the “the focus for oil and gas producers switches entirely to output—and emissions reductions—from the operation of existing assets.” That is, we obviously can’t stop burning fossil fuel tomorrow, but we have to be headed decisively in that direction—which means stopping the development of new fields and draining what we must from existing fields to hold us over until we’ve built enough solar panels and wind turbines.
This message comes from a credible source—indeed, the I.E.A. has always been captive to the fossil-fuel industry, or at least to the countries, such as the United States, where that industry has held sway. For years, its forecasts of how fast renewable energy would spread were understatements; it was an engine of the status quo.
But now governments and corporations, pushed by civil society—and, perhaps, by a recognition of our climate plight—are suddenly committing to net-zero targets. Virtually all the big banks, for instance, have made this pledge. And now the I.E.A. has told them what it means. If they’re serious about it, they don’t just have to lend money to people who want to set up solar panels. (Clearly, they have to do that. “Policies need to be designed,” the report says, “to send market signals that unlock new business models and mobilise private spending, especially in emerging economies.”) Just as important, they must now stop doing what they’ve long been doing, which is pumping trillions of dollars into fossil fuels....
The fact that the I.E.A. is now saying this so loudly and clearly will be an immeasurable boost to campaigners around the world who have been working to block the fossil-fuel industry and its backers among the banks, insurance companies, and asset managers. It’s also a reflection of how much the world is changing. Part of that is due to the election of Joe Biden, of course, but the sheer logic of the scientific argument can eventually cut through even vested interest. It’s been an agonizing three-plus decades since Hansen’s warning, and that vested interest may have delayed action too long; waiting until the icecaps were actually melting was an incredible mistake.
But the strength of these four sentences is what our hope for a livable world rests on, the intellectual scaffolding erected by science and reason—and the passion of hardworking activists—on which to base our future. We will all find out if they’re strong enough for that daunting task.
EPA Moves Forward with Phase Down of Climate-Damaging Hydrofluorocarbons
Environmental Protection Agency proposal for 85% reduction in greenhouse gases used in refrigeration and air conditioning
“The EPA is taking a major action to help keep global temperature rise in check,” agency Administrator Michael Regan said in a statement, adding that the action will spur “manufacturing of new climate-safe products.”
California plan" 80% EVs by 2035, 50-mile plug-in hybrids, tighter tailpipe emissions
California sets a template for potential federal regulation, but because with the restoration of California’s right to set its own emissions standards, it is likely to be the actual rule for the 12 states that have now adopted California ZEV policy.
Advanced Clean Cars II
The California Air Resources Board (CARB or the Board) staff invite you to participate in a public workshop to provide input on the development of the Advanced Clean Cars II (ACC II) regulations. The ACC II regulations will seek to reduce criteria and greenhouse gas emissions from new light- and medium-duty vehicles beyond the 2025 model year, and increase the number of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) for sale.
Building on the September 2020 workshop, staff will present updated analyses and proposals to amend the Low Emission Vehicle (or LEV IV) Regulation to reduce criteria pollutant emissions and preliminary proposals to amend the ZEV Regulation. Staff will also present updates on projections of costs for future ZEV technologies and proposed measures to ensure ZEV durability and serviceability.
Biden administration moves to restore California emissions authority
Biden opened his first hundred days speech to the U.S. Congress by saying, “Madam Speaker and Madam Vice President. No president has ever said those words from this podium. It’s about time."
We saw something that we have never seen before in the history of the United States. Two women — serving as vice president and speaker of the house — next to the president during a speech in the House chamber.
ABC News’ David Muir said, “History already being made this evening … the moment that the vice president, Kamala Harris, arrived there in the chamber, being brought up to the dais. And the speaker of the house, Nancy Pelosi, who made history herself, the first woman speaker, and, of course, all the history … that Kamala Harris has made. And the two of them now stand there together.”
Learning as he goes, no more futile negotiating...
“I’d like to meet with those who have ideas that are different,” the president said of his infrastructure plan. “I welcome those ideas. But the rest of the world is not waiting for us. I just want to be clear: from my perspective, doing nothing is not an option.”
President Biden is expected to use his first congressional address tonight to tout how the first 100 days of his administration have yielded the most ambitious climate policy of any U.S. president.
Next global climate conference -- Glasgow -- November 1 thru 12, 2021
By November, the U.N. climate negotiating process calls for 200 nations to ratchet up commitments to cut emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases by 2030. The rich countries need to come up with more money to help the poor countries develop greener power and adapt to climate change’s harsh realities. And nations need to agree on a price on carbon pollution after several years of gridlock. They must figure out essentially how to make it all work.
(AP) Biden’s summit, organized in less than 100 days, was designed to send the world off on a fast start toward Glasgow, and experts said it did so. They figure it pushed the globe anywhere from one-eighth to more than halfway along the journey, with mixed opinions on whether the United States did enough.
“If it were 100 miles to Glasgow, we have just done the first 12 miles on the lowlands, and we have a 88 hard miles to go, with a lot of difficult terrain to cross before we get there,” said Bill Hare, director of the German think tank Climate Analytics. Hare said while countries showed a significant increase in ambition to fight climate change, he was “hoping for slightly more.”
Climate scientist Zeke Hausfather, who directs climate issues at the Breakthrough Institute, was more optimistic: “I’d say this gets us about half the way (say, 50 miles) to where we need to get by Glasgow.”
Nate Hultman, director of the University of Maryland’s Center for Global Sustainability, was even more optimistic: “This has ended up being a critical international moment that provided a strong boost. ... We’re now, I’d say, about 70 miles toward Glasgow.”
Earth Day Summit
Biden plans to cut emissions at least in half by 2030
(Washington Post/April 2021) President Biden this week will pledge to slash U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at least in half by the end of the decade, according to two individuals briefed on the plan, as part of an aggressive push to combat climate change at home and convince other major economies around the world to follow suit... The planned U.S. pledge represents a near-doubling of the target that the nation committed to under the 2015 Paris climate agreement, when Barack Obama vowed to cut emissions between 26 and 28 percent compared to 2005 levels.
The Biden Team
An 'all-star climate team'
President Biden's emissions target stated for the virtual climate summit of 40 national leaders signals how aggressively Biden wants to move on climate change. The target Biden chooses “is setting the tone for the level of ambition and the pace of emission reductions over the next decade,″ said Kate Larsen, a former White House adviser who helped develop President Barack Obama’s climate action plan. Whatever emissions reduction target Biden picks, Larsen said, the climate summit itself “proves the U.S. is back in rejoining the international effort″ to address climate change.
The summit is “the starting gun for climate diplomacy” after a four-year “hiatus” under Trump, Larsen explained.
The emissions target has to be achievable by 2030 but aggressive enough to satisfy scientists and advocates who call the coming decade a crucial, make-or-break moment for slowing climate change. Predicted is a target that would cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030.
“Clearly the science demands at least 50%” in reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, said Jake Schmidt, a climate expert at the Natural Resources Defense Council. A 50% target “is ambitious, but it is achievable,″ Schmidt said. “People know what 50% means — it’s half."
(Associated Press) A 50% target, which most experts consider a likely outcome of intense deliberations underway at the White House, would nearly double the nation’s previous commitment and require dramatic changes in the power and transportation sectors, including significant increases in renewable energy such as wind and solar power and steep cuts in emissions from fossil fuels such as coal and oil.
Anything short of that goal could undermine Biden’s promise to prevent temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, experts say, while likely stirring up sharp criticism from international allies and Biden’s own supporters.
Nathaniel Keohane, another former Obama White House adviser and now a vice president at the Environmental Defense Fund, said experts have coalesced around the need for the U.S. to reduce emissions by at least 50% by 2030.
“The number has to start with 5,” Keohane said, adding, "We’ve done the math. We need at least 50%."
“Let’s stop talking about 2050," said Biden’s climate adviser, Gina McCarthy, who is leading White House efforts to develop U.S. climate commitments for 2030. "Climate activists should focus on strategies and actions now, in this decade" McCarthy says.
Ms. McCarthy’s friends say she is driven to build back a climate legacy that will outlast her second round in government.
She and a charged up Biden team are promising the Climate Summit will accelerate a deep and broad agenda of climate solutions...
Timelapse from Google Earth
Welcome to Timelapse !
Rebecca Moore: To explore Timelapse in Google Earth, go to g.co/Timelapse — you can use the handy search bar to choose any place on the planet where you want to see time in motion.
Director, Google Earth, Earth Engine & Outreach
Published Apr 15, 2021
Rebecca Moore: Timelapse has been developed using 24 million satellite images from the past 37 years -- from 1984 to 2020 -- before being compiled into an interactive 4D experience.
A tip of our GreenPolicy360 hat to George E. Brown Jr who envisioned the Landsat's mission and enabled its start up as a science leader in the US Congress, supporting and protecting its earth science mission over the decades.
and a salute to our friend and fellow Bioneer, Rebecca Moore, who first proposed Google Earth Outreach and has led many follow on initiatives, now including Timelapse, utilizing the Landsat database decades of images to bring us an unprecedented vision of earth's changes over time.
April 11, 2021
Heather Cox Richardson/Letters from an American via Substack 'independent writing'
Congress has been on break since March 29, and tomorrow members will go back to Washington, D.C., to resume work. The next weeks are going to be busy for the lawmakers, not least because the political ground in America appears to be shifting...
So, in the face of remarkably popular Democratic proposals to rebuild the country-- proposals that will kill the central principle of the Republican Party since the time of President Ronald Reagan that the government must get out of the economy—Republicans are split between their voting base, which wants Trumpian voter restrictions, and their donor base, which recognizes that those restrictions will destabilize the country.
The spring is going to see a remarkable game of political chess.
April 5, 2021
Rules of Procedure for 'The American Jobs Plan Legislation'
The U.S. Senate parliamentarian ruled today that Democrats can use special budgetary rules to avoid a GOP filibuster on two more pieces of legislation, setting the stage for President Biden's infrastructure agenda to pass in two packages with simple-majority votes.
The new ruling will enable Majority Leader Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi to break up Biden’s infrastructure proposal into two legislative packages.
The first portion, a $2.25 trillion measure unveiled by the White House last month, includes more traditional infrastructure priorities. The second part, planned for later in the year, will include more people-focused spending priorities favored by progressives, such as expanded child care, free community college, universal prekindergarten and more affordable housing.
Biden’s big infrastructure plan hits McConnell, GOP blockade
Read the full article via the Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans in Congress are making the politically brazen bet that it’s more advantageous to oppose President Joe Biden’s ambitious rebuild America agenda than to lend support for the costly $2.3 trillion undertaking for roads, bridges and other infrastructure investments.
On a collision course
Outcome could define the parties and the Biden presidency
The GOP strategy is reminiscent of the Obama-era blockade that helped sour voters on the Democratic president more than a decade ago. Then and now Republicans are intent on saddling Democrats with responsibility for all the taxes and spending to come, much as they did the 2009 rescue after the economic crisis, framing it as government overreach that piles on debt.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell set the defining tone for his party when he flatly declared last week he will fight Biden’s agenda “every step of the way...”
Biden’s package “is not going to get support from our side,” McConnell said.
After Barack Obama was elected in 2008, McConnell famously said his goal was to make him a one-term president. This time around the Republican leader appears to have a shorter-term goal at hand — he wants to win back the now evenly split 50-50 Senate.
“They’re so close to the majority in 2022, they can taste it,” said Alex Conant, a Republican strategist.
Democrats have Senate control because their party’s vice president, Kamala Harris, can cast a tie-breaking vote. In the House, the Democratic majority is holding on with just a handful of seats.
“They really don’t want to give Biden wins,” Conant said.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has set in motion a potential process that would allow Biden’s package to advance without the typical 60-vote threshold needed to overcome a filibuster by Republicans. Instead, it could be approved with a simple 51-vote majority.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has set a July 4 goal for House votes, but acknowledges that ambitious timeline may slip.
“The sooner we can get the legislation done, the sooner we can allocate the resources.”
The goal, she said, was “to get the job done as soon as possible.”
Pope decries spending on arms during pandemic in Easter message
April 2, 2021
Reactions to the Biden Infrastructure-Climate-Energy-Jobs Plan Begin
Administration sets a July 4th date as Congressional goal for passage
"It's a once-in-a-generation investment in America, unlike anything we've seen or done since we built the interstate highway system and the space race decades ago," Biden said. "In fact, it's the largest American jobs investment since World War II."
With bare majorities in Congress, Biden needs to win over virtually all Democratic lawmakers to advance his plan. Centrists so far have been tougher to lock down than progressives. The president and his allies also think it's good politics to at least try to work across the aisle.
"Ask around, if you live in a town with a Republican mayor, Republican county executive or a Republican governor," Biden said. "Ask them, how many would rather get rid of the plan. Ask them if it'd help them at all."
Mitch McConnell says the GOP won't support the infrastructure plan
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the infrastructure package won't get GOP votes, per Politico
Republican Party nixes the plan out of the starting gate
Press Release - Quote - "Behind The Veneer Of ‘Infrastructure,’ President Biden’s $2.25 Trillion Plan Is ‘A Way Of Accomplishing Many Of The Goals Of The Green New Deal’ And Not A Targeted Infrastructure Plan"
Tactics for passage come into view.... Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has been looking into using a potential reconciliation approach that would trigger multiple reconciliation bills in a given year, leaving Democrats with potentially multiple opportunities to pass key legislation. This week's infrastructure package will be followed by another in mid-April, and Republicans' track record indicates they won't support that one, either.
While.... Progressives are proposing a ten-year jobs, infrastructure and climate plan
- From the President of the United States
GreenPolicy360: We are considering this plan as green politics in action, a renamed 'Green New Deal'.
March 31, 2021
President Introduces First Part of His 'American Jobs Plan'
Joe Biden: "Put simply, these are investments we have to make," Biden said. "Put another way, we can't afford not to."
The plan would make a massive investment in America's roadways, railways and bridges with a focus on clean energy.
It would spend $174 billion, or about 28% of the transportation portion, on electric vehicles. That includes a nationwide network of 500,000 electric vehicle stations. It funds using electric vehicles in bus fleets, and replacing the federal government's fleet of diesel transit vehicles with electric vehicles. It also offers tax incentives and rebates for electric cars.
About $115 billion pays for fixing U.S. roads and bridges, selected by prioritizing those in most need of repair. This includes 20,000 miles of highways and roads, the 10 most "economically significant" bridges in the U.S. as well as 10,000 smaller bridges.
Another $85 billion is going for modernizing transit systems and $80 billion for a growing backlog of Amtrak repairs. Airports, ports and waterways also receive investments and improvements.
The largest part of the plan focuses on American homes, school buildings, underground water infrastructure and broadband expansion to connect rural America to high speed internet highways, enabling critical community development needs.
The 'American Jobs Plan' proposes spend $213 billion to build, preserve and retrofit more than 2 million affordable homes and commercial buildings. This includes the construction or rehabilitation of 500,000 homes for low- and middle-income owners. An additional $111 billion would go toward clean drinking water, including replacement of all lead pipes and service lines.
The plan sets aside $100 billion for constructing or modernizing public schools, while another $100 billion would be used to build high-speed broadband networks throughout the country. The goal would be for broadband to become universal for all Americans and to drive down the costs for internet.
The plan calls for $40 billion to improve public housing, $18 million for Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinics, $12 billion for community college infrastructure and $16 million to plug oil and gas wells and reclaim abandoned mines.
Biden proposes spending $400 billion to improve access to quality, affordable home or community-based care for the elderly and people with disabilities. It would expand a Medicaid program to make more services available and eliminate a backlog that prevents thousands from getting care.
About $300 billion in the plan would be invested in manufacturing, including support for domestic production of technologies and critical goods. Around $50 billion would go toward semiconductor manufacturing and research.
The plan would spend $180 billion on new research and development with an emphasis on clean energy, fewer emissions and climate change research. That total includes $100 billion for worker training and an increase of worker protection systems.
- Statement from the President of the United States
- A Renamed "Green New Deal" Moves Forward
A Green New Deal (by another name) Moves Forward
Biden puts infrastructure plan at top of his agenda
March 26, 2021
In his first formal press conference President Biden announces "infrastructure" is "the next major initiative" after beginning his presidency focusing on the pandemic:
"As you've all observed, successful presidents — better than me — have been successful, in large part, because they know how to time what they're doing — order it, decide and prioritize what needs to be done," the President explained.
Biden said he found it “frustrating” that the United States has allowed much of its physical infrastructure to deteriorate. He promised a wide ranging plan for infrastructure development in the U.S. will be unveiled when he visits Pittsburgh next week.
“I’ll be announcing the fight in Pittsburgh in detail is to rebuild the infrastructure both physical and technological infrastructure in this country so that we can compete and create significant numbers of really good paying jobs.”
The president said the United States “ranks 13th globally” and that “China invest three times more” than America in infrastructure. Biden went on to list some statistics that point out America’s infrastructure disrepair — like that more than a third of the country’s bridges and “186,000 miles of highway” needed repair.
Infrastructure is “the place where we will be able to significantly increase American productivity, while at the same time providing really good jobs for people,” Biden said.
“But we can’t build back to what it used to be,” the president said, citing the “significant damage” already done by global warming.
March 24, 2021 / Via Axios
- Is the President prepared to change the Senate’s filibuster rule? Is the President prepared to use reconciliation rules to pass major legislation?
March 23, 2021 / Via Axios
- Driving the news: President Biden is considering using budget reconciliation two more times this year to pass up to $3 trillion in spending aimed at core priorities, including infrastructure, climate change, education, taxes and health care, Axios' Hans Nichols and Alayna Treene report for Axios.
- Why it matters: Biden campaigned on big investments in areas like EV charging, grid modernization and boosting R&D, but specifics of his proposals have yet to emerge.
- And while a legislative strategy is still taking shape, using reconciliation would enable Democrats to bypass Senate filibusters.
- Where it stands: Stories Monday in the New York Times and Washington Post provide some broad-brush numbers on climate and energy pieces of the much wider — and preliminary — White House plans.
- Via the Washington Post
- "The infrastructure component of the proposal includes $400 billion in spending to combat climate change, including $60 billion for infrastructure related to green transit and $46 billion for climate-related research and development. The plan also would aim to make electric-vehicle charging stations available across the country."
- And the NY Times adds...
- "Documents suggest it will include nearly $1 trillion in spending on the construction of roads, bridges, rail lines, ports, electric vehicle charging stations, and improvements to the electric grid and other parts of the power sector."
Voting Rights, Election System Reform
Partisan battle in U.S., basic voting rights at issue, hundreds of state legislative bills propose changes to voting systems after 2020 election results
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Fox News Channel
Trump praises, Biden decries Georgia's new election bill
The bill swiftly made its way through the Georgia legislature and was signed by Gov. Brian Kem
Joe Manchin Calls for Bipartisan Solution to Pass Sweeping Voting Rights Bill
White House appoints former NOAA leader Jane Lubchenco to key climate change role
She will be coordinating climate and environmental issues within its Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).
Lubchenco is among the most prominent women in climate science, and in addition to running NOAA from 2009 to 2013 under President Barack Obama, she also served as the first U.S. State Department science envoy for the ocean, from 2014 to 2016. Recently, she advised the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, a group that brings together 14 heads of state, including the leaders of Australia, Canada, Japan, Indonesia, Norway, Palau, and Fiji, to commit to sustainable oceans management.
She recently helped organize a report for the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy that found that ocean-based activities, such as restoring and protecting coastal habitats where mangrove forests thrive, could contribute as much as 21 percent of the emissions cuts needed to limit global warming to 1.5-degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels.
OSTP is also responsible for overseeing the U.S. Global Change Research Program, which coordinates climate research among 13 different agencies. Every four years, this program produces the U.S. government’s definitive report on climate change science and impacts, known as the National Climate Assessment.
"Lucid Motors could be the next Tesla"...
March 16, 2021
- "More than an EV company"... Jim Cramer's next 'Big Prediction' as he talks about reciprocating engines as dinosaurs and the fast changing market for electric cars and transportation
- "The company shows great promise and the hype is real for it. Cramer’s claim that Lucid could be the next Tesla is perhaps not far-fetched, and investors should take the hint."
Banning New Gas Cars Is Key for Hitting EU’s Climate Goals
Via Bloomberg Green
The European Union must set a date to phase out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars so that the region meets its aim of becoming climate-neutral, according to nine member states.
Tackling pollution from transport, which accounts for a quarter of EU greenhouse gas emissions, is one of the biggest challenges for the 27-nation bloc in its sweeping environmental clean up. Europe must give a clear signal to manufacturers, fleet owners and consumers to accelerate the shift to electric vehicles, countries including the Netherlands and Denmark said in a document sent to EU climate and transport chiefs.
“If you take into account the lifetime of cars, you just need to stop adding new fossil fuel cars around 2030 if you want to be carbon neutral in 2050,” Stientje van Veldhoven, Dutch state secretary for infrastructure, told Bloomberg News in an interview.
The latest push shows the tensions around translating ambitious climate goals into a reality. The bloc’s leaders endorsed in December toughening the 2030 emissions-reduction target to at least 55% from 1990 levels, compared with the existing 40%. In June the bloc’s regulatory arm will propose new regulations to align the economy with the new pollution goal...
To speed up the rollnout of zero-emissions cars Europe should also ensure a “super-efficient charging infrastructure” across the region, van Veldhoven said. “It should be as easy as charging your phone.”
Today's action by the U.S. 'officially' reverses ex-president Trump's most criticized climate decision which made the U.S. the only country in the world to pull itself out of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement...
Within hours of his inauguration as president, Joe Biden signed an executive letter committing the U.S. to re-enter the international climate agreement
Here, a quick summary about the Polar Vortex explained by a respected science and weather expert, Marshall Shepherd
Read through a survey of science about a warming Arctic and the likely coming impacts on the continental U.S.
No, Texas Gov. Abbott, and Fox News opinion. Wind Farms are not close to being the main problem causing power outages in a historic (Polar Vortex, extreme weather) ice/snow/freeze in your state. Times are a'changing and so's the weather -- Arctic changes, polar winds don't and won't stay in the Arctic.
It's time to prepare, plan, change with the times...
Without planning, catastrophe
Don't blame renewable energy and wind turbines. Look at your natural gas turbines. Look at the statistics, the power production percentages of fossil fuels in Texas...
Look at your vulnerable electric grid, state deregulation, lack of planning and preparation...
Here, from the Houston Chronicle, reporting at the center of the U.S. oil/gas industry:
Ten days ago, (Texas stare energy system) ERCOT meteorologists warned powerplant operators the polar vortex could strike. But West Texas winds are weak in winter, and they make up a small proportion of ERCOT’s generation compared to fossil fuels. In winter, ERCOT relies on coal and natural gas peaker plants, because we do not have enough renewables in the right places, such as offshore.
ERCOT publicly reports what generators are offering and how much they actually provide to the grid. These numbers are available both a day-ahead and as it happens. You can also track which source of power—renewable or fossil fuel—is meeting its obligation.
Wind generators did not bid a lot of power due to the ice storm. Plenty of natural gas and coal plants made bids, so it looked like ERCOT was adequately supplied to meet record-high winter demand. Heroics like de-icing blades with helicopters seemed unnecessary.
ERCOT needed a little more than 70,000 megawatts of juice early Monday morning when the fossil fuel plants failed and took 30,000 megawatts off the grid. Wind came within 1 gigawatt of meeting its obligation and then wind and solar outperformed expectations during the day.
The fossil fuel plants failed because they were not prepared for the cold. Texas could have relied on wind, but operators opted-out of buying cold-weather add-ons used in the Arctic. Texas electricity generators did not want to spend the money to build resilient equipment because it would cut into their profits.
“Power outages in Texas have nothing to do with power generation technology,” said Jim Krane, an energy fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute. “Texas’ unwillingness to regulate turns out to be an unwillingness to buy insurance. Sure, it makes power cheap most of the time. But we wound up with a system designed for making a quick buck under optimal conditions. When something unusual happens, it’s a crisis.”
The Texas Legislature and the Public Utilities Commission could require Texas power providers to better prepare. But even after a similarly catastrophic failure in 2011, Texas regulators have failed to mandate a more resilient power grid.
Extreme weather events like the polar vortexes of 2011 and 2021 will become more common due to climate change, just as heat waves have worsened. If Texans do not insist on a stronger grid, we will spend a lot more time at the mercy of the elements.
More from the Houston Chronicle on the Texas grid, deregulation and go-it-alone state energy system
'We are willing to suffer more blackouts' says Rick Perry, former Texas Governor and U.S. Energy Department Secretary.
As GreenPolicy360 and our associate Strategic Demands have advocated for years, a "redefinition of national security" is essential as the U.S. goes forward. The nation, as with all nations, need to take into immediate planning and action clear and present danger of existential threats, climate change and nuclear weapons are threats for today's generation and future generations.
Environmental Security ↔ National Security
National Security: Enhanced via Environmental Security
With a shift in U.S. presidential administrations an opportunity presents itself. Security threats, denied by the previous administration, are beginning again to be addressed. Plans to confront and deal with the threats are being made operational.
Our point of view on the critical strategic demand for a new 21st century vision of national and global is being re-energized. From the new U.S. Biden administration and throughout the governing leadership, with executive orders and follow-on legislative actions, a strong push to redefine real security is rolling out. Yet, the legacy of a re-asserted nuclear arms race, and rollbacks of climate and environmental actions conducted for the past four years, leave us with an broad and deep agenda to set a new, forward-looking agenda in motion.
Here, Michael E. Mann begins to capture the moment in a USA Today opinion:
Now, Biden is gathering his council to assess the current and future dangers in this fight, including all 17 intelligence agencies; a general on the international front, John Kerry, who will also have a seat on the National Security Council and will direct our diplomatic efforts abroad; and another general on the domestic front, former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy, who will coordinate climate action in the homeland.
President Biden has made it clear that climate is driving much of his agenda early in his administration, providing his green industry campaign donors with reason to celebrate.
Less than a month into his presidency, Biden has shut down work on the Keystone XL pipeline and banned future gas and oil leases on federal lands, pointing to a shift in energy policy that administration officials and Cabinet nominees have said are meant to yield significant economic impacts.'
AOC, GREEN NEW DEALERS REJOICE OVER BIDEN'S CLIMATE PLAN: 'IT'S ALMOST AS IF WE HELPED SHAPE THE PLATFORM.'
Last week Biden said:
"Today is 'Climate Day' at the White House which means that today is ‘Jobs Day’ at the White House. We're talking about American innovation, American products, American labor."
The green industry heavily relies on government-awarded funds, and with Biden promising to lean heavily in their direction, the industry as a whole contributed more than $11 million in political donations in 2020, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The center noted that while this amount pales in comparison to the $1 billion Biden's campaign raised in total, it is still more than double what the industry had given in the past.
Biden’s campaign, in particular, received more than $3 million that had been raised by Clean Energy for Biden, which describes itself as "a network of clean economy business leaders and advocates" that looked to get Biden elected and "advance policies, technologies and investment to address the climate challenge." The group says it plans to remain active under the name Clean Energy for America. The organization’s executive council includes more than 50 green industry leaders.
Factoids for perspective: The 2020 U.S. presidential campaign raised and spent billions of dollars, and was reported to be the most expensive in U.S. history.
The $14 billion sum is more than double of what was spent in the 2016 election.
The presidential campaign was expected to see over $6.6 billion in total spending, thru 2020 with congressional races finishing with over $7 billion.
President Biden rolls out an environmental protection and climate agenda
President Biden vows monumental action on climate change
Biden signing executive orders
Biden unveils climate change plan - CNN (Video)
Biden's energy policies get slammed in Louisiana
Presidential Executive Order Could Mean Big Changes To Colorado's Oil & Gas Industry (Video)
CBS This Morning - Biden administration focused on fighting against climate change (Video)
Environmental Justice and Climate
We need to do more / LA Times Editorial
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-IKIEdyZow (LA Times - Biden: 'Can't wait any longer' on climate crisis)
Fox News - Reps. Scalise, Herrell: Biden's reckless, job-killing energy executive orders must be reversed
Environmental Action Agenda - Out of the Starting Gate and Accelerating
Via Washington Post / Energy 202:
What's on the new administration's agenda today:
Oil and gas leasing: Perhaps biggest move is Biden's expected decision to halt new oil and gas leasing on federal lands. The drafted moratorium would not affect activity around existing leases, but would pause auctions for the right to drill on new parcels throughout much of the west as well as in the Gulf of Mexico. The order will also not restrict energy development on tribal lands.
Addressing environmental justice: The Biden administration will establish at least three different bodies meant to address the unequal impact of dirty air and water on poor and minority communities — an office of health and climate equity at the Health and Human Services Department, an environmental justice office at the Justice Department and a third interagency council at the White House. The White House will also establish another cross-government group to help communities transition away from fossil fuels.
Protecting nature: Biden also is planning to instruct the government to set aside nearly a third of the nation’s land and water by the end of the decade for conservation. Biden pledged during the campaign to pursue that “30 by 30" goal as means of blunting the buildup of greenhouse gases by sequestering carbon and preserving habitat for threatened plants and animals.
Tackling super pollutants: Biden will tell the State Department to send to the Senate the Kigali Amendment, an international agreement to slash the use of a group of human-made compounds that both contribute to climate change and deplete the ozone layer. The Trump administration never submitted the treaty to Congress despite the urging of both business groups and several congressional Republicans.
Kick-starting an “all-of-government” approach: Biden direct every agency to factor climate change into the decisions they make, including purchasing electric vehicles, getting power from carbon-free sources and bolstering the buildings and other federal facilities to the impacts of rising temperatures.
New U.S. Environment-Energy-Climate Team Brings Experience to Task Ahead
Via The Hill
Several of the new hires, announced over the past several days, are Obama administration officials returning to their respective departments.
At Interior, Elizabeth Klein will serve as deputy secretary. She was formerly the department’s associate deputy secretary. Kate Kelly, who held high-ranking positions at Interior under Secretaries Sally Jewell and Ken Salazar, will serve as the deputy chief of staff for policy.
Vicki Arroyo, who now leads the Georgetown Climate Center, and Joseph Goffman, who ran the Environmental and Energy Law Program at Harvard Law School, are returning to the EPA after both previously worked at its Air and Radiation Office.
EPA’s new chief of staff Dan Utech formerly served in the Obama White House as deputy assistant to the president for energy and climate change. He will be joined by officials coming from environmental advocacy organizations such as the Environmental Defense Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
The Energy Department’s new chief of staff, Tarak Shah, is also a former Obama official, having worked as a chief of staff to the agency’s undersecretary for science and energy.
Andrew Light, who served as an adviser to the U.S. special envoy on climate change and also worked on Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s climate-focused presidential campaign, is also joining DOE as its principal deputy assistant secretary for international affairs.
The Biden administration is also creating some new roles to further advance campaign pledges Biden made on issues like ensuring an equitable transition away from fossil fuels.
At DOE, the Biden team created new positions leading the department’s efforts on energy jobs and energy justice, which will be held by Jennifer Jean Kropke, formerly of an electrical workers union, and Shalanda Baker, who was a professor at Northeastern University, respectively.
These positions are expected to advance Biden’s campaign pledges to ensure that 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments go toward disadvantaged communities and that the agency’s actions on energy create jobs.
Baker in particular will look at the agency’s existing programs to ensure they are consistent with Biden’s energy justice campaign promises.
“It’s a very knowledgeable and experienced crew, and I think this will be a great reassurance to the career staff at the agency as well," said Stan Meiberg, a former acting deputy administrator for the EPA during the Obama years.
Series of executive decisions planned for this week
Biden will announce a U.S.-hosted leadership summit to take place on Earth Day as one of multiple actions aimed at addressing the climate crisis.
A memo outlining looming orders also signals Biden will sign an executive order that initiates a series of regulatory actions to "combat climate change domestically and elevates climate change as a national security priority."
An omnibus order will also reestablish the Presidential Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, as well as a memorandum urging agencies to make decisions based on available science and evidence.
Biden on his first day in office recommitted the United States to the Paris Climate Agreement and signed an executive order revoking a key permit for the Keystone XL pipeline and halting oil and gas leasing at a wildlife refuge in Alaska.
“On the Biden administration's very first day, it took several big steps in the wrong direction,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell (Ky.), the top Republican in the Senate, citing the Paris agreement and Keystone pipeline decisions.
BlueGreen Alliance: Next Steps
The BlueGreen Alliance, a coalition of six labor unions and six national environmental groups, is gearing up for a significant staff expansion heading into the Biden administration, recently advertising for 11 new positions, including the 15-year-old group’s first field organizers and federal campaign manager. The staffing up, said Jason Walsh, executive director of the alliance, is a reflection of funders recognizing “the moment we’re in, both in terms of the scale of the crisis and the opportunity with the new Congress and a new president” — and also a signal that policy differences in the Democratic climate coalition will emerge in clearer focus over the next few months.
.... There will be more competition among climate groups for influencing policy, a preview of which emerged in September over a House energy bill that ultimately garnered 18 Democratic dissenting votes. The Biden campaign sought to align itself closely with unions on the trail, making BlueGreen a valued ally, though some of its other efforts to court environmental justice groups highlight policy differences that the new administration will have to navigate.
The BlueGreen Alliance, which emphasizes equity and the needs of working people in the U.S.’s response to climate change, rejects what it calls the “false choice” between economic security and a viable planet, according to an eight-page policy platform released in 2019.
BlueGreen’s focus on public investment, good jobs, and justice shares much in common with the federal Green New Deal resolution introduced in February 2019.
Their “Solidarity for Climate Action” report is in tension with those in the environmental movement who call for a more rapid transition away from oil, coal, and natural gas. BlueGreen says that the ultimate goal should be to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, reaching net-zero emissions by 2050, but not necessarily end the fossil fuel industry itself, with its tens of thousands of high-paying jobs.
“We’re focused on what we can build together, not on shutting down projects or facilities,” said Walsh. “We’re focused on what unites labor and environment … [and] we’ll need that unity, we have literally no votes to spare.”
New President, New Approach to the #ClimateCrisis
The U.S. is no longer a rogue climate nation
In one of his first acts in office, President Joe Biden began the process for the U.S. to rejoin the Paris Agreement on climate change and to reestablish the scores of environmental regulations undone by his predecessor in the Oval Office.
Biden, seated at the Resolute Desk in the West Wing of the White House, signed the notice to re-enter the Paris accord Jan. 20 just hours after taking the oath of office. It was later deposited with the United Nations, and under the agreement, will take effect in 30 days, or Feb. 19. The U.S. will also have to submit a new greenhouse gas emissions-reduction plan.
The new U.S. President announced:
"We're going to combat climate change in a way that we haven't done so far."
January 20, 2021
Inaugural Speech: A Message from Joe Biden
46th U.S. President, Day One
"We've learned again that democracy is precious. Democracy is fragile. At this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed."
Chief Justice Roberts, Vice President Harris. Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, McConnell, Vice President Pence, my distinguished guests and my fellow Americans, this is America's day.
This is democracy's day. A day of history and hope of renewal and resolve through a crucible for the ages. America has been tested anew and America has risen to the challenge. Today, we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate, but of a cause, the cause of democracy. The people, the will of the people, has been heard and the will of the people has been heeded.
We've learned again that democracy is precious. Democracy is fragile. At this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed.
From now, on this hallowed ground, where just a few days ago, violence sought to shake the Capitol's very foundation, we come together as one nation, under God, indivisible to carry out the peaceful transfer of power, as we have for more than two centuries.
As we look ahead in our uniquely American way: restless, bold, optimistic, and set our sights on the nation we can be and we must be.
I thank my predecessors of both parties for their presence here today. I thank them from the bottom of my heart. And I know, I know the resilience of our Constitution and the strength, the strength of our nation. As does President Carter, who I spoke with last night, who cannot be with us today, but whom we salute for his lifetime of service.
I've just taken the sacred oath. Each of those patriots have taken. The oath, first sworn by George Washington. But the American story depends not on any one of us, not on some of us, but on all of us, on we the people who seek a more perfect union.
This is a great nation. We are good people. And over the centuries, through storm and strife, in peace and in war, we've come so far. But we still have far to go. We'll press forward with speed and urgency, for we have much to do in this winter of peril and significant possibilities, much to repair, much to restore, much to heal, much to build, and much to gain.
Few people in our nation's history have been more challenged or found a time more challenging or difficult than the time we're in now. Once-in-a-century virus that silently stalks the country. It's taken as many lives in one year as America lost in all of World War II. Millions of jobs have been lost. Hundreds of thousands of businesses closed. A cry for racial justice, some four hundred years in the making moves us. The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer.
The cry for survival comes from planet itself, a cry that can't be any more desperate or any more clear. And now a rise of political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism that we must confront and we will defeat.
To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America requires so much more than words. It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy: unity, unity.
In another January, on New Year's Day in 1863, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. When he put pen to paper, the president said, and I quote, “if my name ever goes down into history, it'll be for this act. And my whole soul is in it.”
My whole soul was in it today. On this January day, my whole soul is in this: Bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation. And I ask every American to join me in this cause.
Uniting to fight the foes we face: anger, resentment, hatred, extremism, lawlessness, violence, disease, joblessness and hopelessness. With unity, we can do great things, important things. We can right wrongs. We can put people to work in good jobs. We can teach our children in safe schools. We can overcome the deadly virus. We can reward, reward work and rebuild the middle class and make health care secure for all. We can deliver racial justice and we can make America once again the leading force for good in the world.
I know speaking of unity can sound to some like a foolish fantasy these days. I know the forces that divide us are deep and they are real, but I also know they are not new. Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal that we're all created equal and the harsh, ugly reality that racism, nativism, fear, demonization have long torn us apart. The battle is perennial and victory is never assured.
Through civil war, the Great Depression, world war, 9/11, through struggle, sacrifice and setbacks, our better angels have always prevailed. In each of these moments, enough of us, enough of us have come together to carry all of us forward. And we can do that now. History, faith and reason show the way, the way of unity. We can see each other not as adversaries, but as neighbors. We can treat each other with dignity and respect. We can join forces, stop the shouting and lower the temperature. For without unity, there is no peace, only bitterness and fury. No progress, only exhausting outrage. No nation, only a state of chaos.
This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge. And unity is the path forward. And we must meet this moment as the United States of America. If we do that, I guarantee you we will not fail. We have never, ever, ever, ever failed in America when we've acted together.
And so today at this time in this place, let's start afresh, all of us. Let's begin to listen to one another again. Hear one another see one another, show respect to one another. Politics doesn't have to be a raging fire, destroying everything in its path. Every disagreement doesn't have to be a cause for total war. And we must reject the culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured.
My fellow Americans. We have to be different than this. America has to be better than this. And I believe America is so much better than this. Just look around. Here we stand in the shadow of the Capitol dome, as was mentioned earlier, completed amid the Civil War, when the union itself was literally hanging in the balance. Yet we endured, we prevailed.
Here we stand looking out in the great mall where Dr. King spoke of his dream. Here we stand, where 108 years ago, at another inaugural, thousands of protesters tried to block brave women marching for the right to vote. And today we marked the swearing in of the first woman in American history elected to national office: Vice President Kamala Harris. Don't tell me things can't change.
Here we stand across the Potomac from Arlington Cemetery, where heroes who gave the last full measure of devotion rest in eternal peace. And here we stand just days after a riotous mob thought they could use violence to silence the will of the people, to stop the work of our democracy, to drive us from this sacred ground.
It did not happen. It will never happen. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever. Not ever.
To all those who supported our campaign, I'm humbled by the faith you've placed in us. To all those who did not support us, let me say this. Hear me out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart. If you still disagree so be it. That's democracy. That's America. The right to dissent, peaceably, the guardrails of our republic is perhaps this nation's greatest strength.
Yet hear me clearly: disagreement must not lead to disunion. And I pledge this to you, I will be a president for all Americans. All Americans. And I promise you I will fight as hard for those who did not support me as for those who did.
Many centuries ago. Saint Augustine, a saint in my church, wrote to the people was a multitude defined by the common objects of their love. Defined by the common objects of their love. What are the common objects we as Americans love, that define us as Americans? I think we know. Opportunity, security, liberty, dignity, respect, honor and yes, the truth.
Recent weeks and months have taught us a painful lesson. There is truth and there are lies, lies told for power and for profit. And each of us has a duty and responsibility, as citizens, as Americans, and especially as leaders, leaders who have pledged to honor our Constitution and protect our nation, to defend the truth and defeat the lies.
Look, I understand that many of my fellow Americans view the future with fear and trepidation. I understand they worry about their jobs. I understand, like my dad, they lay in bed at night, staring at the ceiling, wondering, can I keep my health care? Can I pay my mortgage? Thinking about their families, about what comes next. I promise you, I get it.
But the answer is not to turn inward, to retreat into competing factions, distrusting those who don't look like look like you or worship the way you do, or don't get their news from the same sources you do. We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal. We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts. If we show a little tolerance and humility, and if we're willing to stand in the other person's shoes, as my mom would say, just for a moment, stand in their shoes. Because here's the thing about life. There's no accounting for what fate will deal you. Some days, when you need a hand. There are other days when we're called to lend a hand. That's how it has to be. That's what we do for one another. And if we are this way, our country will be stronger, more prosperous, more ready for the future. And we can still disagree.
My fellow Americans, in the work ahead of us, we're going to need each other. We need all our strength to to persevere through this dark winter. We're entering what may be the toughest and deadliest period of the virus. We must set aside politics and finally face this pandemic as One Nation. One Nation.
And I promise you this, as the Bible says, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” We will get through this together. Together.
Look, folks, all my colleagues I served with in the House of the Senate up there, we all understand the world is watching, watching all of us today. So here's my message to those beyond our borders. America has been tested and we've come out stronger for it. We will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again. Not to meet yesterday's challenges, but today's and tomorrow's challenges. And we’ll lead, not merely by the example of our power, but by the power of our example.
We'll be a strong and trusted partner for peace, progress and security. Look, you all know, we've been through so much in this nation. And my first act as president, I’d like to ask you to join me in a moment of silent prayer to remember all those who we lost this past year to the pandemic. Those four hundred thousand fellow Americans, moms, dads, husbands, wives, sons, daughters, friends, neighbors and coworkers. We will honor them by becoming the people and the nation we know we can and should be. So I ask you, let's say a silent prayer for those who've lost their lives, those left behind and for our country.
Folks, this is a time of testing. We face an attack on our democracy and on truth, a raging virus, growing inequity, the sting of systemic racism, a climate in crisis, America's role in the world. Any one of these will be enough to challenge us in profound ways. But the fact is, we face them all at once, presenting this nation with one of the gravest responsibilities we've had. Now we're going to be tested. Are we going to step up? All of us? It’s time for boldness, for there is so much to do. And this is certain, I promise you, we will be judged, you and I, by how we resolve these cascading crises of our era.
Will we rise to the occasion, is the question. Will we master this rare and difficult hour? Will we meet our obligations and pass along a new and better world to our children? I believe we must. I'm sure you do as well. I believe we will. And when we do, we'll write the next great chapter in the history of the United States of America. The American story. A story that might sound something like a song that means a lot to me. It's called American Anthem. There's one verse that stands out, at least for me, and it goes like this:
The work and prayers of a century have brought us to this day.
What shall be our legacy? What will our children say?
Let me know in my heart when my days are through.
America, America, I gave my best to you.
Let's add. Let us add our own work and prayers to the unfolding story of our great nation. If we do this, then when our days are through, our children and our children's children will say of us: They gave their best, they did their duty, they healed a broken land.
My fellow Americans, I close the day where I began, with a sacred oath before God and all of you. I give you my word, I will always level with you. I will defend the Constitution. I'll defend our democracy. I'll defend America and I will give all, all of you. Keep everything I do in your service, thinking not of power, but of possibilities, not of personal interest, but the public good. And together we shall write an American story of hope, not fear. Of unity, not division. Of light, not darkness. A story of decency and dignity, love and healing, greatness and goodness. May this be the story that guides us. The story that inspires us and the story that tells ages yet to come that we answered the call of history. We met the moment. Democracy and hope, truth and justice did not die on our watch, but thrived. That America secured liberty at home and stood once again as a beacon to the world. That is what we owe our forbearers, one another and generations to follow.
So, with purpose and resolve, we turn to those tasks of our time. Sustained by faith, driven by conviction, devoted to one another and the country we love with all our hearts. May God bless America and may God protect our troops. Thank you, America.
The Lost Years: Environmental Setbacks under the Trump Administration
"'The lost years': Climate damage that occurred on Trump's watch will endure long after he is gone..."
In just four years, Trump has cemented a legacy -- particularly on climate change -- that will be felt by generations to come.
"It's pretty much been an unequivocal disaster," said Christine Todd Whitman, the former Republican governor of New Jersey who was EPA administrator under President George W. Bush. "To just roll back [regulations] whole cloth because they came from a previous administration has made no sense, and really what's happening is that they're putting the health of Americans and the health of our environment in jeopardy.
"The mission [of the EPA] is to protect human health and the environment — pretty simple and pretty straightforward," Todd Whitman added. "It seems to me they've totally ignored the mission."
The most lasting part of Trump's climate legacy -- and one that cannot be undone -- may be the time the administration wasted in the face of a worsening climate crisis, some scientists and experts say.
"I'm kind of hopeful that many of the worst and most damaging climate policies are capable of being reversed," said Kim Cobb, a professor and climate scientist at Georgia Tech's School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. "But the lost years in terms of progress on emissions reductions we can't ever take back, and that is something that will have a finite impact on coming climate change impacts."
Trump's #EPA Saved the Worst Attack on #Environment for Last
By Ti-Hua Chang @tihuachang / TYT.com - The Young Turks
Will Take Time for #Biden to Reverse
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler has announced that the EPA has put into effect a rule banning the EPA from basing regulatory decisions on scientific studies that do not identify participants by name. This will effectively give many industries, including fossil fuel and tobacco companies, significantly more leeway to pollute and endanger the health of a broad spectrum of Americans, because many health studies routinely keep the identity of participants confidential to protect their privacy.
The rule, dubbed the Censored Science Rule, will have deadly consequences, says the Union of Concerned Scientists.
“If we cannot rely on studies using health data, we cannot set standards and it will cost lives. Tens of thousands of people die annually because of air pollution. If we cannot set standards to protect people, then we will see more deaths,” says Gretchen Goldman, Research Director Center for Science and Democracy, Union of Concerned Scientists.
One of the largest environmental advocacy groups in the US agrees.
“The vagueness and ambiguity of the proposal makes it impossible for the public to understand fully what is at stake here. This is a broad and dangerous instrument,” says Senior Attorney Ben Levitan of the Environmental Defense Fund.
Both groups believe the Biden administration must prioritize reversing this ruling.
New director of Office of Science and Technology Policy
Change in direction, science to become key for the incoming U.S. president
President-elect Biden announces “science will always be at the forefront of my administration”
President-elect Joe Biden announced Friday (January 16) that he has chosen a pioneer in mapping the human genome — the so-called “book of life” — to be his chief science adviser and is elevating the top science job to a Cabinet position.
Lander is the founding director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and was the lead author of the first paper announcing the details of the human genome.
Biden is boosting the science advisor post to Cabinet level, a first in White House history
Lander will head a post left vacant by President Trump for 18 months
SJS / GreenPolicy360 Siterunner: A tip of the GreenPolicy360 hat to Congressman George E. Brown who first put forward the Office of Science and Technology Policy, recognizing the essential role science must play in rational, forward-looking U.S. political policy.
NYT: The appointments signal a drastic switch from the role of science in the Trump administration. President Trump left the position of science adviser empty for 18 months, while his administration routinely ignored the guidance of government scientists on issues including the coronavirus pandemic, chemical pollution and climate change.
Mr. Biden has made other White House appointments that could elevate the importance of science in decision-making, such as naming John Kerry, the former secretary of state and a Democratic senator, a special presidential envoy on climate change, and creating a new White House Office of Climate Policy led by Gina McCarthy, who served as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Barack Obama.
President of the National Academy of Sciences: “Eric Lander is a true Renaissance scientist in his broad grasp of the many fields of science and their interrelationships. At a time when the nation and the world face complex challenges that will require harnessing the full power of physical, life, environmental, social, biomedical and engineering sciences, Eric is an inspired choice of a scientist of international stature to ensure that science guides sound policy.”
Change in Global Strategic Direction by General Motors / GM
January 27 Update
January 12, 2021
GM stock surges into record territory after unveiling new electric transport services business BrightDrop
January 12, 2021
Shares of General Motors Co. GM shot up 6.4% into record territory Tuesday after the automaker announced a new business called BrightDrop, which GM said will offer an ecosystem of electric products, software and services to help delivery companies transport goods more efficiently.
GM BrightDrop's first product, available in early 2021, will be an electric pallet called EP1. An EP1 pilot program, in partnership with FedEx Corp.'s FDX FedEx Express, has already been completed, with EP1s helping FedEx Express couriers handle 25% more packages per day.
The second BrightDrop product, available for order in early 2022, will be the EV600, an electric light commercial vehicle built to deliver goods over long ranges. The EV600 is expected to have an estimated range of up to 250 miles, with a charge rate of 170 miles of range per hour.
GM Announces Shift to Zero-emissions Future as Global Strategy
GM's stock has risen 48.7% over the past three months as the company has rolled out its new green energy-efficient strategy.
- Facts & Science Need to Come to the Front of Mind
- Remember when 'truthiness' was 'word of the year'?
- This year a different version of truthiness has returned and it, truth, is in dire straits. Facts are under assault, science is under assault. Science denial is left and right -- and has proven deadly as a Covid virus spread. 2020 has been a chaotic year, a divisive time, an ominous time.
- In the midst of it all, brave souls that we are at GreenPolicy360, we continue to advocate for science and facts, fact finding and reasoned argument, science and logic.
- Good luck in 2021!