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July 2024

Here’s Where Kamala Harris Stands on Climate

Democratic Party's new candidate for President has strong environmental protection positions

She pursued polluters as attorney general in California and later staked out bold positions as a senator, including sponsorship of the Green New Deal.

Vice President Kamala Harris has for years made the environment a top concern, from prosecuting polluters as California’s attorney general to sponsoring the Green New Deal as a senator to casting the tiebreaking vote as vice president for the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, the largest climate investment in United States history.


Saudi Aramco Positions Itself for a Long Fossil Fuel Run

Via UK / Financial Times / July 10

Internal combustion engines will be around many, many years says Saudi Arabia's oil/gas company, Saudi Aramco. The state-owned oil group that made $500bn in revenues last year mainly from producing and selling crude is investing in carbon intensive products with a purpose.

“At the end of the day everyone is here to make money,” Yasser Mufti, Aramco executive vice-president said. He added about their new significant investment in Horse Powertrain engines... “there’s a lot of value proposition there”.


News: Supreme Court of the United States

Supreme Court Says Donald Trump Is Partly Shielded From Prosecution

The decision may effectively delay the trial of the case against the former president on charges of plotting to subvert the 2020 election.

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June 2024

June 30

Time to Add Fact-Checking to Live, Broadcast/Streamed Political Debates

This week, on Thursday night, June 27th, some 50 million people tuned in to the CNN hosted 2024 US presidential campaign debate between current president Joe Biden and former president Donald Trump.

The debate rules had been negotiated between CNN and the candidate staffs and featured limited time periods for the candidates to answer questions or make statements and charges, with a system of lights monitoring the time periods, and microphones being muted when each candidate's time period expired. What wasn't addressed -- and turned out to be a critical issue and problem -- can be described as what do you do when questions are answered and instead a charged series of claims are made that range far from facts, and verbal accusations pile up, one after another to a degree that corrections by the accused candidate become impossible in the time allotted.

The presidential debate turned into an event far from facts and debate, but rather an overwhelmed format that led to calls to change the rules in the future to ensure a back-and-forth debate can take place.

We have a suggestion to make debates in the future work as *debates, not debacles. The key to success could be enabling fact-checking capabilities to accompany the live event. This seems like an idea whose time has come and software/services like AI that have recently been rolling out can do real-time fact checking in ways that are possible in new forms. Having debates *on the merits will breathe new life into rhetorical arguments that deserve to be better tomorrow.

A fact-checking add-on solution was explained by GreenPolicy360's siterunner after the June 27th event. We offer Steve Schmidt's opinion here:

A Debate to Remember

by Steve Schmidt / June 30, 2024

What happened in the presidential debate on June 27, 2024? Most of us are still wondering what was 'That' about?

The current president went to Atlanta to debate a former president -- the results were consequential -- and devastating. Another word, with exclamation, would be "Inconceivable!"

In a call out to classic movies lore (and memes), inconceivable! brings back memories of Wallace Shawn in "The Princess Bride". Shawn's character, Vizzini, immortalized the line, "Inconceivable!". This past week "Inconceivable!" returned on stage and delivered consequences beyond imagination.

Since the debate, watched by some 50 million people, the after effects have not ended. The questions that shocked -- of Joe Biden's performance, his health, his competence -- are now reverberating across the country. The writer Bob Woodward compared Biden's performance with an H bomb, and questioned what happened in President Biden's preparation for the debate.

The look of the 81 year old President was, from the opening of the debate until its closing worrying. The President looked pale, almost without any TV makeup. He was unsteady, his voice hoarse, he held on to his podium, he wavered, unsteady in action and words, His answers to questions became confused. On questions that were politically essential, such as women's reproductive rights and the recent Supreme Court decision striking down decades of Roe v. Wade with the Dobbs v. Jackson decision, he stumbled though he had been addressing this question-of-questions daily for months.

Meanwhile, the former President unleashed a torrent of verbal charges and attacks, refused to answer questions, and claimed throughout the debate that his term in office was the best ever. In fact, it wasn't and most every claim he made veered far from reality and fact.

Afterwards, Heather Cox Richardson, a well-known historian, wrote that the former president used a technique called the "Gish Gallup", that overwhelms an opponent by "by providing an excessive number of arguments with no regard for accuracy". Trump's on stage broadside was aided by debate rules that muted the President's microphone and, to expect the President to fact check the ex-President's 'firehose' of claims would have been 'inconceivable', even if the President wasn't expected to speak of his own vision of a political future.

The planning of the debate did not produce any means of 'fact checking', the two CNN moderators and no way to call out lies and charges made, no way to prevent the debate from descending -- and so it did. The microphone of President Biden was muted, he couldn't answer, he just had to stand there looking pale, distraught while the moderators and world watched.

At this point, one could hope that future debates will put in place some 'guard rails' and/or moderator/commentator input … Why not fact checkers, perhaps using new AI tools for rapid response capabilities that can deliver a scroll of verifications ...

Fact checkers? You might ask, who needs fact checkers (with badges)?!

We need facts and fact-checking as a profession has come a long way in recent years Fact-checking organizations have spread from the US to democratic nations of the world.

The International Fact-Checking Network, in fact, started in the US with the efforts of the Poynter Institute and its PolitiFact original work. The Reporters Lab of Duke University is also bringing fact checking services into media and educating as they go. Amid current political turmoil and fire hoses of dis- and mis-information across the Internet and social media, the new counters to those pedaling lies are available to use as services.

This past week, for example, a GlobalFact 11th annual international conference was held, successfully drawing from news, media and public interest groups internationally and offering fact checking 'best practices'.

Bottom line, facts count. There are ways to do better with debates. Before the next presidential debate, let's take time to present new ideas for debate improvement.

It's not Inconceivable! we can do better. To maintain and protect the Republic, and advance the nation's democratic institutions, we need facts. It's time for fact-checking real time in online debates. Our democracy will thank you and it's our responsibility to make it happen.

As Benjamin Franklin was reported saying of the new US experiment as he left Independence Hall after the Constitutional Convention: We have "a Republic, if you can keep it."


Microorganisms, the "Tiny Little Ones"

June 24

Today's GreenPolicy360 'Story of the Day' begins with an excerpt from the NY Times (link provided w/ article free-to-view/without paywall). Earth science explored here by the NY Times Magazine speaks of "the tiny little ones" (as GreenPolicy often calls the tiny micro-life forms) that almost always go unseen by human eyes and unappreciated. Yet, as science is now discovering, microorganisms/microbes play an outside role in supporting, changing, and sculpting our Living Earth.

As we often do at GreenPolicy, we make "Earth System Science" connections , as in It's All Related with ecology as a guide. We now zoom into the microlife-story in the Amazon rainforest, one of our favorite bioregions. The NY Times Magazine story moves from the rainforest and its canopy with its ( amazing stories we were one of first to tell]. The story connects into the creation of clouds and rainstorm, then across skies and seas, and goes underground, deep into the crust of Planet Earth to reveal a Living Treasure...

"Life finds a way", as Michael Crichton memorably wrote and Jeff Goldblum intoned in a Jurassic movie warning delivered to a Barnum-Bailey developer's theme park team.

So let's go deeper now, this is more than an H.G. Wells tale or any Disney-Marvel animation or theme park ride (even Spaceship Earth at Epcot.)

The Mysterious, Deep-Dwelling Microbes That Sculpt Our Planet

By Ferris Jabr

Ferris Jabr is a contributing writer at the NY Times magazine and the author of “Becoming Earth: How Our Planet Came to Life."

In a typical year, the Amazon generates around half of its own rainfall.

The Amazon’s rain ritual challenges the way we typically think about life on Earth. Conventional wisdom holds that life is sub¬ject to its environment. If Earth did not orbit a star of the right size and age, if it were too close or too far from that star, if it did not have a stable atmosphere, liquid water and a magnetic field that deflects harmful cosmic rays, it would be lifeless. Life evolved on Earth be¬cause Earth is suitable for life. Since Darwin, prevailing scientific paradigms have likewise emphasized that the ever-shifting demands of the environment largely dictate how life evolves: Species best able to cope with changes to their particular habitats leave behind the most descendants, whereas those that fail to adapt die out.

Yet this truth has an underappreciated twin: Life changes its environment, too. In the mid-20th century, when ecology established itself as a formal discipline, this fact began to gain wider recognition in Western science. Even so, the focus was on relatively small and local changes: a beaver constructing a dam, for instance, or earthworms churning a patch of soil. The notion that living creatures of all kinds might modify their environments in much more significant ways — that microbes, fungi, plants and animals can change the topography and climate of a continent or even the entire planet — was rarely given serious consideration.

In recent decades, however, the scientific understanding of life’s relationship to the planet has been undergoing a major reformation. Contrary to longstanding maxims, life has been a formidable geological force throughout Earth’s history, often matching or surpassing the power of glaciers, earthquakes and volcanoes. Over the past several billion years, all manner of life forms, from microbes to mammoths, have transformed the continents, ocean and atmosphere, turning a lump of orbiting rock into the world as we’ve known it. Living creatures are not simply products of inexorable evolutionary processes in their particular habitats; they are orchestrators of their environments and participants in their own evolution.

We and other living creatures are more than inhabitants of Earth. We are Earth: an outgrowth of its physical structure and an engine of its global cycles. The evidence for this new paradigm is all around us, although much of it has been discovered only recently and has yet to permeate public consciousness to the same degree as, say, selfish genes or the microbiome.

The history of life on Earth is the history of life’s remaking Earth...

(In a mine tunnel now, deep beneath the surface of 'Planet Earth') ... Kneeling, I realized that the water was teeming with a stringy white material similar to the skin of a poached egg. Caitlin Casar, a geobiologist, explained that the white fibers were microbes in the genus Thiothrix, which join together in long filaments and store sulfur in their cells, giving them a ghostly hue. Here we were, deep within Earth’s crust — a place where, without human intervention, there would be no light and little oxygen — yet life was literally gush­ing from rock. This particular ecological hot spot had earned the nick­name ThiothrixFalls...

Microbiomes empowering life, living systems, all related life...

Systems Thinking, "It's All Related"
In the Worlds of the Microbiomes

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An Unseen World

The 'Tiny Little Ones'

GreenPolicy360: As the extraterrestrial search for life extends thru the data returned from Hubble and Webb space-based intergallactic imaging let's ask about non-surface exoplanet life-forms. The reflective multispectrum results of scanning by Hubble/Webb do not capture non-reflective, internal exoplanet results. Think about microbiomes ... and life in forms not captured by Hubble/Webb and scanning surveys of galaxies from state of the art instruments from Planet Earth.


A Horizon of Strategic Threats to Life

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A Nuclear Arms Race 3.0

Follow GreenPolicy360's associate, Strategic Demands


Geo-Facts to Keep in Mind

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World's oceans have gone 'crazy haywire,' officials warn, with majority of coral reefs in peril

Heat stress levels literally off the charts of NOAA's alert system

Daily monitoring of ocean conditions around the world, released by NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch, shows zones of Bleaching Alert Level 4 in the central Pacific Ocean and off the Atlantic coast of South America, with some ribbons of Alert Level 5 in the southern Atlantic.

NOAA Coral Reef Watch Daily | Bleaching Alert Area 7-day Maximum | Chart (v3.1) 14 Jun 2024


In Memory of Astronaut William Anders

June 7, 2024

Former astronaut William Anders, who took iconic Earthrise photo, killed in Washington plane crash


Apollo 8's View of Earth on December 24, 1968

December 21, 1968 ... Apollo 8 launches from the Kennedy Space Center, the first humans on the way to the Moon --- and a vision looking back at home that empowered the modern environmental movement.

Aboard Apollo, December 24, 1968...
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As the spaceship swings around the Moon... unexpectedly the Earth rises in the Apollo ship's window and the astronauts are amazed at what is coming into view...

Astronaut Bill Anders is the first to see the Earth...

Anders: "Oh, my God, look at that picture over there," he can be heard saying. "There's the Earth coming up. Wow, is that pretty!"

What happened next will sound familiar to anyone who remembers the days before digital cameras:

Anders (to astronaut Jim Lovell): "You got a color film, Jim? Hand me a roll of color, quick, would you?"

Lovell: "Oh, man, that's great! Where is it?"

Anders: "Hurry. Quick."

Lovell: "Down here?"

Anders: "Just grab me a color. A color exterior. Hurry up. Got one?"

Lovell: "Yeah, I'm lookin' for one. C368."

Anders: "Anything quick."

Lovell hands him the film just as Anders is heard saying, "I think we missed it."

But within seconds, Lovell sees the shot again in another window of the command module. He asks for the camera from Anders, who seems a bit defensive at having his role as mission photographer usurped.

Anders: "Wait a minute, just let me get the right setting here now, just calm down. Calm down, Lovell!"

Anders then gets the shot that has been reproduced innumerable times all over the world...

Changing forever humanity's vision of ourselves, of who we are


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🌎 'Earthrise' poem by Amanda Gorman

Apollo 8


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UN chief says world is on ‘highway to climate hell’ as planet endures 12 straight months of unprecedented heat

It's Hot (and We're Watching)

Climate Policy @GreenPolicy360


As Insurers Around the U.S. Bleed Cash From Climate Shocks, Homeowners Lose

The insurance turmoil caused by climate change — which had been concentrated in Florida, California and Louisiana — is fast becoming a contagion, spreading to states like Iowa, Arkansas, Ohio, Utah and Washington. Even in the Northeast, where homeowners insurance was still generally profitable last year, the trends are worsening.

In 2023, insurers lost money on homeowners coverage in 18 states, more than a third of the country, according to a New York Times analysis of newly available financial data. That’s up from 12 states five years ago, and eight states in 2013. The result is that insurance companies are raising premiums by as much as 50 percent or more, cutting back on coverage or leaving entire states altogether. Nationally, over the last decade, insurers paid out more in claims than they received in premiums, according to the ratings firm Moody’s, and those losses are increasing.

The growing tumult is affecting people whose homes have never been damaged and who have dutifully paid their premiums, year after year. Cancellation notices have left them scrambling to find coverage to protect what is often their single biggest investment. As a last resort, many are ending up in high-risk insurance pools created by states that are backed by the public and offer less coverage than standard policies. By and large, state regulators lack strategies to restore stability to the market...



Commencement Address at Brandeis University

By Ken Burns

(GreenPolicy360 - A keeper and a graduation message to share widely)

Commencement 2024

Honorary degree recipient Ken Burns gives the Commencement address during the Undergraduate Commencement ceremony

Brandeis University's 73rd Commencement Exercises, May 2024


Brandeisian, love it.

President Liebowitz, Ron, Chair Lisa Kranc, and other members of the board of trustees, Provost Carol Fierke, fellow honorees, distinguished faculty and staff, proud and relieved parents, calm and serene grandparents, distracted but secretly pleased siblings, ladies and gentlemen, graduating students of the class of 2024, good morning.

I am deeply honored and privileged that you have asked me here to say a few words at such a momentous occasion that you might find what I have to say worthy of your attention on so important a day in all of your lives. Thank you for this honor.

Listen, I am in the business of history. It is not always a happy subject on college campuses these days, particularly when forces seem determined to eliminate or water down difficult parts of our past, particularly when the subject may seem to some an anachronistic and irrelevant pursuit, and particularly with the ferocious urgency this moment seems to exert on us. It is my job, however, to remind people of the power our past also exerts, to help us better understand what's going on now with compelling story, memory, and anecdote. It is my job to try to discern patterns and themes from history to enable us to interpret our dizzying and sometimes dismaying present.

For nearly 50 years now, I have diligently practiced and rigorously tried to maintain a conscious neutrality in my work, avoiding advocacy if I could, trying to speak to all of my fellow citizens. Over those many decades I've come to understand a significant fact, that we are not condemned to repeat, as the saying goes, what we don't remember. That is a beautiful, even poetic phrase, but not true. Nor are there cycles of history as the academic community periodically promotes. The Old Testament, Ecclesiastes to be specific, got it right, I think. What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again. There is nothing new under the sun. What those lines suggest is that human nature never changes or almost never changes. We continually superimpose that complex and contradictory human nature over the seemingly random chaos of events, all of our inherent strengths and weaknesses, our greed and generosity, our puritanism and our prurience, our virtue, and our venality parade before our eyes, generation after generation after generation. This often gives us the impression that history repeats itself. It does not. "No event has ever happened twice, it just rhymes," Mark Twain is supposed to have said. I have spent all of my professional life on the lookout for those rhymes, drawn inexorably to that power of history. I am interested in listening to the many varied voices of a true, honest, complicated past that is unafraid of controversy and tragedy, but equally drawn to those stories and moments that suggest an abiding faith in the human spirit, and particularly the unique role this remarkable and sometimes also dysfunctional republic seems to play in the positive progress of mankind.

During the course of my work, I have become acquainted with hundreds if not thousands of those voices. They have inspired, haunted, and followed me over the years. Some of them may be helpful to you as you try to imagine and make sense of the trajectory of your lives today.

Listen, listen. In January of 1838, shortly before his 29th birthday, a tall, thin lawyer prone to bouts of debilitating depression addressed the young men's lyceum in Springfield, Illinois. "At what point shall we expect the approach of danger?" He asked his audience, "Shall we expect some trans-Atlantic military giant to step the earth and crush us at a blow?" Then he answered his own question. "Never. All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa could not by force take a drink from the Ohio River or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men, we must live through all time or die by suicide." It is a stunning, remarkable statement, one that has animated my own understanding of the American experience since I first read it more than 40 years ago. That young man was of course Abraham Lincoln, and he would go on to preside over the closest this country has ever come to near national suicide, our civil war, and yet embedded in his extraordinary, disturbing, and prescient words is also a fundamental optimism that implicitly acknowledges the geographical forcefield two mighty oceans east and west and two relatively benign neighbors north and south have provided for us since the British burned the White House in the War of 1812 and inspired Francis Scott Key.

Lincoln's words that day suggest what is so great and so good about the people who happen to inhabit this lucky and exquisite country of ours. That's the world you now inherit: our work ethic and our restlessness, our innovation and our improvisation, our communities and our institutions of higher learning, our suspicion of power. The fact that we seem resolutely dedicated to parsing the meaning between individual and collective freedom; What I want versus what we need. That we are all so dedicated to understanding what Thomas Jefferson really meant when he wrote that mysterious phrase, "The pursuit of happiness". Hint, it happens right here in the lifelong learning and perpetual improvement this university is committed to.

But the isolation of those two oceans has also helped to incubate habits and patterns less beneficial to us: our devotion to money and guns and conspiracies, our certainty about everything, our stubborn insistence on our own exceptionalism blinding us to that which needs repair, especially with regard to race and ethnicity. Our preoccupation with always making the other wrong at an individual as well as a global level. I am reminded of what the journalist I.F. Stone once said to a young acolyte who was profoundly disappointed in his mentor's admiration for Thomas Jefferson. "It's because history is tragedy," Stone admonished him, "Not melodrama." It's the perfect response. In melodrama all villains are perfectly villainous and all heroes are perfectly virtuous, but life is not like that. You know that in your guts and nor is our history like that. The novelist, Richard Powers recently wrote that, "The best arguments in the world," — and ladies and gentlemen, that's all we do is argue — "the best arguments in the world," he said, "Won't change a single person's point of view. The only thing that can do that is a good story." I've been struggling for most of my life to do that, to try to tell good, complex, sometimes contradictory stories, appreciating nuance and subtlety and undertow, sharing the confusion and consternation of unreconciled opposites.

But it's clear as individuals and as a nation we are dialectically preoccupied. Everything is either right or wrong, red state or blue state, young or old, gay or straight, rich or poor, Palestinian or Israeli, my way or the highway. Everywhere we are trapped by these old, tired, binary reactions, assumptions, and certainties. For filmmakers and faculty, students and citizens, that preoccupation is imprisoning. Still, we know and we hear and we express only arguments, and by so doing, we forget the inconvenient complexities of history and of human nature. That, for example, three great religions, their believers, all children of Abraham, each professing at the heart of their teaching, a respect for all human life, each with a central connection to and legitimate claim to the same holy ground, violate their own dictates of conduct and make this perpetually contested land a shameful graveyard. God does not distinguish between the dead. "Could you?"

[Audience applauding]

"Could you?" A very wise person I know with years of experience with the Middle East recently challenged me, "Could you hold the idea that there could be two wrongs and two rights?"

Listen, listen. In a filmed interview I conducted with the writer James Baldwin, more than 40 years ago, he said, "No one was ever born who agreed to be a slave, who accepted it. That is, slavery is a condition imposed from without. Of course, the moment I say that," Baldwin continued, "I realize that multitudes and multitudes of people for various reasons of their own enslave themselves every hour of every day to this or that doctrine, this or that delusion of safety, this or that lie. Anti-Semites, for example," he went on, "are slaves to a delusion. People who hate Negroes are slaves. People who love money are slaves. We are living in a universe really of willing slaves, which makes the concept of liberty and the concept of freedom so dangerous," he finished. Baldwin is making a profoundly psychological and even spiritual statement, not just a political or racial or social one. He knew, just as Lincoln knew, that the enemy is often us. We continue to shackle ourselves with chains we mistakenly think is freedom.

Another voice, Mercy Otis Warren, a philosopher and historian during our revolution put it this way, "The study of the human character at once opens a beautiful and a deformed picture of the soul. We there find a noble principle implanted in the nature of people, but when the checks of conscience are thrown aside, humanity is obscured." I have had the privilege for nearly half a century of making films about the US, but I have also made films about us. That is to say the two letter, lowercase, plural pronoun. All of the intimacy of "us" and also "we" and "our" and all of the majesty, complexity, contradiction, and even controversy of the US. And if I have learned anything over those years, it's that there's only us. There is no them. And whenever someone suggests to you, whomever it may be in your life that there's a them, run away. Othering is the simplistic binary way to make and identify enemies, but it is also the surest way to your own self imprisonment, which brings me to a moment I've dreaded and forces me to suspend my longstanding attempt at neutrality.

There is no real choice this November. There is only the perpetuation, however flawed and feeble you might perceive it, of our fragile 249-year-old experiment or the entropy that will engulf and destroy us if we take the other route. When, as Mercy Otis Warren would say, "The checks of conscience are thrown aside and a deformed picture of the soul is revealed." The presumptive Republican nominee is the opioid of all opioids, an easy cure for what some believe is the solution to our myriad pains and problems. When in fact with him, you end up re-enslaved with an even bigger problem, a worse affliction and addiction, "a bigger delusion", James Baldwin would say, the author and finisher of our national existence, our national suicide as Mr. Lincoln prophesies. Do not be seduced by easy equalization. There is nothing equal about this equation. We are at an existential crossroads in our political and civic lives. This is a choice that could not be clearer.

[Audience applauding]

Listen, listen. 33 years ago, the world lost a towering literary figure. The novelist and storyteller, not arguer, Isaac Bashevis Singer. For decades he wrote about God and myth and punishment, fate and sexuality, family and history. He wrote in Yiddish a marvelously expressive language, sad and happy all at the same time. Sometimes maddeningly all knowing, yet resigned to God's seemingly capricious will. It is also a language without a country, a dying language in a world more interested in the extermination or isolation of its long suffering speakers. Singer, writing in the pages of the Jewish Daily Forward help to keep Yiddish alive. Now our own wonderfully mongrel American language is punctuated with dozens of Yiddish words and phrases, parables and wise sayings, and so many of those words are perfect onomatopoeias of disgust and despair, hubris and humor. If you've ever met a schmuck, you know what I'm talking about. [audience laughs] Toward the end of his long and prolific life, Singer expressed wonder at why so many of his books written in this obscure and some said useless language would be so widely translated, something like 56 countries all around the world. "Why," he would wonder with his characteristic playfulness, "Why would the Japanese care about his simple stories of life in the shtetls of Eastern Europe 1,000 years ago?" "Unless," Singer paused, twinkle in his eye, "Unless the story spoke of the kinship of the soul." I think what Singer was talking about was that indefinable something that connects all of us together, that which we all share as part of organic life on this planet, the kinship of the soul. I love that.

Okay, let me speak directly to the graduating class. Watch out, here comes the advice. Listen. Be curious, not cool. Insecurity makes liars of us all. Remember, none of us get out of here alive. The inevitable vicissitudes of life, no matter how well gated our communities, will visit us all. Grief is a part of life, and if you explore its painful precincts, it will make you stronger. Do good things, help others. Leadership is humility and generosity squared. Remember the opposite of faith is not doubt. Doubt is central to faith. The opposite of faith is certainty. The kinship of the soul begins with your own at times withering self-examination. Try to change that unchangeable human nature of Ecclesiastes, but start with you. "Nothing so needs reforming," Mark Twain once chided us, "As other people's habits." [audience laughs]

Don't confuse success with excellence. Do not descend too deeply into specialism. Educate all of your parts, you will be healthier. Do not get stuck in one place. "Travel is fatal to prejudice," Twain also said. Be in nature, which is always perfect and where nothing is binary. Its sheer majesty may remind you of your own atomic insignificance, as one observer put it, but in the inscrutable and paradoxical ways of wild places, you will feel larger, inspirited, just as the egotist in our midst is diminished by his or her self regard.

At some point, make babies, one of the greatest things that will happen to you, I mean it, one of the greatest things that will happen to you is that you will have to worry, I mean really worry, about someone other than yourself. It is liberating and exhilarating, I promise. Ask your parents.

[Audience laughs]

Choose honor over hypocrisy, virtue over vulgarity, discipline over dissipation, character over cleverness, sacrifice over self-indulgence. Do not lose your enthusiasm, in its Greek etymology the word enthusiasm means simply, "god in us". Serve your country. Insist that we fight the right wars. Denounce oppression everywhere.

[Audience applauding]

Convince your government, as Lincoln understood that the real threat always and still comes from within this favored land. Insist that we support science and the arts, especially the arts.

[Audience cheering]

They have nothing to do with the actual defense of our country; They just make our country worth defending.

[Audience applauding]

Remember what Louis Brandeis said, "The most important political office is that of the private citizen." Vote. You indelibly... [audience applauding] Please, vote. You indelibly underscore your citizenship, and most important, our kinship with each other when you do. Good luck and godspeed.

[Audience applauding]


On the Beach, In the Intertidal Zone

A Brief History of the Future

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In the Intertidal Zone



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Category 6 Hurricanes? It's Getting Gnarly Out There!

Scientist are proposing an update of the scale to include category 6 hurricanes, which are those with winds over 192 mph.

According to the Guardian: “Hurricanes are becoming so strong due to the climate crisis that the classification of them should be expanded to include a “category 6” storm, furthering the scale from the standard 1 to 5, according to a new study.

Over the past decade, five storms would have been classed at this new category 6 strength, researchers said, which would include all hurricanes with sustained winds of 192 mph or more. Such mega-hurricanes are becoming more likely due to global heating, studies have found, due to the warming of the oceans and atmosphere.

Michael Wehner, a scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the US, said that “192mph is probably faster than most Ferraris, it’s hard to even imagine”. He has proposed the new category 6 alongside another researcher, James Kossin of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Being caught in that sort of hurricane would be bad. Very bad.”

The study was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and reported in the Guardian by Oliver Milman on 5 Feb 2024.


Re: Climate Policy News, Renewable, Clean Energy instead of Burning Fossil Fuels

Battery costs have dropped 90% in under 15 years giving renewables a boost, new IEA report reveals

While China produces most batteries today, the report shows that 40 per cent of announced plans for new battery manufacturing is in advanced economies such as the US and the European Union.

Battery deployment still needs to scale up significantly in the next few years if the world is to hit our energy and climate goals.

To do so, overall energy storage capacity will need to increase sixfold by 2030 worldwide, with batteries accounting for 90 per cent of the increase and pumped hydropower covering most of the rest.


April 22, 2024

Personal Memories on the Road to the First Earth Day

ThinBlue-3 iss030e031276.jpg / Earth System Science / Measuring "Vital Signs"


The Day Before Earth Day, 2024



Story Telling and Science Education

'Thought for the Day'

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Greening Our Blue Planet

Beginnings of the Modern Environmental Movement



GreenPolicy360 Siterunner: Many years ago our student movement began 'going green' and creating a 'modern environmental movement'. New visions of what could be and should be came into view and when we pitched a US Senator back in 1969, Senator Nelson thanked us for our "peace movement" and said he was "inspired" by our energy. He especially appreciated the "teach ins" we were organizing and when he came to California listened to our ideas in detail. He visited the historic oil spill off the Santa Barbara coastline, and he became convinced. A special day could and should spread the message -- the peace movement organizing, the teach ins, the student energy would transition into eco-organizing. Peace, democracy in action and environmental protection would move together.

The first Earth Day was soon announced and here in 2024 and again we are about to again do what we do.... At GreenPolicy360 we call this -- "Earth Day is every day".

Earth Day Is Every Day

Here comes April 22nd, 2024. Get ready to 'Get with the action' ...

EveryDay Is Earth Day

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As the upcoming US presidential election heats up, threats to US democratic institutions heat up...

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A Living Earth, a Living Cell

Macro to Micro on All Species Day

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More (without a paywall) on the opportunities to use MethaneSAT data, internationally, in the years to come. This Earth Imaging data, a consequence of decades of Earth research from satellites development, promises to be an environmental security/climate policy and enforcement game changer

On March 4, 2024, MethaneSAT detached from the SpaceX Transporter-10 rocket that carried the emissions-monitor into space.

The groundbreaking satellite is designed to help protect the Earth’s climate by accelerating reductions of this powerful greenhouse pollutant, focusing on oil and gas operations, a major source of methane.

MethaneSAT data will become available, it has been announced, for download in the Google Earth Engine database...

MethaneSAT is the first satellite developed by an environmental non-profit and enables emissions tracking and business accountability. The net result -- faster reductions of methane gas.

Climate Action Plans 360

In 2020/21 GreenPolicy360 first put forward a strategic initiative for "climate plans enforcement" developed and presented by nearly all nations of the world at climate summits. The Paris conference in 2015 was the first reveal of this plans and since then many promises for action have been made by nations and their political representatives -- but with sporadic follow up and performance.

We saw a pressing need to, as we put it, 'turn national climate plans and pledges into reality'. The plans/pledges/promises made on paper had to translate to action on the ground and, as we said, in the skies above. The INDCs (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) had to bring in facts and data, and as we pointed to, the data was there in the form of satellite missions capable of surveying and reporting emissions, hot spots, 'code red' vital signs.

In other words, as we have said for many years, science could be and should be used. 'Measure-to-manage' was a call to action for climate plans enforcement.

The use of Earth Imaging systems via satellite programs was high on our list, as our GreenPolicy360 founder has been involved in Earth Science research from space since its beginnings in the 1970s.

Now, with the launch of MethaneSAT, the vision of data that can be used for enforcement, to reduce methane emissions as a potent source of global warming, is now becoming a reality. Read on...

Distributing the MethaneSAT data is the next step...

GRN360: Climate Plans Enforcement Initiative

GRN3360: Methods to Enforce Climate Plan Pledges

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First satellite developed by an environmental non-profit will see methane emissions others can’t, paving the way for heightened accountability and faster reductions

MethaneSat Media Kit


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Along Comes Data

Fact Checking, Facts Count

You don't need a degree in statistics to know that facts count and data is a key to seeing how to navigate to your goals and destination.

Our World in Data is one of the best sources available online for gathering data in its various forms, fields, presentations and timelines. Our World in Data is now launching -- Data Insights.

The motto of Our World in Data is "Research and data to make progress against the world’s largest problems." GreenPolicy360 agrees.

We regularly check with Our World in Data for their data-science.

One of GreenPolicy360's oft-stated axioms is 'facts count' and so, after checking out Our World in Data and bookmarking them as a favorite, perhaps it's time to surf through some of GreenPolicy360's popular facts and science pages. One of our key goals is to provide actionable facts, data, and science that powers up green work...

Data, Intelligence, Science


GreenPolicy360 & Science

GreenPolicy360, Facts & Data -- GreenPolicy360, Our Policy on Science

Prepare to debate on the merits of the facts and the science... here are some means and methods, logic and argumentation, to employ when interacting with those involved in Climate Denial and Misinformation ...


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Ready for a trip to our friends 35th Annual Conference?

Join in. Make a Positive Difference... 'Your Life is Your Message'



March 3

On World Wildlife Day

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February 26, 2024

Flaco, the Eurasian Eagle Owl, Has Died

The Owl who escaped from the NY Central Park Zoo, went wild and lived with Owl freedom in the middle of New York City has come to an end.

The saga of Flaco touches on many "Living Earth" threads that weave throughout the environmental protection movement and a long-time eco-journalist, Andy Revkin, touched many of these in his new thought piece exploring 'the many meanings of the death of Flaco'. We agree with Andy@Revkin. The passing of a 'wise' symbol, who chose freedom instead of regular comfort, food, and security, who had to forage and use their wits to survive amid a very loud, dangerous, and unforgiving world (albeit one with plenty of scurrying rats running about in the streets and alleys), did resonate with many species human.

Here's Andy talking with cohorts who know about birds, and bird life, and threats that we humans can act to minimize as we look to protect life of Earth...

Via Sustain What --

Andy's guests @ 1 PM EST Feb. 26:

• Carl Safina, ecologist, conservationist and author, whose New York Times op-ed article was just posted. Here it is paywall-free - “Like Many a Hero, Flaco the Owl Made His Choice.”

(from the article) - Almost from the moment he was released, Flaco became a symbol of hope for many of the people who followed his story and recognized parts of themselves in him. Some saw him as the embodiment of the American dream, an outsider who had come to Manhattan and made a life for himself here, like millions of others who arrived penniless and unconnected in their quest for freedom. Others saw him as a poignant reminder that you can find happiness even if you’re alone (as the only free-living Eurasian eagle-owl in the Western Hemisphere, he had no chance of ever finding a wild mate). ...

Though the animal literature is peppered with stories of animals — usually pets — who suffer hardships and return home, Flaco never retreated to the zoo. Perhaps freedom itself was the home he’d discovered.

Andy also interviewed Adam Smith and Brendon Samuels -

• Adam Smith, an architect and director of design at Synecdoche, a Michigan firm centering bird-safe features in its projects.

• Brendon Samuels, a Ph.D. candidate at Western University in London, Ontario, studying building design and bird behavior. Samuels, working with the Fatal Light Awareness Program, a k a FLAP Canada, has created and assembled an array of invaluable resources highlighting the bird-building collision crisis and ways to mitigate enormous losses, which, he stresses, are NOT restricted to cities.

GreenPolicy360 suggests all of us protect birds and wildlife.

The times we are in, times of endangered species and species extinction suggest an All Species Day, today.



February 19, 2024

Inside Aleksei Navalny’s Final Months

Excerpts from the Unlocked' NY Times Article

Quoted from letters sent from a small cell in the Arctic...

Confined to cold, concrete cells and often alone with his books, Aleksei A. Navalny sought solace in letters. To one acquaintance, he wrote in July that no one could understand Russian prison life “without having been here,” adding in his deadpan humor: “But there’s no need to be here.” ...

Many details about his last months — as well as the circumstances of his death, which the Russian authorities announced on Friday — remain unknown; even the whereabouts of his body are unclear. ...

Even as brutal prison conditions took their toll on his body — he was often denied medical and dental treatment — there was no hint that Mr. Navalny had lost his clarity of mind, his writings show. ...

"I really miss the daily grind — news about life, food, salaries, gossip.”

Kerry Kennedy, a human-rights activist and the daughter of the Democratic politician Robert F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1968, also exchanged letters with Mr. Navalny. He told her that he had cried “two or three times” while reading a book about her father recommended by a friend, according to a copy of a letter, handwritten in English, that Ms. Kennedy posted on Instagram after Mr. Navalny died.

Mr. Navalny thanked Ms. Kennedy for sending him a poster with a quote from her father’s speech about how a “ripple of hope,” multiplied a million times, “can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

“I hope one day I’ll be able to hang it on the wall of my office,” Mr. Navalny wrote. ...

Mr. Krasilshchik... said he was left to ruminate on the last letter he received, in September. Mr. Navalny concluded it by positing that if South Korea and Taiwan were able to make the transition from dictatorship to democracy, then perhaps Russia could, too.

“Hope. I’ve got no problem with it,” Mr. Navalny wrote.

He signed off: “Keep writing! A.”


GreenPolicy360: A Global Hub of Green Values and Green Action

Being Green is a Quest and a Challenge

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International wiki photo contest


Planet Labs Doves Fly

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SJS/GreenPolicy360 Siterunner:

Planet Labs first came onto our radar screen here in 2011. We have been following the evolution of the Planet Labs' story (now re-branded Planet @ from its mission statement to today.

Using Space to Help Life on Earth

Planet is driven by a mission to image all of Earth's landmass every day, and make global change visible, accessible and actionable.

Planet, the Company

We, at GreenPolicy360, have a special interest in the work of Planet, as we were 'in at the beginning' as it were. We were there, in person, close up, when the original NASA mission statement, including these words -- “To understand and protect our home planet..." -- were being spoken of by a US representative serving on the Space and Technology committee responsible for policy and oversight. Congressman George Brown from California showed your GreenPolicy360 Founder/Siterunner words that were motivating him to propose Landsat missions that came to be called 'Big Science', Earth Imaging/Earth Science and Atmospheric-Climate Science. For 30+ years Representative George E. Brown led the charge, as it were, to gather the data needed to make informed and wise decisions about our home Planet.

A decade after George's passing away in 1999, youthful engineers from NASA 'spun off' from the 'home ship' to launch Planet Labs and their mission resonated with a mission we share. Our environmental work goes back to this mission and, as we have attempted to bring it into the light, it is again time to highlight Planet.

Take a look at their most recent add-ons to what we call a Planet API. It's AI time, artificial intelligence applied to analyzing the Earth imaging data that has been gathered over a decade by Planet and is being queried and utilized in ways that Rep. Brown used to explain was his dream, as he, also an engineer, explained how the public-private partnerships, with universities and educators, using fleets of satellite with new digital imaging and data banks, would enable a new vision for citizens across the Earth.

And now, here we are! and, we're on mission ....

Understanding AI’s Impact on Space Data with Planet’s Head of Product

Planet API

Planet Citizens


Strategic Demands

🦠 Earth Science Vital Signs

We, now at GreenPolicy360, are continuing on, presenting Earth science news, green politics and environmental movement recollections and highlights from the eco-journey:

New Ways to See & Experience Planet Earth  

Visit GreenPolicy360's story of Earth Science research from our decades of research, eco-activism and #PlanetCitizens education.

Our eco operating system (eOS) includes:

EarthPOV - Look at how thin our atmosphere is

Earth and Space, Politics

New Definitions of National Security

Earth Science Research from Space


Virtual Earth


Democratization of Space

Earth Right Now

Earth Science Vital Signs

The Commons

Earth Imaging-New Space


Flashback -- 1978, Climate Action Memories

GreenPolicy360 Siterunner: Our friend George steps up in Congress


First National Climate Act

GreenPolicy360 Siterunner / SJ Schmidt: The beginnings of modern environmental and climate science can be traced to the 1960s and 1970s. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences played a key role in laying a foundation of scientific reports and data.

Energy and Climate Report, 1977, National Academy of Sciences / 175 pp. / PDF via GreenPolicy360

Rep. George Brown took the findings of the 1977 Energy and Climate Report from the Academy of Sciences and made the science actionable. In a historic moment, he proposed and drafted the legislation of the first U.S. National Climate Program and shepherded its passage in 1978.

This first federal program established to study and assess scientifically the issues and risks of human-caused climate change became a foundation for comprehensive initiatives, with an array of new Earth Science missions led by NASA and NOAA, the EPA and USGS.

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1992 -- Earth Summit

We reported 'deep on the first Earth Summit'...
and worked to draft a 1992 US presidential campaign platform 'heavy on the green'

Launch of Annual International Climate Conferences

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Earth Summit (1992)


GreenPolicy360 Siterunner: Memories of Riding Free in Canyons and on Mesas of the Ghost Ranch

(And memories of my spirited & wild Appaloosa and Ghost Ranch exploring after summer monsoons)

Thank you David Lancaster for Your Magnificent Photo of the ...

Milky Way above the Pedernal and Ghost Ranch, in Georgia O'Keefe Northern New Mexico

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Photo by David Lancaster


"Democracy is on the ballot"

US President Joe Biden's Speech in Pennsylvania Signals a Main Theme in the 2024 Presidential Campaign

January 2024

"“We must be clear,” Mr. Biden said. “Democracy is on the ballot. Your freedom is on the ballot.” ...

"Today, we are here to answer the most important of questions: Is democracy still America's sacred cause? ... it's what the 2024 election is all about...


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(AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)

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GreenPolicy360's 'Favorite Pic' from 2023

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Our Living Planet: Recalling the Message of a Presidential Farewell -- and the Anniversary of the US Endangered Species Protection Act'

December 28, on the 50th Anniversary of the Endangered Species Act being signed into law:

President Joe Biden, today on the anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, urged Americans to protect ecosystems and biodiversity and to “honor all the progress we have made toward protecting endangered species,” and to “come together to conserve our planet.”

Presidents make a difference, as we can see.

And today, thinking of life, we are remembering Jimmy Carter in his presidential farewell speech:

President Carter left office by urging Americans to “protect the quality of this world within which we live…. There are real and growing dangers to our simple and our most precious possessions: the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the land which sustains us... The rapid depletion of irreplaceable minerals, the erosion of topsoil, the destruction of beauty, the blight of pollution, the demands of increasing billions of people, all combine to create problems which are easy to observe and predict, but difficult to resolve.

We, at GreenPolicy360, urge our Planet Earth community, as 2024 approaches, to move away from generation-to-generation war and to act to protect life and our common future.

Via the UCSB Special Collection Library


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Photo by Santiago-Borja

With 2024 in View

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The Poynter Institute

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The Tampa Bay Times | Poynter home of fact-checking pioneer, PolitiFact announced today (Dec. 23) that it is expanding PolitiFact's coverage beginning in January 2024. Good news, especially here 'on the home front', as GreenPolicy360's global network originates in Tampa Bay.

GreenPolicy360 has been following PolitiFact from its initial beginnings (launched in 2007). PolitiFact has changed the national and international news business as their original idea and model of a fact-checking news operation has grown into industry-wide fact checking around the world. It is evident that the need for focus on facts and evidence in these times of dis- and mis-information is an essential contribution by a free press and online fact checking sources to enable accurate judgment, decision-making and a successful democracy.

The online world is especially convoluted these days... the demands for fact-checking of memes and gaslighting, dis- and mis-info is 24/7/365

We at GreenPolicy360 are pleased to have shared the Poynter PolitiFact story and expansion of its 'best practices' networking model. At the end of last year, 2022, there were 424 fact-checking websites, up from just 11 in 2008, according to an annual census by the Duke University Reporters’ Lab. Poynter's PolitiFact and over 100 news publishing participants in a global fact checking network are confronting/battling an online proliferation of dis/misinformation, lies and political manipulation. Today and going forward, fact-checking operations are playing an increasingly essential role, delivering information, facts, opening eyes and bringing profoundly important veritas to people in every nation, community, market and political system.

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News from the International Climate Summit in Dubai...

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December 13, 2023

A Dubai Surprise

With Multiple Caveats


The latest proposal published by the UAE early on Wednesday. Dec. 13, calls for “transitioning away from fossil fuels in energy systems, in a just, orderly and equitable manner, accelerating action in this critical decade, so as to achieve net zero by 2050 in keeping with the science.”


The COP28 deal might be historic, but there are many caveats...'


Representatives from nearly 200 countries agreed at the COP28 climate summit on Wednesday to begin reducing global consumption of fossil fuels to avert the worst of climate change, signalling the eventual end of the oil age.

The deal struck in Dubai after two weeks of hard-fought negotiations was meant to send a powerful message to investors and policy-makers that the world is united in its desire to break with fossil fuels, something scientists say is the last best hope to stave off climate catastrophe.

COP28 President Sultan al-Jaber called the deal "historic" but added that its true success would be in its implementation.

"We are what we do, not what we say," he told the crowded plenary at the summit. "We must take the steps necessary to turn this agreement into tangible actions."

Several countries cheered the deal for accomplishing something that until now eluded decades of climate talks.

"It is the first time that the world unites around such a clear text on the need to transition away from fossil fuels," Norway's Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide said.

More than 100 countries had lobbied hard for strong language in the COP28 agreement to "phase out" oil, gas and coal use, but came up against powerful opposition from the Saudi Arabia-led oil producer group OPEC, which said the world can cut emissions without shunning specific fuels.

That battle pushed the summit a full day into overtime on Wednesday, and had some observers worried the negotiations would end at an impasse...

Financial Times

COP28 is better than feared, but less than needed

Call to move away from fossil fuels lacks deadlines to phase them out...

NY Times

Two Words That Could Change the World

An unlikely breakthrough on fossil fuels at COP28

They are just two little words. They appear on just one page of an 11,000 word document.

But the inclusion of the phrase “fossil fuels” in the final agreement from COP28 marks a potentially trajectory-altering moment in the fight against climate change. The global pact calls for “transitioning away from fossil fuels in energy systems, in a just, orderly and equitable manner.”

For almost 30 years, negotiators representing nations from around the world had struggled and failed to reach an obvious consensus: that the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas should be wound down to avoid further catastrophic global warming.

But overnight, representatives from more than 170 countries arrived at a surprising deal, in Dubai of all places.

The text is not as clear as many leaders, activists and scientists had hoped. It includes caveats and wiggle room, and is nonbinding. Nevertheless, the inclusion of explicit language calling for a move away from coal, oil and gas is being hailed as a major breakthrough...


Tracking negotiating texts at COP28 climate summit

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Tracking Negotiating Texts, Tracking News on the Dubai 2023 Int'l Climate Summit

December 12, 2023

Read updates from Carbon Brief:

December 12

Dubai -- at the International Climate Summmit (COP28, Conference of the Parties)

Today is the scheduled final day of the gathering of nations

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Reuters question -- Explainer - Why does OPEC oppose the idea of a fossil fuel phase-out at COP28?

Reuters answer -- Why does it matter for OPEC?

(The international news service of Reuters answers in 'simple English' here...)

Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries together control nearly 80% of the world's proven oil reserves and about a third of global daily oil production.

OPEC+, which includes allies such as Russia and Kazakhstan, controls an even bigger share of global crude reserves and production at about 90% and 40% respectively.

The members rely heavily on oil and gas revenues as their main source of income.

Oil revenues averaged 75% of total budget revenues of OPEC's leader Saudi Arabia since 2010 and represent around 40-45% of its GDP.

For other OPEC+ members the share of oil and gas in the GDP varies between 16% and 50%. OPEC's net oil export revenue stood at $888 billion in 2022, a 43% rise vs 2021.

Hence, any language that calls for the phasing out of fossil fuels threatens the model on which these oil- and gas-producing countries' economies are built.


On the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

By Heather Cox Richardson

December 10, 2023

Seventy-five years ago today, on December 10, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly announced the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)...

President Harry S. Truman had appointed Eleanor Roosevelt, widow of former president Franklin Delano Roosevelt and much beloved defender of human rights in the United States, as a delegate to the United Nations. In turn, U.N. Secretary-General Trygve Lie from Norway put her on the commission to develop a plan for the formal human rights commission. That first commission, in turn, asked Roosevelt to take the chair.

Drafted over the next two years, the final document began with a preamble explaining that a UDHR was necessary because “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,” and because “disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind.” Because “the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,” the preamble said, “human rights should be protected by the rule of law.”

Story of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights


Saudi Arabia Is Trying to Block a Global Deal to End Fossil Fuels, Negotiators Say

December 10 / NYT International

Saudi Arabia, the world’s leading exporter of oil, has become the biggest obstacle to an agreement at the United Nations climate summit in Dubai, where countries are debating whether to call for a phaseout of fossil fuels in order to fight global warming, negotiators and other officials said.

The Saudi delegation has flatly opposed any language in a deal that would even mention fossil fuels — the oil, gas and coal that, when burned, create emissions that are dangerously heating the planet. Saudi negotiators have also objected to a provision, endorsed by at least 118 countries, aimed at tripling global renewable energy capacity by 2030.

Saudi diplomats have been particularly skillful at blocking discussions and slowing the talks, according to interviews with a dozen people who have been inside closed-door negotiations. Tactics include inserting words into draft agreements that are considered poison pills by other countries; slow-walking a provision meant to help vulnerable countries adapt to climate change; staging a walkout in a side meeting; and refusing to sit down with negotiators pressing for a phaseout of fossil fuels.

Open secret at global climate talks: The top temperature goal is mostly gone

Researchers injected a sobering finding into global climate negotiations Sunday by saying the world will likely fail its most important warming test



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Earth Summit (1992)

November 30 thru December 12, 2023 - Visit the 28th International Climate Conference.

This is the 28th United Nations Climate Change conference. Approximately 75,000 are in attendance this year at Expo City, Dubai.

The conferences began with the first Earth Summit UN climate agreement in 1992.


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Image of Dubai from GreenPolicy360's Earth-imaging friends at the Planet headquarters in California.

Expo City, Dubai. Perspective from an Earth-orbiting satellite as COP28 starts

November 30, 2023

Planet API

We look down at the opening of the 28th international climate summit, the "UN Conference on Climate Change" gathering in an eco-region that is among the richest in oil/gas on Earth. The contrast between climate change and oil/gas could not be more stark. The scientific data has added up, producing a cause-effect case that now will be put on view by the nations of the world gathered in the UAE. Decades of Earth-monitoring and Atmospheric science, including from constellations of of Earth observations from space, are measuring and monitoring, and tracking changes, modeling and projecting. The reality of the fossil fuel 'externalities' in the form of greenhouse gases emitted by carbon-based fossil fuels is now, again, in focus, even as climate change denial forces attempt to slow and stop progress toward renewable energy.

Tune in to the news coverage this week and next. It will be an event to remember -- and time to get with the action.
Planet Citizens, Planet Scientists
Planet Citizen Action
Climate Problems, Climate Solutions


Nov. 22 / World News

Israel and Hamas have reached a deal on a cease-fire and hostages

Associated Press

Peace, it's a step away, a step-by-step away from the deep costs of war

Peace, a New Vision

Gaza-Israel War Worsens as It Expands

The Costs of War Extend Far from Today's Fighting, Bombing and Death Count
The Term "Blowback" Is Used to Describe Consequences that Follow in the Days and Years After

Online, a Social Media Fight Hits as War in the Mideast Heats Up

Fact-Checking, 'Facts Count'


Fact Checking @GreenPolicy360

100+ Countries-391 Fact-Checking Sites (2022)

Fact-Checking News

Beyond the 'Fog of War'

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Atef Abu Saif is the author of six novels and since 2019 has been minister of culture for the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

Abu Saif was visiting family in Gaza, where he grew up, when bombs began to fall Oct. 7 — in retaliation for Hamas’s surprise attack earlier that day that killed 1,400 Israelis. He began sending voice notes to friends abroad, describing the fraying texture of everyday life, creating a diary of life under siege...

Humanitarian Disaster in Israel/Gaza... War and Generational Disaster

Where Next?
At the United Nations, US and Israel Isolated as Votes Near Unanimously Reject Collective Punishment
China, Russia, BRIC Nations Put Forward Statements Opposing Conditions 'On the Ground'

Fog of War

Opinion / In association with

Amplified by barrages across global social media landscapes, an online war is accompanying war in the Middle East. The surprise incursion of Hamas forces into Israel, and Israel's mobilization and declaration of war, has grown into a worldwide battle for hearts and minds. In previous wars of the 20th/21st centuries, propaganda was to be expected. This war, following the expansion of the Internet into the everyday lives of billions on Earth, in both the global north and south, east and west, has brought new levels, billions of dollars-rubles-yuan etc. in psyops / dis- and mis-information / skirmishes / e- and bot-attacks / crypto incursions / gaslighting / military communications disruption and targeting / data-gathering by intelligence services and operational actions / monitoring by remote agents (e.g. from private sector satellite services) and a host of related sigint (signals intelligence), elint (electronic intelligence) and humint (human intel ops, online/internet ops)...

The recent Reuters associated "Digital News Report" on the state of online news media addresses the international range/reach, engagement and power of online influencers. News, contemporary events, ideas, opinions reaching out to hearts and minds, available for every connected life on the planet, begins to bring public facing elements of this new online battlefield into view.

The type of war reporting that has been in evidence in previous wars has radically changed, as has the audience. There are no longer media 'gatekeepers' as they used to be, in control of most all news, opinion, in newspaper/magazine and on broadcast TV channels. As corporate news began to venture out in earnest during the Vietnam war, using reporters in the field with video cameras and broadcasting 'live-on-tape' coverage and wire-service 'as it happened' photography to Americans in the front of their TVs and papers, the world of media became last century techniques. The new century brought the wars of the Middle- and Near-East, often delivered from 'embedded' journalists (with military limiting their embedded coverage) to a larger audience. And with early 2000s roll-out of the internet/connectivity and citizen journalists, then digital smartphones, a network called 24/7/365 became the norm. Ubiquitous coverage and near instant worldwide sharing is here and now, for good and bad.

In the so-called "Global South", arraigned often in counterpoint and often in opposition to former colonial powers of the "Global North", the latest digital communication technologies are being utilized with the results delivering diverse and multi-layered opinions of the military actions of the Israel-Gaza war. The US, Israel and allies are being seen in new ways. The geopolitical conflict of the US and Russia, as well as China are engaged deeply in this struggle for hearts and minds.

The age old axioms about truth getting lost in the "fog of war" holds considerable power now, in these connected times where social and online media is reaching places and influencing minds as never before...

Content creators surge past legacy media

As the world receives news of war -- and the digital and social media in countries changes reporting and perceptions

(Intro from the Publisher) This year’s Reuters Institute Digital News Report provides further evidence that, even as much of the news industry globally has struggled in the face of the first waves of the move to a digital, mobile, and platform-dominated media environment, it now faces a much more fundamental change driven by generations who have grown up with and rely almost entirely on various digital media.

Whether or not legacy media feel they have completed their initial digital transformation from print- or broadcast-focused to digitally focused brands with a compelling news website and app, they now face a continual transformation of digital as generations come of age who eschew direct discovery for all but the most appealing brands, have little interest in many conventional news offers oriented towards older generations’ habits, interests, and values, and instead embrace the more participatory, personable, and personalised options offered via platforms, often looking beyond legacy platforms to new entrants (many of whom drive few referrals to news and do not prioritise news).

While there are important differences between countries and within generations, and no single uniform pattern of behaviour and preferences, it is important to underline that we have every reason to expect this to be a one-way change: people’s information needs and interests evolve in the course of their life, but their platform preferences rarely regress. Those born in the 1980s did not suddenly come to prefer landline phones over mobiles when they became parents or bought a house, nor did those born in the 1960s return to black-and-white television when they entered middle age. There are no reasonable grounds for expecting that those born in the 2000s will suddenly come to prefer old-fashioned websites, let alone broadcast and print, simply because they grow older. The public is voting with its attention and money, and – despite the very real reservations over uneven trustworthiness, the risks of harassment and misinformation, and sometimes problematic business and data protection practices – they are overwhelmingly, everywhere, voting for digital media. That is the media environment the public embraces, and the ‘new normal’ where journalists and news media have to carve out their places if they want to connect with the public.

The Digital News Report account for more than half the world’s population...

The increasing number and diversity of markets covered – including 11 in Asia, five in South America, three in Africa and North America, as well as 24 in Europe – have led us to compare fewer data points across the whole sample and to focus on meaningful comparisons across markets that are broadly similar. We’ve provided more detail about differences in polling samples in both the methodolog pages and the relevant country pages...

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Mideast Disaster Escalates



Disaster in Israel

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At Least 260 Bodies Found at Music Festival Site

Over 900 dead in Israel

War declared

At dawn the surprise attack and massacre began... Hamas terrorist attacked the young and executed them...

War has begun. A next level of the cycle of violence. The zealots who have stoked the fires of death and vengeance as a means to an end are watching their work.

Those of us who believe in peace and human rights are, once more, shocked by those who resort to terrorism and utter violence.

Thousands have died now in Israel and Gaza.

Many more will die.

The cycle, generation-to-generation, violence, eye-for-an-eye, old testament biblical history, an age-old story of power, and blowback, revenge and justice continues.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said today (October 9) in a speech to the nation that "any place that Hamas operates will turn into rubble" and that the Israeli response will "echo for generations."

{In Hebrew) What we will do to our enemies in the coming days will resonate (echo) with them over the generations...

-- Benjamin Netanyahu (בִּנְיָמִין נְתַנְיָהוּ)


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October 4, 2023

Today is another historic Eco Day

On the first day of a global Catholic 'summit', a Laudate Deum call to protect the environment is announced following up the Laudato Si encyclical, a first-of-its-kind "Integral Ecology" letter to the billion+ members and to the interfaith global community. The release of the Catholic leader's new environmental letter is a global event, the second environmental encyclical, and carries forward a profound interfaith-catholic announcement/doctrine.

Many have spoken about a 'catholic' definition of citizen action and here a dictionary definition of the word -- catholic -- finds meaning in action.

kăth′ə-lĭk, kăth′lĭk
1. Of broad or liberal scope; comprehensive.
2. Including or concerning all humankind; universal.
3. Of or involving the Roman Catholic Church.

Let's look more closely at the meaning and beliefs brought forward here. One can say, as with those who attempt to 'preserve and protect' life on Earth, that this is an eco-platform of a church called Catholic and is an ecumenical outreach worth considering universally, by all humankind. The ideas and ideals of respecting life and quality of life, is a goal we can all share.

The Commons

From Earthbeat, and environmental movement

Planet citizens in action


Media release:

Via Vatican News

“Laudate Deum”: the Pope’s cry for a response to the climate crisis

Pope Francis has published an Apostolic Exhortation building on his 2015 encyclical. We’re not reacting enough, he says, we’re close to breaking point. He criticises climate change deniers, saying that the human origin of global warming is now beyond doubt. And he describes how care for our common home flows from the Christian faith.

In a new document titled “Laudate Deum,” or “Praise God,” the pope criticizes oil and gas companies for greenwashing new fossil fuel projects and calls for more ambitious efforts in the West to tackle the climate crisis. In the landmark apostolic exhortation, a form of papal writing, Francis says that “avoiding an increase of a tenth of a degree in the global temperature would already suffice to alleviate some suffering for many people.”

“Laudate Deum” is a follow-up to the pope’s 2015 encyclical on climate change, known as “Laudato Si’,” which lamented the exploitation of the planet and cast the protection of the environment as a moral imperative. When it was released, “Laudato Si’” was viewed as an extraordinary move by the head of the Catholic Church to address global warming and its consequences.

Nearly a decade later, the pope’s message has taken on new urgency.

Pope Francis on the Environment

Laudato Si

Integral Ecology

The Commons




Where did all of these worldwide circles come from?

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GreenPolicy360 Siterunner: Meanwhile, back in the early 70s when my old friend George Brown was proposing and pushing the start up of US earth science imaging w Landsat and what became over decades a constellation of earth observation satellites, we never thought it would eventually find global evidence of "mysterious fairy circles". We talked about the need of data, digital data, but proof of aliens? Nah.

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US Government Agencies to Account for Climate Change in Budgets

September 21, 2023

A directive issued today by the Biden administration would, for the first time, have federal agencies consider the economic damage caused by climate change when deciding what kinds of vehicles, equipment and goods to buy.

The new guidance from President Biden could affect purchasing decisions across the government, from agriculture to defense to health care. The idea is to take into account the greenhouse gases generated by goods and projects, how they contribute to global warming, and the cost of that to the economy.

The potential impact is significant. The federal government is the world’s largest consumer of goods and services, spending roughly $600 billion each year. The changes could shift purchases for the federal government’s fleet of roughly 600,000 cars and trucks from gasoline-powered to all-electric vehicles, redirect the flow of billions of dollars of government grants and reshape or kill some major construction projects.

“It will be the first time this ‘whole of government approach’ is used to evaluate the climate consequences of government actions,” said Richard Revesz, Mr. Biden’s regulatory chief, who is helping lead the initiative. Mr. Revesz, a climate law expert, has focused on using cost-benefit analysis when designing policies meant to protect human health and the environment...


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Planet Citizen, Where Are You on Planet Earth?

Dynamic Change Is All Around Us</big


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If someone were to ask you – what tools do we need to combat climate change? – a few things might first come to mind. We undoubtedly need laws aimed at reducing fossil fuel emissions, such as a tax on carbon. We also need innovative, scalable technologies for building more efficient electric cars and pulling carbon out of the atmosphere.

But in a democracy, there’s another tool that is at least as essential as these to overcoming climate change: effective solutions-driven storytelling.

Read more from the Penn Center for Science, Sustainability, and the Media:


“One Earth, One Family, One Future"

Nations of the World, the G20, Gather in India

Thank you 'for the kind words'...

International media reporting green talk -- and hope....

As the G20 Meets, the United Nations 'Urges' the "Top Economic Powers" of Our Planet's Economy to Change Direction

NEW DELHI (International News Services) -- U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres on Friday urged the Group of 20 top economic powers, which are responsible for more than 80% of the emissions that cause global warming, to use their weekend summit to send a strong message on climate change.

Guterres said all licensing or funding for new fossil fuel projects should be stopped and that the G20 must keep the “1.5-degree goal alive,” referring to the 2015 Paris climate agreement that set 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) as a global guardrail in atmospheric warming, with countries pledging to try to prevent that much long-term warming if possible.

Earlier this year, the U.N. weather agency had said that there’s a two-out-of-three chance that the world will temporarily hit a key warming limit within the next five years.

July 2023 was Earth’s hottest month on record by a wide margin...

Time to take stock, "Stocktake", and act...

"One could also see the call for system transformations as a recognition that, while we still can, we should take our destiny in our own hands," said Dr Richard Klein from the Stockholm Environment Institute, who was involved in the initial stages of the stocktake.

This means that every aspect of our societies needs to change to rein in rising temperatures...

This includes the way we make energy, the way we travel, work and produce food. Experts say this type of change needs governments to take the initiative and make sure that their climate actions aren't immediately nullified by other policies and investments.

"Either we transform society in a way that avoids the worst of climate change, or climate change will transform society for us..."


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Photo credit: Carl Bovis

The Daily Puffin

Protect Our Living Earth, Biodiversity

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Judge rules in favor of Montana youths in landmark climate decision

‘This is a monumental decision,’ said a lawyer for the young plaintiffs, and could influence how judges handle similar cases in other states

In the first ruling of its kind nationwide, a Montana state court decided Monday in favor of young people who alleged the state violated their right to a “clean and healthful environment” by promoting the use of fossil fuels...

The Decision:

August 14, 2023

RIKKI HELD, et al., Plaintiff, V. STATE OF MONTANA, et al., Defendant


Hawaiian impacts of climate change

How Climate Change Turned Lush Hawaii Into a Tinderbox

Declining rainfall, rising temperatures and invasive species have left the islands more susceptible to wildfires

Global Forest Watch, monitoring forest loss, fires...

Global Forest Watch @GreenPolicy360

Causes and effect of the Maui fire...

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An Indictment Is Announced: The United States of America versus Donald J. Trump, defendant

The people of the US and world are hearing today's news. Reverberations echo. The former president has been charged with federal crimes of grave consequence -- attempting to obstruct the outcome of the 2020 US election for president and attempting to defraud the people of the United States and the democratic republic.

One notable attorney put the profound news this way: Read the Indictment yourself. We agree. There comes a time to turn to what is being presented, now, solemnly, words, facts, evidence, law... The path ahead is perilous, but necessary to travail.

Set aside an hour or two, or find ten minutes here and there over the course of the next week. You’ll understand it better if you read it for yourself. The indictment is written in a manner that makes it clear prosecutors wanted it to be comprehensible to anyone who wanted to read it.


United States Department of Justice

Statement of Special Counsel Jack Smith, August 1, 2023



Read highlights & reviews --

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The Movie / July 2023

A Republican Party 2024 Climate Strategy: More Drilling, Less Clean Energy

Via the New York Times, August 4, 2023, Unlocked article
The New York Times asked the leading Republican presidential candidates whether they support the Project 2025 strategy but none of the campaigns responded


A 920-page Republican Party Political Plan has published an advance outline of climate and environment related policies that a next US president, if Republican Party, would be urged to adopt. The goals of the groups who contributed to the plan, led by the Heritage Foundation, are described as a 'battle plan'.

“Project 2025 is not a white paper. We are not tinkering at the edges. We are writing a battle plan, and we are marshaling our forces,” said Paul Dans, director of Project 2025 at the Heritage Foundation, which compiled the plan as a road map for the first 180 days of the next GOP administration. “Never before has the whole conservative movement banded together to systematically prepare to take power day one and deconstruct the administrative state.”

As described in Politico:

The initiative has previously drawn attention for its efforts to prepare a systematic conservative takeover of the federal bureaucracy, in contrast to the perceptions of chaos that marked much of former President Donald Trump’s term. Those include plans to assemble a database of as many as 20,000 people who could serve in the next administration — “a right-wing LinkedIn,” as The New York Times described it in April — and proposals to impose sweeping Oval Office control over spending decisions, civil service employees and independent federal agencies.

(I)ts implications for U.S. climate policy — at a time of record heat waves sweeping the globe — have drawn far less attention.

The comprehensive plan covers virtually all operations of the federal government, not just energy and climate programs.

It’s much more ambitious than the pledges that all the Republican presidential primary candidates have made so far to roll back Biden’s signature climate law. It also wouldn’t simply nullify Biden’s climate executive orders, something that a Republican president could easily do just after taking office.

(T)he ideas laid out in Project 2025 show that conservative organizations want to achieve a more fundamental shift — moving federal agencies away from public health protections and environmental regulations in order to help the industries they have been tasked with overseeing, said Andrew Rosenberg (a former senior official at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.) ...

Preventing the expansion of the electric grid would slow down renewable energy projects, threatening U.S. climate goals while cooling the sector’s economic growth, said Mike O’Boyle, a senior director at the nonpartisan policy firm Energy Innovation and head of its electricity program.

“If we totally step away from the role of the federal government, our economy is going to miss out in a big way because the rest of the world is moving on climate, so they’re poised to reap the benefits both for their energy consumers but also in terms of manufacturing.” ...

(An) increase in state power wouldn’t apply to California, which has a history of setting more aggressive environmental standards than those of the federal government under a Clean Air Act waiver. The Project 2025 plan would “ensure that other states can adopt California’s standards only for traditional/criteria pollutants, not greenhouse gasses.”

Another key goal is to restructure how EPA uses science, particularly research that supports regulations by showing risks to public health from industrial pollution.

Deep cuts in environmental protection have extensive, long-term consequences

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Could the world go PFAS-free? Proposal to ban ‘forever chemicals’ debated

A European agency is considering sweeping restrictions on fluorinated chemicals used in jet engines, electric cars, refrigeration systems, semiconductors and many consumer products

Via Nature

'Proposal' could lead to the world’s largest-ever clampdown on chemicals production. The plan, put forward by environmental agencies in five countries — Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden — would heavily restrict the manufacture of more than 12,000 substances, collectively known as forever chemicals.

These chemicals, per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), are all around us. They coat non-stick cookware, smartphone screens, weatherproof clothing and stain-resistant textiles. They are also used in microchips, jet engines, cars, batteries, medical devices and refrigeration systems.

...the idea is to shrink PFAS use to a minimum. “We are asking society to make quite a shift.... We are asking to reverse all of it, go back to the drawing table and invent alternative solutions.”

Change is already under way for consumer use of PFASs. The notoriety of the toxic examples has pushed more than 100 companies and brands, including Apple, to pledge to phase out PFASs, even before it’s clear whether other materials can do the same job.

For industrial users, however, the idea of life without PFASs is a more shocking prospect. So February’s proposal has ignited debate about which uses of fluorinated chemicals the world could leave behind — and which must stay.

For more on International Environmental Laws:

Daniel Ellsberg dies at 92

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Photo: Wally Fong/Associated Press

GreenPolicy360 founder knew Dan up close and personal.

Read a remembrance of Dan and his quest for peace.

Daniel Ellsberg

In Memory of a Man Named Daniel

By Steven Schmidt

June 17, 2023

The moon was bright that night as I visited Daniel Ellsberg at his house on the beach in Southern California. It was mid 1970 and Dan was surrounded by boxes. "Papers," he called them. He was packing to leave for Cambridge and a new position at MIT and he was worried that night as he showed me the study he had put together at the Rand Corporation in Santa Monica.

As we sorted through documents I noticed some had Top Secret stamped on some of them. I learned later that these were part of the 7000 page, forty plus volume report soon to be called the "Pentagon Papers."

Dan spoke of President Nixon and famed advisor, Henry Kissinger with first-hand knowledge. He mentioned he had met with Kissinger recently at Nixon's San Clemente estate. I remember his fear, both that Nixon and Kissinger were repeating mistakes of previous administrations as "the Papers" demonstrated, and how the truth needed to go public. He broke off from the packing and said let's go, "I need to swim".

Dan was depressed, I knew, and I was not going to convince him not to go into the loudly crashing night surf. I watched as he plunged into the waves. He then reappeared for a moment in the moonlight. He swam straight out, then disappeared. I waited on shore looking out at the dark ocean. Time passed, no sign of Dan. I began worrying. Is this the end of Dan Ellsberg? Did I just witness Dan ending it all? Did a riptide take him? I walked up and down the beach searching. Suddenly, Dan walked out of the surf, nodded then sprinted back toward the house. He quickly shifted back into work mode. Something happened, he had new resolve.

Today as I reflect on the life of Dan Ellsberg and the announcement of his death, I can say he lived life like few others. He pursued the truth and facts in a way that was astounding and committed. He went on to prove in his actions that he was brave to put his life on the line for the sake of the American people. His decision was purposeful. He thought deeply about the consequences. That night under the moon I saw his fear, and I saw his resolve.

A few months later, when Daniel released the Pentagon Papers to a NY Times writer, Neil Sheehan, the truth came out. Dan's history of the war study subsequently led to the end of the Nixon presidency and, as a consequence, the end of the Vietnam War. Dan would later say the Pentagon Papers themselves didn't directly end the war, but the American people learned of the “evidence of a quarter-century of aggression, broken treaties, deceptions, stolen elections, lies, and murder”. This, with Nixon's resignation, brought on the end of the war.

I learned over the course of our relationship that Dan Ellsberg was gifted, literally. I still say he is the smartest man I've ever known. His 2002 book "Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers" is a must read. "On the evening of October 1, 1969, I walked out past the guards' desk at the Rand Corporation in Santa Monica," he writes, "carrying a briefcase filled with top secret documents, which I planned to photocopy that night… How I came to do this is the focus of this memoir." Dan's memoir is a true American story.

Beyond the Pentagon Papers and resulting demise of the Nixon presidency, Dan Ellsberg's follow-on 2017 book "The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner" later explained the inner machinations of the nuclear war complex. He was, as a younger man, a systems man and followed orders. His nuclear war gaming was a Pentagon nuclear plan that he, as an old man, brought into the light with this revelatory book. The extent of humanity's threat to life on earth is part of Dan Ellsberg's legacy now.

Daniel Ellsberg's life is a testament to what generations to come have to deal with -- perpetual wars, the realities of nuclear weapons, modern states with awesome powers for good and bad. Dan Ellsberg revealed and pointed us to harsh realities.

Will we listen to Dan Ellsberg's message that he, risking all, brought to us?

Daniel Ellsberg, after all is said and done, was a man who taught us. He was a man of peace. Dan was a believer in the power each of us has to make a difference and move toward a better world.

-- Steven J Schmidt / Founder/Siterunner of GreenPolicy360

Read more about Daniel Ellsberg at GreenPolicy360 and

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Ex-President Criminally Charged

June 13, 2023

A day in US history that is unprecedented, a former US president is charged in Federal Court with criminal actions...

Opinion-makers/commentators/pundits, citizens and politicos engage in heated debate. We will be brief -- This is not unexpected given the past hundreds of court cases, charges, convictions and record of Mr. Trump.

The challenges to democracy that are growing, and are already extreme, will be magnified throughout the nation. Global impacts will follow in turn.

The indictment has delivered new risks, new costs, new unknowns. The coming presidential election has been given a new urgency amid today's news.

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Looking Back, Looking Forward:

Recalling Beginnings of the US Earth Science Mission and Giving a Nudge to NASA's Continued Research & Science

This past first week of June found GreenPolicy360 again pushing the advisory councils at NASA to return language about scientific study of the "home planet" as a top mission in the Mission Statement/Charter and follow on strategic planning. The original NASA Mission Statement and subsequent updates continued to have a top emphasis on earth science from space over decades, providing essential data for measuring/monitoring/managing the home planet. Then in 2006 the phrase "to understand and protect the home planet" was removed from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration official Mission statement.

GreenPolicy360 for years has advocated for the return of this language, updated and highlighted, as an essential, continuing mission.

Take a look at this page for a better idea of what is going on behind the scenes as NASA advisory councils gathered to suggest and propose changes to the NASA's strategic planning.

Earth missions continue to be top of mind -- and it follows, in our considered opinion, that "home planet" language about earth science to "understand and protect" should be again at the top of a NASA Mission Statement... and pointed at and highlighted.

-- SJS/GreenPolicy3360 Siterunner

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The Original Mission Statement of NASA

Quote: NASA's Mission, “To understand and protect our home planet..."

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SCOTUS, the Supreme Court of the United States, acts again in the environmental arena

The headlines in media are blunt in their news of the current court: US Supreme Court rules against EPA in wetlands regulation challenge ... The Supreme Court just narrowed protection for wetlands... The Supreme Court rolls back federal safeguards for wetlands ...

May 25, 2023

(Today, May 25th) the Supreme Court dealt a devastating blow to the nation’s wetlands by rewriting a statute the court does not like to mean something it does not mean. The court’s decision in Sackett v. EPA is one of the its most egregious betrayals of textualism in memory. Put simply: The Clean Water Act protects wetlands that are “adjacent” to larger bodies of water. Five justices, however, do not think the federal government should be able to stop landowners from destroying wetlands on their property. To close this gap between what the majority wants and what the statute says, the majority crossed through the word “adjacent” and replaced it with a new test that’s designed to give landowners maximum latitude to fill in, build upon, or otherwise obliterate some of the most valuable ecosystems on earth.


The law expressly protects “waters of the United States” (like rivers and lakes) as well as “wetlands adjacent” to these waters. Congress added the wetlands provision in 1977 to codify the EPA’s definition of “adjacent,” which also happens to be the actual definition: “bordering, contiguous, or neighboring.” Under that interpretation—the one Congress adopted—wetlands that neighbor a larger body of water remain protected, even if they aren’t directly connected.

Why did Congress make that choice? Because wetlands provide immense environmental benefits: They filter and purify water draining into nearby streams, rivers, and lakes. They slow down runoff into these larger bodies. And they serve as vital flood control. In other words, the Clean Water Act has to protect “adjacent” wetlands to serve its overarching goal of safeguarding the broader “waters of the United States” from pollution.


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Methane Reduction Action by European Parliament / European Union

'Parliament today adopted its position on a new law to reduce methane emissions from the energy sector to reach the EU’s climate goals and improve air quality.'

The new law is the first piece of EU legislation aimed at cutting methane emissions and covers direct methane emissions from the oil, fossil gas and coal sectors, and from biomethane once it is injected into the gas network. MEPs also want the new rules to include the petrochemicals sector.

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Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas and air pollutant and is responsible for approximately a third of current global warming. It comes from a wide range of sectors, including agriculture, waste and energy, which are responsible respectively for 53%, 26% and 19% of EU methane emissions according to the European Environment Agency. Today, methane emissions are covered under the targets in the EU’s Effort Sharing Regulation.

The EU has signed up to the Global Methane Pledge, which aims to reduce global methane emissions by at least 30% from 2020 levels by 2030, which could eliminate over 0.2˚C warming by 2050.

Since it launched at COP26 international climate summit, the Global Methane Pledge has generated unprecedented momentum for methane action. Country endorsements of the GMP have grown from just over 100 last year to 150, more than 50 countries have developed national methane action plans or are in the process of doing so, substantial new financial resources are being directed to methane action, and partners have launched “pathways” of policies and initiatives to drive methane reductions in key methane-emitting sectors – a GMP Energy Pathway launched at the June 2022 Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate and a GMP Food and Agriculture Pathway and GMP Waste Pathway, both launched at COP27.

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Environmental Law & Enforcement

Global Methane Pledge


April 22, 2023

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On Earth Day 2023

50+ years and counting from the first "Earth Day"

On the 50th Anniversary

Memories on the Road to the First Earth Day

Beginnings of the Modern Environmental Movement


Today the ideals and ideas that began in a serious way that first "Earth Day" in 1970 continue on .... We became a vital movement, a political cause, and now we are a diverse mix across the globe with our hopes. Our 'sleeves are rolled up' to go to work, getting with the action and employing the Internet with many voices, colors, ages and beliefs, especially with the enthusiasm and power of young people joining in.

Green, environmental, national and global.... We are strongly confronting and working to solve our generation's existential challenges. Reaching across our home planet, touching and interacting with planet citizens, looking to share solutions to the pressing problems and challenges of our generation.

To our friends across our blue-green living Earth, GreenPolicy360 and Strategic Demands, GreenPolicy360's associate with a geo-politics emphasis, send "Earth Day greetings" today and every day. The work carries on as together we face the challenges believing we can make a positive difference year after year, decade after decade....

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International Climate Action:

Going Green

Climate envoy Kerry: No rolling back clean energy transition

SAPPORO, Japan (AP) — So much has been invested in clean energy that there can be no rolling back of moves to end carbon emissions, U.S. climate envoy John Kerry said Sunday.

Kerry noted that if countries deliver on promises to phase out polluting fossil fuels, the world can limit average global warming to 1.7 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), better than the worst case scenarios but still above the current limit of 1.5 C global warming above pre-industrial levels.

“We’re in a very different place than where we were a year ago, let alone two and three years ago,” Kerry said in an interview with The Associated Press.

“But we’re not doing everything we said we’d do,” he said, after attending a meeting of energy and environment ministers of the Group of Seven wealthy nations. “A lot of countries need to step up including ours to reduce emissions faster, deploy renewables faster, bring new technologies online faster all of that has to happen.”


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“These rapid rates are unprecedented over at least the 20th century and they have been three times higher than the global average over the same period.”


GreenPolicy360: The threat horizon is near and far.... here, science reports from the 'bottom of the earth'.... warming waters in the coldest region of the planet are causing change, big change, month-by-month, year-by-year

What happens in Antarctica doesn't stay in the Antarctic


Melting Antarctic ice predicted to cause rapid slowdown of deep ocean current by 2050

New research by Australian scientists suggests 40% slowdown in just three decades could alter world’s climate for centuries

Abyssal ocean overturning slowdown and warming driven by Antarctic meltwater

The abyssal ocean circulation is a key component of the global meridional overturning circulation, cycling heat, carbon, oxygen and nutrients throughout the world ocean. The strongest historical trend observed in the abyssal ocean is warming at high southern latitudes, yet it is unclear what processes have driven this warming, and whether this warming is linked to a slowdown in the ocean’s overturning circulation. Furthermore, attributing change to specific drivers is difficult owing to limited measurements, and because coupled climate models exhibit biases in the region. In addition, future change remains uncertain, with the latest coordinated climate model projections not accounting for dynamic ice-sheet melt. Here we use a transient forced high-resolution coupled ocean–sea-ice model to show that under a high-emissions scenario, abyssal warming is set to accelerate over the next 30 years. We find that meltwater input around Antarctica drives a contraction of Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW), opening a pathway that allows warm Circumpolar Deep Water greater access to the continental shelf. The reduction in AABW formation results in warming and ageing of the abyssal ocean, consistent with recent measurements. In contrast, projected wind and thermal forcing has little impact on the properties, age and volume of AABW. These results highlight the critical importance of Antarctic meltwater in setting the abyssal ocean overturning, with implications for global ocean biogeochemistry and climate that could last for centuries.

If greenhouse gas emissions continue at today’s levels, the current in the deepest parts of the ocean could slow down by 40% in only three decades.

This, the scientists said, could generate a cascade of impacts that could push up sea levels, alter weather patterns and starve marine life of a vital source of nutrients.

Antarctic ice melt could disrupt the world’s oceans ...

The Antarctic overturning circulation is part of a global network of currents that shift heat, oxygen and nutrients around the globe

Global warming is accelerating the melting of ice in Antarctica, and the increased amount of fresh water flooding into the ocean is disrupting the flow of the Antarctic overturning circulation

Meanwhile, up north....

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PBS Tells a Story of a War and Nuclear Weapons Use Narrowly Avoided

GreenPolicy360: A new nuclear arms race is underway. We and our associate, Strategic Demands, call it "Cold War 3.0"... fortunately, humanity has not used nuclear weapons since the last days of World War 2 but since the beginning days of the nuclear era there have been too many close calls where an apocalyptic Pandora's Box, having been opened, has brought our world much too close to nuclear war and cataclysm.

Here, in a new revealing documentary on PBS's "American Experience" series we look back at a close call in October/November 1969, one that involved GreenPolicy360 founder/siterunner.

The reality of a 'madman' plotting to use tactical nuclear weapons in this documentary wasn't revealed until years after the fact and after a peace movement prevented nuclear strikes. Now that this story is 'out in the open', we ask who is watching, who is listening?

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The Movement and the 'Madman'


The documentary film tells the little-known story of a dramatic showdown between a protest movement and a president.

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Mapping Internet Freedom - Democracy Status

About Freedom House


Global freedom declined for a 17th consecutive year in 2022 as 35 countries suffered deterioration in their political rights and civil liberties, according to a new report released today by Freedom House. A total of 34 countries made improvements during the year, however, meaning the gap between the numbers of countries that improved and declined was the narrowest it has ever been since the negative pattern began. The report suggests that the struggle for democracy may be approaching a turning point, and offers recommendations on how democratic governments and societies should work together to roll back authoritarian gains.

The new report—Freedom in the World 2023: Marking 50 Years in the Struggle for Democracy—is the 50th edition of Freedom House’s annual global assessment of political rights and civil liberties.

March 29

Judge Luttig (Again) Has a Warning for America

Our democracy is “under vicious, unsustainable, and unendurable attack—from within.”

Via The Bulwark

On the morning before the January 6th attack on the Capitol, one of the nation’s most prominent conservative jurists, former Federal Appeals Court Judge J. Michael Luttig, posted a message aimed at Vice President Mike Pence.

“The only responsibility and power of the Vice President under the Constitution is to faithfully count the electoral college votes as they have been cast,” Judge Luttig wrote.

“The Constitution does not empower the vice president to alter in any way the votes that have been cast, either by rejecting certain votes or otherwise,” Luttig continued.

If Pence had caved to Donald Trump’s demands and refused to count the electoral votes, Judge Luttig told the House January 6th Committee last summer, the nation “would immediately have been plunged into what would have been tantamount to a revolution within a paralyzing constitutional crisis.”

Now, Judge Luttig is back, with even a starker warning.

The institutions of our democracy and law, he says, “are under vicious, unsustainable, and unendurable attack — from within.”

Last week, at the University of Georgia School of Law, Luttig said:

With the former president’s and his Republican Party’s determined denial of January 6, their refusal to acknowledge that the former president lost the 2020 presidential election fair and square, and their promise that the 2024 election will not be “stolen” from them again as they maintain it was in 2020, America’s Democracy and the Rule of Law are in constitutional peril — still. And there is no end to the threat in sight….

We are a house divided and our poisonous politics is fast eating away at the fabric of our society….

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The UN 2023 Water Conference

March 22-24 | New York City


The first water-focused UN-summit in 46 years

UN Conference on Water Aims to Rally Support for Ambitious Goals

The last time the United Nations hosted a conference dedicated to global water supply and sanitation the world looked vastly different. Half as many people were alive. China’s economy was smaller than the United Kingdom’s

The centerpiece of the conference, which runs from March 22 to 24, is the “water action agenda,” a compilation of voluntary commitments from national governments, nonprofits, businesses, and intergovernmental agencies. Together these commitments extend beyond the conference walls, pushing leaders to be more careful, inclusive water stewards in the years ahead.

“It’s not what happens in three days... It’s what happens afterward.”

Facts: About 300,000 children under five die every year from diarrhoeal diseases due to poor sanitation, poor hygiene, or unsafe drinking water. These deaths could have been avoided by access to daily clean water

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a quarter of the global population, more than two billion people, lack access to safe drinking water.... 2.2 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water services

Over half the global population, 4.2 billion people, lack safely managed sanitation services

in 2010, the UN General Assembly recognized the human right to water and sanitation. So, for instance, everyone has the right to enough water for personal and domestic uses, which is between 50 and 100 liters of water per person per day.

Water plays a fundamental role in sustainable development

Global Commission on the Economics of Water (Read the Report)

The world is on the verge of a water disaster, with demand for fresh water predicted to outpace supply by 40% by the end of this decade

The lack of access to clean water is a solvable crisis, but it requires good cooperation

UN Conference on Water Aims to Rally Support for Ambitious Goals

Act to Make a Positive Difference


Sunday, March 12th

A 'Big Picture Day'

Yes, it's another day to take some time to take in the 'zeitgeist', to take a look at connections, trendlines, patterns, how 'it's all related' although in the quotidian reality it's a day at a time, a solar day in fact, as our planet spins through space.

Today's 'Big Picture Day' is called geo-politics by some, and the weather by others, and money makes the world go round or the climate, the climate, the climate is changing, it's getting hotter, have you noticed?

Let's take a quick look:

Record-setting, historic oil/gas profits are being announced xxx, led by the House of Saud, called Saudi Arabia, where the nation's Aramco just announced a $121+ dollar (petrodollar) profit for 2022. This caps four other oil/gas giants announcing record 2022 profits.

Profit-taking in a Profitable Year

Saudi oil giant Aramco posts record $161.1 billion profit for 2022
Four oil companies had total sales of $1 trillion last year
Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon and Shell all reported record profits in 2022

Oil giant Saudi Aramco has reported earning $161bn last year, claiming the highest-ever recorded annual profit by a publicly listed company and drawing immediate criticism from activists.

The monster profit by the firm, known formally as the Saudi Arabian Oil Co., came off the back of energy prices rising after Russia launched its war on Ukraine in February 2022, with sanctions limiting the sale of Moscow’s oil and natural gas in Western markets.

Then there is Saudi Arabia and Iran, both oil giants and in conflict for years, announcing a 'peace treaty' brokered by China. And Iran has announced another weapons agreement with Russia. Russia has previously announced submitting plans to build Saudi Arabia's first nuclear energy producing power plant.

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China, with its world leading economic growth, has announced history-making "Energy Deals of the Century' with Iran's Shia-led government and Russia, and has built deep ties with the the Saudi royal family. Guaranteed oil/gas supplies -- and an alternative to Petrodollar payment -- are top of mind as the US meets Eurasian politics with deepening Mid-East connections.

China's "Belt and Road" ('New Silk Trail') geo-political plan is taking 'great leaps forward'.

Given this as background, let us shift our gaze to the United States as one of the world's largest oil/gas producers that is due, in large part due to 'fracking' technology tapping into old reserves in the Permian Basin (Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, etc). What was previously unprofitable is now profitable and oil/gas tracts and 'frackable' reserves (in the Gulf of Mexico, Alaska, and worldwide with corporate-controlled contracts) are coming online. New LNG (liquified natural gas) refineries, shipping, ports/docks are being built as the energy disruptions of the Russian-Ukraine war have ramped up demand for US oil/gas and OPEC oil/gas as alternatives to Russia's previous large supplies that had been piped to Europe.

Then comes the intense interest of the US president in fossil fuel/oil/gas production with the previously approved "Willow" project in Alaska.

Let's take a closer look at the Willow project in Alaska, about to be announced.

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This is 'Big Picture'. Now go bigger and add in the costs, the consequences of increased oil/gas production. Consider a "cost-benefit analysis."

On this 'Big Picture Sunday' to see a glimpse of this future simply peruse this photo from the Associated Press reporting on an exceptional winter in Europe. The European media is reporting they basically 'got lucky' this winter. Europe lost its major Russian LNG oil/gas supplies, a high percentage of which was used to heat Europe's homes and businesses, but Europeans were delivered a mild winter and the LNG oil/gas was not needed as projected.

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In Germany, the foreign minister and environment minister are leading members of the Green Party who have been pushing German engineering to the forefront in clean energy production, EV products, and myriad clean energy heating/transportation/manufacturing alternatives. They are, as Greens have been saying, 'out in front'.

While the US waged wars and political forces have attempted to block national security alternatives to the 'old ways' of regarding security as hard power and military projects, other realities have come into play and, as time goes by, will be more evident.

Visit, GreenPolicy360's associate for more on the geo-politics.

The reality of climate change is arriving with a physics that has an inertia that humanity has set in motion.

The historic profits of the oil/gas system are one part of the physics and another part is in our hands. Look at how thin our atmosphere is and do calculate the costs (a cost-benefit analysis (CBA)) of business-as-usual. We see historic oil/gas profits in 2022/23, but what about the accumulating costs? Atmospheric emissions, the externalities of greenhouse gas pollution, are producing consequences that are real and escalating. In the 1970s there were those who set out to provide the climate facts and data, the Earth system science. The world can begin to see the costs today and unless we act to ameliorate them, they will be grave for future generations.

Now what about US politics? What about drilling in Alaska? Ask yourself what are the costs of drilling in Alaska, and what are the benefits?

Consider the Big Picture. And consider Joe Biden thinking about oil and gas as he preps to announce he is running for president.

Externalities | Environmental full-cost accounting

New Definitions of National Security | Climate News

Fossil Fuels | Strategic Demands | Planet Citizen Action


Nations Agree on Language for Historic Treaty to Protect Ocean Life

The United Nations agreement is a significant step toward protecting biodiversity under growing threat from climate change, overfishing and seabed mining

March 4, 2023

After two decades of planning and talks that culminated in a grueling race over the past few days in New York, a significant majority of nations agreed on language for a historic United Nations treaty that would protect ocean biodiversity.

As marine life faces threats from climate change, overfishing, the possibility of seabed mining and other dangers, the treaty would make it possible to create marine-protected areas and enact other conservation measures on the “high seas,” the immense expanse of ocean covering almost half the world.

“Today the world came together to protect the ocean for the benefit of our children and grandchildren,” said Monica Medina, an assistant secretary of state. “We leave here with the ability to create protected areas in the high seas and achieve the ambitious goal of conserving 30 percent of the ocean by 2030.”

The open oceans of the world have no international body or agreement with a primary focus of protecting marine biodiversity. If enacted, this treaty would change that...


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Depleted Under Trump, a ‘Traumatized’ E.P.A. Struggles With Its Mission

The agency’s administrator, Michael S. Regan, has promised that new regulations being written by his staff now will be made public by spring. Agency officials said that the E.P.A. has stepped up its recruitment efforts and has purchased software that has helped it identify more potential job candidates, particularly from universities.

“The agency is moving further and faster than ever before,” Dan Utech, Mr. Regan’s chief of staff, said in a statement. He added that accomplishments had come “despite depleted staffing levels, persistent funding challenges and a previous administration that left the agency neglected and scientifically compromised.”

The E.P.A. is at an unusual juncture. The 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law and the climate law enacted last year have begun to pump $90 billion into the agency over the next 10 years for climate projects like $1.5 billion for new technologies to monitor and reduce methane emissions from oil and gas wells, $5 billion for states to purchase low-emission school buses and $3 billion to cut pollution at ports...


Year of the Rabbit

By Fefe Ho & Chloe Chiao

The Rabbit is the fourth of all zodiac animals. Legend has it the Rabbit was proud—arrogant even—of its speed. He was neighbors with Ox and always made fun of how slow Ox was. One day, the Jade Emperor said the zodiac order would be decided by the order in which the animals arrived at his party. Rabbit set off at daybreak. But when he got there, no other animals were in sight. Thinking that he would obviously be first, he went off to the side and napped. However, when he woke up, three other animals had already arrived. One of them was the Ox...

The Rabbit’s quiet personality hides their confidence and strength. They are steadily moving towards their goal...

The Rabbit is also associated with the Earthly Branch (地支 / dì zhī) mǎo (卯)...

In the terms of yin and yang (阴阳—yīn yáng), the Rabbit is yin...

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December 2022

December 25th, Christmas Day

Remember that a simple act of kindness can change someone’s day, week and sometimes life

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Act to Protect Democracy

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Report from

The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol

December 19, 2022

After more than a year of interviewing witnesses, gathering evidence and holding public meetings, the House select committee concluded its final hearing on Monday by referring former President Donald Trump for four criminal charges.

The panel voted unanimously to refer Trump and others to the Justice Department on charges of obstruction of an official proceeding, conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to make a false statement and conspiracy to defraud the U.S. by assisting, aiding or comforting those involved in an insurrection.

Key Findings From the Jan. 6 Committee’s Report, Annotated

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Nations promise to protect 30 percent of planet to stem extinction

December 19, 2022

Delegates at the COP15 biodiversity summit in Canada make major conservation commitment to try to halt loss of hundreds of thousands of plants and animals. Will nations follow through?

Via Washington Post

Today’s loss of biodiversity is being driven not by a space rock but by one species: humans. The loss of habitat, exploitation of species, climate change, pollution and destruction from invasive species moved by people between continents are all driving a decline in the variety of plants and animals...

Nations now have the next eight years to hit their targets for protecting life. With few legal mechanisms for enforcement, they will have to trust each other to protect habitats and funnel hundreds of billions of dollars over conservation.

“This is an incredible milestone for the world when it comes to conservation,” said Brian O’Donnell, the director of the conservation group Campaign for Nature. “We have been on a rapid path of destruction of nature for hundreds of years, and this can mark a turning point.”

The 10-year deal sets nearly two dozen targets. The banner commitment calls on nations to collectively conserve for wildlife at least 30 percent of land, inland waterways, and coastal and ocean areas by 2030 — the promise dubbed “30 by 30.”

“It’s a global goal. Every country commits what they are capable of committing,” said Masha Kalinina, a senior officer focused on biodiversity at the Pew Charitable Trusts. “Some will do more, some will do less.”

The world has a long way to go to achieving that goal. Right now, only about a sixth of the continents and a 12th of the oceans have some form of protection, according to the U.N.’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

Associated Press

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News from the US Department of Energy, Livermore Lab, of a Successful Fusion Demonstration

The Former Director of DOE Speaks of Coming Engineering Challenges

The first laboratory demonstration of net energy gain by fusing hydrogen isotopes is a major physics accomplishment - a necessary step on the long road to a fusion power plant. Whether by compressing the fusion fuel (as was done at DOE's Livermore lab or confining it as a very hot plasma (the approach of TAE Technologies, the company on whose Board I sit, and of several others), other-worldly conditions of high temperature must be not only attained but also reliably sustained for an economically viable power plant.

The science underpinnings of several different fusion technologies may be well established in this decade, to be followed by engineering of commercial power plants that meet cost benchmarks. I am optimistic that such power plants can be demonstrated and initially deployed in the 2030's, and indeed over four billion dollars of private capital are betting on it.

-- Ernest J. Moniz, former U.S. Energy Secretary and CEO of the non-profit Energy Futures Initiative

Via The Bulwark

The fusion breakthrough "didn't just achieve breakeven—getting more energy back that it put in—it achieved ignition. That is, they lit a thermonuclear fire in the lab. This has never been done." It's a big deal...


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Time to Remember: "An Oath"

“I … do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

December 5, 2022

'Thought for the Day' by Steve Clemons

“I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” That is the beginning of the oath new members of the Senate and the House will be asked to take on January 3, but will they? Donald Trump said over the weekend that we should suspend the Constitution to illegally reinstall himself as president. We’ll find out where leading Republican voices stand this week, who will get another round of questions about whether his latest behavior is disqualifying.

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New Climate TRACE Emissions Database Announced at the 2022 Global Climate Conference (COP27)

Earth Observation technology, decades of earth science and imaging with a goal, is now ready for prime time

GreenPolicy360: THIS announcement is a game changer (and a tip of our green hat to those who purposefully set in motion a 1970s era plan to develop and launch a series of NASA missions to observe and understand our planet). Now comes country-by-country climate regulation, enforcement and emissions controls, political action and legal services. (From the original Mission Statement of NASA -- “To understand and protect our home planet...")

Follow our GreenPolicy360 "Climate Plans Enforcement" project for more information on the Climate TRACE coalition.

Global Emissions Inventory is a Secret Weapon at COP27

November 2022 / The Climate TRACE coalition unveils a new, highly detailed inventory of global greenhouse gas emissions, which it hopes will help countries and companies looking for effective, targeted ways to decarbonize.

Via Protocol ("Launched to cover the evolving power center of tech")

The Climate TRACE project is not being presented as the “climate cops” on the beat. The coalition in formation is seen as more of a “neighborhood watch,” which is often contacted by legal services and non profit groups who need local information and data to make their enforcement case.

“Some — maybe many — governments (will) use the information to make sure that their laws and regulations are complied with”...

It’s not just governments who can benefit from the inventory release, but private companies as well.


Measure to Manage: Gather the Data and Science

As Protocol announces its end of publication Farewell from Protocol, November 15, 2022, we are choosing to reprint this full article, one of Protocol's final articles, and one that captures the promise and power of tech to help solve the generational challenges of climate change.

The Climate TRACE coalition unveiled a new, highly detailed inventory of global greenhouse gas emissions, which it hopes will help countries and companies looking for effective, targeted ways to decarbonize.

By Michelle Ma (@himichellema) / November 9, 2022

Al Gore has one mission this week at COP27, and that’s to give climate negotiators what he hopes will be a critical tool to address the crisis at hand: an independent, global inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, down to the individual facility.

The Climate TRACE coalition just released the world’s most detailed inventory of global greenhouse gas emissions, which Gore, a founding member, is unveiling on Wednesday at the United Nations climate summit in Egypt.

“Of course, the world has long known what the overall amount of greenhouse gas pollution in the atmosphere is. What’s different about this [database] is the accurate apportioning of who’s responsible for what and the granularity that allows us a focus on specific emissions sources,” Gore told Protocol, adding that he has “no doubt” that the database “will be put to a lot of use in negotiations for sure.”

The inventory shows facility-level emissions, which will allow negotiators to home in on the most polluting sites in individual countries, helping them target where emissions reductions should come from. Putting a solar farm in one place might displace significantly more emissions than locating it somewhere else, and the inventory allows negotiators to identify exactly where they would get “the biggest bang for their buck.”

The inventory, published on Wednesday on Climate TRACE’s website and free for anyone to access, includes emissions data for 72,612 individual sources, including power plants, steel mills, and oil and gas fields. It also includes sources that can move between countries, such as cargo ships.

That granularity will be critical for countries to have an accurate accounting of their emissions and where they come from, particularly countries that don’t have the resources to gather that data themselves. It will also help corporations looking for the most cost-effective, impactful way to cut emissions, said Gavin McCormick, another founding member of the coalition.

“One of the exciting parts for us has been to move the conversation from countries arguing in some vague sense about accountability to, ‘Hey, we’re talking about these few facilities here,” McCormick said.

Using AI and satellite data, Climate TRACE was able to determine that a significant share of carbon pollution comes from a small number of facilities. The database shows that one steel mill in Korea, for example, emits more greenhouse gas pollution in a year than all of Bosnia. “The politics of how you would transition a few facilities is strikingly different than when you’re saying, ‘Who could know where it’s coming from?’” McCormick said.

Many countries lack accurate, granular, and up-to-date emissions data. That’s in part due to resource constraints, particularly in smaller or poorer countries. Egypt, for example, released a partial inventory of its 2015 emissions for the first time this year. Some of the data is self-reported by polluters, collected via surveys of key facilities and then extrapolated to create a country-level estimate. In India, “I know they’re literally out there counting cows for a few farms and then assuming these farms are representative for the whole country,” McCormick said.

Climate TRACE's data show emissions at the facility-level.

One key insight that came out of this inventory was that oil and gas emissions are “massively undercounted” in official estimates, he said. Through satellite data, the coalition found that oil and gas leaks were a significant source of “super-emitting” sites.

When asked if he thinks the undercounting of emissions from the oil and gas sector was deliberate or not, Gore said, “There are several specific examples that are hard to interpret in any way other than the fact that there has been an intentional effort to hide emissions and to deceive the world community about how large the emissions are. It’s just almost impossible to believe that it’s an accidental oversight, and all the accidents go in exactly the same direction.”

Gore, however, is not interested in Climate TRACE being the “climate cops.” He views the coalition as more of a “neighborhood watch,” which is often contacted by law enforcement for local information. “I will not be at all surprised if some — maybe many — governments use the information to make sure that their laws and regulations are complied with,” he said.

It’s not just governments who can benefit from the inventory release, but private companies as well.

The cleanest steel mills aren’t being used at full capacity. Yet shifting business to these mills could reduce emissions from the steel sector by 50%, McCormick said.

Companies that want to decarbonize their supply chains — which includes a number of major tech companies from Salesforce to Apple — can simply use the information to purchase products from the cleanest facilities. The coalition has already started having conversations with multinational corporations about switching suppliers, which can happen in a matter of months rather than years, if they’re armed with independent data.

By next year, Climate TRACE hopes to update the inventory to include every source of emissions and, eventually, get it closer to updating in real time. Right now, the data as a whole is at least annual up until 2021, with some sectors updated monthly.

“My belief is that if we can demonstrate to the world that it’s actually easier than they thought to make progress and we can actually track that progress, this is going to be the year that a lot of countries start tasting some serious progress,” McCormick said.

GreenPolicy360: Follow Our "Climate Plans Enforcement" Initiative

Climate Plans Enforcement - Resources

GreenPolicy360 welcomes the arrival of a global science mission, a "Global Stocktake", a collection of earth science data to be made available to the community of nations, to planet citizen activists and scientists, educational institutions, non-profits, NGOs, young and old to become tools for legal enforcement of national climate plans & pledges

GreenPolicy360's Campaign to 'Turn National Climate Promises & Pledges into Reality'

Our Climate Plans Enforcement Initiative continues as the next Global Climate Conference approaches, November's Conference of the Parties (COP27)
Drawing from the database of Earth Science resulting from decades of space-based missions designed to provide us with actionable 'Earth-system and Climate-related data'
Measuring and Monitoring to better manage Earth's Living, Dynamic and Changing Systems, Local, National and Global

Methods to Enforce Climate Plan Pledges

GreenPolicy360: Climate Plans Enforcement Initiative

Pressuring Nations to Step Up, Cooperate, and Act Now

Environmental Laws, Regs, Rules... Lawsuits & Legal Actions

Glasgow (2021) & Paris (2015) Summits: Int'l Climate Plan Pledges & Promises (INDCs-NDCs)

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"Earth Observing System": Decades of Earth Science/Climate Science Data Accessible for Planet Citizen Action

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Climate Summit / COP27 Updates - November 11, 2022

Via NY Times Reporters/Live - On Location

Transcript of President Biden's Speech at the 27th International Climate Conference

More from the Global Climate Conference

COP27: Biden says the climate crisis is about ‘very life of the planet’


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SHARM EL-SHEIKH, EGYPT, Nov 7 (Reuters) - United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres told countries gathered at the start of the COP27 summit in Egypt on Monday they face a stark choice: work together now to cut emissions or condemn future generations to climate catastrophe.

The speech set an urgent tone as governments sit down for two weeks of talks on how to avert the worst of climate change, even as they are distracted by Russia’s war in Ukraine, rampant consumer inflation and energy shortages.

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Time for Planet Citizen Action

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GreenPolicy360: Methane hot spots we're coming to find you, identify you, act to stop you and enforce climate laws.

"Super emitters", we have a message for you, you can't hide....


October 2022

Planet Citizen Vision of Living Earth
Planet Citizen Action, Environmental protection. Quality of Life

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Planet Citizens / Scientists, Preserving & Protecting the Home Planet Earth

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Stewart Udall Film Trailer:


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GreenPolicy360 Siterunner: Green politics for decades has, in the community of nations, focused on the nuclear threat. The history of green parties and green, environmental movement has a record of activism that has been described as 'out in front' and in Europe, within the European governments, since the 1970s and 80s we see green organizing that demanded the removal of nuclear weapons. Green politics called for an end to the 'hair trigger' face-off between the Soviet Union and Europe, the U.S. and a nuclear conflagration that threatened humanity and life on Planet Earth.

Today, the war in Ukraine and threat of nuclear war continues to grow with a waving of so-called "tactical, battlefield" and "strategic, intercontinental" nuclear weapons bristling with dangers of mistake, miscalculation, desperate or preemptive use, rogue forces or insane calculation. A new century is now seeing the collapse of nuclear arms controls and treaties, with media 'normalizing' nuclear weapons use in nightly news shows. The East and West stand on a precipice.

Now comes "Nowhere to Hide" by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Read it --

We at GreenPolicy360 and with our associate, Strategic Demands have worked alongside the Bulletin and its goals...

Now a flashing warning continues louder and brighter -- be aware of the danger. Act to reduce the danger of nuclear disaster.

War in Ukraine Ratcheting Up, Threats of Nuclear Use Ratcheting Up

June, July, August, September, October -- 'Bluffing' or Coming Cataclysm?


GreenPolicy360 Siterunner: It is October 1st and we are looking at a "Week that Was". Under the heading of Climate News/Florida what has been described as one of the most costly hurricanes in the history of the state hit the west coast couth of Tampa Bay, Hurricane Ian hit not far from where Hurricane Charley devastated not many years ago. In Florida, the terrestrial home of GreenPolicy360, we faced a Hurricane named Ian -- and resulting catastrophe throughout our state. Hurricane Ian arrived from the Caribbean and target the Florida west coast from Naples in the south to Tampa Bay and further in the north and central Florida. Mandatory evacuations were ordered... many listened, many didn't and now the consequences are coming into view. The media and press are reporting, politicians speaking, emergency services, the Coast Guard, police, and regular citizens of all persuasions and backgrounds have acted, often as rescuers and/or protectors of families and homes. The consequences of the damage and the on the ground reality and experience will go on for months and years.

We have to ask, as now is the time to ask about Florida's future, what about Florida? Where is the 'trending' threads of concern acknowledging, risks, problems and identifying solutions to 'extreme weather events'. Here at GreenPolicy we have for years spoken of a warming Gulf of Mexico and tropical storms that 'rapidly intensify' as a result. Ian the hurricane did exactly that, surprising many but not out of line with the physics of a Gulf of Mexico that is heating due to climate change. The atmospheric science, earth science, ocean science, the statistics and the physics of interacting systems, and the political responses to the full scope of the devastation this extreme weather event/storm/typhoon, call it what you will, is on the radar. We are seeing connections between human decisions and nature's responses. Florida is, as we have written for years, "The frontlines of climate change".

Change is in the air. It is time for reality check. The radar sees the moving vector. It's time that we see the threat speeding at us...



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


Big Picture Time: On the Way to Cosmology

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"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."

Big Science: How the James Webb Telescope Will See Back in Time

James Webb Space Telescope

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More GreenPolicy360 Archives of Highlighted Green Stories of the Day

Roll back into the GreenPolicy360 Archive ...

Green Movement, Green Politics, Green Party, Strategic Demands
1960s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s ... and on and on and on ...

Visit GreenPolicy360's Associate -- Strategic Demands

Global Security, Indivisible


Green Stories of the Day - GreenPolicy360 Archive

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Featured in 2013

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"Greening Our Blue Planet"

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It's All Related

Planet Citizens
Planet Citizen Vision of Living Earth

Frontlines of Green Best Practices

Green Policy ... Vision and #Resilience

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DYK? Yes, we do, we remember the beginnings !
🌎 The 1960s... Beginnings of the Modern Environmental Movement

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On the 50th Anniversary

Memories on the Road to the First Earth Day


... Remembering the student teach-ins, the means we used to spread the word and we did. The Vietnam Moratorium Committee became the peace group and and when we talked to Senator Nelson and George Brown about doing environmental teach-ins that would be the first in a series of annual peace and environment events they got it and put their combined weight behind the effort.

It came to be, from an Earthrise moment, to the Moratorium demonstrations and teach-in, to the teach-ins of Earth Day. What quickly followed was the passage of the first generation of US environmental protection legislation.

The environmental movement that sprang from the global realization passed on to us by the NASA Apollo missions, and student activism, are shaping a new generation and modern environmental movement.

The 1970s and 80s

Greening Our Blue Planet

An environmental foundation, initiatives and laws that serve a model for state -- and international -- action:

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In 1977-78 the first climate science comes to light... first generation science for national and global environmental action set a platform in place on which to create climate policy and environmental protection over the coming decades ...

First National Climate Act, Historic Work, 1978

GreenPolicy360 Siterunner / SJS: The beginnings of modern environmental and climate science can be traced to the 60s and 70s. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences played a key role with scientific reports and data.

Energy and Climate Report, 1977, National Academy of Sciences / 175 pp. / PDF via GreenPolicy360

George Brown, taking the 1977 Energy and Climate Report from the Academy, made climate science actionable. In a historic moment, Representative Brown from East Los Angeles proposed and drafted the legislation for the first U.S. National Climate Program and shepherded its passage in 1978. In 1979 came the first follow-on National Science Academy report. This study and report of national scientists was prescient and accurate in its global warming predictions.

This first federal program established to study and assess scientifically the issues and risks of human-caused climate change became a foundation for comprehensive initiatives, and led to an array of new Earth Science missions by NASA and NOAA, the EPA and USGS.

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At the Beginning of U.S. Science on Global Warming, Strategies & Planning

1978, Launching U.S. Climate Action:

National Climate Program Act, Public Law 95-367

National Climate Program Act of September 1978


Into the 1990s... Going Green Globally

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Remembering the First Earth Summit


The New Millenium: New Green Formative Action Beyond Party Politics

Initial proposing New Definitions of National Security

Each of us can make a positive difference

Climate Problems, Climate Solutions

Planet Citizens, Planet Scientists

Earth in Our Hands

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Climate Change - Global Warming Keyword-Terms

Our Biggest Experiment

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