Tag: Apocalypse Soon

Chile’s Far-Right, Climate-Denying Presidential Candidate Gets a Warm Welcome in Washington

It has also, unsurprisingly, been a key blocker of climate policy. Of particular concern are a number of coal-fired power plants set to be wound down, both for climate concerns and because coal—an import to Chile—is becoming an increasingly inefficient power source in the sun-drenched coastal country. The plants are now due to be mothballed, […]

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We Still Aren’t Treating the Pandemic as a Global Problem

Part of the reason South Africa is a scientific leader is because of the force of the HIV/AIDS epidemic it has endured. Bekker, who has worked extensively on HIV/AIDS, has seen a lot: parents and children suffering miserable deaths for want of a cure. But the worst part came, paradoxically, when effective medications were developed. […]

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America, Rediscover Thanksgiving’s Radical Past

In 1963, celebrating Northern Civil War victories and acknowledging the staggering sorrow and sacrifice of that conflict, President Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November as a day of Thanksgiving, inaugurating the current tradition. (Hale had written to Lincoln on the matter earlier that year.) Lincoln intended the giving of thanks to represent national unity, […]

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Bolsonaro’s Violence Against Indigenous Amazonians Is Also an Environmental Catastrophe

“This is an emergency,” Bico Rodrigues, coordinator for the National Coordination of Quilombola Black Rural Communities, or CONAQ, told the PI delegation at another meeting. Those communities trace their roots back to groups of escaped slaves who formed free societies beyond the reach of the plantation system. CONAQ, he said, has a dual mission: to […]

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To Deal With Inflation, Get Off of Fossil Fuels

Energy-driven inflation isn’t unique to the post-Covid moment, of course. The near exhaustion of the United States’ conventional oil reserves at the start of this century led to inflation that was credited as a contributing factor to the Great Recession, and the defining image of inflation in the 1970s was long lines for gasoline. In […]

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The Best Way to Fight Inflation: Ditch Fossil Fuels

Energy-driven inflation isn’t unique to the post-Covid moment, of course. The near exhaustion of the United States’ conventional oil reserves at the start of this century led to inflation that was credited as a contributing factor to the Great Recession, and the defining image of inflation in the 1970s was long lines for gasoline. In […]

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Here Come the Thanksgiving Covid Fights

It’s acknowledging, too, that some emotional decisions are valid as well, as long as they aren’t hurting anyone. If someone reaches a different conclusion about what’s acceptable for them, Gold said, “you should be empathetic and understanding of everything that your friends and family are choosing, and try your best to help and support that.” […]

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The Biden Administration’s Drilling Auction Shows Why the Paris Agreement Isn’t Enough

So in a week defined by high-profile announcements, BOGA’s formation may well have been the most significant. Core member governments—currently co-chairs Denmark and Costa Rica, as well as France, Greenland, Ireland, Quebec, Sweden and Whales—have committed to ending new concessions, licensing or leasing rounds for oil and gas production and exploration, and to setting a […]

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Voters Care About Climate Change. That’s Not Enough

After all, Larry Bartels points out, whatever the people may think, politicians aren’t listening to them anyway. U.S. politicians—whether in Congress or in negotiations at COP26—decide climate policy largely on their own instincts, alliances, interpretations of the evidence and whoever is writing their campaign checks. Partly because they know voters aren’t motivated by issues, he […]

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Fossil Fuel Executives at the Glasgow Climate Talks Are Miffed With the Media

Wandering through the U.N. climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland, the uninitiated might be surprised by just how much of it looks like a trade show. Far removed from the rooms where actual negotiations are happening, flashy pavilions mounted by countries, corporations, and trade associations hand out free coffee and snacks to passers-by—and tell them celebratory […]

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Carbon Markets Are Terrible—But We Need Them

At their worst, carbon markets provide cheap cover for corporations to continue emitting greenhouse gases at their usual rates. They delay decarbonization. But at their best, high-quality carbon removal can help restore blasted ecosystems and give the planet some badly needed breathing room while closing out the last vestiges of a fossil-powered economy. The best […]

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Biden’s Energy Secretary Dodges a Question About Oil and Gas Exports

Before a panel Friday at the COP26 Glasgow climate summit announcing that the Energy Department would be investing in an “earthshot” to bring the price of carbon capture and sequestration down to $100 per ton, Secretary Jennifer Granholm was approached by Port Arthur, Texas, native John Beard Jr. In the exchange—captured on video by the nonprofit […]

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Climate Change Is Killing My Old Summer Job

Alex Ruane, a climate research scientist at NASA and an author on the recent IPCC report, uses computer modelling to predict changes in the agricultural sector by simulating a virtual crop and configuring the physical processes. “Climate change is no longer some future problem,” Ruane told me. “Extreme events in every part of the world […]

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The White House’s New Climate Strategy: Let Businesses Solve It

Gabor also posed a more troubling question: “To what extent is the Biden administration counterproductive here?” she asked. On the one hand, the United States pulling out of the Paris Agreement under Trump—and taking a generally combative stance toward international agreements—was disastrous. On the other, it ramped up pressure on the rest of the world to […]

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Can Michelle Wu Save Boston?

Jeff Rosenblum, an urban planner specializing in transportation, sees the Green New Deal as a meeting point for groups and communities that have been historically siloed from one another—often by systemic forces such as redlining and car-centric transit design. “Right now, there are not a lot of good connections between people who are good thinkers […]

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The Climate Fight Will Seem Impossible—Until Its Sudden Victory

History’s first lesson? Don’t give up. As Angela Davis has pointed out, imagine being an abolitionist in 1850, the year of the Fugitive Slave Act, which mobilized the entire federal and state apparatus to capture enslaved people attempting to escape. Anti-slavery activists faced this staggering political defeat that year, yet most of them would then […]

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Big Oil Is Winning Big This Week

“We’re leaving everything on the field here, in terms of our opposition to anti-energy provisions,” API CEO Mike Sommers told CNN earlier this month. (Ocasio-Cortez repeated the quote.) Representative Rashida Tlaib pointed out generous industry funding for front groups that have kneecapped national and state-level climate policy efforts. The industry spent $40 million, for instance, […]

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The Electric Vehicle Revolution Needs a Recycling Revolution, Too

Most of the battery recycling taking place today is in China and Europe, which have far more stringent regulations than the U.S. The Department of Energy estimates only 5 percent of America’s discarded lithium-ion batteries get recycled. Call2Recycle, a non-profit consortium promoting battery recycling, counted collections of just over 1,000 metric tons in 2020, which […]

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Fox Weather Doesn’t Deny Climate Change. They Just Ignore It.

If the Fox Weather team accepts the reality of climate change, but focuses on a decontextualized vision of “weather” whenever possible, well, it will have plenty of company. As climate reporter Geoff Dembicki told NPR last week, what may seem like a contradiction between Fox News’s climate denial and Fox Weather’s core purpose actually makes […]

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Fox Weather Doesn’t Deny Climate Change. It Just Ignores It.

If the Fox Weather team accepts the reality of climate change but focuses on a decontextualized vision of “weather” whenever possible, well, it will have plenty of company. As climate reporter Geoff Dembicki told NPR last week, what may seem like a contradiction between Fox News’s climate denial and Fox Weather’s core purpose actually makes […]

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If the G20 Can’t Even Agree to Phase Out Coal, We’re Well and Truly Screwed

World leaders can’t even seem to pick the lowest hanging fruit of the energy transition. Coal-fired power generation is set to increase this year for the first time since 2014, thanks in large part to higher-than-average methane gas prices. The U.S. Energy Information Administration does expect coal use to decline by 5 percent next year […]

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Biden’s Incredible Shrinking Climate Plan

One proposal circulating among progressive groups would try to replicate the carrot approach taken by the CEPP by allocating $50 billion in “energy challenge grants” to states that implement their own clean electricity standards. According to a one-page summary provided to TNR, those grants “would be technology neutral and flexible. Each state could present a […]

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Climate of Ignorance

Herodotus tells us that the massive Persian fleet sent to conquer Greece lost half its ships to a freak storm,” Gerard Baker advised in a column in The Wall Street Journal, the tutelary organ of the American business class, on August 9. The column appeared the same day the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel […]

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Should a Tree Be Able to Sue the State?

Right now, tree wars in the U.S. are between humans; the rights of natural features have no real legal standing. People go to court because a river is polluted and has compromised people’s drinking water, not simply because the river itself had a right to be whole and healthy. As a result, court settlements over […]

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The Sunrise Climate Activists Are Going on Hunger Strike

Girma has been preparing himself for the strike by gradually reducing his caloric intake in the lead-up to the water-only fast. “The effects on the body start pretty immediately,” he said. “In two to three days, you experience muscle loss and mental health risks like apathy and depression. As the weeks go on, there’s the […]

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Is Joe Manchin Aware That His Favorite Climate Technology Is a Total Bust?

Senator Joe Manchin has insisted for months that he won’t support President Biden’s Build Back Better Act unless it subsidizes a largely unproven and expensive climate technology. Democrats are now bending to the conservative Democrat from West Virginia: The multitrillion-dollar reconciliation bill being debated in the Senate is likely to include generous tax credits for […]

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Private Equity Is Quietly Keeping Fossil Fuel Companies in Business

Much of the information in the report comes from Pitchbook, a company that compiles data on private market transactions. Mehta-Neugebauer says she and co-author Alyssa Giachino spent months looking through news reports and SEC filings to fill in the gaps in what was available on Pitchbook. Requirements are scant for private equity firms, not just […]

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A Simple Plan for Biden to Lower Gas Prices and End Fossil Fuel Hegemony

It’s not too hard to imagine a similarly scary path forward from today’s high fuel prices in the U.S.: As gallons of gas approach pre-2008 highs, Democrats could manage to pass a roughly $2 trillion reconciliation budget with modest and entirely inadequate amounts of climate spending, maybe even a carbon tax. The right would then […]

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