A Faint "Poop-Poop!", Everywhere, All At Once
Mr. Biden's Wild Ride Into Arctic Drilling, and Other Fossil Fools
PRESENTED BY THE DANIELS AND KENNETH GRAHAME
Glancing back, they saw a small cloud of dust, with a dark centre of energy, advancing on them at incredible speed, while from out the dust a faint “Poop-poop!” wailed like an uneasy animal in pain.
President Joe Biden has determined to light the fuse of an enormous new Arctic carbon bomb, The New York Times’ Lisa Friedman reports:
The Biden administration on Monday will formally approve a huge oil drilling project in Alaska known as Willow, according to two people familiar with the decision, despite widespread opposition because of its likely environmental and climate impacts.
The announcement will be coupled with new protections from oil drilling in other parts of Alaska, which big whoop.
The restrictions, however, are unlikely to offset concerns that the $8 billion Willow project, led by oil giant ConocoPhillips, will have the potential to produce more than 600 million barrels of crude over 30 years. Burning all that oil could release nearly 280 million metric tons of carbon emissions into the atmosphere. On an annual basis, that would translate into 9.2 million metric tons of carbon pollution, equal to adding nearly two million motor-cars to the roads each year.
“It’s insulting that Biden thinks this will change our minds about the Willow project,” said Kristen Monsell, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Protecting one area of the Arctic so you can destroy another doesn’t make sense, and it won’t help the people and wildlife who will be upended by the Willow project.”
The Mr. Toads of the world, however, can rejoice.1
Hardly regarding it, they turned to resume their conversation, when in an instant (as it seemed) the peaceful scene was changed, and with a blast of wind and a whirl of sound that made them jump for the nearest ditch, It was on them! The “Poop-poop” rang with a brazen shout in their ears, they had a moment’s glimpse of an interior of glittering plate-glass and rich morocco, and the magnificent motor-car, immense, breath-snatching, passionate, with its pilot tense and hugging his wheel, possessed all earth and air for the fraction of a second, flung an enveloping cloud of dust that blinded and enwrapped them utterly, and then dwindled to a speck in the far distance, changed back into a droning bee once more.
UPDATES FROM THE ALPHAVERSE
Real-world problems for Californians: Another round of storms is headed to flood-ravaged California, “where residents are still grappling with impassable roads, overflowing rivers, inundated neighborhoods and a levee breach that forced hundreds to evacuate.”
Fake-world problems for Californians: Tech bros had a panic attack this weekend, spurred by Sauron-wannabe Peter Thiel to make a run on Silicon Valley Bank, which acted as the cash-stuffing mattress for the industry (including climate-tech startups) while successfully fighting off prudential standards that would have protected the bank. Matt Levine explains the bank run: The bros hoovered up cash for each other while federal interest rates were low, but have been short of income as the Fed has turned down the spigot. Of course, right-wingers have blamed the run on, you guessed it, woke capitalism! GOP presidential contenders Vivek Ramaswamy and Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) gestured vaguely at “DEI and ESG.” Anyway, the FDIC is protecting the bank’s depositors, so even though some rich assholes are continuing to try to panic everyone else, it’s not really that big a story.
Real-world problems for India: It’s boiling hot. With some parts of Kerala recording temperatures between 95 to 99 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity levels at 75-80%, the heat index in these areas soared to above 130°, threatening rapid heat stroke for anyone exposed to the direct sun.
Fake-world attack on the real world: Daylight Saving Time has returned, which means that yet again politicians like Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) are trying to pass legislation that would cause mass suffering and death for Americans. They’re still backing permanent Daylight Saving Time, despite the clear medical consensus that keeping clocks out of alignment with solar noon is a threat to public health. Absolutely terrible reporting from Wired’s Amanda Hoover promoted the views of a wacko right-wing economist and from Washington Post’s Dan Diamond presented the medical perspective as “spending on lobbyists.”
Toad sat straight down in the middle of the dusty road, his legs stretched out before him, and stared fixedly in the direction of the disappearing motor-car. He breathed short, his face wore a placid satisfied expression, and at intervals he faintly murmured “Poop-poop!”
Influencer-chef Dean Sheremet, best known as the ex-husband of LeAnn Rimes, has made the pivot to fossil-fuel shill. Rebecca Leber, bane of the gas-stove industrial complex, reveals he has been making the circuit of morning television programs to blame watchers for their own gas-stove pollution—and doing so in the pay of the Propane Education & Research Council.
Wildlife photographer Jasper Doest is renowned for his explorations of the melting north. “The Arctic regions of this planet are not just important because it’s home to the iconic polar bear and four million people,” he writes on his portfolio site, “but also because it helps keep our world’s climate in balance.”
Yesterday and today, Doest is in Calgary, Alberta for a National Geographic Live show, presented by ConocoPhillips, the big winner of today’s Willow Project announcement. Additional tar-sands sponsors plastering their logos on the event: Enbridge, MEG Energy, and Cabra Consulting.
“Voice for Nature” Doest told Hill Heat over email that he believes “changes doesn’t come by shaming and blaming but by finding each other in conversation.”
It's such a weird coincidence that folks who accept sponsorships and funding from the fossil-fuel industry believe that the best way to address climate change is through respectful and polite engagement with the fossil-fuel industry.
“It’s no good, Toady; you know well that your songs are all conceit and boasting and vanity; and your speeches are all self-praise and—and—well, and gross exaggeration and—and——”
“And gas,” put in the Badger, in his common way.
THE WEEK ON THE HILL
The Republican-run House is taking another week-and-a-half off, but the Democratic-run Senate is at work. On Wednesday. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) chairs a hearing to assess the implementation of the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act, passed as part of the bipartisan infrastructure bill in 2021, which authorized billions for lead-pipe replacement and other water system improvements. The EPA’s top water official, Radhika Fox, testifies with water officials from Philadelphia, Green Bay, and West Virginia. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) chairs a hearing on Biden’s proposed 2024 budget with OMB Director Shalanda Young. And Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) chairs the Senate Appropriations Legislative Branch subcommittee hearing on the budget requests for the Congressional Budget Office, the Government Accountability Office, and the Government Publishing Office. Witnesses include Republican economist Philip Swagel, who continues to run the influential CBO, which estimates the costs of climate change to the U.S. economy and the effects of climate legislation on the federal budget; and Gene Dodaro, the career head of GAO, which is tasked with limiting the government’s fiscal exposure from climate change.
On Thursday, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) chairs a Senate Finance hearing on the proposed budget with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, where she’ll have to waste time on the Silicon Valley Bank collapse. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) chairs a hearing on public transportation with Baltimore transit union president Michael McMillan and transit officials from Cleveland and Greenville, S.C. (the ranking member of the committee is South Carolina’s Tim Scott).
They had to lay Toad out on the floor, kicking and calling all sorts of names, before they could get to work properly. Then the Rat sat on him, and the Mole got his motor-clothes off him bit by bit, and they stood him up on his legs again. A good deal of his blustering spirit seemed to have evaporated with the removal of his fine panoply. Now that he was merely Toad, and no longer the Terror of the Highway, he giggled feebly and looked from one to the other appealingly, seeming quite to understand the situation.
The character of Mr. Toad was inspired by maniacal motor-car enthusiasts of the early 20th-century, such as robber-baron scion William K. Vanderbilt II, who ran over dogs in France and struck a child in Italy amid his destructive automotive sprees. Woodrow Wilson, then president of Princeton University, bemoaned: “Nothing has spread socialistic feeling in this country more than the use of automobiles. To the countryman they are a picture of arrogance of wealth with all its independence and carelessness.”