A formula for disaster

Global warming is bad for babies, glaciers, and hot sauce


The giant infant-formula plant that was closed for months after its Cronobacter sakazakii infestation killed two babies, causing a nationwide formula shortage, has shut down again in the wake of flooding by fossil-fueled storms. The plant had only restarted partial production less than two weeks ago. The press release from the corrupt infant-formula monopolist Abbott:

Severe thunderstorms and heavy rains came through southwestern Michigan on Monday evening, resulting in high winds, hail, power outages and flood damage throughout the area. These torrential storms produced significant rainfall in a short period of time – overwhelming the city’s stormwater system in Sturgis, Mich., and resulting in flooding in parts of the city, including areas of our plant. . . . This will likely delay production and distribution of new product for a few weeks.  

STIR IN THE GOOD: The new climate action group Families for a Future, led by Elijah Zarlin, Kaniela Ing, and Kristin Lynch, has launched with its Pledge for a Future:

  • Make big polluters pay for their pollution and clean it up.

  • Stop giving polluters taxpayer money.

  • Advance clean energy in order to rapidly phase out pollution

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) are doing the good work to push for a windfall profits tax on Big Oil and redirect the money back to consumers. At yesterday’s press conference Ro struck one false note, when he said that he doesn’t think members of Congress being deeply invested in fossil-fuel stocks is an obstacle to the passage of progressive climate legislation like this. Of course it is!

Evergreen Action and Earthjustice have teamed up with a new report that challenges President Joe Biden to end fossil-fuel lease sales—as Biden promised on the campaign trail—and instead use his powers to “lead a just transition away from a fossil-fueled economy.” Maxine Joselow has more.

The Federal Aviation Administration has proposed modest carbon-pollution standards for new planes.

MIX IN A FEW PARTS BAD: There’s no safe level of exposure to air pollution, and we are all exposed. Chronic exposure of an additional 15 micrograms per cubic meter of particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter (PM2.5) reduces life expectancy by a year, so the World Health Organization has lowered its “safe level” of exposure to PM2.5 from 10μg/m³ to 5μg/m³. By that standard, almost all of the United States — 92.8% of the population — are exposed to unsafe levels of PM2.5 pollution. High exposure is, unsurprisingly, well correlated with race and poverty. The burning of fossil fuels is driving the pollution, both directly, and through wildfires and dust storms caused by fossil-fueled warming.

The bodies of environmental journalist Dom Phillips and Indigenous activist Bruno Pereira have been found, 10 days after they went missing in the Brazilian Amazon, after one of their murderers confessed where they were buried.

ADD A DASH OF SQUIRREL: On the upside, we have developed computer programs that will pretend they are not squirrels:

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is holding its monthly open meeting today, with our electric grid’s vulnerability to climate change and extreme weather on the docket (AD21-13-000 to be precise). The public will be able to attend this meeting in person for the first time in years.

Senior Biden officials Andrew Light, Harry Kamian, and Jake Levine go before Rep. Bill Keating (D-Mass.) to further discuss U.S. efforts to support European energy security in response to Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine—unfortunately more fracking than heat pumps. And House Natural Resources is working on some big public waters bills.

JERBS: The White House Council on Environmental Quality is accepting applications for its fall internships and legal clerkships (paid, both part-time and full-time) until the end of June.

Boston Government Services is hiring a grid connection analyst under contract for the Solar Energy Technologies Office at the Department of Energy, and Allegheny Science and Technology a solar research program analyst, also for DOE.

Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson’s Urban Ocean Lab is seeking a policy lead with a background working with community organizations in cities on climate and resiliency policy ($70K-$90K, remote in a coastal city).

Solar United Neighbors is hiring a director of equity and inclusion ($75K-$85K, DC or remote).

Hearings on the Hill:

Climate Action Today:

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