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Adults in the Room Avert the Shutdown
Terrorists and floods in the streets
A lot of news has broken in the past few days, for good and bad. If we don’t get to it now, we’ll never catch up next week. Let’s review.
MAGA SHUTDOWN SHUT DOWN: On Saturday afternoon, Democrats effectively took charge of the House of Representatives, convincing House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)—who has spent weeks hamstrung by hardline extremists in his caucus—to pass a continuing resolution to keep the federal government open for 45 more days. The bill—passed with 209 Democrats and 126 Republicans in support—is almost the same as the one passed earlier by the U.S. Senate. It includes $16 billion in climate disaster relief funding, but blocks funding for Ukraine support. With three hours to go before the midnight deadline, the Senate took up the House bill and passed it 88-9, averting the childish shutdown threats of the House Republicans.
MAGA SHOOTER SHOOTS CLIMATE LEADER: On Thursday, indigenous community organizer and international climate activist Jacob Johns was shot in the gut by MAGA troll Ryan Martinez during a rally in Española, New Mexico. The rally was in opposition to a statue of conquistador Juan de Oñate, who founded the first Spanish colony in New Mexico in 1598, massacring native people already living there in the process. Johns and climate activists from around the country had come to Albuquerque for a U.S. Climate Action Network summit before joining this local rally.
Oñate has been celebrated as a Hispanic founding father in the state, but his deadly legacy has been reconsidered in the past 25 years, and now statues of Oñate are defended by the state’s white nationalists and far-right militias. This is the second such shooting; the first took place at an Albuquerque Oñate statue protest in 2020.
Friends have established a GoFundMe in support of Johns, who was flown to a hospital in Albuquerque and is in stable condition with damage to his spleen and liver. Johns is still hoping to attend the climate talks in Abu Dhabi later this year.
FEINSTEIN DIES: On Thursday night, the moderate multi-millionaire Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) died at the age of 90. Her political aides had denied her the chance to spend her waning years in dignity, keeping her in the Senate long after she was in the grip of dementia. Erik Loomis has written an appreciation of her long political career.
In 2019, Feinstein, still at the height of her powers, used them to callously rebuff young climate activists asking her to back the Green New Deal.
GOTHAM FLOODS: On Friday morning, the global carbon pollution financed by Wall Street fueled catastrophic rains in New York City. Last week, New York Times reporter David Gelles grilled Gilberto Tomazoni, the CEO of the Amazon-destroying meat giant JBS, at the Times Climate Forward summit. Gelles did a good job of interrogating Tomazoni’s bullshit propaganda. Tomazoni was willing to face the tough crowd as part of his company’s public-relations strategy to get listed on the New York Stock Exchange and get better access to Wall Street financing.
GULF DRILL PLAN: The Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management released the National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Proposed Final Program, which plans three Gulf of Mexico oil and gas lease sales over the next five years. The planned sales go beyond what is mandated by the “biggest climate bill in history,” the Inflation Reduction Act, Earthjustice president Abigail Dillen argues. This Faustian compromise between what is needed for the climate and what the oil industry wants makes sense in a department run by the climate hawk Deb Haaland but with oil lobbyist Tommy Beaudreau as her second-in-command. Even without these new sales, U.S. oil production is on track to reach all-time highs as the climate disasters caused by the oil accelerate.
Finally, a bronzewing!