• Hill Heat
  • Posts
  • All the climate denial fit to print

All the climate denial fit to print

Also: saltmarsh sparrows, rescue puppies, broiled beef, ice buffalo


Fossil-fueled heat soared to 102° in Portland, Oregon, yesterday, the hometown of New York Times Opinion editor Kathleen Kingsbury. She rose through the reporting ranks as a Time Magazine reporter in Hong Kong, where record-shattering heat that reached 102° in parts of the city killed at least three people over the weekend. Galvanized by the crisis, Kingsbury has mobilized her team to take a hard line against the criminality of the fossil-fuel companies, financiers, and politicians responsible.

Ha, ha, no, the crack columnists have instead churned out the full range of arguments for inaction. Climate denier Bret Stephens mocked the heat wave and praised Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) for killing Build Back Better, Jane Coaston penned a plea for climate Pollyannism,1 and multi-millionaire Tom Friedman went full PitchBot mode:

So, to help kick start the discussion of a “Biden Green Transition Plan,” I reached out to Ryan Lance, the chief executive of ConocoPhillips.

Not to be outdone by the Gray Lady, Politico-owned E&E News went to Jody Freeman for criticism of a national declaration of climate emergency. As Dorothy Slater and Toni Aguilar Rosenthal note, Freeman is the founding director of Harvard Law School’s Environmental and Energy Law Program, a former Obama White House energy and climate adviser, and … a member of the board of directors of ConocoPhillips.

Lance, who moonlights as a Jeff Zucker body double, will be reporting his company’s “eye-watering” second-quarter war-profiteering gains next week with BP and Occidental. Shell, TotalEnergies, Exxon, and Chevron will report their earnings later this week—potentially of their highest profits ever.

BlackRock, which controls a $10 trillion asset portfolio, is fleeing its vaunted commitments to a livable climate. “In a report released Tuesday, the asset manager said it voted in favor of 24% of environmental and social shareholder proposals in this year’s proxy-voting season, down from 43% last year.” BlackRock’s complaint? The proposals put the planet before profits.

“Many climate-related shareholder proposals sought to dictate the pace of companies’ energy transition plans with little regard to the disruption caused to their financial performance, given continued demand from consumers.”

I wonder what National Economic Council Director Brian Deese thinks about this.

As Maine’s Scarborough Marsh disappears to rising seas, so does the saltmarsh sparrow

I can’t do better than Nathan Kauffman’s summary of the St. Louis rainfall catastrophe on Monday night from his Hot News newsletter:

St. Louis Rainfall Smashes Records, Flooding Kills Person, Puppies: At least one person, and 10 rescue puppies, are dead after torrential rain set off a flash flooding in St. Louis Monday night into Tuesday. More than eight inches of rain fell before 7:00 a.m. yesterday, obliterating the previous 24-hour precipitation record of 6.85" dumped by remnants of the 1915 Galveston Hurricane. St. Louis' rainfall was greater than the combined July and August averages and totals were even higher elsewhere with some locations getting over a foot of rain. City officials said an unidentified man died when his vehicle was submerged under several feet of water. Climate change makes extreme precipitation events worse and more frequent by essentially turning rain clouds into even bigger buckets — because warm air can hold more moisture, more rain can fall more quickly. The deluge, which is moving east and bringing a multi-day flood threat to the Appalachians, is just the latest in a drumbeat of intensifying extreme weather nationally, and around the world.

The putrid carcasses of thousands of cows, killed by extreme heat, have been dumped in the Seward County Landfill in Liberal, Kansas.

A QUICK LOOK AROUND THE WORLD: “The Democratic Republic of the Congo has announced it will auction oil and gas permits in critically endangered gorilla habitat and the world’s largest tropical peatlands next week.”

After meeting with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, Guyana President Irfaan Ali announced a new auction for oil and gas exploration, seeking competitors to the Exxon-led consortium that has been drilling there since 2019.

Environmental activists are trying to stop the East African Crude Oil Pipeline now being built by TotalEnergies and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation to transport oil extracted in Uganda to Tanzania, but Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni is bullish on this megaproject.

The European Union has agreed on a plan to slash the use of natural gas to protect against Russian supply cuts. In a reversal of the 2008 sovereign debt crisis, Germany was in for a scolding from its southern neighbors for its overreliance on Russian gas.

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) convenes the Senate Environment and Public Works committee on Wednesday to take the postponed vote on Joe Goffman for EPA air pollution chief and Annie Caputo and Bradley Crowell for the NRC. After the nominations vote, Carper holds an all-white-male-panel on carbon capture technology.

Jose Fernandez, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, Andy Baukol, Treasury’s acting Under Secretary for International Affairs, and Enoh Ebong, director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, testify before Senate Foreign Relations on “ensuring U.S. global leadership for the twenty-first century.”

House Foreign Relations chair Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) has U.S. Agency for International Development officials Sarah Charles and Maura Barry for a hearing on global food security, as their boss, Administrator Samantha Power, travels this week to drought-stricken Somalia and then to India to try to help address the crisis.

In the afternoon, Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) chairs a hearing on the administration’s budget request for Africa.

In excellent news, the Midwest Independent System Operator, the regional grid overseer for the central United States, has “approved a $10.3 billion transmission plan that could support about 53 GW of wind, solar, hybrid and stand-alone battery projects” across Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota—responding to renewable-energy targets set at the state level.

Hearings on the Hill:

Climate Action Tomorrow:

Thanks for subscribing and spreading the word. DMs are open@climatebrad

1 To be more precise, she rails against the boogeyman of “doomers,” conflating the likes of an angry tweet by beauty critic Jessica DeFino with the apocalyptic warnings of Jem Bendell, neither of whom identify as doomers, a phenomenon primarily limited to TikTok trends.

Subscribe to Hill Heat

Climate science, policy, politics, and action

Join the conversation

or to participate.