Big Green Thursday

Greenbuild! Climate Resilience Summit! Green New Deal for Public Schools!


There is a ridiculous amount of climate policy action happening in our nation’s capitol today. Like so much. It is a good reminder that there are so very many people dedicated to fighting climate pollution and building a safe, green future for all of us.

And if you’re in DC, please come to the Green New Deal Happy Hour tomorrow evening at Red Bear Brewing.

A new paper led by Leah Stokes finds that local opposition to wind-farm projects grew from 2000 to 2016. In his piece about the study, ecomodernist journalist Rob Meyer reminds readers that he really really hates the community input process, which in cities and towns across America has prevented Robert Moses-inspired destruction of neighborhoods and ensured the construction of parks and public transit. But according to Meyer, community engagement is racist and bad.1

Insurance giants who claim they’re divesting from coal are in fact underwriting United States coal mines, a new report from Insure our Future finds. AIG, bailed out in 2008 after fueling the subprime mortgage meltdown meltdown, is the biggest underwriter of U.S. coal, insuring seven mines producing nearly a third of US output. Lloyd’s of London and other big European insurers are responsible for another third of US coal production, despite their net zero pledges.

The Department of Justice is suing eBay for selling more than 343,000 aftermarket defeat devices, which significantly increase motor vehicle pollution—including carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and nonmethane hydrocarbons—and least 23,000 unregistered, misbranded or restricted-use pesticide products, and over 5,600 items with methylene chloride. EBay’s response is that it tried not to sell them.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is starting to ration federal disaster aid, building up an emergency reserve of about $2.8 billion in case of a government shutdown or the failure of Congress to authorize additional disaster funding.

It’s easier to dig holes than to fill holes. The Neolithic inhabitants of Göbekli Tepe hunted anything that flies, but those in Gusir Höyük avoided waterfowl. Swiss glaciers have lost 10% of their volume in just two years. Britain’s Tory government has given the go-ahead to develop Rosebank, their biggest untapped oilfield in the North Sea, as part of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s climate U-turn. Vietnamese climate activist Hoang Thi Minh Hong has been sentenced to three years in jail, the fifth climate activist to be jailed on tax evasion charges in the last two years. Japanese bears are starving for lack of salmon.

And now, a word from our sponsor, Paine’s Celery Compound:

The Republican-run House is continuing its internecine path towards shutting down the government, with a new petty fight this morning between the incompetent Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and the deeply creepy Trumpist Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.). “Fuck off,” Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.) told Gaetz, according to Politico’s Olivia Beavers.

This morning, Senate Energy chair Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) held a hearing entitled “Opportunities to Counter the People’s Republic of China’s Control of Critical Mineral Supply Chains.” The opportunities mentioned by Manchin are “increased mining and processing in the United States as well as international engagement and trade,” not efficiency or recycling to reduce demand. Witnesses included Interior Deputy Secretary Tommy Beaudreau, the fossil-fuel lawyer who authorized the Willow Project.

Senate Environment waste management chair Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) chaired the next in his series of hearings on the plastics crisis, this one on the explosion of beverage container waste.

And Rep. Wesley Hunt (R-Texas) chaired a House Small Business energy subcommittee hearing to criticize federal regulations on offshore oil and gas drilling. Witnesses included climate-denier-for-hire Alex Epstein and oil industry lobbists. Ranking member Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-Wash.) invited witness Kathleen Nisbet Moncy, a shellfish farmer in her district, who pointed out that shellfish farmers would welcome stricter regulations on offshore drilling.

Hearings on the Hill:

Climate Action Today:

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1 Meyer isn’t particularly nuanced. “America’s legal system gives wealthier, whiter communities — and a very persuasive fossil-fuel industry — a veto to block the clean-energy transition.”

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