Churn, Baby, Churn

The fascist farce, crying for the cryosphere, slow snails


In a tragedy that was a painful reminder of the Churnobyl crisis, a dairy plant caught fire in central Wisconsin on Monday night, sending the melted contents of a storage room full of butter flowing through the building and into the streets, clogging the historic Portage Canal. Emergency workers did not stand pat, but rushed in with lobster bibs to extinguish the fire and contain the dairy disaster. Fortunately, unlike the Great Molasses Flood of 1919, no-one was harmed.

After days of intense whipping, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Oil Patch, Calif.) still doesn’t have the votes. Strangely enough, Republican members of Congress who supported a violent insurrection exactly two years ago today to overthrow our elected government are also willing to keep the House from functioning in order to ensure that they’ll be able to force a governmental collapse over the debt ceiling.

I’ve been following the farce on my Mastodon feed, but there isn’t much else to report.

I apologize that Hill Heat’s earlier Preview of the Republican House Leadership Taking Over on January 3, 2023 did not predict this nonsense, but it’s still a safe prediction that the eventual Republican leadership will “use their leverage over must-pass appropriations, defense, and agriculture bills to engage in obstructionism and brinksmanship, including attempts to reduce clean energy spending and hobble disaster relief.”


The rapid march of beaver ponds in Alaska’s Seward Peninsula

Dammit: We’re finding out how the cryosphere dies: Faster than we thought!

No matter what, we’re going to lose a lot of the glaciers,” David Rounce, a glaciologist and engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University, a lead author of a new study of our destruction of the cryosphere, told Seth Borenstein. “But we have the ability to make a difference by limiting how many glaciers we lose.” Every increase of temperature matters.

The not-quite-the-ARkstorm bomb cyclone bashing California isn’t over, with another wall of water coming tonight. Tens of thousands of residents have lost power and thousands of trees have been destroyed.

The Amazon rainforest, which literally creates the weather it needs by storing and releasing moisture, is tipping over into savannah, Alex Cuadros writes in the JBS- and Saudi Aramco-sponsored New York Times. Humans have chopped and burned down one-fifth of the forest, leaving it unable to protect itself from rapid global warming.

Fossil-fueled drought has led to falling water levels at the Kariba Dam, the world's largest, forcing widespread electricity shut-offs in Zimbabwe and Zambia.

GETTING FRACKED: Gas stoves are responsible for about one in 8 cases of childhood asthma. Pennsylvania is having its own problems with fracked gas: Houses in Philadelphia go boom. Houses in Susquehanna go boom. Cryogenic natural gas plant outside of Pittsburgh goes boom.

HILL HEAT dropped by Eastern Market on Wednesday to hobnob with meteorologist and Rep-elect Eric Sorensen (D-Ill.) and other members-elect of the 118th Congress—as Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), co-founder of the Congressional Solar Caucus, joked, he’s just another citizen at the moment: no longer a member of the 117th Congress and not yet a sworn-in member of the 118th. Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.), after nominating Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) for Speaker six times, is ready to keep at it with a sense of good cheer. Also dropping by were Reps. Bill Foster (D-Ill.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla.), Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Mark Takano (D-Calif.). The State Farm team was there, as the corporation is headquartered in Sorensen’s district, as well as lobbyists for Walmart, Rivian, and the National Weather Service union. Also Brad Komar and Brad Carl and some other folks not named Brad from House Majority PAC and 314 Action.

CONGRATS to former House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on his engagement to Brookings Senior Fellow Elaine Kamarck. And to Caitlin Haberman, the new staff director for the Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee at the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and to Willie Phillips, named acting FERC chair by President Biden.

Hmm… what’s Heather Zichal up to these days? Heather Zichal is one of our nation’s most prominent experts on green energy, by which I mean the energy she exhibits pursuing greenbacks from the fossil-fuel industry. She left the fracking-friendly American Clean Power Association for JPMorgan Chase in September, when CEO Jamie Dimon testified that “investing in the oil and gas complex is good for reducing CO2.”

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JERBS: The Green New Deal Network is looking for a legislative and policy director ($110K-$130K, DC preferred), and an executive coordinator ($65.5K-$78.5K, remote). Creative Commons has an exciting opportunity for an open climate data manager to facilitate large, distributed open climate datasets on a year-long contract ($109.2K-$124.8K, remote). Among its many open positions, Environmental Defense Fund is hiring a manager for climate policy and corporate outreach ($83K-$93K, DC) and a vice-president-level associate chief scientist ($205K-$220K, flexible location).

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