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Cooking our brains with chatbots

The AI boom, Merkley vs. Ex-Im, and Bowser's budget bomb


At noon, the Climate and Community Project hosts a panel with policy visions for the home insurance crisis. Policymakers, beholden to industry, are currently passing legislation to protect private insurers instead of homeowners from rising climate disasters and killer “kitty cats.” The panelists, moderated by Moira Birss and including Climate Politics Almanac author Jordan Haedtler, will present alternative visions to make “housing safer and more affordable for all.”

Microsoft, which in 2020 promised to be carbon negative by 2030, has announced it’s instead burning the world to build paperclip maximizers. The computing giant’s carbon footprint is up 30 percent since 2020, thanks to massive expansions in AI data centers.

Making Brads around the world look bad, Microsoft President Brad Smith promised to double down on chatbots that are cooking our brains:

“We fundamentally believe that the answer is not to slow down the expansion of AI but to speed up the work needed to make it more environmentally friendly.”


Every article about Red Lobster filing for bankruptcy is "ha ha endless shrimp, what did they think would happen" and then buried ten paragraphs down is the usual:

In yesterday’s Senate appropriations hearing with development banks, Export-Import Bank chief Reta Jo Lewis was bizarrely reticent to admit to Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) that the Ex-Im Bank charter requires it to consider the “global commons” and that it has the power to reject projects that harm the environment, such as a major LNG development in northern Mozambique. The exchange was remarkably contentious:

Merkley: “Are you aware of how much damage carbon pollution and methane pollution are doing to the global commons?”

Lewis: “Senator, I can’t comment on the science.”

After Merkley was forced to give a brief lesson on how LNG is as bad for the climate as coal, Lewis did commit to reviewing Ex-Im’s support for the Mozambique project.


Alex “Loose Lips” Koma has the dirty details on Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s plan to raid D.C.’s highly successful climate funds to fill budget holes:

Bowser and her deputies are using a highly complex gimmick to patch up holes in her constrained 2025 budget, blowing up plans for new electrification projects, the expansion of residential solar, and even affordable housing development in the process. Councilmembers are desperately trying to find funding to replenish money Bowser wants to pull away from the Sustainable Energy Trust Fund and the Renewable Energy Development Fund before the budget is finalized later this month.

“The mayor wants to take money meant to help D.C.’s most vulnerable families lower their utility bills and instead use it to pay her own utility bills,” Mark Rodeffer, political chair of the Sierra Club’s D.C. chapter, told Koma.

Sierra Club D.C. has organized a petition campaign calling on the D.C. Council to fight Bowser’s dirty budget gimmicks.

It once was so much better to get catfished:

i love you, Two Catfish as Street Musicians in the Kashina district, ca 1855 of an unidentified artist, you go so hard

At 10 am, the Senate Commerce committee marks up dozens of bills, including legislation on sea turtle protection, marine debris, red snapper import controls, and landslide preparedness. Also at 10 am, Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) chairs a Natural Resources hearing examining the White House Council on Environmental Quality budget with chair Brenda Mallory; Rep. Mike Collins (R-Ga.) chairs a Science subcommittee hearing on the National Science Foundation’s priorities with director Sethuraman Panchanathan and former Trump-appointed National Science Board chair Danny Reed; and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) chairs an Energy and Natural Resources hearing on the U.S. Forest Service budget with chief Randy Moore.

At 10:30 am, the Senate Foreign Relations committee will meet with Deputy Secretary of State Richard Verma on modernization of the State Department “to address 21st century challenges.”

And at 2:30 pm, the House Natural Resources water, wildlife, and fisheries subcommittee chaired by Rep. Cliff Bentz (R-Ore.) holds an overstuffed budget hearing on the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Power Marketing Administrations. The Republicans plan to attack the seven heads of the respective agencies for protecting endangered species, supporting offshore wind projects, and the like.

Hearings on the Hill:

Climate Action Today:

Finally: Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) has outlawed climate change.

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