Effective Ecofascists

Reporting the climate crisis: Methane leaks, private saviors, effective altruists, ecomodernists


A Climate Politics Almanac wrap-up of Tuesday’s elections is coming soon—votes are still being counted in a bunch of key races.

Yesterday’s House Science hearing on the ongoing crime of unreported methane pollution was built on a devastating committee report, which finds that frackers know full well the official U.S. Environmental Protection Agency numbers are lies:

The Committee staff also learned that oil and gas companies have internal data showing that methane emission rates from the sector are likely significantly higher than official data reported to EPA would indicate.

Again, this is very inconvenient for the Democratic Party claim that climate pollution went down during the Obama administration, so it’s not clear if the Joe Biden White House wants to correct the record.

In the words of White House Climate Envoy John Kerry, “the private sector has the ability to win this battle for us.”

Via Politico (see below), Amanda Eversole is back at the American Petroleum Institute as its top lobbyist after a few years polluting JPMorganChase as the megabank’s managing director for corporate responsibility and head of public affairs.

The fossil-fueled New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) nixed the Build Public Renewables Act on the last day of the 2022 legislative session last week, despite the state lagging on its target of 70% renewable electricity by 2030. Molly Taft interviews campaigner Pete Sikora:

“What happens, routinely, is where there is a bill that has some corporate interests opposed to it, inevitably moderate and pro-corporate Democrats are going to be saying that they don’t like it. That’s true on every single issue—that’s always the case.”

The much-needed legislation, which passed the NY Senate after successful pressure from the Democratic Socialists of America, is opposed by the private-sector: both fossil-fuel interests and solar companies. Heastie has announced a special hearing on public renewables for July 28th.

The Not-Actually-Effective Altruists at Vox and the New York Times are worried that rich white folks are worried about having kids because of global warming, and want rich white folks to know that while they should maybe feel guilty, they should not be afraid to have kids, because while millions of “their” kids are doomed, as Ezra Klein says, yours are not (citing David Wallace-Wells, who says fossil fuels are mostly killing people through particulate pollution now and argues it will be hard, though admittedly not impossible, for global warming to overtake that death rate) because wealth can protect “us,” and as Leah Stokes points out, maybe “your” kid will be the next Greta Thunberg, but also as Susan Clayton tells Kelsey Piper, probably not. Also, although the scientific community is a bit concerned about our ongoing global mass extinction event, everything is getting better, according to EA ecomodernist Dylan Matthews, so how about that.

These crypto-ecofascist essays are sufficiently inane and incoherent that I would ignore them if the Effective Altruist gang didn’t include Silicon Valley billionaires like Reid Hoffman, Dustin Moskovitz, and Sam Bankman-Fried, who are waging a vigorous campaign to prevent Green New Deal Democrats from getting elected.

NOAA Administrator Dr. Richard Spinrad and the State Department’s oceans and environment Assistant Secretary Monica Medina testify before the House Climate Crisis Committee on ocean climate action.

Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) is chairing a hearing with an important suite of legislation for coal community revitalization—five bills to help the people and land and water in coal country, instead of the Joe Manchin-approved approach of exploiting all three.

The timber-friendly Forest Service chief Randy Moore is up before Manchin today to discuss his agency’s budget, which is ballooning with fossil-fueled wildfire costs.

Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) and Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) are chairing a pair of hearings on farmers being whipsawed by global warming, fossil-fueled inflation, and war. Dr. Joe Outlaw is back!

And, of course, in the less fun but fundamentally more consequential for our future department, the National Defense Authorization Act markup continues.

Hearings on the Hill:

Climate Action Today:

Politico Morning Energy, Presented By JPMorganChase-American Petroleum Institute, is going behind a paywall at the end of the month, so that’s one fewer competitor for Hill Heat! A Politico Pro subscription costs about $10,000 a year—a voluntary Hill Heat subscription is $100 a year or $10 a month. If you can, please choose to become a paid subscriber.

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