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Empathy, resilience, and pipeline sabotage

The three-part cure for climate nihilism


Today at 12:30 pm, Stephen Wood and Jeremiah Goulka co-moderate Locked in a Hotbox, a climate justice webinar on the intersection of global warming and incarceration.

In a very real sense, we are all locked in the same hotbox together. Thanks to decades of deceit by the fossil-fuel industry, greenhouse pollution is continuing its steady climb, and each month Earth sets a new monthly record for global heat. This is changing our brains—indirectly as we have to adjust to a more dangerous, violent world, but also directly as hotter temperatures break down cogitation and emotional regulation. Perhaps we should be building a world of sanctuaries instead of prisons.

Several sanctuarians just won a tough campaign to be elected to the Salt River Project, the water and power utility for Phoenix, Arizona. Running on the Salt River Project Clean Energy Team slate last week, Sandra Kennedy and Casey Clowes won at-large seats, and Nick Brown won one of the acreage-based seats (voters are weighted by land ownership). The candidates were backed by a coalition of progressive climate hawks including Lead Locally, Jane Fonda Climate PAC, Climate Cabinet, Run for Something, Arizona's List, and the Sierra Club. The clean-energy slate now controls 6 of the 15 seats on the board of this powerful utility.

Financial sanctuarians, unite: the Colorado State University Soil Solutions Center led by professors Lauren Gifford and Jane Zelikova is hosting its inaugural Carbon Finance Bootcamp next month, May 13 to 16. So much of the “expert” discussion on carbon credits, agricultural sequestration, global climate finance and the like is distorted hype, but this is the real deal. There are still a few spaces available, and applications are due by April 16th.

And if your sanctuarian interests lie more in shitposting, then have I got great news for you: Yellow Dot Studios is sponsoring a contest for the best posts, memes and videos calling out fossil fuel disinformation, with a top prize of $25,000.

Our stopped clock technology is only in its infancy, but it's already reached an accuracy rate of two or more times per day, and there's no reason for us to believe that won't improve dramatically in the future

Although we at Hill Heat have been remiss in debunking stopped-clock boosters, we do reliably lambaste hydrogen hype. The fossil-fuel industry efforts to turn a mostly unworkable technology into a mega-billion-dollar subsidy pollution machine are a major threat. The U.S. Treasury is now working on the implementation rules for the Inflation Reduction Act’s 45V tax credit’s application to hydrogen energy, and if industry gets its way, the hydrogen credit will be a fossil-fuel boondoggle of unimaginable proportions.1

Unfortunately, as Friends of the Earth’s Sarah Lutz has uncovered, it’s not just polluters—Democratic governors with climate-hawk reputations have weighed in with Treasury on their behalf, with comments that support “dramatically weakening key emissions requirements in the hydrogen tax credit.” West-Coast Govs. Jay Inslee (Wash.), Tina Kotek (Ore.), Gavin Newsom (Calif.), and billionaire-presidential aspirant J.B. Pritzker (Ill.) are all backing the hydrogen hustle.

Longtime Democratic megadonor Jamie Dimon, the CEO of carbon financier JPMorganChase, is one of the world’s most dangerous fossil-fuel billionaires. In his latest letter to investors he comes out as a bald-faced denier of climate science, attacking President Joe Biden’s modest moratorium on LNG export projects:

“Trade is realpolitik, and the recent cancellation of future liquified natural gas (LNG) projects is a good example of this fact. The projects were delayed mainly for political reasons — to pacify those who believe that gas is bad and that oil and gas projects should simply be stopped. This is not only wrong but also enormously naïve. One of the best ways to reduce CO2 for the next few decades is to use gas to replace coal.”

Despite Dimon’s drivel, the moratorium isn’t some political bauble—it’s a much-overdue pause to allow the Department of Energy to account for the gargantuan carbon footprint of the nascent LNG export industry.

Dimon is no better than any of our other hotbox prison guards, even if does know how to use diäcritical marks.

It was absolutely stunning
Before the eclipse, gold crowned kinglets were slipping through the woods beside the Little Etobicoke Creek. Mississauga, Ontario.

Hearings on the Hill:

Climate Action Today:

Nathaniel Rich has the final word, in his review of Clayton Page Aldern’s new book The Weight of Nature:

“We are becoming more suspicious, paranoid, anxious, depressive, distracted, nihilistic, angry. Not all of us, and not all the time. Some respond, as Aldern instructs his readers to do, with greater empathy, resilience, collective action and pipeline sabotage.”

Thanks for subscribing and spreading the word. If you’ve got job listings, event listings, or other hot news, I want to hear it. Connect with me—@[email protected], @climatebrad on Threads, and @climatebrad.hillheat.com on BlueSky

1 Kari Lyderson has a great report on the few companies who want a strict hydrogen credit.

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