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Hamas attacked because we're not drilling enough

Not-Speaker Kevin McCarthy blames the Israel-Hamas war on the Green New Deal

There was no Hill Heat yesterday on Indigenous Peoples Day. Native climate activist Jacob Johns, who was shot by a right-wing extremist last month, is still fighting for his life in an Albuquerque hospital. “The shooting is another reminder that Indigenous Peoples literally risk their lives simply by gathering in prayer,” said fellow activist Janene Yazzie.


With House Republicans fighting like rabid squirrels to elect their next leader, Congress is not in session this week. But the consequences of global petrocapitalism continue unabated, so here goes with a grim report. And yet we must continue to remember the world is full of such beauty.

On Saturday, Hamas reignited the antidemocratic Israel-Palestine conflict with a terrifying assault that left over one thousand Israelis dead, including a music festival massacre. In response, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Israel would exact “mighty vengeance.” “There will be no electricity, food or fuel,” Defense Minister Yoav Gallant declared. “We are fighting human beasts and acting accordingly.” Before this new outbreak of war, over the last 20 years, Israel has killed eight Palestinians for every Israeli killed.

Republicans responded with dark comedy, if you find eco-fascism funny.

Deposed House Speaker Kevin “Joe” McCarthy (R-Calif.), seeking to regain his position, blamed President Joe Biden’s climate policy for the Israel-Hamas war. Seriously.

Speaking as if he were lobbying to become the next CEO of ExxonMobil, McCarthy said of Hamas that “evil feels they can move” because Biden “went after our allies like Saudi Arabia” and committed “attacks on American energy production.”

McCarthy argued that the war in Israel means that American foreign policy should be more production of fossil fuels, more climate denial, and more demonization of the immigrants fleeing climate destruction:

“Sanctions should go on Iran’s production of oil, and we should replace it with American energy. Unshackle the blessings that God has given America . . .

We need to rebalance the power dynamics in the region, which means making America the energy powerhouse of the world. . . .

President Biden has said previously he believes the number one threat to America is climate change. That is not true. The number one threat killing Americans is terrorism. The number one threat is an open border. The number one threat is weakening our economic power by lowering our ability to produce our own energy. . . Rather than focus on his Green New Deal, he should be focused on protecting Americans.”

What’s most striking to me here is that, other than being bad at counting to one, wrong about the facts, and ecofascist in his conclusions, McCarthy agrees with the progressive climate activists who say that foreign policy is climate policy—particularly that the United States is engaged in the Middle East because of oil.

Like the talking heads of Fox News, McCarthy is attacking the policy views of the leftist Green New Dealer Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) but ascribing them to President Biden, a pragmatic liberal who never endorsed the Green New Deal and has overseen the continued rapid growth of American oil and natural gas production.

I’ve seen sentiments that this war is not tied up in climate justice, which is certainly not how the activists in Israel see it. Just before the Hamas attack, Jerusalem-based climate activist Sandra Westheimer published a closely-reported essay on the dire conditions faced by Palestinians in the desertifying Occupied Territories:

Like many Palestinians living in Area C of the occupied West Bank, Abu El-Kbash’s way of life is under threat. At the same time that the West Bank’s climate is changing rapidly, affecting nearly every facet of life in agricultural communities, coordinated Israeli state and settler violence is exacerbating the impacts of climate breakdown, intensifying the challenges of maintaining such livelihoods in Area C. For these villages, desertification and water scarcity has become an immediate danger. And while climate change is increasingly the cause of such phenomena worldwide, in Area C, settler violence is a primary culprit.

ELSEWHERE IN FOSSIL-FUELED DEATH AND DESTRUCTION: At least 30 people have been killed in landslides caused by heavy rains in Cameroon's capital Yaoundé. The death toll from the GLOF in India has risen to 74 with at least 100 still missing. Libyan coastguard diver Bashir Saqr El-Hassi is part of the team diving to retrieve bodies out of the sea from the Derna flood that killed more that 11,000.

Hong Kong closed schools and suspended trading on the stock exchange after a weakening Typhoon Koinu brought torrential rain and storm-force winds.

Almost all of Europe continues to swelter in “insane” record-shattering, fossil-fueled heat.

Floating homes and boats lay stranded on the dry bed of Puraquequara lake, amid a severe drought, in Manaus, Amazonas state, Brazil, Oct. 5, 2023. Credit: Edmar Barros

SCIENTISTS WITH THE BAD NEWS:In the future, moist heat extremes will lie outside the bounds of past human experience and beyond current heat mitigation strategies for billions of people.” — Daniel Vecellio, Qinqin Kong, Larry Kenney, and Matthew Huber.

F-POLLUTION WATCH: The non-governmental Environmental Investigation Agency detected high levels of the super-greenhouse-pollutant F-gas at the fencelines of two production facilities in the U.S. operated by Honeywell and Chemours.

JOURNO POLLUTION WATCH: After sponsoring Politico Power Switch last week, Chevron is running greenwashing ads in Axios Generate this week.

GOING ELECTRIC: The Biden administration has announced it will implement the Inflation Reduction Act’s electric-vehicle tax credits as instant rebates at dealerships, without need to wait for tax filing, and General Motors has agreed to the striking United Auto Workers’ demand to unionize their battery manufacturing plants.

SCIENTISTS WITH THE GOOD NEWS:Limiting warming to under 2°C nearly eliminates this risk.” — Vecellio et al.

That might be worth trying. Even if doing so means cargo bikes. Even so.

Finally, I was grieved to learn of the death of my friend Pierre-Yves Bertholet, a polymath who worked on everything from superconductors to web design to the renewable smart grid. He was a close friend and someone who worked tirelessly to make the world better, more beautiful, and weirder.

Each life cut short is a tragedy; it would be good if we all put more effort into peace.

A post shared by @amercavalcant

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] and  @climatebrad.hillheat.com on BlueSky

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