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"Human induced climate change and the war on Ukraine have the same roots: fossil fuels"

Just a bunch of ants, baking the dough


As you may have heard, Russia took advantage of Hill Heat’s week off to invade Ukraine. Since I am not a Sovietologist nor have I done the required reading, I don’t have any clever projections to make about the outcome. Vladimir Putin’s Russia seems to be betting that Europe’s dependence on its natural gas supplies will buffer any economic or political blowback.

In a remarkable rebuke to Putin, the head of the Russian delegation at an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change meeting on Sunday apologized for the invasion of Ukraine, saying “those who know what is happening fail to find any justification for the attack.”

“Let me present an apology on behalf of all Russians who were not able to prevent this conflict,” Oleg Anisimov, a climatologist at the State Hydrologic Institute in St. Petersburg, told participants. At the same meeting, Ukrainian climatologist Svitlana Krakovska spoke out:

“Human induced climate change and the war on Ukraine have the same roots: fossil fuels, and our dependence on them.”

In contrast, Big Oil is exploiting the invasion to call for more drilling and more drilling. Germany is fast-tracking two new liquid natural gas terminals. Carbon-backed Republicans like Marsha Blackburn blamed the invasion on Biden stopping the Keystone XL pipeline. So that’s the dig-the-hole-deeper strategy.

The smart response would be a Green Marshall Plan that decouples Europe from Russian fossil fuels by going 100% renewable. As Bill McKibben put it in an important essay, heat pumps for peace and freedom!

This news has understandably overshadowed events like Biden’s pick of Ketanji Brown Jackson for the U.S. Supreme Court, which today heard arguments in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency. The coal industry and twenty GOP-run states are arguing the EPA should be blocked from regulating greenhouse pollution from power plants under the Clean Air Act, even though there aren’t any existing regulations to be blocked. Joining the Biden administration in opposition are the power plant owners themselves, who would like consistent federal regulation. The suit hinges on some pretty stupid arguments from the climate arsonists, but the Supreme Court has a pretty stupid majority, so.

The aforementioned IPCC has released the Atlas of Human Suffering, also known as the Working Group Two Contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. As U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said at the report’s unveiling:

Unchecked carbon pollution is forcing the world’s most vulnerable on a frog march to destruction – now. The facts are undeniable. This abdication of leadership is criminal.  The world’s biggest polluters are guilty of arson of our only home.

RADICAL REST: Tamara Toles O’Laughlin, the president and CEO of the Environmental Grantmakers Association, and of late the 350.org North America Director, today launched Climate Critical Earth to create a community of care for the climate movement, particularly leaders and organizers of color. Tamara explains:

A culture of rest and regeneration is not a luxury for climate and community organizers: it’s a necessity. But as of now no climate organization approaches the people it relies on in it that way.

Diane di Prima would be quite pleased, I suspect.

In centrist-rest news, Rep. Ted Deutsch (D-Fla.), the co-founder of the ironically named Climate Solutions Caucus, is retiring.

MORE FROM A LAZY WEEK OF NOT MUCH HAPPENED: At the White House, the quarter-Ukrainian Jane Lubchenco convened a gathering of scientists who study and combat the climate-denial machine, from Naomi Oreskes to Gernot Wagner. Naming heat waves. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, tacking right as she runs for governor, is fighting the city of Brookline’s efforts to ban natural-gas hookups. Last week’s New York Bight offshore wind lease sale was the largest offshore energy lease sale in U.S. history, netting $4.37 billion. On Friday, thirteen Virginia Democratic lawmakers sent a letter to FERC requesting a stop-work order on the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Bitcoin is dirtier than ever. Joliet, Illinois, America’s largest inland port, is running out of water. A fossil-fueled rain bomb deluged Brisbane with two feet of water in three days, killing at least seven people.

Tomorrow features the Texas primary elections and the State of the Union address, so unlike last week, we can expect things to be busy. Subscribers get the news bright and early! @climatebrad

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