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Is there anything more we can do?

Better put out that inflation fire!


President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better agenda—comprehensive legislation in line with the Green New Deal—was killed by coal baron Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) last December. Some members of the climate advocacy community have been investing time and treasure since then in the hope that some pieces of the corpse could be resurrected, such as investments in electric vehicles, methane regulations, and subsidies for solar and wind power. But dead is dead, Manchin reminded us yesterday.

“Everything needs to be scrubbed, anything that can be inflationary,” Manchin told reporters. He said that while agreed-on provisions aimed at containing pharmaceutical prices should remain, “Is there anything more we can do? I don’t know. But I’m very, very cautious.”

In another statement, Manchin said “it is time for us to work together to get unnecessary spending under control.” He unironically continued, “No matter what spending aspirations some in Congress may have, it is clear to anyone who visits a grocery store or a gas station that we cannot add any more fuel to this inflation fire.”

Let’s Look At This Inflation Fire!

Yosemite National Park: Fighting the Washburn fire

Alaska: the Hog Butte fire

France: the Gironde forest fires

Turkey: Datca wildfire

Portugal: Fighting forest fire in Figueiras

A few more stories on the inflation fire:

  • “At least 17 people remained unaccounted for on Thursday morning after powerful storms swept through southwestern Virginia, bringing heavy flooding and landslides and damaging more than 100 homes, officials said.”

  • Dangerous heatwaves are engulfing parts of China, Europe, south-west and central US this week, as dozens of cities have found themselves dealing with soaring summer temperatures.”1

  • “China’s commercial capital of Shanghai and dozens of other Chinese cities baked in scorching temperatures as unusually hot weather buckled roads, popped roof tiles and drove people to seek the cool in raid shelters underground.”

Because of the ongoing kid-gloves treatment of Manchin, voters can’t tell why the Democratic Party seems unable to act with leadership on the climate crisis. But no-one in the Senate or the White House is willing to play hardball with Manchin. They fear losing their limited power in the Senate majority now, with the consequence of appearing weak, incompetent, and corrupt, and thus losing their power in November. If they had called Manchin’s bluff at any point, either he would have folded and we would have Build Back Better, or he would have turned traitor and joined the Republicans, and voters would know who to blame.

On Earth Day, Joe Biden issued an executive order purporting to protect our nation’s old-growth forests, but the U.S. Forest Service led by Randy “Once-ler” Moore has instead in North Carolina, Vermont, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Arizona, California and Oregon for the Super-Axe-Hacker.

The Climate Forests coalition led by Earthjustice, the Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity is speaking for the trees, calling for an “immediate start to a rulemaking process to ensure permanent protections for mature and old-growth trees and forests across federal lands.”

Although the national Green New Deal push is largely stymied by our modern-day robber barons, local communities are pushing forward. Jeff St. John writes about a community effort in New Orleans to build a more resilient Big Easy:

Community Lighthouse effort led by Together New Orleans, a coalition of faith and community groups. The goal of the $13.8 million project is to secure rooftop solar and backup batteries for faith and community centers so they can supply the power they’ll need to carry out their missions when the next disaster strikes.

And local legislators have launched the Maine Climate Corps:

The goal of the climate corps initiative is to both make a difference on climate issues and create career pathways for young people interested in conservation, renewable energy, or other related work. The effort will take on projects in areas including community resilience planning, energy education and outreach, home energy management and conservation, regenerative agriculture, and community solar. 

One other bright spot of news: over a dozen of the country’s top environmental groups have pledged to address the racial wage gap within their ranks. The groups who made the pledge include the giants National Wildlife Federation, Nature Conservancy, and the Sierra Club, as well as Earthjustice and the Union of Concerned Scientists, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Conservation Nation, Defenders of Wildlife, EarthEcho International, Environmental Defense Fund, GreenLatinos, League of Conservation Voters, Ocean Conservation, Our Climate, Rainforest Action Network, the Wilderness Society, and the Trust for Public Land.

Hearings on the Hill:

Climate Action Today:

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1 The New York TimesRaymond Zhong very unhelpfully wants you to believe that “It’s too soon to say whether climate change is directly to blame for causing severe heat waves in these four powerhouse economies — which also happen to be the top emitters of heat-trapping gases — at roughly the same time, just days into summer.”

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