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Normal eco-tourists, innocent eco-tourists

The really arguably best-placed climate bombs


Last night, Secretary of State Tony Blinken joined billionaires Eric Schmidt, Robert Kraft, and Michael Bloomberg, as well as Samantha Power, Cass Sunstein, and Larry Summers among others, to celebrate war criminal Henry Kissinger’s centennial, in a private bash at the New York Public Library.1 Blinken is now jetting off to Saudi Arabia to not discuss that nation’s penchant for beheading journalists and to not discuss the need to end the global oil economy.

Speaking of which, the petrostate United Arab Emirates is truly stoked to host COP28, the next round of world climate talks, this fall. “We know that we’re an oil and gas producing country, we have a COP president who is the CEO of an oil and gas company,” said UAE diplomat/oil executive Majid al-Suwaidi, who will be the conference’s director-general. “We understand why that may appear to people outside, as you know, challenging,” al-Suwaidi continued. “However, we don't see it that way.”

You see, it’s a Good Thing Actually™ that this year’s climate talks will be completely overrun by the fossil-fuel executives responsible for destroying our climate:

“We can’t have an exclusive conversation that misses out the whole constituency who are really arguably, who are best placed to help you solve the problem.”

Hey, maybe “the problem” is really arguably that greenhouse pollution isn’t rising fast enough.

Al-Suwaidi’s doublespeak is very much in line with White House climate chief John Podesta’s fatuous argument that Bill McKibben would be so glad that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-Carbon) got his fracked-gas Mountain Valley Pipeline and a raft of other carbon-polluter priorities in the ruinous debt ceiling deal.

Let’s hear it for realpolitik!

GEORGIA ON MY MIND: At the end of May, an Atlanta SWAT team arrested organizers of the bail fund for Cop City protesters and charged them with “money laundering” and “charity fraud.” “These criminals facilitated and encouraged domestic terrorism,” claimed Republican Gov. Brian Kemp on Elon Musk’s white-supremacist website. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) spoke out strongly against the arrests, while Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) offered a more chickenshit statement. Last week, the Atlanta City Council approved $30 million in public funds to build the massive police-violence theme park in forest lands that used to be a prison farm.

Oh, and more than 90 percent of the Peach State’s peaches were lost this year after extreme winter weather.

What’s up on the Hill today?

In the morning, Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) chairs an all-white-male energy and commerce subcommittee hearing on the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed greenhouse pollution standards for the power sector. Patrick O’Laughlin, the CEO of Ohio’s Buckeye Power, and others will claim the EPA’s rules phasing out high-polluting coal plants over the next 15 years will be impossible to meet. The Democratic witness, Jay Duffy of the Clean Air Task Force, will argue the EPA plan is too weak. As Vox’s Rebecca Leber has explained, the EPA plan is too weak. A week later, the EPA will begin a three-day virtual hearing to receive public comment on the proposed rules; today is the last day to register to speak.

The Environment subcommittee of the House Science Committee receives testimony from state climatologists, a California state water resources manager, and a corporate meteorologist on the reauthorization of the Weather Act.

House Natural Resources receives testimony from NOAA deputy administrator Janet Coit, marine scientist and cetacean-risk specialist Jessica Redfern, and commercial boating lobbyists on whether we can afford to stop running over the world’s dwindling population of right whales.

In the afternoon, a trio of climate deniers at organizations attached to Koch Industries—the Independent Women’s Forum’s Mandy Gunasekara, Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Jason Isaac, and Heritage Foundation’s Stephen Moore—will testify before House Oversight on the evils of compliance with environmental, social, and governance policies, also known either as “responsible investing” or “woke capitalism.” The Democratic witness is former Maryland attorney general Brian Frosh, who has called for mandatory climate risk disclosure and pressed federal agencies to incorporate climate justice into their rulemakings.

Super climate journalist-slash-shitposter Molly Taft is moving on from Gizmodo’s Earther blog.

The Energy Department on Monday unveiled its hydrogen-energy roadmap, but is waiting on Treasury to decide whether hydrogen tax subsidies can be used as greenwashing by the fossil-fuel industry.

The United States is only number four among the top ten countries planning new genocidally catastrophic oil and gas drilling projects. We’re being beaten by Russia, Brazil, and Norway. Curse you, Olaf!

Moving on to our uninsurable future: Allstate quietly stopped writing new homeowner and commercial insurance policies in the state of California last year due to rising repair costs and wildfires. State Farm pulled out in May.

Hearings on the Hill:

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1 Mark Zuckerberg was too busy with “effortful grunting” to attend.

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