• Hill Heat
  • Posts
  • On the Express Train, No Brakes

On the Express Train, No Brakes

East Palestine, one year later


Fourth of July fireworks in East Palestine. Credit: Rebecca Kiger

It’s been a year since the airborne toxic event in East Palestine, Ohio, caused by the derailment of a toxic Norfolk Southern train. In response, the U.S. Congress held multiple hearings and then failed to pass the bipartisan Railroad Safety Act introduced by Ohio senators Sherrod Brown (D) and J.D. Vance (R). The legislation is blocked by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Residents concerned about their health are being told by local U.S. Environmental Protection Agency response coodinator Mark Durno that some people just have funny reactions to low levels of chemicals, like how his mouth gets numb from eating pineapple.

Look out, another train is coming! It’s the fossil-fueled Pineapple Express, about to deluge southern California. Read all about it on the Platform Formerly Known As Twitter, if you want the weird conspiracy-theory version of your climate-disaster news.

Speaking of climate disasters (now that’s an unexpected segue here at Hill Heat), the world’s coral reefs are getting cooked so fast now that NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch has added three new alert levels—Multi-Species Mortality; Severe, Multi-Species Mortality; and Near Complete Mortality.

Let’s look again at what’s going on in the carbon-polluted capital, where the days are hot and the nights hotter.

John Podesta, the Democratic consigliere who in recent years has been dedicated to fighting climate change, will replace John Kerry as the top Biden advisor on international climate policy. Podesta will continue to oversee domestic clean-energy policy as well.

Earlier this week, the House overwhelmingly (357-70) passed a major tax bill which would expand the Child Tax Credit to keep up with inflation while also restoring giant tax deductions for businesses, including a machinery and equipment write-off particularly beneficial to the fossil-fuel industry.1 While Republicans in the Senate are threatening to nuke the deal, the strength of the House vote shows it will likely survive their opposition.

Don Pettit on Instagram: “Perpetual Sun; several times a year, Space Station’s orbit coincides with the day-night terminator (the shadow projected between sunlit and darkness on Earth). During this time from an ISS viewpoint, the sun never sets. Time lapse movie assembled from a sequence of D3s still images, Exp 31, 2012.”

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

I’ll be thinking of my friends Mark Borden and Anna Laurent this weekend, both of whom passed away this week, after lives dedicated to bringing joy and beauty and peace to the rest of us. We all only have a little time on this planet; it’s worth cherishing each other.

1 A new report from NRDC’s Sujatha Bergen, Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, and Doug Koplow tots up the enormous federal and state subsidies for oil and gas companies drilling the Permian Basin.

Subscribe to Hill Heat

Climate science, policy, politics, and action

Join the conversation

or to participate.