Putting the fossil era to bed

From climate deniers to sleep deniers


My sister is a physician and a sleep specialist who is part of a growing movement of doctors trying to end Daylight Saving Time, which causes a startling amount of suffering and death, particularly through chronic sleep deprivation caused by the misalignment between our clocks and solar noon. There’s a Congressional hearing today with the classic line-up of witnesses recognizable to any climate advocate:

Like climate deniers, sleep denier Calandrillo has self-made graphs and likes to argue with actual scientists on Twitter.

The Select Committee on the Climate Crisis has a much better line-up for its hearing on equitable climate resilience this morning, with three highly esteemed scientists and only one Republican fossil-friendly witness. Even the GOP witness, Matt Jewell of Lousiana, advocates for coastal restoration (though he thinks we should fund it by drilling more).

As mentioned in a special Hill Heat update sent yesterday afternoon, President Joe Biden announced a ban on Russian fossil fuels and called for a clean-energy mobilization to end the power of fossil fuels as an economic weapon of tyrants. His speech was truly inspiring.

The President has many executive powers to kick the oil habit, including using the Defense Production Act to direct our manufacturing sector to produce heat pumps, insulation, and other renewable energy and energy-efficiency materials, but of course direction from Congress would ensure action. The Senate Banking Committee, headed by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and the House Financial Services Committee, headed by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), have jurisdiction over DPA. So get cracking on the Brown-Waters Act! (Okay, maybe it needs a better name.)

Another thing the President and Congress can do, climate hawk Tom Matzzie suggests, is to investigate the fossil-fuel industry for war profiteering.

If Republicans hadn’t killed President Obama’s investment in high-speed trains, instead of getting headaches in highway traffic, we could be catching some z’s on electrified bullet trains. Advocates seem optimistic Joe Manchin will let that happen.

A pictorial representation:

SWEET DREAMS: On Tuesday, EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation issued draft rules to strengthen smog and climate pollution standards for heavy trucks, and yesterday Biden nominated Joe Goffman, the acting head of the office, to hold the permanent position. I’m going to guess Manchin and the GOP will stall this. Manchin is now sitting on the nomination of Laura Daniel-Davis to head the Interior division in charge of federal fossil-fuel lease sales.

The anti-deforestation movement is winning: “Deforestation in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Papua New Guinea attributed to the development of oil palm plantations has fallen” to a four-year low, shocking analysts who expected a post-pandemic boom.

Shareholder activists Majority Action “filed papers Tuesday asking investors in the energy giant Chevron to oust the chairman and another board member because of the company’s failure to cut” carbon pollution. After “a majority of shareholders last year called for Chevron to ‘substantially’ reduce carbon emissions, the company is planning only to cut as little as 5 percent of the emissions intensity from its energy products.” I remain skeptical of shareholder advocacy, but hey, if they can get oil companies to stop being oil companies through their petitions, I’ll be happy to admit I was wrong.

WE CAN’T REST EASY: The Florida Legislature passed a bill to punish rooftop solar. Yet another Chinese coal mine disaster—a collapse at the Shunxun coal mine in Guizhou Province has killed 14 miners.

The climate catastrophe fueled by Russian oil, U.S. frackers, and Chinese coal continues. “Greater Sydney smashed by floods,” with double a year’s worth of rain since January, with nearly three feet of rain. Some areas of Sydney received five inches of rain in six hours. The Australian death toll has reached 20, with thousands having to evacuate and billions in damage.

Giving the last word to Micah Sifry, from a very thoughtful piece on the global climate movement and this historical pivot point:

So far, the only sensible call to action that I’ve seen in response to the crisis in Europe that doesn’t involve risking World War III has come from Fridays for Future (FFF), the global youth movement inspired by Greta Thunberg’s weekly protests addressing climate change.

Hearings on the Hill:

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