The World Will Not End In Ice

We're just going to have to adapt


Although ice would suffice for destruction, we’re headed in the other direction.

The International Energy Agency’s new World Energy Outlook report finds that global fossil fuel demand is set to peak by 2030, which means that “claims that oil and gas represent safe or secure choices for the world’s energy and climate future look weaker than ever,” IEA chief Fatih Birol chides. But greenhouse pollution will send the world shooting past the guardrails set by the Paris agreement—and scientists are now reporting even those politically ambitious goals are insufficient to stop the melting of the Antarctic.

“Our study is not great news — we may have lost control of the west Antarctic ice shelf melting over the 21st century,” lead author Kaitlin Naughten, an ocean modeler with the British Antarctic Survey, told reporters. “West Antarctic ice shelf melting is one impact of climate change that we’re probably just going to have to adapt to, and that very likely means some amount of sea level rise we cannot avoid. Coastal communities will either have to build around or be abandoned.”

In other coldish news, Arctic and temperate puffins are crossbreeding as global warming makes their ranges overlap and their populations plummet. “The Bjørnøya puffins appear to be unique,” explains Lydia Larsen, “an entire population of hybrids bred recently by two subspecies after one migrated southward.”

And scientists who conducted a comprehensive survey of the Mountain west’s glaciers report that Colorado’s Taylor Glacier, Wyoming’s Petersen Glacier, Montana’s Grasshopper Glacier, and many more are no more.

A Bjørnøya puffin. Credit: Kjetil Flannum

THAT DEAL LOOKS GREEN: White House economic advisor Heather Boushey reports that since the start of the Joe Biden presidency there has been $133 billion in private investment in nearly 100 gigawatts of renewable energy generation, mostly solar, batteries, and wind, adding 21,000 jobs in power generation and supply. Bidenomics, baby!

Yesterday, the White House released its Arctic plan, showing a clear dedication to moving away from fossil-fuel extraction in the melting Arctic.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finally proposed banning the cancer-causing chemical trichloroethylene, “which can be found in consumer products including automobile brake cleaners, furniture care and arts and crafts spray coating,” AP environment reporter Michael Casey writes. The fight to hold polluter W.R. Grace responsible for dumping TCE on Woburn, Mass. and decimating the community with leukemia and other cancers was made famous by A Civil Action. The proposed ban, long overdue, has been championed by Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) for years.

Tomorrow morning will begin with the federal workers’ bike ride and rally from Cleveland Park to Dupont Circle. At the same time, Axios is hosting a Underwriters Laboratories-sponsored breakfast on energy efficiency standards with Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) and climate-activist billionaire Tom Steyer at the Long View Gallery. Refreshments are available at both!

Mr. Bong Fish Sausage Will Make You Strong

Extracting some extraction updates: Ignoring Birol’s admonishment, Axios Generate sponsor Chevron has announced it is buying oil giant Hess for $53 billion—giving the Hess family $5 billion.

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The timing of today’s hearings are contingent on this morning’s closed Republican balloting to choose their next sacrificial nominee for Speaker of the House. Going into the meeting, there were seven candidates: Reps. Kevin Hern (Okla.), Austin Scott (Ga.), Jack Bergman (Mich.), Pete Sessions (Texas), Majority Whip Tom Emmer (Minn.), Mike Johnson (La.), and Byron Donalds (Fla.).

At some point, the House Natural Resources Committee marks up conservation, border control, and offshore drilling legislation. The three controversial bills are H.R. 5283 from Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.), which would prohibit the use of federal lands for housing illegal immigrants and revoke the lease for immigrant housing at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn; H.R. 5616 from Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.), requiring more offshore lease sales; and H.R. 4587 from Rep. John Rutherford (R-Fla.), preventing NOAA from protecting red snapper from overfishing.

Similarly at some point, the House Transportation water resources subcommittee reviews the Water Resources Development Acts with Army Corps of Engineers officials.

At 1 pm, maybe, a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee marks up 17 nuclear, hydropower, and anti-energy-efficiency bills, including Rep. Debbie Lesko’s (R-Ariz.) so-called Hands Off Our Home Appliances Act.

At 2 PM, possibly, the House Financial Services insurance subcommittee receives testimony on factors influencing property and casualty insurance markets. Witnesses include reinsurance industry lobbyist Frank Nutter and Environmental Defense Fund economist Dr. Carolyn Kousky. As climate disasters put increasing pressure on insurance markets, Republicans on the committee are offering the answer of eliminating the Federal Insurance Office.

Hearings on the Hill:

Climate Action Tomorrow Morning:

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