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Turning and turning in the widening gyre

Musk, Manchin, heat pumps, potatoes, and turtles v. dachsunds


Humanity is on a “spiral of self-destruction,” a new U.N. report finds. “The scale and intensity of disasters are increasing, with more people killed or affected by disasters in the last five years than in the previous five.”

Yesterday, Twitter announced that Elon Musk, Twitter’s biggest troll and apparently the wealthiest being in the world, is acquiring Twitter. Is it the “good” Elon who champions electric vehicles and solar power, or the “bad” Elon who accuses critics of pedophilia and pumps bitcoin while shouting “free speech”? Twitter is the latest shiny toy for a middle-aged man-baby untethered from reality, full of passionate intensity; it will be used and then forgotten, anarchy loosed upon the world.

Speaking of man-babies, Joe Manchin is loving the continued desperation of the climate advocates who think they can get a deal with him. Yesterday, he moved the goalposts again, convening a group of Democrats and Republicans that included Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) in the quixotic(?) bad-faith(?) nihilist(?) pursuit of an energy package that could earn sixty votes in the U.S. Senate.

“If I can find something bipartisan, we don’t need reconciliation,” he told reporters.

In addition to the Mountain Valley Pipeline, Manchin and his fellow Republicans want “increasing oil-and-gas production on both federal and private lands, a new five-year Gulf of Mexico oil-and-gas leasing plan from the Department of Interior to replace one expiring in June, and the construction of new natural-gas pipelines and export terminals.”

Is Biden so desperate for a “win” that, lacking all conviction, he’ll go for a fossil-fuel monster? Just as importantly, are the Center for American Progress, Evergreen Action, Green New Deal Network, Climate Action Campaign, League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund?

In a big victory for climate, the state of Washington’s building codes have been updated to ban almost all gas heat for new construction: “Under Washington’s updated energy code that will take effect in July 2023, new commercial buildings – including multifamily residential buildings four stories and taller – will be built with high-efficiency electric heat pumps for water and space heating.”

New York City’s pension funds are backing resolutions at today’s shareholder meetings of Bank of America, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo, calling for no new oil or gas lending.

The corporatist Cedric Richmond, the former Louisiana representative who is a Biden senior advisor and an outspoken opponent of progressives, is leaving the White House “to enter the private sector but also will be a senior adviser to the Democratic National Committee,” “to raise funds for Democrats and act as a surrogate for the Biden administration.” In other words, he will push for more Democrats to be like him, beholden to their corporate donors.

Check out the Internationalist Green New Deal. The world keeps burning coal. Shooting for better than Trump: Biden is limiting Alaska oil leasing back to Obama levels. Germany wind-energy companies are getting hacked. Global warming is coming for Maine’s potatoes. Rich white neighborhoods get their gas leaks fixed first.

Hearings on the Hill:

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