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We are entering clima incognita

News for nerds: Sinema out, Lawlor in, PREPA, jalapeños, and icebergs


“We are entering clima incognita, the unknown climate. Here be dragons, and some of them are fires 20 miles wide.”

Never change, Gray Lady!

Williams Companies fracked-gas greenwashing

The Fires Sweeping Across Texas Offer a Terrifying Warning, but We Won’t Listen Because It Doesn’t Pay The Bills.

And now, news for nerds.

NEWS FOR POLITICS NERDS: It’s Super Tuesday! Primary School has the exhaustive rundown of the many races on the California ballot.

Committed triathlete and part-time Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) is soon to be named the director of some Silicon Valley venture capital firm or maybe a Wall Street hedge fund or perhaps a junior assistant winemaker.

Tonight at 7 pm, the People’s Action coalition is holding the People’s House Party, a live webinar on electing and defending progressive leaders up and down the ballot in 2024. Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), one of the many Green New Deal champions under attack from the GOP-billionaire-backed AIPAC, will be a special guest.

NEWS FOR INTERNATIONAL CLIMATE NEGOTIATOR NERDS: Rebecca Lawlor, the extremely sharp economist who is the Treasury Department’s deputy director of the Office of Climate and Environment, has been nominated as the US representative to the UN’s new Loss and Damage Fund, with State Department official Christina Chan, described by Sara Schonhardt as “Biden’s fixer on loss and damage,” her alternate.

I don’t agree that we are a force for ill,” retiring US climate negotiator John Kerry told the Guardian’s Fiona Harvey, even though the United States is responsible for a third of the world’s oil and gas expansion plans. “Yes, we’re the largest producer in the world,” he conceded. “But the gas transition, getting gas to replace oil and coal, has been a critical reducer of emissions,” he argued, which is a great argument, other than being false.

Speaking of food demand, Brian Reinhart demolishes myths about why jalapeño peppers have become less spicy, in a delightfully written dish. Big Salsa is to blame, with their embrace of the excessively mild TAM II pepper, which allows them to churn out a reliable product. To keep the kick in your chilaquiles, ask your local grocer to stock Mitla and Early jalapeños instead of blah TAMs.

NEWS FOR UTILITY NERDS: In a surprise move, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission blocked private equity giant Bridgepoint Group’s planned $1.1 billion acquisition of the Energy Capital Partners, one of the nation’s largest owners of gas-fired power plants. Public Citizen’s Tyson Slocum played a key role in the decision, disclosing to FERC that Bridgetpoint and ECP somehow failed to mention their shared ownership structure.

Puerto Rico’s energy future is being decided now in a New York courtroom, with a two-week hearing before New York District Court Judge Laura Taylor Swain to restructure the bankrupt Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA). Vulture capitalists are enraged by the plan to wipe out most of PREPA’s debt.

NEWS FOR GRADUAL DECOUPLING NERDS: Tomorrow morning Axios is hosting White House climate czar John Podesta, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, and climate-hawk Rep. Mike Levin (D-Calif.) for a breakfast discussion of the Inflation Reduction Act’s support for clean-energy investment.

For example, Ariel Wittenberg writes, hospitals and other health-care centers are gradually decarbonizing thanks to the IRA.

In an interview with Grist’s Akielly Hu and Joseph Winters, ecological economist Jefim Vogel likens optimism around a gradual decoupling of economic growth from climate pollution to saying, “Don’t worry, we’re slowing down,” while the Titanic races toward an iceberg.

Climate Action Today:

I read “There Will Come Soft Rains” for the first time this morning. August 24, 2026 is not distant, now.

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

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