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“Who cares if Miami is six metres underwater in 100 years?”



LinkedIn has had a more exciting few days than usual. Communications consultant Caroline Dennett has dumped Shell as a client after 11 years, sharing the news in an epic LinkedIn post and video. Dennett quit because “Shell is operating beyond the design limits of our planetary systems” and “ignores all the alarms and dismisses the risks of climate change and ecological collapse.” She sent blasted her resignation in an email to the Shell executive committee, and cc’ed 1,400 Shell staff and contractors, encouraging them to join her.

Stuart Kirk, the head of responsible investing for HSBC, Europe’s largest bank, would rather get fired than quit. He made a presentation on Friday at the Financial Times Moral Money (sic) Conference, sponsored by Bank of America, McKinsey Consulting, HSBC, and Deloitte, on “why investors need not worry about climate risk,” in which he angrily complained about the “nutjobs” making him work on climate change:

“Unsubstantiated, shrill, partisan, self-serving, apocalyptic warnings are ALWAYS wrong.”

HSBC CEO Noel Quinn then took to LinkedIn to claim the views of Kirk, a member of the senior leadership of HSBC Asset Management, “do not reflect the views of the senior leadership of HSBC or HSBC Asset Management.” On Sunday, Kirk was “suspended until the bank completes an internal investigation into the matter.”

In a more somber transition, we’re remembering public interest lawyer and environmental leader Donald K. Ross, one of the original Nader’s Raiders, who passed away on Saturday at the age of 78.


After Australians had their first real taste of climate apocalypse, Chris Dite writes, voters have sent both Greens and the corporate-climate Teals to Parliament. “Rather than relax, the climate strikers should put maximum pressure on the Greens and Teals to draw ambitious red lines and refuse to cross them in any upcoming interparty negotiations.”

Pay Up Polluters reports on a climate suit win: “The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit today ruled that Rhode Island’s lawsuit against 21 fossil fuel corporations — including ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron, and Shell — can proceed in state court,” the tenth time judges have ruled against Big Oil’s attempts to take climate cases to federal court.

“A U.S. District Court judge blocked a plan approved by federal agencies for 35 fracked gas wells across 30,000 acres of U.S. Forest Service land between Gunnison and the Grand Mesa,” writes the Colorado Sun’s Michael Booth, “handing a victory to environmental groups suing the government for failing to take climate change into account in approving new drilling.”

A Bedouin child walks alongside a flock of sheep in the al-Henniyah area outside Najaf, during a sandstorm sweeping Iraq. Credit: Qassem Al-Kaabi.

Oh, also: 530 years after Christopher Columbus, The New York Times re-discovered Haiti.

It’s another busy week on the Hill.

EARMARKETING: Members of Congress are discussing their budgetary priorities for fiscal year 2023 in “member’s day” meetings before House Appropriations — for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education on Tuesday, and for Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Energy and Water Development, and Agriculture on Wednesday.

APPROPRIATELY: Other appropriations hearings: Deanne Criswell, Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, presents the $30 billion FEMA request, which anticipates $20 billion to be spent for major disasters. Samantha Power, Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, discusses the $30 billion USAID request, which includes $2.3 billion for international climate change programs. And Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro defends the $231 billion Navy and Marine Corps budget request, with $719 million—0.3 percent—officially dedicated to renewable energy, energy efficiency, and climate change efforts. There will also be a hearing on the $1.1 billion request for the clean up of military toxic sites.

BILLS ON FLOODS, FIRES, AND DROUGHT: On Tuesday, House Natural Resources considers Rep. Betty McCollum’s (D-Minn.) Boundary Waters Wilderness Protection and Pollution Prevention Act, which would protect over 200,000 acres of Minnesota wilderness from sulfide-ore copper mining. On Wednesday, House Financial Services reviews multiple proposals to reform and reauthorize the insolvent National Flood Insurance Program, receiving testimony from Dr. Carolyn Kousky and others. Senate Commerce chair Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) marks up legislation to improve wildfire forecasting and gasoline-price oversight, and Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs chair Gary Peters (D-Mich.) marks up federal electric vehicle battery management, federal firefighter compensation, and FEMA turnover bills. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) receives testimony on water and power bills that deal with drought preparedness, drought funding, and western water infrastructure, playing catch-up with the desertifying Southwest.

On Wednesday, Joseph Goffman appears before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee for his nomination to be Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation at the Environmental Protection Agency.

Finally, there are three agriculture and forestry hearings of interest. On Tuesday, the House Climate Crisis Committee holds a hearing on building an affordable and resilient food supply chain; on Wednesday there is a hearing on the conservation workforce, which could include the Civilian Climate Corps; on Thursday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack testifies before the Senate on challenges facing farmers.


People are losing sleep because of global warming—an average of 44 hours of sleep a year, scientists estimate, as our fossil-fueled nights get hotter.

It’s Justice40 Week—more on that in tomorrow’s Hill Heat. Tomorrow, voters go to the polls in Georgia, Texas, Alabama, and Arkansas for some key climate races.

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