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Witnessing the consequences of inaction

The universe is vast, but there is only one beautiful planet in reach


The background of space is black.

Young Democrats are fed up with the geriatric leadership of the party—94 percent of Democratic voters under 30 want someone other than Joe Biden to run in 2024—and that frustration and anger includes the Democratic staffers in Congress. Over 200 young staffers have quickly signed on to a letter demanding Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)1 and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)2 get their caucus in order: “We’ve crafted the legislation necessary to avert climate catastrophe. It's time for you to pass it.

As CNN’s Ella Nilsen reports:

The effort to pen the staff letter started on Monday; by Tuesday, it had spread to many House and Senate offices, including offices in members’ home districts. “It’s been very quick; this is extremely popular with congressional staff,” Saul Levin, a House Democratic staffer and coordinator of the Congressional Progressive Staff Association Climate Working Group, told CNN. “It's taken no convincing, it’s like— ‘Where’s the link?’”

The letter concludes: “If we are already witnessing the consequences of inaction in your lifetime, we can scarcely imagine what we will face in ours.”

Thousands of galaxies appear all across the view. Their shapes and colors vary. Some are various shades of orange, others are white.

The solar industry would also very much like the zombie reconciliation package to pass, but the Democratic leadership is facing counter-pressure from private-equity-backed extractive-capitalist Democrats like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), who is demanding more subsidies for fossil-fuel extraction, and Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), who is hoping to blow up the last chance for any deal with the demand that taxes aren’t raised. Manchin has made deficit reduction a requirement for his sign-on, so Gottheimer’s plan is a poison pill on behalf of his sponsors.

Gottheimer needs to get four other corporate-shill Democrats to join him to scuttle reconciliation—Hans Nichols reports he’s looking at Reps. Carolyn Bourdeaux (D-Ga.), Ed Case (D-Hawaii), Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.), Susie Lee (D-Nev.) Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) and Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.).

Even if Gottheimer is thwarted, the billionaire-loving Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) is waiting, shiv in hand.

All of this is why climate activists are planning to shut down the corporate love-fest that is the Congressional Baseball Game at the end of the month.

Most stars appear blue, and are sometimes as large as more distant galaxies that appear next to them.

Today, thanks to the hard work of all of those Congressional staffers, there are hearings on nuclear waste cleanup, the state of the aviation industry, the federally subsidized forestry industry, and the Small Business Administration’s Office of Disaster Assistance.

Senators Mazie Hirono (D-Calif.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.) will preside over extremely different takes on energy prices, and Secretary Deb Haaland testifies on the Interior Department budget before Sen. Jeff Merkley’s (D-Ore.) subcommittee.

The Senate environment committee has a hearing on air-pollution monitoring legislation, with WEACT’s Dana Johnson up against theocratic Texan natural gas lobbyist Jason Isaac among the witnesses, and Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) is marking up his Climate Adaptation Science Centers Act among other legislation.

A very bright star is just above and left of center. It has eight bright blue, long diffraction spikes. Between 4 o’clock and 6 o’clock in its spikes are several very bright galaxies. A group of three are in the middle, and two are closer to 4 o’clock.

The Biden administration is helping to build out electric vehicle charging stations, which has made Manchin very angry, and the White House doesn’t want that. Desperate for even a Pyrrhic reconciliation deal with Manchin, the Biden administration is considering greenlighting major, climate-destroying oil and gas projects, write the Washington Post’s Jeff Stein and Anna Phillips.

Federal agencies have recently taken steps to move projects like ConocoPhillips’ Willow oil-drilling project in the North Slope of Alaska and the fracked-gas Mountain Valley Pipeline in the Appalachias forward.

On Friday night, the Bureau of Land Management released a draft supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Willow Project, finding it would generate 250 million tons of carbon dioxide pollution over 25 years. This project is Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alaska) “top priority,” apparently because she is an arsonist.

There are now 45 days for public comment before final approval is possible. Defenders of Wildlife has guidance on how to submit a comment in opposition.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has extended the comment period on the developer’s request to extend the Mountain Valley Pipeline construction permit for another four years until July 29th. The Protect Our Water, Heritage, Rights (POWHR) coalition has further information and guidance on how to submit a comment in opposition to the permit.

These galaxies are part of the galaxy cluster SMACS 0723, and they are warping the appearances of galaxies seen around them.

The Center for International Environmental Law’s Carol Muffett and Nikki Reisch joined the Drilled podcast to parse the IPCC’s seemingly bullish report on carbon removal technologies, explaining how the summary for policymakers dangerously misrepresents the scientific work in the full report, with the fingerprints of the fossil-fuel industry everywhere.

“We need to recognize that we have solutions right in front of us,” Muffett says. “Crafting extraordinarily complex models to say that, ‘Well, maybe the solutions that we have aren’t necessary because we could invent something that might work 50 years from now’? It’s just not the way to address this crisis.”

Amy Westervelt has put up the transcript, or you can simply listen!

Long orange arcs appear at left and right toward the center.

TRANSITIONS: Recognizing the death of the Build Back Better dream, the Build Back Fossil Free coalition is now People vs. Fossil Fuels. Yasmin Radjy is SwingLeft’s new executive director. Yong Jung Cho has left the Green New Deal Network after building up its national network of local coalitions to get a Kennedy School MPA. Bethany Maki has taken over from Phil Radford as executive director of Progressive Multiplier.

Tree branches do not normally rain down on airplanes. Climate protestors brought the hellishly hot Tour de France to a halt. Kids are putting Montana on trial for unhealthy climate policies. The climate crisis is driving food nationalism. A gigawatt of bitcoin mining was shut down to relieve pressure on the broiling Texas power grid.

Hearings on the Hill:

Our final word today from Turkish winemaker Can Ortabaş, as the ancient vineyards of Turkey die from climate pollution:

“I’m so sorry about it because there is only one beautiful planet. We are trying to go to the other planets, and there is only dust and minus 500, plus 300 centigrade. But we still don't take care of this planet.”

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