This edition offers articles and perspectives from sources and voices other than “mainstream media”. So, no articles from the New York Times, Washington Post, and The Guardian! It’s not that they didn’t produce volumes of good reporting and opinions, especially about COP26. But we’ll learn about COP26, Eco Right views, and our usual subjects from a plethora of other entities who take these subjects very seriously.
Many, many articles about this much anticipated but arguably so far disappointing UN conference being held in Glasgow Scotland. Here’s a potpourri covering some of the many aspects:
- As COP26 was getting underway, Grist ran a story about nations’ underreporting their emissions data.
- RMI says 1.5oC might still be in reach.
- Generation 180 explained the deal, as did Sierra Club, which also recorded scenes from the Glasgow streets. As did Techonomy. And Grist.
- So did Canary Media, which also saw reason to “hope”. It also reported that small island nations have difficulty obtaining financing for needed climate adaptation measures.
- The World Resources Institute provided a “Resource Hub.”
- The Economist has a UTube video on COP26’s success.
- NPR provided a summary overview. (Yes, they are mainstream.)
The Eco Right
There are a number of groups and individuals—self‑described conservatives—who acknowledge the need for climate action. Here is a sampling of some recent articles and links:
- Courtesy of RepublicEn.org and American Conservation Coalition, which offered the following in their recent email newsletters….
- Three Republican Senators propose a climate plan that strives to reduce global emissions 40 percent by 2050.
- Former member and FERC chair Neil Chatterjee supports a carbon dividends policy as one market-based solution.
- Canadian PM Trudeau urged all countries to agree to some sort of global price on carbon.… “Not only will that encourage innovation, it will give that clear price signal to the private sector that making the right capital investments to transform to lower emissions makes sense …” he said. The American Petroleum Institute says it endorses a “carbon pricing model.”
- The Global Methane Pledge at COP26, which, if honored, would reduce warming by at least 0.2C by 2050, EU and US leaders say. Methane is the second most important greenhouse gas warming the planet, after carbon dioxide…, produced when countries burn oil, coal and natural gas for energy.
- GOP COP26 delegation leader Rep. John Curtis told Inside Climate News that COP followers should watch for his coalition to “talk about U.S. innovation—nuclear, carbon sequestration, hydrogen, those types of things, and ways that we can support the president, such as holding China and Russia accountable. We’ll be looking for those opportunities to show that we are sincere about this and we really would like to work with our Democratic colleagues.” Green Market Revolution touted an “International Declaration on Market Environmentalism” signed by 130 companies and governments.
- Just prior to the COP, former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called out those who cite job loss as a reason not to implement climate policies, noting California has experienced “an increase in job creation since 1990, about 35 percent in [the] green sector…. It shows you … can protect the environment and … the economy at the same time.”
- This segment from CNN delves into the history on climate science denialism and features [RepublicEn founder Bob Inglis talking about how to depolarize the issue. Mr. Inglis also said “It’s Time for America to Embrace Carbon Border Adjustments.”
- A freshman Republican Congressman wants to restore the numbers of his party’s members in the “depleted” House climate caucus.
- The Audubon Society talked with several folks about what sort of climate action they favor.
Events, News, and Opinions
- A UK company developed a new prototype for EV buses that will be cheaper than diesel-powered ones.
- “Weslee Andrews, entrepreneur and philanthropist …, recently announced an exciting new endeavor of the launch of a micro-electric car model within the Europe and UK areas.”
- “In major shift, IEA World Energy Outlook mainstreams 1.5°C pathway, showing need to end oil, gas, and coal expansion.” IEA is the International Energy Agency. The same outlet, Oil Change International also produced this report: “New Report: Emissions from Proposed U.S. Fossil Fuel Projects Equivalent to Doubling U.S. Coal Plants if Biden Approves Construction.”
- This working paper by the International Monetary Fund is wonky, but the conclusion is clear: The world is “Still Not Getting Energy Prices Right.”
- Biden’s Infrastructure Bill, Build Back Better, passed. [Clean Technica, Morning Consult, RMI, The American Prospect, VA Mercury, Canary Media]
- Meanwhile, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case that could waylay some of his climate plans.
- The Biden Administration’s recent oil and gas lease auction even as COP26 was underway provoked a lot of comment. [Associated Press]
- Biden reversed a Trump decision and restored protections to two Bears Ears national monuments.
- “Seven major offshore wind farms would be developed on the East and West coasts and in the Gulf of Mexico under a plan announced by the Biden administration.”
- The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) weighed in on…
- The need for greater vehicle efficiencies.
- RMI gave its take on: green hydrogen; Russia’s projects that could boost methane emissions; and steel, aviation, and shipping industry leaders’ rallying around “pathways for decarbonization”.
- The Center for American Progress (americanprogress.org) laid out its views on new Federal spending for “Creating a Domestic U.S. Supply Chain for Clean Energy Technology.”
- S&P Global reported that “Investors with $60 trillion in assets call on utilities to decarbonize by 2035.” Global Citizen issued a report that concluded “Investing in Renewable Energy Creates More Jobs Than Spending on Fossil Fuels.”
- The Southern Environmental Law Center covered what’s good and bad about solar policy; how protecting Southern forests is a vital climate change solution;
- Canary Media offered information about new transmission line technology that can easily double clean energy capacity; Bill Gates’ funding of a nuclear startup that will completely change a Wyoming coal plant; making low-carbon cement; “why oil prices are surging”; green hydrogen’s “boost” at COP26.
- Grist said the renewable energy industry is as bad as fossil fuel companies on human rights violations.
- Grist also provided this sobering reporting: “Flooding could shut down one-quarter of America’s critical infrastructure. Hospitals, airports, and other public services are at risk.”
- ProPublica developed a detailed map of US cancer hotspots using EPA data on industrial air pollution. The Radford Arsenal is included.
- The Wildlands Network proudly announced that the Infrastructure bill included $350 million for a wildlife corridor and crossing pilot program.
- The Environmental Defense Fund developed a map documenting over 80,000 “orphaned” oil and gas wells in the US and arguing “Improperly abandoned wells nationwide are leaking methane, air toxics and contaminate groundwater—now’s the time to act”.
(Some of) The States–
- A Texas paper offered suggestions for actions by individuals.
- Another said there may be a market for biofuels.
- Environmentalists told the EPA chief that they need air pollution monitoring and aren’t impressed with what carbon sequestration can do.
- Other activists want the EPA to sanction a steelmaker “over its history of pollution” and air permit violations.
- A company in Geismar broke ground on an expansion of its “renewal diesel” plant. The LA governor said this will move the state closer to its 2050 net-zero goals.
- Another company, in Ascension Parish, “will build a $4.5 billion clean energy facility [to produce blue hydrogen] …, a project that Gov. John Bel Edwards said will help the state’s work to reduce carbon emissions in the heart of the petrochemical corridor.”
- ABC affiliate TV station KTBS aired an investigative story on fracking and “forever chemicals.”
- Essayist Jonathan Olivier, writing in The Bitter Southerner, says “In Louisiana, we’re tired of being resilient.”
- Appalachian Voices isn’t impressed with NC’s new ratepayer law, signed into law by the governor.
- In a lawsuit, “Civil rights and environmental advocates question DEQ permitting of hog biogas operations, point to disproportionate impact on communities of color.” Commercial poultry farms are an $80 billion business that is largely unregulated.
- NC’s Carteret County News‑Times crowed about the state’s being “3rd in nation for solar energy growth, 10th in renewable energy overall.”
- Some coastal SC communities are contemplating “managed retreat from climate change.” This NPR story helps explain why.
- Florida turned down two projects for oil drilling in the Everglades. Environmentalists are challenging other such planned projects.
- Coastal Georgia stands to benefit from the infrastructure, a local online paper, The Tide, reported.
- Florida station WMOT reported on rising flood insurance rates for Floridians (and residents of other states).
West Virginia/Appalachia/Ohio River Valley
- WV Public Radio said coal’s recent rebound may not last.
- A WV coal plant’s intent to remain operating could benefit one of its Senators.
- The Charleston Gazette‑Mail ran a story, “West Virginia at risk for greater climate change costs with Manchin holding out on spending plan.”
- The Black Appalachian Coalition wants to ensure black voices are heard on energy and other issues.
- A recent report by “regional and national clean energy advocacy groups … makes the case that fully remediating coal ash disposal sites would create more jobs and protect communities as more coal plants close in the region….”
Sierra Club applauded the decision to deny permits for two fracked gas plants.
Activists said no to coal ash being put in Memphis’ landfill.
Ideas, Events, Entertainment and Information
- Sierra Club/Falls of the James Group Webinar: MONARCHS: ENDANGERED BUT NOT PROTECTED – Jan. 11, 2022, 7 PM. Register here.
- Check out these short TED Talks on: tracking carbon emissions, Palau’s children asking visitors to “leave no trace”, “the mighty power and flavor of plants,” and the “powerful women on the front lines of climate action.”
- Popular Science asked: “Solar power got cheap. So Why Aren’t We Using It More?”
- Canary Media announced a newsmagazine, “The Carbon Copy,” and a podcast, “The Catalyst.” It also ran an opinion piece (in mid-October) whose author said “the transition to renewables is inevitable based on sheer economics.” In addition, it covered a California effort to make lithium production cleaner. Listen to this podcast by one of its top reporters, David Roberts, offering “glimmers of climate optimism.” Here’s another podcast about California’s plan to enlist efficiency providers’ help preventing future blackouts, by paying them.
- Augusta Free Press ran an article that provided suggestions for “Investment in green technology and alternative energies.”
- Listen to the author of Diet for a Small Planet, Janet Moore Lappé, talk about her book’s legacy; it was published 50 years ago.
- Learn about how saving wetlands can “save the world” in this 17-minute Science Friday program. Another SF program described how indigenous Enbridge pipeline protesters helped save “Almost A Billion Tons Of Carbon Per Year.”
- Take a peek at Canary Media’s “Chart of the Week” showing “Solar’s breathtaking price plunge and dizzying generation growth.”
- Grist says anger over climate change can be a good thing.
- Grist also reported that California’s “dirty little secret” is “oil wells in the backyard.”
- Catch this 6‑minute story that aired on Ohio public radio station WBUR on how “Ohio’s only national park fights climate change.”
- From San Francisco, “Roll Over Easy radio host Luke Spray [gives his ideas] on changing the way we look at our city.”
Happy Thanksgiving from CAAV and Joy Loving, CAAV Steering Committee