Tag: news

Will states use the Capitol riot to crack down on pipeline protests?

will states use the capitol riot to crack down on pipeline protests - Will states use the Capitol riot to crack down on pipeline protests?
will states use the capitol riot to crack down on pipeline protests - Will states use the Capitol riot to crack down on pipeline protests?

Earlier this week, with national attention focused on accountability for the pro-Trump rioters who stormed the capitol building in Washington, D.C., Ohio quietly became the 13th state since 2017 to legislate harsher penalties for trespassing on or otherwise interfering with energy and industrial infrastructure — a move that activists and civil liberties groups say is a transparent attempt to criminalize nonviolent protest.

“The whole idea behind this is to chill protests at oil and gas industry sites,” said Reverend Joan Van Becelaere, the executive director of the Unitarian Universalist Justice of Ohio, a liberal, faith-based nonprofit focused on immigration, environmental, and economic justice.…

An attack on the Capitol shattered the myth of public lands

an attack on the capitol shattered the myth of public lands - An attack on the Capitol shattered the myth of public lands
an attack on the capitol shattered the myth of public lands - An attack on the Capitol shattered the myth of public lands

A week has passed since the invasion of the Capitol by pro-Trump radicals, but a violation of that scale isn’t very quickly forgotten. As an American, one cannot help but feel a tacit sense of ownership of that building and the monuments that surround it. To see them so disrespected, especially by a seditious horde seeking to overthrow the government, is a sort of personal affront, even for those with a scant ounce of patriotism left. I, for one, thought I had lost most of my reverence for the integrity of the United States, but to see the mundane physical accessories of the legislative process — the podiums and the seats and the flags — shattered and broken throughout the “people’s house” was more viscerally upsetting than I had expected.…

Global heating could stabilize if countries go net-zero emissions, scientists say

global heating could stabilize if countries go net zero emissions scientists say - Global heating could stabilize if countries go net-zero emissions, scientists say
global heating could stabilize if countries go net zero emissions scientists say - Global heating could stabilize if countries go net-zero emissions, scientists say

This story was originally published by The Guardian and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

The world may be barreling towards climate disaster but rapidly eliminating planet-heating emissions means global temperatures could stabilize within just a couple of decades, scientists say.

For many years it was assumed that further global heating would be locked in for generations even if emissions were rapidly cut. Climate models run by scientists on future temperatures were based on a certain carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere. If this remained at the current high level there would be runaway climate disaster, with temperatures continuing to rise even if emissions were reduced because of a lag time before greenhouse gases accumulate in the atmosphere.…

How Merrick Garland could figure into Biden’s climate plans as attorney general

how merrick garland could figure into bidens climate plans as attorney general - How Merrick Garland could figure into Biden’s climate plans as attorney general
how merrick garland could figure into bidens climate plans as attorney general - How Merrick Garland could figure into Biden’s climate plans as attorney general

President-elect Joe Biden announced his pick of Merrick Garland for attorney general on Thursday, a karmically apt promotion for the longtime U.S. Court of Appeals judge almost five years after his nomination to the Supreme Court by President Obama was derailed by Senate Republicans.

Garland’s designated position as head of the Department of Justice may not sound like it has much environmental sway, but the department houses the Environment and Natural Resources Division, or ENRD, whose lawyers prosecute cases that enforce bedrock environmental laws like the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. The division also defends government actions related to climate change and the environment, like granting federal permits for pipelines.…

FERC may finally help the public understand WTF it does

ferc may finally help the public understand wtf it does - FERC may finally help the public understand WTF it does
ferc may finally help the public understand wtf it does - FERC may finally help the public understand WTF it does

If you’ve heard of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, commonly referred to as FERC, but have no idea what it does, I don’t blame you. FERC is one of the most arcane government agencies we have in the United States. Generally tasked with regulating interstate energy infrastructure like pipelines, its proceedings are incredibly technical and confusing — just ask Tyson Slocum.

As director of the energy program for Public Citizen, a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization, Slocum says he is currently involved in more than 200 of FERC’s court-like cases, which are quietly shaping the energy landscape in the United States. There are cases about pipelines and transmission lines, electricity markets and the cost of renewable energy, hydroelectric dams, liquified natural gas plants, and more.…

A wetter and warmer Alaska means dangerously slippery slopes

a wetter and warmer alaska means dangerously slippery slopes - A wetter and warmer Alaska means dangerously slippery slopes
a wetter and warmer alaska means dangerously slippery slopes - A wetter and warmer Alaska means dangerously slippery slopes

This story was originally published by High Country News and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

An hour before sundown on December 2, Lilly Ford and her family heard a “strange, low rumble” outside of her home in Haines, Alaska. It lasted about a minute as a 600-foot-wide slurry of timber, mud, soil, and debris cascaded down a nearby mountain, through a residential area, and into the ocean. “I couldn’t believe the mountain had swept people and houses away just like that — ripped the ground out from under them,” Ford said. “It’s just not something you’d ever anticipate.”…

Wildfire smoke is loaded with microbes. Is that dangerous?

wildfire smoke is loaded with microbes is that dangerous - Wildfire smoke is loaded with microbes. Is that dangerous?
wildfire smoke is loaded with microbes is that dangerous - Wildfire smoke is loaded with microbes. Is that dangerous?

This story was originally published by Wired and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

If you’re unfortunate enough to breathe wildfire smoke, you’re getting a lungful of charred plant material, noxious gases, and — if the fire tore through human structures — incinerated synthetic materials. All across the board, it’s bad stuff, proven to be a severe detriment to human health, particularly for those with respiratory conditions like asthma. And not to pile on the worries, but that haze also turns out to be loaded with microbes like bacteria and fungi.

The problem is, scientists have only just begun to study this smoky microbial community.…

The Federal Reserve just took a major step forward on climate

the federal reserve just took a major step forward on climate - The Federal Reserve just took a major step forward on climate
the federal reserve just took a major step forward on climate - The Federal Reserve just took a major step forward on climate

This story was originally published by HuffPost and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

The Federal Reserve on Tuesday took its most significant step forward on climate change, announcing that it joined a group of some 75 other central banks focused on rooting out the risk warming poses to the global financial system.

The U.S. central bank’s five-member governing board voted unanimously last week to become a formal member of the Network of Central Banks and Supervisors for Greening the Financial System, known by the acronym NSGS. The international coalition was founded in 2017 to exchange “ideas, research, and best practices on the development of environment and climate risk management for the financial sector.”…

New York’s $226 billion retirement fund will pull out of fossil fuels

new yorks 226 billion retirement fund will pull out of fossil fuels - New York’s $226 billion retirement fund will pull out of fossil fuels
new yorks 226 billion retirement fund will pull out of fossil fuels - New York’s $226 billion retirement fund will pull out of fossil fuels

The New York State Common Retirement Fund, the third-largest public pension fund in the United States, will complete a systematic review of its fossil fuel holdings, and may withdraw investment from the “riskiest” companies, by 2025. Tom DiNapoli, the state’s comptroller and the sole trustee of the currently $226 billion fund, announced the ambitious plan on Wednesday morning, further committing to transitioning the entire fund to a net-zero emissions portfolio by 2040.

Though DiNapoli did not promise blanket divestment from fossil fuels, advocates of divestment celebrated the news wholeheartedly. “Victory is ours!” State Assembly Assistant Speaker Félix Ortiz said in a statement.…

How to make a net-zero pledge that actually means something

how to make a net zero pledge that actually means something - How to make a net-zero pledge that actually means something
how to make a net zero pledge that actually means something - How to make a net-zero pledge that actually means something

The past year has seen an explosion in the number of companies announcing they are now “net-zero” or “carbon neutral,” or at least plan to be in the next 30 years. Unilever, Uber, and Facebook are just a few of the recent additions to the club, and even major oil companies like BP and Shell say they are on board. If you’re rolling your eyes and thinking this is just the latest PR stunt, you’re not wrong — if you read the fine print, companies have defined those terms for themselves in a number of different, and often not very meaningful, ways.…