Taxes for the Elect and the Damned: The Climate Minute

The right wing of our political system has achieved its goal of a tax cut for the super rich. Regarding clean energy, the details of the language went from extremely bad to just very bad. Still, understanding the impetus for passing such a destructive piece of legislation is important, and sheds light on the opposition to climate fixes. Could the fervor for tax cuts be due to a distorted idea that the rich are deserving of their good fortune and should be protected from the lazy poor, whose status is their own responsibility? Does that rewind to a religious fundamentalism that classifies us into ‘the elect’ and ‘the damned?’ Does the bill align with a magical belief in ‘trickle down’ economics, just as the same wing of the party discounts science and believes that climate change is a hoax? A party that believes the very function of government is at odds with the best interests of the virtuous rich can only be destructive to democracy. Please vote in 2018.

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Banned in Boston: The Climate Minute

Boston maintains it reputation for forward thinking environmental leadership by banning plastic shopping bags. Kudos to the city and to the activists who fought for this win. Such environmental leadership is part and parcel of the ‘public trust’ that our governments hold.  The legal doctrine underlying this idea is central to a court case, in which a group of high-school students claim that the Federal Government has betrayed the public trust by not ensuring them a livable future. The case goes by the name “Juliana V United States.” This is one to watch, with interesting consequence if the kids prevail. Oh, and by the way, Anheuser-Busch and Pepsi are buying lots of Tesla’s electric trucks. How cool is that?   Listen in.

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Doug Jones good, Ajit Pai bad: The Climate Minute

Will the end of net neutrality make climate activism harder? Perhaps- groups like 350 have used the open internet to organize globally. Since the tax bill in Congress is so bad for renewables, last Tuesday’s election of Doug Jones might have real consequences for climate if he can be seated soon. Listen in as we discuss.

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Taxing Clean Energy: The Climate Minute

The tax proposal before Congress will be damaging to the clean energy industry. Listen in and then call your Member of Congress.

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The future is now in the CA wildfires: The Climate Minute

Wildfires destroy parts of California, while the 45th president destroys a national monument. Listen in as we discuss.

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How to save the world with a donut or a circle: The Climate Minute

A report that African Americans are more likely to live in toxic neighborhoods near oil installations is our starting point. This unsettling fact leads us to consider an idea from the IEA recognizing the synergy between fair energy availability and carbon pollution reduction, as well as the concept of a circular economy from a UN document. (See the links for our 2015 discussion of the Next System Project.) Of course, all this is at odds with our capitalist/consumerist dogma.  Is capitalism the enemy or the savior of our planet? On a happy note, Tesla has released an electric 18-wheeler that can go 500 miles. Watch out, Peterbilt!

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Virginia’s green moves show that #WeAreStillIn: The Climate Minute

The world made more progress on climate at the ‘23rd Conference of the Parties’ in Bonn, putting some meat on the bones of the Paris Agreement.  The US gummint was present and unhelpful, but American cities and states were there in force. As evidence of the ‘sub-national’ efforts to say #WeAreStillIn, the state of Virginia moving to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI.) This is encouraging on many levels. This good news is topped off by a new study showing that in many places of the US, it is long-term cheaper to run renewable wind and solar than it is fossil fuel. That is something to be thankful for! Listen in.

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A modern-day Constitutional convention? You mean for real? The Climate Minute Podcast

This week, we discuss two significant sleeper issues that will influence climate policy for a long time to come, and a few local initiatives for Massachusetts residents.

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Imperfect allies: The Climate Minute

There is a lot going on in Bonn this week, at the annual climate conference. In addition to working out the details of the Paris Accords, there were protests of the US gummint shilling for coal, and protests against Jerry Brown for not being pure enough. Listen in as we discuss.

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Tax plan threatens clean energy: The Climate Minute

Tax reform is the big buzz in Washington, D.C. this week, but notable for climate hawks is the fact that the program is attacking renewable energy. This reform is more of a “tax cut” program, and it slashes many of the direct credits on the taxes paid by the renewable energy industry. That credit is critical for making renewable energy proposals financially viable. Notably, these credits were part of a major bipartisan deal reached in December 2015.

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