Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker gave his State of the Commonwealth. Our climate hawk rating of his initiatives—about an 80 out of 100. Many good things for renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but a few that need work. Baker’s speech inspired us to discuss some futuristic ideas for the Commonwealth! With the upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, we also consider the future of snow—and thus, the future of snow sports at the Olympics. Tune in for more.Read more
The top five fossil fuel companies are the “tip of the spear” in leading the denial movement. Many of these companies—ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron—knew that burning fossil fuels causes climate damage; and yet they continued to burn them to protect their profits. To willingly continue to do something that you suspect will harm people is egregious neglect of care and concern for public health and a livable environment. Elected officials are civil servants; they must serve the well-being of their constituents; as such, people like NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio, and even Massachusetts’ governor Charlie Baker, are well within their rights to sue these companies for damages to people and property. We discuss some of these civil actions. In good news, Ford plans to invest $11 billion in electrifying their vehicles by 2022. Market forces pushed them into it – if they want to compete in the auto industry, electric is the future. Tune in for details!Read more
Rick Perry, Energy Secretary, put together a convoluted proposal that—in effect—served as a form of welfare for nuclear and coal power plants. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) saw Rick Perry’s wild energy “dance moves” and told him to shuffle off! Climate Hawks should be happy to know that FERC rejected Perry’s proposal as unfair to consumers and ratepayers. In another win for Climate Hawks—from an unlikely proponent—Rick Scott, Governor of Florida, convinced Ryan Zinke, Secretary of Interior, to cancel the plan to drill oil off of Florida’s coast. The Trump Administration approved the entire East and West Coasts to be opened for oil drilling. Many Republican governors, including Massachusetts’ Charlie Baker, have come out against offshore oil drilling. Please contact Governor Baker to thank him. And finally, we discuss Mayor Bill DeBlasio’s recent announcement that NYC will divest $189 billion in pension funds from fossil fuel companies in the next five years. He will also be taking legal action against some of the top carbon emitters for the damages they have inflicted upon New York City. Tune in to hear details! And please be sure to rate us on iTunes – you will help us to spread climate news!
A severe winter storm (dubbed Grayson by the Weather Channel) left Boston and coastal Massachusetts awash, surprising many in the intensity of the flooding impact. Even the Mayor noted that this is a forewarning of the future in a climate-changed world. We should work toward resiliency, but keep in mind that reduction in carbon pollution itself is the best way to protect what we love.Read more
A recent study suggests that some men regard protecting the environment as un-masculine behavior. Can that be real? We also review climate communications- does fear work better than reason? And can the Google algorithm be gamed to shows denier links first? Listen in!Read more
At a recent conference of polar scientists, the Arctic Report Card carried the headline: “Arctic shows no sign of returning to reliably frozen region of recent past decades” and a scientific article by NOAA coined the phrase "New Arctic" and began with the words: Shortly after the beginning of the 21st Century, the Arctic began an environmental transition so extensive that it caught scientists, policymakers, and residents by surprise. The extent and duration of these transitions define the New Arctic, characterized by the lowest winter maximum in sea ice cover on record for 2017, the persistent and record warming of sea surface temperatures across the Arctic, and the downward trend in total ice mass of the Greenland ice sheet, just to name a few.
Let that sink in.
In other news, climate change has been dropped from our national security strategy statement (the defining document concerning what threats we worry about as a nation), the mal-administration now recommends you avoid words like ‘evidence based’ if you want to get money for your project from the CDC, and the Interior Secretary humiliated a senior employee for tweeting about climate. But, as Mr Rogers said "when things go bad, look for the helpers." Please vote in 2018.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more