Ross Gelbspan is a climate hero, having written some of the first books highlighting the immediacy of global warming during the 1990’s. Recently, he posted a blog calling for climate activist to stop being ‘experts’ and begin a new role as the ‘catalyst’ of common work with other groups to pressure world governments to take action. Speaking of catalysts, researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory seem to have found a convenient way to take CO2 out of the air and make ethanol. How should this technology be used? We discuss.Read more
The Dakota pipeline confrontation is turning increasingly harsh. Journalist Amy Goodman was charged with rioting (but then released), Native Americans and Hollywood actresses were strip-searched and a movie maker was charged with 45 years worth of offenses. Does this mean ‘big oil’ is feeling the heat of grass roots protest? Let’s hope so! Listen in.
Your air conditioner is full of super greenhouse gases, just waiting to escape and warm the world. This week the world did something about that- it agreed to the “Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.” This will phase out the gases- known as HFC’s- and reduced the rate of warming. Listen in as we discuss.Read more
“I've stepped in the middle of seven sad forests, I've been out in front of a dozen dead oceans….It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.”
Bob Dylan won a Nobel Prize this week. His art can be (and is) continuously re-interpreted. That is the definition of great art! At the same time, the debacle at Samsung could be the logical outcome of the desire for smaller, more energetic batteries. What are the implications for storage of renewable energy? Finally we discuss such far out ideas as funding climate work from the DOD, or even using carbon fees for a universal income. Listen in, because it’s time “for my boot heels to be wanderin’”Read more
This week, the world took an enormous step toward climate sanity. With a vote in the EU parliament, enough countries with enough carbon emissions have ‘ratified’ the Paris Agreement to allow it to ‘enter into force.’ All that jargon means the agreement is law in the countries that agreed to it, including the US of A. That is a big deal, especially since the next President will not be able to withdraw our country from the agreement. The battle to actually generate clean power isn’t over however, since some people in the Senate hope to force the acceptance of burning wood to make electricity. This proposal raises complex issues, but the simple answer is “Not a good idea.” Listen in.Read more
The planet passed a woeful milestone this month. The annual minimum of CO2 in the air occurs in September at the end of the Northern Hemisphere’s summer-is greater than 400ppm. Given the long lifetime of CO2 in the atmosphere, it is unlikely that you or I, or anyone living, will see a planet with less than 400ppm in the remainder of our lives. At the same time, Bill McKibben notes that humans have already built enough mines and drilled enough wells to pollute the air beyond safe limits. That said, there is NO need to explore for new fossil fuel deposits, or even to exploit the ones the industry knows about. New wells are a waste of money, since we cannot use the oil. (Tell that to your investment advisor!) Listen in as we discuss.
A profoundly important legal battle played out in a Washington DC courtroom this week. At issue was the very legitimacy of the methods used in the Clean Power Plan. We discuss (in ‘keep it simple, stupid!’ terms) the issues and implications. Listen in!Read more
The President’s Clean Power Plan is back in court this week, with big implications for Climate Hawks. Lamar Smith continues his witch-hunt, but the SEC is turning its eye toward Exxon’s possible shareholder fraud. Finally, the Paris Agreement maintains steady progress toward full ratification. That is good news! Listen in.Read more
Governor Baker signed an Executive Order to set policy for the state related to global warming. It promises emissions targets for the year 2030 and 2040, and focuses on transportation as the next big area for reductions. The Order comes in a year that has seen two major Supreme Judicial Court rulings favoring climate action, the passage of the Omnibus Energy bill, and Baker’s own effort to make RGGI stronger. These are all good signs, a credit to climate activists, and a warning that we must maintain the pressure to fulfill the promise of these decisions.Read more
A series of very important events happened very quickly on the Dakota plains last week. After a high profile guard-dog attack on the alliance of Native American activists, a Federal judge rejected the tribe’s legal claim. But almost immediately, the Obama Administration moved to stop pipeline construction. Two days later, an arrest warrant was issued for one of the journalists covering the story. What does this all mean? Can we even tell yet? Listen in as we try to unpack some of the implications of this tumultuous week.