In a landmark ruling, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (the SJC) clarified the definition of the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA), and ordered the state to impose a limit on greenhouse gas emissions, not just attempt to do so! This is a big deal, with implications and ramifications that will take years to work out. It is a great start for Massachusetts to become a clean energy leader!
The important conclusion is from p38 of the ruling:
Although the department [of Environmental Protection]'s cited regulatory initiatives are important to the Commonwealth's overall scheme of reducing greenhouse gas emissions over time, they do not fulfil the specific requirements [of section] § 3 (d.) The purpose of [the GWSA] is to attain actual, measurable, and permanent emissions reductions in the Commonwealth, and the Legislature included [section] § 3 (d) in the statute to ensure that legally mandated reductions are realized by the 2020 deadline. Accordingly, we vacate the judgment of the Superior Court and remand the matter for entry of a judgment declaring that [the GWSA, section] § 3 (d), requires the department to promulgate regulations that address multiple sources or categories of sources of greenhouse gas emissions, impose a limit on emissions that may be released, limit the aggregate emissions released from each group of regulated sources or categories of sources, set emission limits for each year, and set limits that decline on an annual basis.
So ordered.Read more
This has been a busy week for under-the-radar news. Exxon is feeling the legal heat from Climate Hawks and is trying to strike back. We discuss the plans. In Ft McMurray Canada, the heat is on due to wildfires traceable to climate change. In Paris last December, the agreement essentially targeted a 1.5C temperature rise limit which has big implications that only now are becoming apparent. Finally, the Massachusetts Omnibus Energy bill is being written now- it is a good time to call your representative. You can see a backgrounder presentation here. Here is what to ask for:
- Two thousand megawatts of offshore wind
- Increase Renewable Portfolio Standard to 2% year
- Environmental standards for massive electricity transmission project and
- PLEASE ask them to vote against the bill altogether if it includes a pipeline tax!
- Don’t know your Representative or Senator?
The Paris Agreement took another step toward full implementation on Earth Day, when many countries actually signed the agreement. This is good news for the planet. In the state of Washington, a judge ordered the state to implement a climate plan. This opens another path to force change! The spawn of Mitt Romney’s old superPAC is launching an attack campaign against the likes of Bill McKibben, so be ready for some nasty messages. Down in Louisiana, the first American ‘climate refugees’ can begin moving to new homes. Is this the start of something big? Finally Jimmy Kimmel makes a great point about who to believe in the realm of climate science, but DR tries to decipher the meaning of the code words “human activity.” Listen in!Read more
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Because we recognize the necessity of personal accountability for our actions, because we accept responsibility for building a durable future and because we believe it is our patriotic duty as citizens to speak out, we must insist that the United States put a price on carbon.
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Pipelines dominate climate news this week with proposed projects withdrawn in Massachusetts (and NY.) The relative good news shows the power of activism. Listen in as we review recent events.Read more
For many Climate Hawks, global warming touches on deep emotions. Art, in all it’s forms, can help us deal with the anger, grief, hope and fear that the act of facing climate change can evoke. To help explore this topic, we talked to Rosanne Walsh , an artist living north of New York. Her paintings are figurative allegories which explore perceived personal responsibility for changes in the social order. Other themes that play strongly into her narrative are concerns about her personal relationship with the unparalleled spectacle of the natural world. Come listen as we discuss the role of art in dealing with the sustainability crisis of our time. See below the podcast player for a couple of her pictures.
Figure 1 The Last Roundup, Rosanne Walsh
Figure 2 Priestess of the Pines, Rosanne Walsh
Can better farming practices actually remove carbon dioxide from the air? Can it help in the ‘geo-therapy’ of the planet? Karl Thidemann of Soil4Climate thinks so. Listen in as we discuss this intriguing concept in the effort to address global warming.Read more
The Omnibus Energy Bill is making its way through the Massachusetts Legislature. We talk with Carol Oldham, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Climate Action Network (MCAN) about the good and bad of the “still to be defined” bill. Despite the huge win over Kinder Morgan there is still a lot of work to be done. (Spectra Energy: you’re next.) If you want to call your State Rep, see the link below!
Kids these days. All they think about is the future. In Oregon, a Federal judge finally agreed with their concerns. He allowed a case based on the “Public Trust” Doctrine to go forward. This is not a final win, but a step forward. Here in Massachusetts, we still have a debate on the Omnibus Energy (or should we say Climate) bill. Finally, if the Liberty Tree was a symbol of integrity and faith in the future for the American revolutionaries, wouldn’t Henry David Thoreau’s famous cabin a Walden Pond make a good symbol for Climate Hawks? Listen in.Read more
ClimateX is a proposal to provide a tailored path toward a large selection of on-line higher-ed courses on global warming. The mentoring is targeted at the specific interests of individual Climate Hawks. This customization is designed to help anyone with an internet connection to learn what they need to know in order to pursue their career and activism goals. Listen is as we explore MOOCs (Massive open online courses) and “Recommenders” with the idea’s creators, Rajesh Kasturirangan and Dave Damm-Luhr. If you like what you hear, sign up to vote for ClimateX in the Climate CoLab idea competition. Here is what to do:
- Register with the Climate CoLab.
- Once you have a CoLab account, go to the ClimateX page.
- On the ClimateX page, click the big blue button in the upper right that says "Vote."
The deadline is April 22, so act now!Read more