President Trump talked about “draining the swamp” as a major part of his campaign platform and yet he put in an EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt, who appears to be the definition of “the swamp” that Trump promised to evacuate. We highlight some of Pruitt’s worst offenses including scrapping the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, instructing EPA staff to boldly deny the dangers of anthropogenic climate change, removing decision-making power from regional EPA directors, and accepting illegal gifts – in the form of cheap rent – from a fossil fuel energy lobbyist. Take some deep breaths before you dive in on this one – it may make you see red!Read more
Massachusetts continues to demonstrate it’s leadership on climate issues. Maura Healy gets a win over Exxon and fights door to door greenwashing scams. Charley Baker gets a thumbs up for a ‘point of sale’ energy audit but a thumbs down for a poison pill proposal to put natural gas in a ‘clean peak power’ package. The Northern Pass finally gets rejected, and a pipeline lobbyist lurks on constituent emails, but then cleverly hits ‘Reply all’ to comment. Hmmm….Read more
Two items this week signal the inevitability of climate as a central issue in our politics. First, Boston held hearings on it’s resilience to ominously threatening sea levels. Second, in the West Roxbury trial of pipeline protestors, the court was able to dodge the central question but clearly gave the go-ahead for climate activist to pursue a ‘necessity defense’ of their actions. Listen in as we discuss.Read more
The March for Our Lives expanded the conversation about guns to include everyday chronic violence, not just spectacular events in schools. That is a good lesson for Climate Hawks who should work to find the ‘intersections’ of global warming with other issues like environmental justice. The second lesson for us all is the need to translate our marching enthusiasm into a march to the polls next November. That is where the change comes from! Listen in.Read more
In a court case about global warming impacts, brought by Bay Area cities against big oil companies, the judges has asked for a tutorial on the scientific basis for the suit. That is a refreshing approach, since the truth has a certain stickiness in legal proceedings. We discuss the general situation and the eight specific questions the judge posed. Listen in.Read more
Stephen Hawking, you are among the stars. Your brilliance illuminated our world; you will be missed. This episode is a continuation of our environmental justice focus from Thursday. Arnold Schwarzenegger promises to terminate fossil fuels, using lawsuits as his weapon of choice. We cover recent EJ news from Uniontown, AL, Flint, MI, Bismarck, ND, and Puerto Rico. Bill McKibben advises us all to protest any new fossil fuel infrastructure. Tune in to hear the details.
School walkouts driven by the Parkland tragedy are an inspiration to climate hawks. It is good to keep in mind that the Florida high school’s namesake, Marjory Stoneman Douglas , was an early environmental champion who was instrumental in the protection of the Everglades. She was also one of the first to connect environmental concerns to social concerns like civil rights and the woman’s movement. Environmental Justice has become more and more important to the climate movement, so it deserves more discussion.
A recent court ruling to lift the Trump Administration’s stay against Kelsey Juliana vs. US government may be the first chink in the armor of the government/fossil fuel industry complex. We put on our long black court robes and discuss. Might this set the foundation to declare the domestic fossil fuel industry unconstitutional? In local news, we talk about unique styles of protest in RI and MA against offshore drilling. Listen in!Read more
This week’s storm, the second ‘once in a century’ kind of storm this year reveals that we need a coherent statewide policy to develop clean energy. Senate bill 2302 (An Act to promote a clean energy future) sponsored by Senator Pacheco gives us a blueprint to build that future. Listen in, then call your Senator.
Temperatures in the North Pole are usually around -2oF this time of winter. This past week they were a record-breaking 43oF, surprising even the scientists with the speed of warming. Santa and his elves may need to relocate their workshop next year if this kind of warming continues! Santa’s is not the only business model that is being disrupted—electric companies are scrambling to fit in with 21st-century energy generation. In the wake of energy efficiency and renewable energy technology, the utility business model of charging by the watt is looking pretty dim. We discuss the difficulties of envisioning long timelines associated with climate change, but also how seeing impacts today is causing a paradigm shift for many that were once deniers. Ted tucks another Easter egg into this episode, about a business model that will benefit, or at least not get caught by the law, from on-site renewable energy generation. Tune in for more.Read more