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
The administration’s proposal to drill for oil off Massachusetts’ coast had a pretend hearing recently, with lots of very real opposition from activists. At the same time, Eversource has tried again in NH to get approval of the Northern Pass transmission line, but time is running out. Finally we discuss some of the great speakers and sessions at the Local Environmental Action 2018 conference on March 3 at Northeastern. Ted and Mariah will be there with a booth and would be thrilled to speak with our listeners. More information on the Massachusetts Climate Action Network’s Event page http://www.massclimateaction.org/3_3_lea_conference See you there.
Today, we connect the dots between the horrific gun violence in Parkland, Florida, and climate action. Notably, science should lead policy decisions, not the other way around. We visit Pruitt’s exploits as a “first-class fool,” as well as sketchy dealings in the Department of Interior. Listen for our “easter egg” about Maxwell Smart and the “cone of silence.”
Don’t miss the Local Environmental Action conference at Northeastern University, March 3rd. Ted and Mariah will be there with a booth and would be thrilled to speak with our listeners. More information on the Massachusetts Climate Action Network’s Event page http://www.massclimateaction.org/3_3_lea_conferenceRead more
It must be said openly that the 72 degree Fahrenheit temperature record set in Boston on February 22 2018 is a clear indicator of the onset of climate change. Despite the media silence in our city, the physics of climate change progresses relentlessly. What will it take to drive climate into our media? And what is an organizing principle? AG Healy has some good ideas about how to use the money won by Massachusetts from VW’s illegal MPG rating scam. Listen in. (Don’t forget to register for the Local Environmental Action Conference March 3 at Northeastern)Read more
In a recent GRIST article, Eric Holthaus describes a devil’s bargain we have already made. The competition between the cooling, reflective particles created in burning fossil fuel and the warming effects of carbon dioxide created in burning those same fuels will end, in favor of the warming CO2, as we move to clean technologies. Listen in as we discuss this new challenge. Don’t forget to register for the Local Environmental Action Conference March 3 at Northeastern .Read more
The Globe’s editorial (Our Russian ‘pipeline’ and its ugly toll) is an outrage. Its central idea- that environmental activists are NIMBY-motivated and wink at destructive projects in other countries- is an insult to the good faith opponents . The article’s conclusion- that Massachusetts should accept the environmental damage of pipelines in towns like Pittsfield or Danvers- is designed to shame those who speak against the corporate creed of more pipelines.Read more
A new report studies the risk to chemical sites from rising seas (think Harvey in Houston.) That coupled with the casual disposal of radioactive waste from fracking is an upsetting prospect. On the happy side of the ledger, California intends to refuse permits to bring oil onto its coasts from Federally approved oil rigs. Quite an idea! Finally, Elon Musk outdoes himself with the launch of a new rocket that put an EV into space. Too cool for school! Listen in.
p.s. Register for the conference on Saturday March 3 at Northeastern U. Link below!Read more
Governor Baker’s, and Massachusetts, grand design for procuring green energy with a 192 mile power line across New Hampshire ran into problems recently. It turns out those crusty, cantankerous mountain dwellers up there were not really interested in damaging their view for the sake of a few virtuous MA-holes farther south down Route 93. The rejection of the Northern Pass plan by NH puts the MA green energy procurement plan in disarray. Plus- is EPA cooking the books-and the planet at the same time? Listen in as we discuss. (Don't forget to register for the Conference! Link below!)Read more
Join our philosophical journey through politics on today’s podcast. Should an organization dedicated to educating the public about science accept money from people with anti-science views? We visit several examples of museums who received millions to be vague about topics such as climate change. The President’s State of the Union did not mention climate change – unsurprisingly—but we were disappointed that so few of the Democrats responses addressed the problems with “beautiful, clean coal.” Can climate hawks force climate change amelioration to the top of the list for candidates? How would a candidate fare if they focused solely on a climate platform? Along those lines, we discuss New Jersey’s new governor, Phil Murphy, who included climate issues in his platform. Governor Murphy rejoined the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), hoping to get back some of the money lost when Chris Christie pulled them out of the agreement. Tune in for more
The Baker Administration gave approval to a 20-year long contract for the supply of green hydro-electric power. The big winner was Eversource. The deal involves construction (by Eversource) of a 192 mile high voltage line across the mountains of New Hampshire. Both the decision-making process and the decision itself beg questioning. Eversource appears to be both contestant and judge of the proposal, since it owns the Northern Pass infrastructure and will be it’s customer. Further, the wisdom of a 20 year commitment to this system, thus foregoing the opportunity to develop a more robust energy system here in MA, is questionable. Listen in as we consider the big issues at play here.Read more