From the XL Pipeline, to “saving” coal, to selling off Public Lands Trump did everything he could to gut environmental regulations and destroy the Environment. Here is some of what it is going to take to undue it, including probably 30 or 40 Executive Orders.
One word sums up what the Biden administration must do to address climate change: restart.
In 2015 nearly 200 nations committed to the Paris Agreement, which aims to prevent the worst impacts of climate change by limiting global warming by 2100 to less than two degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. The U.S. pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. Then Donald Trump was elected president. He soon announced that the U.S. would pull out of the accord, and his administration spent four years relentlessly rolling back regulations intended to curb emissions and protect the environment. Dozens of coal-burning power plants, the worst carbon polluters, shut down anyway as market forces expanded the role of cheaper, cleaner natural gas, wind and solar power. And various states, cities and industries cut emissions. Yet even with that progress, Trump’s rollbacks could add the equivalent of 1.8 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by 2035, according to the Rhodium Group, an independent research organization.
Joe Biden must now make up for lost time, and last November he said the U.S. would rejoin the Paris Agreement immediately after he became president. This commitment is important because the U.S. is still the world’s second-largest emitter, behind China, and it can return as a world climate leader. But Biden will also have to ratchet up the original U.S. pledge because warming—and its effects—has only sped up since the Paris Agreement was established. Biden promised to issue an executive order calling for net-zero emissions by 2050, but he will need to set specific interim targets. The World Resources Institute says reducing emissions to 45 to 50 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 could put the country on track.
Congressional legislation is the most effective way to create the concrete policies needed to achieve those goals because it gives federal agencies clear priorities, is much harder to override with presidential actions, and can better withstand legal challenges that might be brought by industry or special-interest groups. But the divided U.S. Senate will make sweeping laws hard to pass. Biden will have to work through executive orders and will have to charge federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency with issuing new regulations under existing laws such as the Clean Air Act. He will need to “turn every stone possible,” says Narayan Subramanian, an environmental lawyer working with the Center for Law, Energy & the Environment at Berkeley Law. The most immediate focuses are transportation, power plants, methane emissions and pesky hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
With coal plants retiring, transportation has surpassed power generation as the country’s largest carbon emitter. The quickest action Biden can take to tackle those emissions is to reinstate California’s waiver to the Clean Air Act, allowing the state to enforce its Advanced Clean Cars regulations. The regulations set fuel-efficiency standards for cars and light-duty trucks that are tougher than federal rules, which means fewer emissions. In the past, automakers have built their nationwide fleets to meet the state’s standards to avoid making two versions of their vehicles, and some states, such as New York, typically follow California’s lead. The Rhodium Group estimates that reinstating the waiver would save about 573 million metric tons of emissions by 2035.
Go there and sob. (at least he is gone) More next week.
I hope you all have had a happy and SAFE Holiday season. I am not a big fan of hydrogen as an energy source. It can be difficult to handle and it requires a new infrastructure even though some of it support don’t think so. I favor the brute forces of large wind and solar projects because we have a huge electrical infrastructure already in place. With persistence though i think it could come along. California is a big fan however and sometimes, as goes California so goes the nation.
(please note you must ad http: to the above address to get to the location. I had to strip it off so the website would not intrude.)
The Gospel of Hydrogen Power
Mike Strizki powers his house and cars with hydrogen he home-brews. He is using his retirement to evangelize for the planet-saving advantages of hydrogen batteries.
By Roy Furchgott
In December, the California Fuel Cell Partnership tallied 8,890 electric cars and 48 electric buses running on hydrogen batteries, which are refillable in minutes at any of 42 stations there. On the East Coast, the number of people who own and drive a hydrogen electric car is somewhat lower. In fact, there’s just one. His name is Mike Strizki. He is so devoted to hydrogen fuel-cell energy that he drives a Toyota Mirai even though it requires him to refine hydrogen fuel in his yard himself.
“Yeah, I love it,” Mr. Strizki said of his 2017 Mirai. “This car is powerful, there’s no shifting, plus I’m not carrying all of that weight of the batteries,” he said in a not-so-subtle swipe at the world’s most notable hydrogen naysayer, Elon Musk.
Mr. Strizki favors fuel-cell cars for the same reasons as most proponents. You can make fuel using water and solar power, as he does. The byproduct of making hydrogen is oxygen, and the byproduct of burning it is water. Hydrogen is among the most plentiful elements on earth, so you don’t have to go to adversarial countries or engage in environmentally destructive extraction to get it. The car is as quiet to drive as any other electric, it requires little maintenance, and because it doesn’t carry 1,200 pounds of batteries, it has a performance edge.
His infatuation with hydrogen began with cars, but it didn’t end there. In 2006 he made the first house in the United States to be powered entirely by hydrogen produced on site using solar power. Nine years later he made the second. He says he has built hydrogen-power home systems for conservationists and celebrities — one of his systems reportedly powers Johnny Depp’s private island in the Bahamas.
(please note that i use tsongas and tongass interchangeably)
Destroy, Destroy, Destroy. That is what this President does because he has bought the general idea of “Disruption and Replacement” coming from Silicon Valley as a good thing for society. He doesn’t not understand that Disruption with out planning is BAD for society in general and only makes a few men (and women) rich. Or maybe, he actually does understand and just doesn’t care. One makes him evil by nature and the other makes him evil by nurture. I’ll leave it up to you to decide. One thing for sure is that his whole Presidency has been a disaster for the environment and the Earth, and that will be his lasting legacy.
Feds end road, logging restrictions in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, one of the world’s largest temperate rainforests
The Associated Press
Published 11:00 pm Oct 28, 2020
JUNEAU, Alaska — The federal government announced plans Wednesday to lift restrictions on logging and building roads in the country’s largest national forest, a pristine rainforest in Alaska that provides habitat for wolves, bears and salmon.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said it has decided to exempt the Tongass National Forest from the so-called roadless rule, which bans road construction and timber harvests with limited exceptions. It applies to nearly one-quarter of all U.S. Forest Service lands.
Conservation groups vowed to fight the decision, describing it as short-sighted and driven by politics.
“The decision to roll back the roadless rule on the Tongass was made in spite of, not in support of, southeast Alaskans and our communities,” said Meredith Trainor, executive director of the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council. “In making this decision, the Trump administration and the sham rulemaking process they undertook in our region ignored economic realities, environmental imperatives, and worst of all, the will of the people who actually live here.”
But it is a very real question. I think it is Airplanes myself for 2 reasons. 1. Because they pollute at a high altitude (roughly 3 – 30 thousand feet) and, 2. because of an amazingly random accidental experiment after 9/11 that showed with all planes grounded our atmospheric temperature dropped a full degree. With Boats (ok large Ships) they burn something like warm asphalt, and that over water where the output can fall directly into what ever body on which they float. So essentially which is worse? High altitude kerosene or low altitude vaporized warm asphalt? I know – it makes me want to puke.
As a side note – i wish somebody would measure the net effects on global warming between Boats and Plane as opposed to co2 emissions which is awfully easy but not particularly insightful.
Seem to good to be true? Then it probably is. Interesting thought though. I think they are dreaming a little to late, myself. We shall see. Unfortunately.
(By the way, I have not said a single thing about this election. The first time since 2008. Want to know why? Because as my friend Nelson said, the Democrats could run a door knob for president and I would vote for it. The Cheeto Buritto’s energy policies suck.)
Airbus has announced plans for the world’s first zero-emission commercial aircraft models that run on hydrogen and could take to the skies by 2035.
The European aersospace company revealed three different aircraft concepts that would be put through their paces to find the most efficient way to travel long distances by plane without producing the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for global heating.
UK holidaymakers and business travellers could fly from London to the Canary Islands, Athens or eastern Europe without producing carbon emissions, should the plans become a commercial reality.
Guillaume Faury, the Airbus chief executive, said the “historic moment for the commercial aviation sector” marks the “most important transition this industry has ever seen”.
This such a fun and upbeat story. I know you are saying – Doug doesn’t do upbeat or fun. I do not do exclamation marks, ever. So you will just have to take my word on this. This younger generation and these kids in particular could make the difference between human extinction or not.
It’s time to wake up. On Global Day of Climate Action, VICE Media Group is solely telling stories about our current climate crisis. Click here to meet young climate leaders from around the globe and learn how you can take action.
Many people first started paying attention to the youth climate movement in 2018, when now-17-year-old Greta Thunberg began protesting outside Swedish Parliament in her home country. Her small act of civil disobedience had a ripple effect. Students across the globe began striking by refusing to attend classes, which eventually turned into the “Fridays For Future” movement.
It may sound like a ploy to get out of chemistry, but it’s not. Gen Z ranks climate change as the most important issue of our time, according to last year’s Amnesty International survey of more than 10,000 members of 18- to 25-year-olds. “Older generations were not out there protesting in the streets on this issue the way Gen Z is,” asserts Rebecca Bromley-Trujillo, PhD, who teaches political science and environmental policy at Christopher Newport University. These under-25 activists have formed organizations like Fridays For Future and Zero Hour, a movement that focuses on helping young people take action. Others have sued their state or even the United Nations. They’ve staged hunger strikes. They’ve performed spoken word poetry.
These kids care. A lot.
“Younger people see the total mess that Boomers and, to a lesser extent, millennials have left, and they have to figure out how to fix it,” says Jessica Green, PhD, an associate professor focused on climate governance at the University of Toronto.
Go there and rejoice. Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah More hopefully next week.
I am so glad this happened in England, but if it would have happened in the US I would have reported it and demanded change. Every business makes mistakes and has to correct them, if they are honest. I would like to think we in the alternative energy world were better than most. But you know that’s just a dream. After the Guardian got involved, they made it right. But then other people started speaking up.
A 94-year-old woman, who relies on a wheelchair and a daily home help, was left with a £4,000-plus bill after SSE installed a smart meter and left her previously functioning gas boiler out of action and irreparable.
In August Anita Grant, who lives alone, agreed to have the meter installed in her Harrow home.
But rather than the easy process promised in the advertisements, her son Neil says that the decision was set to cost her £3,840 for a new boiler plus £250 redecorating costs, after SSE first said it would fix it, but then denied any liability.
Only after the Observer got involved did SSE agree to cover the cost of the replacement boiler and the additional redecorating costs.
Experts say a smart meter installation should not affect a normally functioning boiler. But in recent years there have been a small but steady stream of people claiming “it happened to me, too”.
Go there and read. It’s disgraceful. More next week.
So who are you going to believe? A research vessel attached to Arctic ice or a weasel attached to the Presidency with Leech like suckers. ie. Trump – it’s a hoax or Science – it’s COMING! Me I trust science. Not Russian science either.
At Earther, we’ve beenfollowing the historic extent of ice melt in the Arctic this summer pretty closely. But not as closely as Gunnar Spreen and his research team, who are literally following the ice.
“We’re attached to an ice floe now,” he said on the phone from a research vessel called the Polarstern, which is currently at the latitude 88 degrees north, just under 150 miles (230 kilometers) from the North Pole. “We’re drifting with the ice. Wherever it goes, we go.”
Spreen, a sea ice and remote sensing scientist at the University of Bremen, is taking part in a research expedition known as the Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate, or MOSAiC. It’s the largest Arctic research campaign in history, with some 500 scientists and staffers rotating on and off of the research vessel for months at a time.
The current cohort boarded the Polarstern on August 12, and in just a week’s time, they made it to the North Pole. To get there, they took an unexpected route, north of Greenland.