Climate Change Resources

April 25, 2022

If you don’t already receive this excellent weekly climate round-up newsletter, read on. And sign up.

Climate Change Resources was created in 2016 by publishers Lena Tabori and Mike Shatzkin to educate and empower us all to be climate activists, and to take the critical steps necessary to rescue humanity’s future. There is simply no time to waste.

Take a look at their invaluable and beautifully designed website https://climatechangeresources.org/. Lena’s weekly newsletter was just selected as one the top climate newsletters in the country. I’m honored that she highlighted one of my recent articles. MCF Morgan

This is your weekly newsletter from Climate Change Resources, keeping you informed and involved in the fight against climate change as we all search for solutions. Each week, you’ll find breaking news, valuable resources, actions to take, answers to common questions, and more — even sustainable shopping suggestions.
• The hideous war continues. CCR’s People Are Talking About (PATA) are keeping track of the way war and climate change interact here.
• For Earth Day, climate reporters from The Washington Post wrote about some of their favorite stories–from Juliet Eilperin’s magnificent piece about a tree in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest to Michael Robinson Chavez’s terrifying photographs of Hurricane Ida slamming the Gulf Coast. Our lead story on CCR’s Earth Day PATA is both angry and somber as Bill McKibben is struck by what we haven’t done.
• Disinformation reporting ramped up with the first of a 3-part series from PBS on big oil, a new report on social media companies, and, not surprisingly, rampant corporate climate denial on Earth Day. Much more on CCR’s Greenwashing page and CCR’s PATA…misinformation page.
• Americans are beginning to migrate in the hope of finding more climate friendly homes. The Northeast is where they should be heading, reports CNBC. More on CCR’s Migration page.
• 
They took a poll in Massachusetts and discovered that residents are less concerned about climate change now than they were in 2019; Democrats were more alarmed than Republicans; Latina women considered climate change a more serious issue than any other group; nearly half of the respondents are considering acquiring an electric car, and climate change trailed several other priorities.
• Just in time for Spring, one of our wonderful contributors, Mary Foster Morgan, reminds us of the power of eating locally, wasting little and composting much in her latest blog, Farm Stands Open, Don’t Look Up, Kiss The Ground.

FYI• Our website, Climate Change Resources, has now been live for nine months! Press materials are here. Please forward this newsletter to anyone you feel should know more about climate change with the intention of doing more.
–Lena Tabori, Co-Founder & Publisher The description of each item below is drawn from copy provided in the article or website cited.

NATIONAL NEWS

TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook Are Letting Climate Denial Run Rampant
By Lauren Leffer
Gizmodo, 4/22/2022
Twitter is the worst of the bunch, followed by TikTok. YouTube and Pinterest are a bit better. Fossil fuel companies have known about climate change since 1966, and for almost as long, they’ve been buying TV, radio and newspaper ads trying to make sure you don’t. Decades later, lies about climate change haven’t disappeared; they’ve just gone digital. Almost half of people in the U.S. regularly get their news from social media, according to a 2021 Pew Research Center survey. Those social networks are often chock-full of lies. Social media companies like Facebook have claimed to be combating false information on climate change, but their efforts are inadequate to the challenge, according to a new report by the environmental non-profit groups Friends of the Earth, Avaaz, and Greenpeace USA. In order from best to worst, the report ranked the platforms as follows: Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, and, lastly, Twitter. More here

Greenwashing 101: How to decipher corporate claims about climate
By Douglas MacMillan
The Washington Post, 4/21/2022
Companies are eager to tout their environmental progress on Earth Day. As big businesses face more pressure to act on climate change, corporations have unleashed a tsunami of environmental pledges, net-zero commitments and sustainability certifications, all designed to show they are part of the solution. Here are five tips for investigating whether their claims tell the full story. More here

Biden restores climate safeguards in key environmental law, reversing Trump
By Dino Grandoni and Anna Phillips
The Washington Post, 4/19/2022
The White House on Tuesday announced it has restored key protections to a landmark environmental law governing the construction of pipelines, highways and other projects that President Donald Trump had swept away as part of an effort to cut red tape. The new rule will require federal agencies to scrutinize the climate impacts of major infrastructure projects under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a 1970 law that required the government to assess the environmental consequences of federal actions, such as approving the construction of oil and gas pipelines. More here

Low-producing oil wells cause 50% of methane emissions
By Carlos Anchondo 
E&E Energy Wire, 4/21/2022
Low-producing oil and gas wells are to blame for roughly half of the methane emitted from all U.S. well sites, despite making up 6% of the country’s total production, according to new research published this week. The study, published in Nature Communications, is the first comprehensive look at low-production well site emissions nationwide, researchers said. The paper found that low-producing or “marginal” wells emit methane at a rate 6 to 12 times higher than the national average — releasing some 4 million metric tons of the potent greenhouse gas a year. “Our research shows that the total methane emitted from the country’s half million low-producing wells has the same impact on the climate every year as 88 coal-fired power plants,” said Mark Omara, a scientist with the Environmental Defense Fund and lead author, in a statement. More here

Natural gas-fired generation peaked in 2020 amid growing renewable energy production
By Ethan Howland
Utility Drive, 4/13/2022
The Institute for Energy Economics and Finance expects wind, solar and hydroelectric generation will make up a third of U.S. power production by 2027, up from about 19% in December, according to its report. “The transition has just started,” Wamsted said. “We do believe that the takeoff is right now.” More here.

STATES

Green infrastructure helps cities with climate change. So why isn’t there more of it?
By Lauren Sommer
NPR, 4/15/2022
Federal agencies are beginning to hand out billions of dollars in infrastructure spending, the largest investment ever made in the country’s water system. Much of it will go to improving pipes, drains and stormwater systems. But some scientists and urban planners are pushing to fund projects that are better adapted to the changing climate. Instead of just gray infrastructure, supporters say the answer is green. Green infrastructure, whether it’s large rain gardens or plants along a street median, has the same purpose as big storm sewers: to manage large amounts of water that can build up during heavy rains. Plants and soil absorb and slow runoff from rainstorms, while a stormwater drain captures water that runs down a street gutter and diverts it underground into pipes. More here

Big fight brewing over California ballot measure to reduce single-use plastics
By Suzanne Rust
Los Angeles Times, 4/17/2022
Oakridge Mall food court overflow with plastic spoons, forks, soft drink cups and takeout food containers. Paper frozen yogurt containers are mashed in with plastic boba tea cups and soda bottles. The same can be seen across California — piles of single-use plastics that can’t easily be recycled, pollute roadsides and waterways and add to the garbage that clogs landfills. In November, Californians may get a chance to shrink that waste. An initiative designed to reduce single-use plastics and polystyrene food containers will be on the ballot, a move by environmentalists to bypass the Legislature, where such measures have repeatedly failed in the face of industry lobbying. The initiative — known as the California Recycling and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act — would require all single-use plastic packaging and food ware used in California to be recyclable, reusable, refillable or compostable by 2030, and single-use plastic production to be reduced by 25% by 2030. More here.

Gas Hikes Prompt New York to Investigate Potential Price Gouging by Oil Companies
By Lauren Leffer
Gizmodo, 4/15/2022
Exxon, Chevron, Shell, and BP, four of the largest petroleum companies, are raking in record profits. Meanwhile, prices at the pump have surpassed the (non-inflation adjusted) highs of 2008. If that dynamic seems fishy to you, you’re in good company. First, U.S. House Democrats and President Joe Biden raised concerns. Now, Letitia James, New York State’s attorney general, is officially suspicious, as well. On Thursday, the attorney general’s office launched a statewide investigation into whether or not the gas industry is engaging in price gouging. The probe was first announced in a CNN reportMore here
 
In Pennsylvania, Ukraine invasion and urgent climate report drive new interest in renewables, efficiency
By Jon Hurdle
WHYY, 4/17/2022
Pennsylvania’s renewables industry may have an opportunity to sell more solar panels or wind turbines as prices of fossil fuel-powered energy spike in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and warnings of climate chaos intensify, analysts said. With U.S. natural gas prices at their highest in more than a decade, and electricity costs rising in tandem, individuals and businesses are more inclined to seek alternative energy sources that will be less costly and more sustainable, energy industry observers said. More here
 
As Earth’s temperature rises, Massachusetts residents’ sense of urgency on climate change declines
By Sabrina Shankman and Darma Noor
Boston Globe, 4/19/2022
Despite increasingly urgent international warnings and an onslaught of catastrophic wildfires and weather linked to global warming, fewer Massachusetts residents see the climate crisis as a very serious concern than they did three years ago, according to a new poll. It’s not that respondents weren’t aware of the climate threat; a large majority acknowledged that symptoms of the crisis such as increased flooding, extreme heat waves, and more powerful storms are either already happening or very likely within five years, according to the poll, a collaboration of The Boston Globe and The MassINC Polling Group. And more than three quarters called climate change a “very serious” or “serious” concern.” But with a pandemic and war in Ukraine as a backdrop, fewer than half, 48 percent, ranked climate in the highest category of concern, down from 53 percent in 2019, the last time the poll was taken. Less than half said they would vote along climate lines or take steps such as switching their home heat off fossil fuel. More here

Unregulated Texas gas pipeline triggers a huge methane leak
By Aaron Clark and Naureen Malik
Pittsburgh Post Gazette, 4/19/2022
A natural gas pipeline in Texas leaked so much of the super-potent greenhouse gas methane in little more than an hour that by one estimate its climate impact was equivalent to the annual emissions from about 16,000 U.S. cars. The leak came from a 16-inch pipe that’s a tiny part of a vast web of unregulated lines across the U.S., linking production fields and other sites to bigger transmission lines. Although new federal reporting requirements start next month for so-called gathering lines, the incident highlights the massive climate damage even minor parts of the network can inflict. More here
 
New York green lights massive renewable energy projects to cut fossil fuel reliance
By Shirin Ali
The Hill, 4/15/2022
New York state has made a big step in cutting off its reliance on fossil fuels, announcing contracts for projects that will channel clean, renewable solar, wind and hydroelectric power from upstate New York to New York City. Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) announced on Thursday that the State Public Service Commission approved contracts for the Clean Path NY project and the Champlain Hudson Power Express project. Both are expected to reduce the city’s reliance on fossil fuels by more than 50% in 2030, pushing towards the goal of having 70% of the state’s electricity fueled by renewable sources by 2030. New York hopes to have a zero-emission electricity grid by 2040.  Hochul’s office said both projects are expected to deliver $5.8 billion in overall societal benefits statewide and $8.2 billion in economic developments across the state. More here

LEARN MORE

The Next American Migration: What Cities Should Know About Climate Change and Populations on the Move
National League of Cities, 4/22/2022
Climate change is no longer just a problem for future generations – it is here now, with storms, wildfires, droughts and extreme temperatures becoming more prevalent in our cities, towns and villages. As these impacts intensify, more Americans are being forced out of their homes or are voluntarily relocating in advance of catastrophes. With new sources of federal funding now flowing directly to cities, local leaders have a critical opportunity to transform their communities into equitable and resilient places to live. Download the report to learn more. More here
 
The hottest electric vehicles at New York’s auto show have two wheels
By Maria Gallucci
Canary Media, 4/15/2022
A staggering number of electric vehicles are projected to hit roads worldwide this year as automakers launch new plug-in models and drivers ditch their oil-guzzling engines. But another mode of electrified transportation is booming and, in the United States, even outpacing sales of battery-powered cars: bicycles. More here
 
In a comparison of life-cycle emissions, EVs crushed combustion cars
By Prachi Patel
Anthropocene Magazine, 1/13/2022
Electric vehicles have lower tailpipe emissions compared to fossil fuel-burning cars, but they don’t go scot-free when it comes to the environment. Mining the raw materials for batteries is dirty business, and manufacturing and charging them can produce emissions. Those overlooked indirect emissions have led skeptics to argue whether EVs are really as green as touted. New research from Yale University should put those arguments to rest. The study finds that the total indirect emissions from EVs pale in comparison to the indirect emissions from fossil fuel-powered vehicles. And if a carbon price is placed on all the emissions, both direct and indirect, from a vehicle’s full life cycle, EVs become far more attractive to buyers. “The elephant in the room is the supply chain of fossil fuel-powered vehicles, not that of electric vehicles,” says lead researcher. More here

WATCH

‘Truth Has Nothing to Do With Who Wins the Argument’: New Details on Big Oil’s Campaign to Defeat Climate Action
Frontline’s latest documentary, 4/22/2022
Through new documents and exclusive, on-camera interviews, “Denial”, the first episode of The Power of Big Oil, reveals the fossil fuel industry’s efforts to forestall action on climate change and to sow seeds of doubt. Among those efforts was the media campaign spearheaded by the Global Climate Coalition (GCC), an industry group comprising major fossil fuel companies, trade associations and corporate consumers of fossil fuels. More here

TAKE ACTION – INDIVIDUALS

‘Truth Has Nothing to Do With Who Wins the Argument’: New Details on Big Oil’s Campaign to Defeat Climate Action
Frontline’s latest documentary, 4/22/2022
Through new documents and exclusive, on-camera interviews, “Denial”, the first episode of The Power of Big Oil, reveals the fossil fuel industry’s efforts to forestall action on climate change and to sow seeds of doubt. Among those efforts was the media campaign spearheaded by the Global Climate Coalition (GCC), an industry group comprising major fossil fuel companies, trade associations and corporate consumers of fossil fuels. More here

TAKE ACTION – BUSINESSES

Salesforce Ramps Up Investments in Global Fight Against Climate Change
By Gary E. Frank
Triple Pundit, 4/19/2022
Salesforce is giving a total of $11 million to 12 global nonprofits in the first round of donations from its $100 million Ecosystem Restoration and Global Justice Fund. The donations, which were announced April 12 at the company’s Net Zero Summit, support key programs that have embarked on various strategies to tackle climate change, including ones that enhance natural carbon sinks, protect biodiversity and create green jobs. “We believe that philanthropy can be a powerful tool in fighting climate change,” said Naomi Morenzoni, senior vice president of philanthropy at Salesforce, in a public statement. “Climate change impacts everyone, and it disproportionately affects the world’s most vulnerable communities. Through our philanthropic donations, we aim to support organizations that work with local communities to find meaningful, nature-based climate solutions.” The organizations receiving the funds include American Forests, the Arbor Day Foundation, Conservation International, Fundación Natura, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, One Tree Planted, Restor, Save The Bay, the Nature Conservancy, the Ocean Foundation, Wetlands International, and the World Resources Institute. More here

FAQs

Q: Why are we talking about anything but climate change?
 
A: This is a question I ask myself every time scientists release one of their consistently alarming reports on the projected countdown to doomsday. Doomsday being the moment when the ability to lower the atmospheric temperature has slipped from our control. The moment when we puny humans are finally and irrevocably at the mercy of hurricanes, fires, tornadoes, drought, food shortages, rising sea levels and all the socio-political carnage that will accompany same. The moment that, by the latest estimates, is less than 10 years away. So the first thing we need to do is stop using the term “climate change,” which makes the situation seem relatively benign and natural, as if the Earth were entering menopause and all those scientists just want us to know that hot flashes can be expected. The man-made shift they are predicting will cause a large number of humans to regularly die by heat, fire, water, drought and famine. More here.
Find elected officials: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officialsFax legislators for free: Reps:  https://faxzero.com/fax_congress.phpSenate:  https://faxzero.com/fax_senate.php  White House contact:  https://www.usa.gov/federal-agencies/white-house
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About Mary Foster Morgan

Co-founder, Drawdown East End, a grass roots group inspiring local solutions to drawdown carbon and reverse global warming. Formerly executive director of the Guggenheim Learning Through Art program in New York, Mary moved to the North Fork and helped co-found Slow Food East End. She has deep roots in the East End; for generations her family lived and farmed in East Hampton. Mary currently lives in Orient, writes the Climate Local Now column for the East End Beacon, and takes legislative action on the Climate Action Now app. https://climateactionnow.com/
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