environmental politics

OK Boomer

Sadly, all too many people in my generation are part of the problem.

The phrase “OK Boomer” got to be front-page news when Chlöe Swarbrick, a youthful member of the New Zealand parliament, used the phrase against a heckler.  She had been trying to explain why her generation was unwilling to accept delays in addressing climate change. She pointed out that her generation, and the ones to follow, …

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Things to Be Thankful For

Despite the Trump Administration’s efforts, there are rays of hope.

Three years into the Trump Administration, we’re now accustomed to waking up every morning to learn about a new attack on the environment.  But there are also some things to be thankful for. Here’s how I started a similar post in 2017, just a year after the 2016 election: “Overall, it’s been a pretty lousy …

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Dear Denialist . . .

It was fun while it lasted, but now it’s time to move on.

Dear Denialist, I’ve addressed you from time to time on this blog, in the hope of persuading you to consider the evidence.  To tell the truth, I have no way of knowing whether you are  a hack fronting for an oil company, an operative somewhere in Russia or Eastern Europe, or even some kind of …

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EPA v. the Inspector General

Surprise, surprise, EPA has tried to stonewall an investigation.

EPA’s Acting Inspector General Charles J. Sheehan took the extraordinary step last week of notifying Congress that EPA was stonewalling his investigation of potential misconduct involving EPA’s Chief of Staff.  This was a gutsy move for Sheehan, especially given the extra vulnerability created by his Acting status. Sheehan, it is worth noting, is a career …

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Sailing under False Flags

Anti-enviro groups often have misleading names. What if enviros did the same?

We’ve all seen the names of these groups.  Something called “Americans for Gun Safety” turns out to campaign for allowing assault weapons in schools, or “Citizens for Energy Balance” wants only fossil fuels and elimination of renewables.  I made up the first one, but the second one is loosely based on the name of a …

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A Dozen Strategies for the Struggle With Big Oil

Big Oil will fight against energy transformation. How do we fight back?

The oil industry is enormous – something like 2-3% of global GDP. Individuals firms like ExxonMobil earn tens of billions of dollars each quarter. Controlling climate change will mean drastic curtailment in the coming decades of the industry’s major products. There’s no way that the industry will accept this lying down, and it’s a formidable …

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Spotlight on San Antonio

The role of transparency in municipal climate plans

Last week, San Antonio’s City Council approved its first-ever Climate Action and Adaptation Plan. This Plan’s main benefit is its ability to track and measure GHG emissions, while also signaling to City agencies, other municipalities, and the state that it is committed to climate mitigation and adaptation efforts. This is a big win for a …

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The Risks of Promising the Improbable

Candidates’ climate proposals are starkly unrealistic. That’s a problem.

As I wrote in a post last Thursday, there’s little prospect that anything like a Green New Deal could pass the Senate even assuming the filibuster is eliminated.  In the best case scenario, Democrats would have a one or two vote margin in the Senate. That’s a very slim margin for passing a trillion dollar …

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American Public Wakes Up, Smells the Coffee

Further evidence of a shift in public opinion on climate change.

As I discussed in a September 9th post, public opinion has been shifting toward greater recognition of climate change and the need to respond.  Much of the evidence came from polls dating back a few months. Further evidence is provided by two polls released this week. People do seem to be waking up to the …

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Climate of Opinion

What do Americans think about climate change and environmental regulation?

Public opinion has been moving toward greater acceptance of the realities of climate change and the need for action.  According to an April report by the Pew Charitable Trust, over half of Americans think the environment should be a priority for the next President, and over forty percent say that for climate change.  Both figures …

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