Deregulation, Normal Accidents, and the Airborne Toxic Event
What can we learn from the East Palestine train wreck?
Source: Wikimedia Commons The East Palestine train derailment is the story that won’t go away. Images of enraged residents shouting at company executives and government officials about the inadequacy of the response remind us all that across our vast industrial economy accidents of one sort or another are always waiting to happen while private firms …
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The Most Important Environmental Story Of The Week
Fossil Fuel Interests Corrupt Media
No, it’s not the Biden Administration’s successful push to electrify tens of thousands of USPS vehicles. It’s how Matrix LLC, a consultant in the southeast with significant investments in the energy sector, made massive payments to local media outlets to slant their coverage in favor of dirty power and exorbitant electricity rates. Consider Alabama Power, …
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Climate Rides the Omnibus
The year-end law gives a boost to climate-related spending
The omnibus spending bill is by no means a “climate law.” Because it spans the entire government, though, it has many provisions relating to climate change. They aren’t dramatic step forward. But the fact that they can pass as part of a bipartisan spending law is a sign of how climate change is slowly becoming …
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Loss and Damage
A deeper dive into the top issue at COP27
As I noted in my last post, this year’s conference of the parties to the climate treaties (COP27) became pretty much a single-issue conference, focused on adaptation and the associated needs for finance – in particular on the urgent need for financial assistance to support adaptation in the Global South, and the lamentable record of …
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War and the Environment: Ukraine in 2022
The environment is also a victim of the Russian invasion — perhaps to the point of being a war crime.
Memorial Day began as a day to commemorate the Civil War dead, then became a day to commemorate the dead from many wars. But war’s toll goes beyond direct harm to humans. The environment also suffers. On top of its human tragedies, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is also wreaking environmental havoc. One source of …
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Climate Change and the Insurance Sector
Founded in 1871, the National Association of Insurance Commission represents insurance regulators in all fifty states. It’s not a particularly woke group – the current president is the Director of the Idaho Department of Insurance. However, the group has just issued a new “voluntary” survey for insurance companies about climate risks. “Voluntary” is in quotes …
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Wildfires, CEQA, Climate Change & the Courts
Recent Court Decisions Halt Building Projects, Invalidate CEQA Reviews for Failing to Assess Wildfire Hazards
Environmental and conservation groups have for a number of years attempted to convince California courts of the need to integrate climate change considerations into environmental analyses prepared under the state’s most important environmental law, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). However, the California judiciary has demonstrated little appetite for doing so. Until now. Recently, courts …
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Rescuing FEMA (and ourselves)
FEMA needs to grow in order to handle its work. The need for growth will only get greater as time goes on.
2021 was a year of disasters, with extraordinary heat waves, fires, a string of hurricanes, a cold snap that left Texas in the dark, winter tornados, and torrential rains. FEMA has been left badly overstretched. That’s an urgent problem, and it’s likely a foretaste of the future. This is not just a problem for the …
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12 Lessons from the COVID response in how NOT to manage a crisis.
The Trump Administration’s bungling of the coronavirus pandemic surely should feature in management textbooks. Just about everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. Some of the problems derived from having a top manager who was fundamentally indifferent and seemingly incapable of grasping basic facts. But other problems were due to inability to manage the …
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Hot off the Press: The New IPCC Report
The latest science confirms the need for urgent action.
The IPCC issued the massive first volume of its new report on climate change on Monday. This volume focuses on climate science: how much will the world warm, and what will the impacts be? The bottom line is that the evidence is becoming ever firmer that (a) humans are causing an unprecedented rate of climate …
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