Texas Republicans tried to ax renewables; gallows humor as climate anxiety therapy?

Gov. Greg Abbott

This huge amount from renewables came about in a bipartisan way after Gov. George W. Bush signed a bill in 1999 to pave the road for adding 2 gigawatts of green energy capacity to the Texas grid. Wind energy took off and has since produced hundreds of terawatt-hours of clean electricity and thousands of jobs. A major success story for renewables right in the midst of the oil patch. Landowners got royalties. Local governments got revenue. Customers saved money. Unless you’re a degrowth advocate, it was about as win-win-win as you can get in our current world. As Russell Gold writes at Texas Monthly in his outstanding piece, The Texas GOP’s War on Renewable Energy:

The state produces more wind and solar power today than the next three states (California, Iowa, and Oklahoma) combined, and that lead is growing. Last year Texas added more new renewable power generation than the next five states together. The American Clean Power Association, a trade group representing wind-, solar-, battery-, and hydrogen-energy developers, recently testified that renewables projects have invested $93 billion in Texas during the past couple of decades and generated $684 million combined in lease payments to landowners and taxes to counties and school districts.

One recent estimate found that renewables lowered the cost of electricity to Texans by $11 billion last year, or $423 for every customer served by the state’s predominant power grid. Over the past five years, Texas has added 2,800 jobs to support wind and solar power generation at the same time that the state has lost 44,000 oil and gas extraction jobs, in part because automation has allowed producers to drill more wells while employing fewer roughnecks.

The abundance of low-cost clean energy—a growing priority for global corporations—has also driven companies to put new facilities in Texas.

The powers-that-be in the Texas Republican Party very much enjoy these golden eggs, but there is something they don’t like about the goose. And they proposed legislation to make life difficult for new solar and wind projects with bureaucratic siting and other rules that aren’t being applied to fossil fuel or nuclear projects. From the National Law Review:

In response to the growing role of renewables in the state, Texas HB 3707 and SB 624 each take aim at the permitting requirements for certain renewable energy facilities. As a part of the proposed legislation, developers and operators of solar and wind plants would be required to obtain a full environmental inspection of their facilities, comply with expanded public notice requirements, face greater confidentiality risks, and pay higher fees. The summary below provides an overview of the key aspects of the proposed legislation. […]

The proposed legislation would impact solar and wind energy generators in the state. The bills omit other types of generation facilities, such as facilities generating power by burning fossil fuels.

In addition to future projects, the new permitting requirements would also apply retroactively to all existing renewable energy generation facilities present at the effective date of the legislation. These include facilities already producing energy, interconnected to transmission facilities, or under construction, as well as all pending projects. Further, facility owners would be required to apply for amended permitting prior to any alterations to their operating facilities, like renovations or expansions.

That legislation made it through Senate in a lop-sided partisan vote, but it got stalled in the House. Its key sponsor hopes to tack it onto other legislation before the end of the session May 30. If that works, Gov. Greg Abbot is sure to sign it.

At the same time, the legislature is further greasing the skids by pushing for 10 gigawatts of new natural gas projects. The excuse for all this is that grid reliability is at risk because there is such an abundance of renewables. Too many renewables, that is, though wind and solar advocates fiercely disagree. There is a need for always available “dispatchable” power because—as every fossil fuel advocate will incessantly repeat—the sun don’t always shine and the wind don’t always blow, as if these were unknown factors to the scientists and engineers who have worked on these systems for the past half century.

Reliability obviously does matter. But so does how you go about assuring this 24/7 in the face of rapid climate change. Building more natural gas operations as a transitional fuel made more sense 30 years ago when gradual action could have mostly eliminated power plant emissions by now. 

Today, with previously soft-spoken climatologists virtually screaming the alarm about how short our time to act is, we should not be encouraging, much less subsidizing, new fossil fuel projects. That’s what another Texas bill—SB 2627—that just passed the state House of Representatives would do: provide low-interest loans to companies building new gas projects and bonuses to those that get them connected to the grid by 2029. 

Reliability? In support of more natural gas projects, Gov. Abbott has recently repeated rubbish about how frozen wind turbines were to blame for the 2021 winter blackout in Texas. As every serious analysis of the blackout showed, it wasn’t wind turbines that were the chief cause, but mostly frozen natural gas power plants. And the effort to winterize those gas plants is far from being completed because when it comes to fossil fuels Texas officials don’t push hard enough.

It’s one thing to assert that natural gas is temporarily needed until more storage (or nuclear power plants) can be built. But if the true focus of the legislature is just to make the grid more reliable, why try to set up rules with potential to harm existing renewables operations? Why isn’t storage, which would definitely make the grid more reliable, not eligible for favorable loans and bonuses? Why would these Republican legislators who usually can be counted on to rant about the most modest fee increase or added regulation suddenly seek to impose fees and restrictions retroactively that only affect renewables and not coal, natural gas, or nukes?

[This article was altered from its original version to correct errors regarding the fate of some of this legislation.—MB.]



Deal is reached to keep Colorado River from going dry, for now

As reported in Earth Matters two weeks ago, our very wet winter across the West provided some relief from the adrought that by two months ago had brought Lake Mead and Lake Powell, the nation’s two largest U.S. reservoirs, to their lowest point since the hydroelectric dams impounding Colorado River water were completed 86 and 60 years ago respectively. Spring melt from the extraordinarily heavy Rocky Mountain snowpack is raising water levels in both reservoirs as well as the Great Salt Lake.

None of this means the drought is over, much less is it an end to the growing aridification of the West and Southwest that scientists say is happening or at least being exacerbated because of climate change. Refilling those reservoirs will, those scientists say, take several wet years in a row, which seems unlikely, though El Niño could give us another wet year or two.

High pressure release at Glen Canyon Dam on Lake Powell. April 2023
High pressure release at Glen Canyon Dam on Lake Powell last month.

Nevertheless, one thing that came out of the crisis that cut off or reduced water and electricity deliveries for hundreds of thousands of farmers, Native tribes, and city dwellers in seven states of the Colorado River Basin, is an agreement among three of them to reduce their allotment by 3 million acre feet by 2026 when a new usage plan for the river is slated to be implemented. A million acre feet (that’s nearly 326 billion gallons) can provide water for 3 million average households annually. Half the reduction by the Lower Basin states of California, Nevada, and Arizona would take place this first year. 

Before the rains and snow arrived this winter, the seven states and the Bureau of Reclamation were embroiled in a battle over how to divvy up the remaining water—about 25% down from the river’s average yearly flow over the past century. The states blew past two deadlines set for proposing reductions in their use, prompting the bureau to threaten reductions of as much as 4 million acre feet. Six states had agreed on cuts earlier this year, but California officials demurred, saying they were not willing to forego their senior water rights. 

John Entsminger, general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, said in a statement regarding the proposed agreement,  “The plan set forth by the Lower Basin States is not a panacea for the river, but rather a consensus solution that will help manage near-term water demands while serving as a bridge to negotiate the post-2026 operating criteria. The Colorado River Basin has a warmer and drier future ahead and reducing water use, increasing water efficiency, and maximizing water recycling and reuse is paramount to a sustainable future for the 40 million people that depend upon this critical water supply.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo (R) and Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) praised the proposal in a letter to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, whose department oversees the Bureau of Reclamation and will now generate an environmental impact statement on proposal’s effects. “The proposal’s emphasis on early and large contributions reduces the risk of Lake Mead and Lake Powell declining to critically low elevations and is accomplished through voluntary agreements with a diverse range of Arizona, California, and Nevada water users that include Tribes, cities, and agriculture,” the governors wrote. 

House votes to scrap EPA heavy-duty truck rule

With the help of four Democrats—Reps. Jared Golden of Maine, Mary Peltola of Alaska, and Vicente Gonzalez and Henry Cuellar of Texas—the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday voted to ax the Environmental Protection Agency’s rule (423-page pdf) mandating a cut in emissions by buses and heavy-duty trucks. Nitrogen oxides are the EPA’s target in the rule. 

FILE - Trucks make their way on eastbound I-580 on Dec. 17, 2010, in Livermore, Calif. President Joe Biden's administration cleared the way for California's plan to phase out a wide range of diesel-powered trucks, a part of the state's efforts to drastically cut planet-warming emissions and improve air quality in heavy-traffic areas. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)
Trucks make their way on eastbound I-580 near Livermore, California. 

The vote was 221-203. Last month, the Senate voted to rescind the rule the EPA finalized in December on a vote of 50-49, with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin crossing the aisle to vote with Republicans. Normally, legislation in the Senate would require the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster, but Republicans made their move under the Congressional Review Act that allows bills to advance with a simple majority. 

The bill is destined for a Biden veto that Congress has no chance of overturning. But it provides yet another example of the myopic stubbornness of the Republican caucus and a few pernicious Democratic defectors when it comes to energy- and climate-related matters. 

GOP Rep. Michael Burgess of Texas labeled the rule a “continuation of President Biden’s war on affordable energy and consumer choice.”

An April statement of policy from the White House noted the positive impacts this rule and another rule targeting emissions of greenhouse gases and smog- and soot-forming pollutants from passenger cars, vans, and light trucks:

  • Protect Public Health. Through 2055, EPA projects that the proposed standards would avoid nearly 10 billion tons of CO2 emissions — equivalent to more than twice the annual U.S. CO2 emissions in 2022.
  • Lower Consumer Costs. By leveraging accelerated adoption of technologies that reduce fuel and maintenance costs alongside pollution, the proposed standards would save the average consumer $12,000 over the lifetime of the vehicle. The proposals would also result in approximately $12 billion in reduced reliance on oil imports. Rapid innovation in the automotive sector has driven down the cost of emissions-reducing technology and put us closer to a clean transportation sector.
  • Accelerate the Clean Vehicle Transition in Technology-Neutral Way. The EPA’s approach is technology-neutral, meaning that better-designed gas vehicles, hybrids, fuel cell vehicles, and other innovations could all be used to meet stricter standards. But with EV technology getting better and cheaper every day, and consumer demand rising rapidly, many manufacturers would likely rely on fully electric vehicles for compliance. EPA estimates that by 2032, if finalized, the proposed rules could result in electrification of 67% of new sedans, crossovers, SUVs, and light trucks; 50% of new vocational vehicles (such as buses and garbage trucks); 35% of new short-haul freight tractors; and 25% of new long-haul freight tractors.


Marlowe Hood at AFP suggests that diplomats headed for the French capital Monday should be sure to pack their umbrellas. Not just in case of rain, but because they will be showered with billions of microplastic particles falling from the sky. Scientists predict the deluge will range between 88 and 106 pounds of free-floating plastic bits every 24 hours. A heavy storm could boost this rain of plastic tenfold. 

Hands covered with microplastics

Serious concern over the environmental and health impacts of microplastics has risen only recently as these tiny, long-lasting particles have been found practically everywhere on the planet, including ice at the North Pole and fish in the deepest parts of the oceans. In 2017 a U.N. resolution took note of the need to regulate and reduce microplastics. The international gears turn slowly, however, and it wasn’t until last year that 175 nations agreed that a binding treaty is required to deal with this growing problem, with plans to complete negotiations in 2024. Next week’s Paris meeting that is part of this process will focus on a planetwide ban of single-use plastic items, a “polluter pays” approach to the issue, and a tax on “virgin” plastic production.

Pediatrician Christos Symeonides, a researcher at Murdoch Children’s Research Hospital and the Minderoo Foundation, told the AFP, “We’re just now pulling our heads out of the sand when it comes to the health hazards of microplastics.”

Defined as less than than 5 millimeters (0.2 inches) in diameter, primary microplastics are made for use in products like cosmetics and microfibers in textiles. Secondary microplastics come from the decomposition of larger plastic items, from single-use grocery bags to water bottles. While these products break down into smaller bits, complete decomposition is an extremely slow process. Meanwhile, microplastics damage the environment in ways we both understand and still don’t. It’s estimated, for instance, that ingestion of microplastics kills more than a million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals each year. But that’s just a wild guess. Microplastics been detected in plankton and whales. It’s estimated that a blue whale, a filter feeder, can consume 10 million bits of the stuff every day. Making matters worse, those bits can bind to injurious chemicals.

Whether microplastics are harmful to human health is unknown, but what is known is not reassuring. Testing on animals has discovered that chemicals in microplastics increase the chance of cancer, reproductive problems, and DNA mutations. 



Strange, unpredictable, and energizing: Dark comedy as climate solution. Sarah Wesseler at Climate Connections interviewed Aaron Sachs about his new book, “Stay Cool: Why Dark Comedy Matters in the Fight Against Climate Change.”

Wesseler: In “Stay Cool,” you write that gallows humor has helped people in different societies cope with extraordinary circumstances. Can you walk me through some of this history and describe how it relates to climate change?

Aaron Sachs
Aaron Sachs and the family cat Lin. 

Sachs: There’s a long history of people using dark comedy as a coping strategy or even a survival strategy. I focused on Jews and African Americans in the book, but there are lots of examples from virtually every group of people suffering from oppression.

The most shocking one to many people is the Holocaust. There were lots of jokes being passed around in concentration camps. It’s often assumed that no one would be able to laugh under those circumstances, but it’s very well-documented that people did. They even organized cabarets and variety shows and circuses within concentration camps.

One of the jokes in the book comes from Treblinka, where a group of friends used to say to each other, “Hey, you shouldn’t eat so much, because we’re the ones who are going to have to carry your body out of here!” Which was very dark because there was basically nothing to eat anyway. But it’s an example of gallows humor that built solidarity and endurance, resilience. That group of friends could at least smile at each other, shake their heads, and brace themselves for the rest of the day

So how does this apply to climate change? The short answer is that we’re all under the dark cloud of climate change and many of us are really demoralized, almost to the point of immobilization. I was certainly feeling that way; I know a lot of people who feel that way. And that was one of the big reasons for writing this book.

Technology Will Not Restore Our Pre-Climate Crisis Future. By Stan Cox at Common Dreams. There is still time to temper somewhat the ecological devastation and human suffering that will come with catastrophic heating. Deployment of technology alone, however, won’t suffice. History and research tell us that a buildup of new energy capacity won’t flush oil and fossil gas out of the system. For example, electricity generation from wind, solar, and biofuel sources has soared 50-fold since 2000, but the share of the world’s primary energy provided by fossil fuels fell only slightly during that time, from 87 to 85%. Even then, most of that puny shift was due to an increase in production of hydroelectric power, a well-known source of ecological and humanitarian problems. […] An analysis conducted for the Geological Survey of Finland found that the quantity of batteries required to electrify the world’s vehicles and also provide the world’s power grids with enough batteries for backup storage would exhaust all known lithium, cobalt, and nickel reserves several times over. A new, destructive surge in mineral exploration and opening of new mines around the world would be necessary. And the need for metal will never end. Decade after decade, billions of tons of batteries will go dead and need to be replaced. That’s just what batteries do, and we can’t count on recycling to solve the problem.

Biden’s Fossil Fuel Turn Is Bad Politics—and Even Worse Science. By Basav Sen at The Hill. In announcing he would seek a second term, President Biden touted his actions to address climate change, a good move considered that his reelection may well hinge on turnout among young voters who care passionate about the climate. But worryingly for Biden, a Fossil Free Media and Data for Progress poll this spring showed a dramatic drop in approval for the president’s climate and energy policies, particularly among independent voters and youth. The dip followed Biden’s decision to approve the Willow oil drilling project in Alaska, breaking a campaign promise to end oil and gas leasing on public lands and waters. A Change.org petition urging the administration to stop the project has reached more than 5 million signatures. Another 2.3 million people submitted comments to the White House urging Biden to reject the project. TikTok videos criticizing the project drew more than 650 million viewers. Although Biden has signed off on significant investments in clean energy, the Willow decision was by no means an anomaly. Barely three weeks after the Willow decision, the Energy Department gave final approval for a massive gas export terminal in Alaska. This isn’t just bad politics by Biden. It’s bad science.

Republicans Want to Take Back Money for Green Jobs—Even From Their Own Districts. By Prem Thakker at The New Republic. While America careens towards a debt crisis manufactured by Republican intransigence, Republicans are concurrently threatening to rob even their own voters of thousands of jobs and billions in investment. In return for agreeing to raise the debt ceiling, Republicans have set their sights on scrapping the Inflation Reduction Act. But of all the major renewable energy, battery, and electric vehicle projects (worth tens of billions) announced after the passage of the IRA, two-thirds are in districts with Republican officials, according to a Politico analysis from January. Every single Republican in Congress voted against the IRA, maintaining their opposition to the act while also trying to boast of the benefits to their voters. Now, with the debt ceiling debacle, they’re looking to get rid of those benefits entirely.

Some captured wild horses.
Some captured wild horses.

Most Americans Oppose Killing Horses for Food—Here’s How to End This Brutal Practice. By Siri Lindley at Counter Currents. Many Americans would be repulsed by the idea of eating horse meat given horses’ special place in our culture. Indeed, polling from Lake Research Partners shows that 83 percent of Americans oppose the slaughter of horses for human consumption. Yet tens of thousands of American horses are shipped across our borders for slaughter every year in a brutal display of animal cruelty. There is a way we can fix this. Congress began prohibiting the use of Department of Agriculture funding for inspections of horse slaughter facilities in 2006, which effectively prevented such facilities from operating in the United States. But that hasn’t entirely stopped the domestic horse-slaughter industry. Since the beginning of the 21st century, more than 1 million American horses have been slaughtered after being exported to kill facilities in Canada and Mexico, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The horse meat is then shipped to markets in Europe and Asia for human consumption. At least 85 percent of horses slaughtered at European Union-approved Canadian horse slaughterhouses originated in the United States, and 50 percent of the horse meat produced from those animals was exported to the EU,” according to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation.

Why Tree-Planting Schemes Aren’t a Silver Bullet. By Tara Lohan at The Revelator. The race is on to plant trees. The World Economic Forum launched a 1 trillion trees initiative in 2020. The Bonn Challenge aims to restore 865 million acres of deforested landscapes by 2030. Individual countries have set their own targets, too, like Canada’s announcement to plant 2 billion trees in 10 years. These reforestation efforts have been spurred by the need to store more carbon to fight climate change and help create habitat for dwindling biodiversity. Planting more trees can also help reduce air pollution, prevent erosion, and provide cooling shade for everyone from city dwellers to creek-swimming salmon. Seems like a perfect solution to a lot of problems, including two of our biggest: climate change and biodiversity loss. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it may seem. There are a lot of ways that tree planting can go awry—especially as people aim to hit arbitrary metrics. This includes planting trees in the wrong places, like in native grasslands or wetlands. Or planting nonnative trees that take up too much water or create other dangerous conditions.


Even if we succeed, it will be generations before the emergency ends. I think we have to be at peace with that. It’s that old saw: You strike a match and it gets blown out, so you strike the next one and that gets blown out too. And again and again you keep lighting matches, and they keep getting blown out. But you gotta keep lighting them, right? Because you just don’t know which one is going to ignite the blaze.”—Fictional climate activist Kate Morris in Steve Markley’s novel “Deluge.”


How Tribal Hunters Became The Scapegoat For Yellowstone’s Bison ‘Slaughter’. By Roque Planas at HuffPost. Today’s Yellowstone National Park bison herd exists because conservationists 130 years ago protected the couple of dozen animals that had survived the slaughter of millions carried out in the 1860s and ‘70s, spurred in part by government support to crush the Plains Indians resistance to Manifest Destiny by wiping out this key part of their food supply. Over the decades, that herd grew, and some of the thousands of bison are regularly culled. Mass bison killings are politically explosive events that occur outside Yellowstone during harsh winters. They routinely happen to avoid conflict with Montana’s powerful livestock industry, which fears the bison will spread disease to cattle. But in the past, federal authorities have culled most of them. The biggest difference this year was that tribal hunters killed far more bison than slaughterhouses did. The change has left tribal hunters in the uncomfortable position of becoming the public face of a herd-thinning strategy they have long opposed. “It was sight unseen. The same exact thing was going on, except now the tribes are exercising their treaty rights,” said Jeremy Red Star Wolf, the former wildlife chair for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla. “Does that mean this is what we want forever? No. We would like to have animals out on the landscape.

TOPSHOT - A hazy San Francisco skyline is seen from Dolores Park in San Francisco, California on September 9, 2020. - More than 300,000 acres are burning across the northwestern state including 35 major wildfires, with at least five towns "substantially destroyed" and mass evacuations taking place. (Photo by Brittany Hosea-Small / AFP) (Photo by BRITTANY HOSEA-SMALL/AFP via Getty Images)
This orange haze on the San Francisco skyline on September 9, 2020, was the consequence of smoke from wildfires that burned hundreds of thousands of acres and consumed parts of five towns in northern California. The sky soon cleared, but health impacts from breathing in smoke particles don’t disappear so quickly.

Wildfire’s Toxic Legacy Leaves Children Gasping for Air Years Later. By Amy Bainbridge and Angus Whitley at Bloomberg Green. More than three years after one of Australia’s worst wildfire seasons on record, its toxic legacy is becoming clearer—and exposing the potential health risks that lie ahead for increasingly fire-prone regions from America and Europe to Asia and Africa. The Black Summer fires raged across eastern Australia for months, killing 33 people and spewing out smoke that contributed to another estimated 429 deaths. Between July 2019 and March 2020, blazes consumed 24 million hectares of land—an area roughly equivalent to half of California—ravaging forests, cars, metals, plastics and thousands of buildings. Millions of Australians breathed in the particles. Interviews with more than a dozen medical professionals, researchers and climate experts, as well as mothers who were pregnant or had very young children at the time of the fires, point to a lasting health burden. The children’s ongoing symptoms, their families say, all followed weeks of exposure to bushfire smoke either before birth or during their early months of life. According to the parents, some of the babies were born prematurely with blackened placentas.

The Climate Crisis Is a Health Crisis. By Mark Schapiro at Capital & Main. The direct and indirect health impacts of climate change are one of the most underreported aspects of the climate crisis. The medical and scientific journals are filled with examples of diseases shifting along with the shifting climatic conditions, but the links between the environment and personal health rarely make it into the media. Medical professionals in the U.S., warns the CDC, may be thoroughly unprepared to treat diseases that have been previously confined to tropical Africa and Latin America. The World Health Organization says that climate change presents “the biggest health threat facing humanity.” Bugs and bacteria, it turns out, can adapt much better to a changing environment than we humans. Start with disease-bearing mosquitoes—whose range is rapidly expanding inside the continental United States. The mosquito family known as Aedes aegypti, most responsible for transmitting diseases like zika, dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever, has largely been limited to the tropics but is following the heat into a broad band across the southern United States, from North Carolina and Virginia into the southern portions of California and Arizona.

Food Prices Are Still High. What Role Do Corporate Profits Play? By Dana Cronin at Civil Eats. After more than two years of cost increases, Americans are finally feeling relief at the grocery store as food inflation cooled off for the first time in March and then again in April. But those price drops will likely only go so far. That’s largely because, over the last few years, the small handful of food corporations controlling the sector have been charging premiums for their products, blaming supply chain disruptions. They’ve raked in record profits as a result, and nothing is stopping them from continuing to do so. Food corporations are thriving. Between 2021 and 2022, the food and beverage industry recorded more than $155 billion in profits, according to Forbes. Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, increased its gross profits last year by almost 3% to $46 billion. Cargill recorded a 23% jump in revenue last year to $165 billion—$6.68 billion of which was profit. Tyson Foods, the largest meat producer in the U.S., nearly doubled its profits in the first quarter of 2022 due to soaring meat prices. How is the corporate food world flourishing amid a global food crisis? Can these two realities be reconciled? And what does it all mean for food prices going forward? We spoke with experts to help explain what’s going on.

The attorneys general of New York and Massachusetts are investigating whether Exxon's questioning of climate change science and downplaying of its risks constituted fraud against the public and investors. Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images
Two scientists have calculated what fossil fuel giants should pay to clean up the environmental harm they have caused. ExxonMobil’s assessment, they say, would be $18 billion annually. 

Time To Pay The Piper — The Cost Of Cleaning Up After Fossil Fuel Companies. By Steve Hanley at CleanTechnica. The creation of an evidence-based “polluter pays” price tag has been welcomed as an important step towards achieving climate justice for communities and countries which have contributed the least but are losing the most as the climate breaks down. The amount the fossil fuel companies should pay to clean up the environmental harm they have done at $209 billion a year, according to scientists Marco Grasso at the Climate Social Science Network and Richard Heede at the Climate Accountability Institute. According to The Guardian, the companies can easily afford to shoulder their share of the burden.

  • Saudi Aramco, the state-owned company with the largest emissions, would owe $43 billion annually — equivalent to just over a quarter of its 2022 profits.
  • ExxonMobil would owe $18 billion in annual reparations, compared with record profits of $56 billion in 2022.
  • British oil giants Shell and BP, which together made $68 billion last year, would be collectively liable for $30.8 billion in annual climate reparations, according to the study.

World Bank: Brazil faces $317 billion in annual losses to Amazon deforestation, By Sarah Brown at Mongabay. Brazil could face losses of $317 billion per year as well as biodiversity depletion and severe social setbacks for millions of people if Amazon deforestation continues, a new report from the World Bank warns. The value is seven times higher than profits from commodities taken from the rainforest, the report concludes. Experts say that infrastructure development connecting coastal cities, rather than within the Amazon Rainforest, can help boost Brazil’s economy and improve social conditions while reducing pressure on the forests. Development efforts must be supported by strong forest governance and international backing in order to be effective, according to experts.


Dolly Parton’s New Song Is a Climate Anthem The Young Miners Dying of “An Old Man’s Disease” A Guardian of Federal Lands, Lambasted by Left and Right Millets— ncient drought-resistant grains—could help the Midwest survive climate change A look at how U.S. cities are struggling to accommodate migrants Steal This Idea: The Larger the Car, the More You Pay to Park Ukraine found an unlikely tool to resist Russia: Solar panels As Ocean Oxygen Levels Dip, Fish Face an Uncertain Future s Peak Oil Looms, Exxon Wades into Lithium Mining Oklo announces plans for 2 nuclear plants in Ohio area touted as prime real estate for advanced reactors Western Wildfires are Burning Through Local and State Budgets • Beyond Factory Farms: A New Look at the Rights of Animals

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