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JULY 27, 2021

Dear Friends:

Once again, climate news is every hour. Our attention is rivetted on the climate provisions of the $3.5 trillion budget blueprint and the bi-partisan infrastructure bill.

Belle and the Climate Team

Links to Articles

Opinion

Apocalypse Right Now

By Maureen Dowd

Opinion: Trees are dying of thirst in this heat and drought

A 3°C world has no safe place

The extremes of floods and fires are not going away, but adaptation can lessen their impact

America in 2090: The Impact of Extreme Heat, in Maps

Emissions Reductions

Big Climate Problem With Few Easy Solutions: Planes

The airline industry might not be able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for decades because most solutions are not yet viable.

Electric heat pumps use much less energy than furnaces, and can cool houses too – here’s how they work

Toyota Led on Clean Cars. Now Critics Say It Works to Delay Them.

The auto giant bet on hydrogen power, but as the world moves toward electric the company is fighting climate regulations in an apparent effort to buy time.


Extreme Weather

That Heat Dome? Yeah, It’s Climate Change.

It Seems Odd That We Would Just Let the World Burn

By Ezra Klein

How Severe Is the Western Drought? See For Yourself.

By Nadja Popovich, June 11, 2021

An intense drought is gripping the American West. Extreme conditions are more widespread than at any point in at least 20 years, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the government’s official drought-tracking service. Maps display facts. 2021, worst yet.


No One Is Safe’: Extreme Weather Batters the Wealthy World

Floods swept Germany, fires ravaged the American West and another heat wave loomed, driving home the reality that the world’s richest nations remain unprepared for the intensifying consequences of climate change.

By Somini Sengupta


Climate Crisis Turns World’s Subways Into Flood Zones

Swift, deadly flooding in China this week inundated a network that wasn’t even a decade old, highlighting the risks faced by cities globally.

Wildfires, Forest Management, Biomass Uses

Bringing tech innovation to wildfires: 4 recommendations for smarter firefighting as megafires menace the US


Doubts over Newsom’s effort to curb wildfires

Strategy of creating forest fuel breaks has limited success


A Nonprofit Promised to Preserve Wildlife. Then It Made Millions Claiming It Could Cut Down Trees. — ProPublica

A Nonprofit Promised to Preserve Wildlife. Then It Made Millions Claiming It Could Cut Down Trees. The Massachusetts Audubon Society has managed its land as wildlife habitat for years.

Marin Voice: County authority takes systems approach to fire-adapted communities

By Mark Brown

Salt Fire destroys homes, becomes fiercest of several Northern California fires

By Mallory Moench, Kurtis Alexander

Prescribed burns gain support

It is becoming increasingly common in California. Also known as controlled burns, prescribed burns are the practice of intentionally igniting fires to remove hazardous vegetation that can serve as fuel for larger and hotter fires.

The Bell Curve of Catastrophe

Scenes from America’s Largest Wildfire

By Sergio Olmos, Photographs by Kristina Barker

The drought and hot temperatures this summer have helped fuel the Bootleg Fire. Firefighters estimate that 95 of every 100 embers that are carried by the wind ignite into flame when they hit the ground.

Fire Tracker: Follow wildfires across the state on interactive maps

Latest updates on Bay Area fires and wildfires burning across Northern California and Southern California. Interactive map showing acres burned and containment of fires.

California overtime law could put sheep ranching operations that prevent fire out of business

By Tara Duggan


Climate Science

Against Expectations, Southwestern Summers Are Getting Even Drier

The finding by researchers runs counter to a basic tenet of climate change — that warming increases humidity because hotter air holds more moisture. It’s also bad news for fire seasons.


Political, legislation, regulatory

Democrats Roll Out $3.5 Trillion Budget to Fulfill Biden’s Broad Agenda

The plan would also create what would effectively be a tax on imports from countries with high levels of greenhouse gas emissions. 

Some Republicans Find Failure to Grapple With Climate Change a ‘Political Liability’

A small but growing number of Republicans say the G.O.P. needs a coherent climate strategy and formed a “Conservative Climate Caucus” on Capitol Hill.

California urges EPA to let state set car-emissions standard

Officials from California, New York and other states urged the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday to allow California to set its own automobile tailpipe pollution standards, an action that would reverse a Trump administration policy and could help usher in stricter emissions standards for new passenger vehicles nationwide.

Biden Plans to Restore Alaskan Forest Protections Stripped Under Trump

The administration says it will “repeal or replace” the rule that opened up more than half of Tongass National Forest to logging.

By Coral Davenport

Lawmaker Threatens to Subpoena Exxon After Secret Video

The chairman of a powerful House subcommittee said he is seeking answers from Exxon and other oil and gas giants over their role in spreading disinformation on climate change.

The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (H.R. 2307) will help reduce America's carbon pollution to net zero by 2050. It puts a fee on carbon pollution.

Fossil Fuels and Renewables

Here Are America’s Top Methane Emitters. Some Will Surprise You.

Small, privately held drilling companies are becoming the country’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, often by buying up the industry’s high-polluting assets.

Off-shore wind - challenge for Biden’s climate change plan

A constellation of 5,400 offshore wind turbines meet a growing portion of Europe’s energy needs. The United States has exactly seven.

Debate begins over updating California’s rooftop solar rules

With more than 90,000 miles of coastline, the country has plenty of places to plunk down turbines. But legal, environmental and economic obstacles and even vanity have stood in the way.

The Biden administration wants up to 2,000 turbines in the water in the next eight and a half years.

Economics, Clean Energy, Green Economy

Bunged up

How green bottlenecks threaten the clean energy business

A great green investment boom is under way, but supply-side problems are underappreciated

What I Saw in Yosemite Was Devastating

We can’t even protect protected land from climate change

Global

Germany Is in Shock. Its Politicians Are on Autopilot.

By Anna Sauerbrey

The country is in shock. Images of people waiting on rooftops for help, cars tossed around like toys by the water and entire houses turned to rubble are seared into our minds. Nearly 20 years on from our last major flood, the conclusion is inescapable: Climate change is right here, right now, and it hurts. But you wouldn’t know that from the country’s politics

Flood Deaths in China Show Road Risks From Climate Change

At least four people died in a highway tunnel in central China that flooded at the same time as a subway tunnel after eight inches of rain fell in a single hour.

Europe Unveils Plan to Shift From Fossil Fuels, Setting Up Potential Trade Spats

BRUSSELS — In what may be a seminal moment in the global effort to fight climate change, Europe on Wednesday challenged the rest of the world by laying out an ambitious blueprint to pivot away from fossil fuels over the next nine years, a plan that also has the potential to set off global trade disputes

The proposal would impose tariffs on some imports from countries with looser environmental rules. It would also mean the end of sales in the European Union of new gas- and diesel-powered cars in just 14 years.

UN Agencies Call for a Decade of Restoring Ecosystems to Confront Biodiversity and Climate Emergencies

The new report "charts the losses that result from a poor stewardship of the planet."

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer

UN body pushed to demand stronger climate action from Australia to save Great Barrier Reef

Conservationists lobby World Heritage Committee to demand Australia reduce emissions or risk reef being placed on ‘in danger’

As China Boomed, It Didn’t Take Climate Change Into Account. Now It Must

California

California’s renewable natural gas vehicles turn carbon negative in 2020

Kern County OKs plan for thousands of new oil and gas wells over environmental objections

The Kern County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to approve a revised ordinance supported by the influential petroleum industry that creates a blanket environmental impact report to approve as many as 2,700 new wells a year.

Biden officials, Newsom designate two areas off California coast for wind turbine development

Officials said they’ve designated two areas that can support sea-bound wind turbines: one 399-square-mile section northwest of Morro Bay and a smaller area off the North Coast near Eureka.

Newsom declares drought emergency for Marin County

As Disasters Worsen, California Looks at Curbing Construction in Risky Areas

The state’s insurance regulator endorsed proposals that could reshape the real estate market, the latest sign of climate shocks hitting the economy.

This is Like a Different World..” – Lake Mead Water Levels at “..a tipping point”

California Not Doing as Well as It Thinks in Reducing Carbon, Investigation Finds

Dan Walters: How should California confront wildfire threat?

Debate begins over updating California’s rooftop solar rules


Marin County and the Bay Area

Marin Voice: Water district could have built desalination plant long ago

Hayward May Surrender Some Land to the Sea

San Rafael approves general plan EIR

Testimony from local residents was helpful: Bill Carney, Annika Osborne, and Belle Cole.

Fire-smart landscaping — steps you can take toward the new landscape normal

By Fay Mark

One climate-smart solution that addresses all these needs is watershed restoration.

Marin Voice: Environmental consequences of pipeline, desalination plans must be considered

By Tom Flynn


EVENTS

Thursday, August 5, 6 pm

OFA Marin monthly meeting

Guest: Stephen Swain, UC Cooperative Extension, discussing how trees in your defensible space can best be utilized to reduce your carbon footprint.

Zoom invite.

Thursday, August 12, 7 pm, Point Reyes Books, 11315 CA-1, Point Reyes Station

Daniel Sherrell discusses his new book Warmth: Coming of Age at the End of Our World (Penguin) with Bill McKibben. Co-sponsored by the Mesa Refuge. “Beautifully rendered and bracingly honest.”

Thursday, August 12, 10 am - 12:30 pm, Environmental Forum of Marin (EFM)

Take in the Medicine of the Forest, Roy's Redwoods Preserve, Nicasio Valley Road, Woodacre

Registration $50.00. This amount covers your ticket and the ticket of a youth participant.

Tuesday, August 17, 2-4 pm

ESP Partnership meeting. Zoom invite.


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