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MAY 31, 2021


Dear Friends:

OFA Working Group on Biden Era Climate Change focuses on support for Biden’s Infrastructure Plan and entire climate policy agenda. Links keep us informed. Note landmark reports which are starred.

Belle and climate working group

Links to climate articles

Emissions Reduction

Biden Climate Summit 4.22.23.21

Biden’s Climate Summit Sets Up a Bigger Test of American Power

There were notable pledges of action, but several important greenhouse gas polluters were conspicuously silent. It showed the challenges that lie aheadhttps://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/23/climate/biden-climate-summit.htm

On Climate, Biden Takes On ‘Our Generation’s Moonshot’

On Thursday, President Biden announced another Hail Mary — what Jennifer Granholm, the energy secretary, called “our generation’s moonshot.” This time, the focus is on finding a cure for the entire planet.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/23/us/politics/climate-biden-domestic- policy.html

Biden wants to slash emissions. Success would mean a very different America {Estimates for achieving at least 50% reduction in emissions by 2030)

Brad Plumer

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/04/22/us/biden-earth-day-climate-summit#biden-emissions-target-economy



https://www.sfchronicle.com/local/environment/article/Padilla-proposes-increased-protection-for-1-16147663.phpDownload The Report

https://netzeroamerica.princeton.edu/the-report


Climate Justice

Landslide Victory for Climate Justice': Court Rules Shell Must Cut CO2 Emissions 45% by 2030

"This is a turning point in history," said an attorney who noted that the ruling "may also have major consequences for other big polluters."

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/05/26/landslide-victory-climate-justice-court-rules-shell-must-cut-co2-emissions-45-2030?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=email_t

Clean Energy, The Economy Family Plan

Biden and World Leaders Focus on Innovation for ‘Clean Energy Future’

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/04/23/us/earth-day-climate-summit-biden#on-day-2-of-the-climate-summit-biden-revives-a-venture-to-increase-investment-in-renewable-energy

Biden’s $4 Trillion Economic Plan, in One Chart

Money directed at families is added to an earlier proposal on infrastructure.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/28/upshot/biden-families-plan-american-rescue-infrastructure.html

Are Biden’s carbon markets as good as they look? No, say smaller farms

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/may/13/are-bidens-carbon-markets-as-good-as-they-look-no-say-smaller-farms


Carbon offsets used by major airlines based on flawed system, warn experts

Biden’s push for green energy pits American jobs against

lower costs

Why Bill Gates...is wrong by

John Carey

Why Bill Gates, John Kerry, and Other Climate Dudes Are Dead Wrong. There's no Gates-ian fairy tale, no Franzen-like acceptance of disaster, and no awaiting the invention of some Kerry-like miracle technologies.

For Clean Energy, Buy American or Buy It Quick and Cheap?

President Biden says slowing climate change will create jobs. Tension between unions and environmentalists shows it’s not so simple.https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/11/business/economy/clean-energy-biden.html

Fossil Fuels

Big Setbacks Propel Oil Giants Toward a ‘Tipping Point’

A surprising mix of environmentalists, pension fund managers and big money investors have scored startling victories against oil and coal, opening new battle fronts in the climate fight.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/29/climate/fossil-fuel-courts-exxon-shell-chevron.html

A Court Ruled Shell Is Liable for Its Contributions to Climate Change. What Happens Now?


The oil company is the first to be held individually liable, but climate-justice groups aim to ensure it isn’t the last

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/shell-climate-change-oil-dutch-court-1175404/

Nations Must Drop Fossil Fuels, Fast, World Energy Body Warns

A landmark report from the International Energy Agency says countries need to move faster and more aggressively to cut planet-warming pollution.

Preamble to Report “We are approaching a decisive moment for international efforts to tackle the climate crisis as a great challenge of our times. The number of countries that have pledged to reach net‐zero emissions by midcentury or soon after continues to grow, but so do global greenhouse gas emissions. This gap between rhetoric and action needs to close if we are to have a fighting chanc of reaching net zero by 2050 and limiting the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 °C. “

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/18/climate/climate-change-emissions-IEA.html

New Report Details the Gendered and Racial Impacts of the Fossil Fuel Industry and the Complicit Financial Institutions

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/04/16/new-report-details-gendered-and-racial-impacts-fossil-fuel-industry-and-complicit?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=email_this

More Evidence, Fossil Fuels have Peaked

Something was different about this collapse, though, something that is not only unprecedented but until recently impossible in global energy. As the IEA’s latest data shows, renewable energy grew last year, and it was the only energy source that did so as consumption of gas, oil, and coal all declined. Renewables were not just an energy growth sector; they were the only energy growth sector.

https://climatecrocks.com/2021/05/13/more-evidence-fossil-fuels-have-peaked/

Indigenous, Climate Leaders Launch National Effort to Demand Biden 'Stop Trump Pipelines'

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/05/21/indigenous-climate-leaders-launch-national-effort-demand-biden-stop-trump-pipelines?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=email_this

Why Biden Isn’t Cracking Down on Fossil Fuels

Environmental activists had high hopes when he entered office, but have found his record mixed.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/28/us/politics/biden-climate-change-fossil-fuels.html


Extreme Weather, Wildfires, Floods, Hurrianes

The typhoon that hit my island didn’t make the news. This is what the climate crisis looks like

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/23/the-typhoon-that-hit-my-island-didnt-make-the-news-this-is-what-the-climate-crisis-looks-like

How to have a gorgeous, thriving fire-smart landscape

https://www.marinij.com/2021/04/23/how-to-have-a-gorgeous-thriving-fire-smart-landscape/

Fay Mark

Editorial: California's extreme fire danger has never been greater. Why are Californians ignoring it?

Chronicle Editorial Board

May 4, 2021Updated: May 4, 2021 4 a.m.

https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Editorial-California-s-extreme-fire-danger-has-16148702.php

Dueling Studies Show Antarctic Uncertainty

https://climatecrocks.com/author/greenman3610/

Carbon offsets used by major airlines based on flawed system, warn experts

Western fires are burning higher in the mountains at unprecedented rates in a clear sign of climate change

https://theconversation.com/western-fires-are-burning-higher-in-the-mountains-at-unprecedented-rates-in-a-clear-sign-of-climate-change-159699

In the West: Drought Disaster Looms

May 4, 2021

https://climatecrocks.com/2021/05/04/in-the-west-drought-disaster-looms/


Facing Hurricane and Wildfire Seasons, FEMA Is Already Worn Out

Multiple missions, combined with years of record disasters, have strained the agency — and scientists predict an unusually severe disaster season ahead.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/20/climate/fema-staff-wildfires-hurricane-season.html


Deadly flooding. 'Zombie fires.' A massive iceberg. It's been a wild week in weather and climate change

https://www.cnn.com/2021/05/22/weather/climate-change-weather-roundup-trnd/index.html

Climate change is about more than just rising temperatures. It's pervading our daily lives and causing new weather patterns, both on land and at sea. Its ripple effects are reverberating on storm activity and flooding. The deadly disasters in Louisiana and India are a stark reminder of its impact


Biden Climate Policy, legislation, Team

Biden’s climate all-stars: ‘The ambition is breathtaking’ — but so are the expectations

The president lured top talent into his administration, all behind one goal: “There aren’t a lot of egos. Just a motivation to make things happen.”

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/04/21/biden-climate-team-483841

Biden Seeks Shift in How the Nation Serves Its People

The president’s costly proposals amount to a risky gamble that a country polarized along ideological and cultural lines is ready for a more activist government.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/28/us/politics/joe-biden-government-plans.html

Biden Vowed to Make Climate ‘Essential’ to Foreign Policy. The Reality Is Harder.

CONGRESS PLANS CLIMATE RESILIENCY — BUT MOSTLY FOR THE MILITARY

https://theintercept.com/2021/05/22/congress-climate-military/

Climate Action Campaign, suggests that Congress has prioritized military climate readiness over climate resilience for other types of publicly funded infrastructure.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/14/climate/biden-vowed-to-make-climate-essential-to-foreign-policy-the-reality-is-harder.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article


Sweeping federal conservation bill offers billions for parks across the West

Kurtis Alexander https://www.sfchronicle.com/environment/article/Sweeping-federal-conservation-bill-offers-15424575.php


California and climate


California’s budget surplus can help achieve a climate-safe future

BY GUEST COMMENTARY

https://calmatters.org/commentary/my-turn/2021/05/californias-budget-surplus-can-help-achieve-a-climate-safe-future/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=ea492bb8-b1f0-4797-9098-ee33ed3e697f


Newsom orders halt to new fracking in California starting in 2024

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Gavin Newsom directed the state Friday to stop issuing permits for the oil extraction method known as fracking by January 2024 and to draw up plans to end all fossil-fuel drilling in California by 2045 — the most sweeping declaration of its kind in the nation.https://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/Newsom-orders-halt-to-new-fracking-in-California-16124402.php

Don't judge the climate fight

Joe Mathews

April 18, 2021

https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/article/Don-t-judge-the-climate-fight-16105231.php

Padilla proposes increased protection for 1 million acres of California wilderness Kurtis Alexander

https://www.sfchronicle.com/local/environment/article/Padilla-proposes-increased-protection-for-1-16147663.php

Ay Science


Climate Change Indicators in the United States

The Earth's climate is changing. Temperatures are rising, snow and rainfall patterns are shifting, and more extreme climate events – like heavy rainstorms and record high temperatures – are already happening. Many of these observed changes are linked to the rising levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, caused by human activities.

https://www.epa.gov/climate-indicators

There’s a New Definition of‘Normal’ for Weather

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration last week issued its latest “climate normals”: baseline data of temperature, rain, snow and other weather variables collected over three decades at thousands of locations across the country.

“We’re really seeing the fingerprints of climate change in the new normals,” Dr. Palecki said. “We’re not trying to hide that.”

Not that they could. The maps showing the new temperature normals every 10 years, compared with the 20th century average, get increasingly redder.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/05/12/climate/climate-change-weather-noaa.html

Halting the Vast Release of Methane Is Critical for Climate, U.N. Says

A major United Nations report will declare that slashing emissions of methane, the main component of natural gas, is far more vital than previously thought.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/24/climate/methane-leaks-united-nations.html

Climate crisis has shifted the Earth’s axis, study shows

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/apr/23/climate-crisis-has-shifted-the-earths-axis-study-shows

Combating carbon emissions with soil microbes

A new study highlights the relationship between seasonal climate variability and soil microbial communities.

https://www.dailyclimate.org/soil-climate-change-2653047655.html

International

Young climate activists beat Germany's government in court. Could it happen here? https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/climate-change-emissions-carbon-canada-germany-youth-1.6029




As we approach California’s wildfire season, it’s important to be prepared. Taking steps like making sure your contact information is up to date with PG&E, having an emergency plan , and preparing for possible power shutoffs can help you stay safe. While it’s important to be prepared for these events, we can’t overlook the underlying cause for our lengthening wildfire season: climate change.


Climate change can account for more than half of the acres burned each year in the western United States. The number of dry, warm, and windy days has more than doubled since the 1980s, dramatically increasing our risk of wildfires. Reducing the risk of wildfires requires climate action today. Climate action looks different for everyone: going 100% renewable , consuming less , or using clean transportation . Whatever you choose, your actions make a difference.

FROM MCE


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