Sunday 16th of May 2021

grass roots "rooted" on climate policies...

climate policies

DNC Climate Plan

The Democratic National Committee’s Platform Committee has released its proposed policy platform, which will guide party members for the next four years, and climate got 5 pages out of 79.

Given the lack of ambition in the three other plans released in recent weeks by the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, the Biden-Sanders Unity Committee, and the Biden campaign, holding out high expectations would’ve been foolhardy. And yet, particularly on oil and gas issues, the plan was unambitious even by DNC standards.

The plan doesn’t call for any type of oil fossil fuel industry phaseout. The words “fracking” and “natural gas” are missing from the text altogether. The terms “coal” and “fossil fuel” only show up once, and not in the context of an industry phaseout:

“We will hold fossil fuel companies accountable for cleaning up abandoned mine lands, oil and gas wells, and industrial sites, so these facilities no longer pollute local environments and can be safely repurposed to support new economic activity, including in the heart of coal country.”

The 2016 platform had much more grassroots pressure behind it, and didn’t need to navigate the pressure of an ongoing pandemic. It called for a phaseout of fossil fuel extraction on public lands backed by the “Keep It in the Ground” movement, an end to industry exemptions like the Halliburton Loophole (Biden voted against the 2005 energy bill containing this provision). It said that fracking “should not take place where states and local communities oppose it.” It called for phasing out coal production and ensuring a just transition for industry workers, winding down fossil fuel subsidies and tax breaks, and legal accountability for the fossil fuel industry for misleading the public about the impact of the climate crisis by funding denial campaigns.

None of that stuff made it into the 2020 draft platform.

Instead, the 2020 version continues Biden’s call for a “double down” on the expansion of carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) technology, and for “breakthrough opportunities” for “direct air capture and net-negative emissions technologies.” As explained in last week’s edition, CCUS means capturing carbon at the point of emissions at the industrial smokestack, storing it in underground pipelines and then utilizing the CO2 for future industrial process like cement and plastics production (which are climate change-causing petrochemicals). In the U.S., most of the time the stored carbon is used to extract more oil in a process called enhanced oil recovery.

In reality, this all will mean more fracking for oil and gas and more growth of the sector overall.



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the shale boom of the 2010’s is officially bust...

Yesterday, President Trump left Midland, Texas, after arriving in the state’s Permian oilfield region for a $2,800 a plate luncheon and a “roundtable” that required each participant to pony up $100,000.

The west Texas Mr. Trump left behind bears little resemblance to the region as it was when he first took office in January 2017, as the shale rush resumed following 2016’s oil price plunge.

Today, the shale boom of the 2010’s is officially bust, battered not only by the US’s outsized failure to control COVID-19 outbreaks and an oil price war in which foreign producers proved their ability to steer oil prices, but also a wave of multi-billion dollar write-downs by oil giants — write-downs that predated both the price war and the pandemic and resulted from the industry’s perpetual struggles to generate profits from shale drilling and fracking regardless of the price of oil.

Last Friday, just 103 active drilling rigs dotted Texas, according to data from Baker Hughes. That’s down from 403 drilling rigs as 2020 began and the state’s peak this decade of 930. Just 251 active oil and gas rigs could be found across the entire United States, the lowest number recorded since Baker Hughes began tracking the rig count back in 1940.

In late February, the nighttime horizons around Midland and Odessa were still dotted with brightly burning oil well flares, dozens of flickering licks of flame that cast an uncertain light across the mesquite and cotton fields of west Texas. Mancamps and hotels already appeared partially emptied out, even while a constant flow of truck traffic streamed along the desert highways.


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following the trends...

On this site, we have attempted many times since 2005 to let readers know about the difference between weather and climate, For example





At the BBC, a simple new video also explains this difference, again:


What's the difference between weather and climate?

Why we need to distinguish day-to-day weather from long-term trends.




Local authorities at England's Brighton Beach have asked people to stay away after crowds flocked to the nation's coast on the third-hottest day ever recorded in the United Kingdom.


Key points:
  • The temperature reached 37.8 degrees Celsius at Heathrow Airport
  • Several beaches around the country saw large crowds with people ignoring social distancing measures
  • The UK Government has announced the easing of some restrictions in England will be delayed


The Met Office said the 37.8 degrees Celsius recorded at Heathrow Airport made Friday the hottest day of the year so far in the UK.

Brighton and Hove City Council urged people to not travel to the area, saying they were concerned about the number of people already in the city and that it was impossible to maintain social distancing due to large numbers.

Meanwhile, further west on the coast in Dorset, police and council officers were patrolling Bournemouth Beach and the seafront at Poole, with large crowds amassing despite social distancing guidelines being in effect.


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climate trends, decades into the future...

¡ que calor en california !...

US weather forecasters have issued warnings of a potentially life-threatening heat wave over the weekend in south-western areas of the country.

The National Weather Service (NWS) said temperatures could reach 50C (122F) in southern California on Saturday.

Parts of Utah, Arizona and Nevada, including the city of Las Vegas, may also be hit with a heat wave of up to 49C.

It comes after a day of record temperatures in the region on Friday.

The NWS has urged people to take safety precautions like limiting the amount of time spent outdoors.

Forecasters said a high-pressure system was moving through the south-west and causing temperatures to rise. 

A record-beating 46C was reported on Friday in Phoenix, Arizona and records were also beaten in four cities in California.

The NWS said in a tweet that "rare, dangerous and deadly" temperatures were expected in large areas of Arizona until Monday.


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indeed a “clerical error”...

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and the vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris had their first face-off with climate activists and other progressives after the Democratic National Committee scrubbed platform language that opposed fossil fuel subsidies and tax breaks.

“Democrats support eliminating tax breaks and subsidies for fossil fuels, and will fight to defend and extend tax incentives for energy efficiency and clean energy,” the amendment was added to the ledger of party demands after it was voted in, stated. The platform statement then disappeared from the final draft of the party platform which circulated Monday, August 17, Collin Rees of Oil Change U.S. who discovered the missing language, told The Real News.

A DNC spokesperson said in an email that the amendment was “incorrectly included” and “after the error was discovered” was removed.

To add to the controversy, the sponsor of an amendment John Laesch, a member of the DNC platform committee, reportedly claimed he did not consent to scrapping the language that had been approved, contradicting the DNC’s statement. 

Jeff Weaver, a long-time aide to Bernie Sanders, told The Real News he had spoken to Laesch who had agreed to the amendment being removed. “He agreed to the language being taken out in exchange for certain other amendments that he supported,” Weaver said, adding that it was indeed a “clerical error” which was rectified after the statement was scrubbed.  

These claims and counter-claims have exposed platform inadequacies and competing agendas at work within the Democratic ranks. Several nationwideclimate groups and activist circles have lambasted the DNC for walking back its commitments to end fossil fuel subsidies demanding an answer. The drama unfolded as the roll call counted delegates in favor of Biden.  

Senior campaigner with Oil Change U.S. Collin Rees called the move a “betrayal” and “unbelievably stupid” and said, “ending subsidies is a common-sense position held by the vast majority of all voters, by both Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.” 

Rees added that “for those of us working to defeat Donald Trump and confront the climate crisis, it’s critical that our party’s leaders and candidates stand up to the fossil fuel industry that’s trampling on Indigenous and frontline communities, poisoning air and water, abandoning workers, and wrecking the climate.


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