We Don’t Need Supersonic Travel—in the “New Normal,” We Should Slow Down


Money from the Koch foundations will get put to many functions—do you assume that there’s a big quantity that finally ends up funding local weather denial on campuses?

The cash will be troublesome to trace as soon as it makes its option to colleges. And the connection might not all the time be clear at first. With George Washington University and the Regulatory Studies Center, there’s a direct line. In different locations, similar to George Mason University, which has obtained practically 100 and eighty million {dollars} from Koch foundations since 2005, the connection is much less clear. The college itself isn’t placing out climate-denial information, nevertheless it produces attorneys, lobbyists, politicians, and judges who might enact a climate-denial agenda.

How are college students responding to information of this funding? And what about college?

We have scholar and employees organizers on the floor who’ve been pushing again towards Koch cash for some time, so to see the numbers laid out plainly at their colleges and others reminds them what they’ve been preventing for. We’ve discovered that, on the subject of college, many are tentative about talking out due to potential repercussions.

Many folks may say, ‘It’s their cash, they’ll do what they need with it.’ How do you clarify to them why you assume it’s harmful?

The cash itself isn’t harmful—it’s the strings and circumstances connected to it the place we begin to see the hurt. When donations dictate what curriculum or textbooks are being taught, what college is employed or fired, or exert affect over college fellowships, then it turns into a matter of educational freedom.

Climate School

Utilities are more and more pairing wind and solar energy, often with a battery to retailer energy. Power journal quotes an analyst explaining why: “The cost for projects involving solar, wind, and storage have certainly come down in recent years. Storage in particular has become much more competitive. Two to three years ago, the costs were simply too high and didn’t make economic sense. But while the price tag has gotten smaller, the economic feasibility of projects that combine renewables with storage remains jurisdictionally dependent. As the old real-estate adage goes, ‘location, location, location.’ ”

Ella Nilsen at Vox affords an in depth analysis of an issue that I laid out a couple of weeks in the past: till there’s a greater nationwide community of charging stations, it could be onerous to influence extra consumers to go for electrical autos. She quotes an knowledgeable, saying, “In San Francisco, there’s a huge congestion problem, and there are simply not enough plugs for EVs in that metro area. There is congestion in areas where EV demand has flourished. If we don’t get going on this, we will have roadblocks, especially for longer trips.”

Campaigners at Fossil Free Netherlands—who had been concerned in the current case that led a Dutch courtroom to demand that Royal Dutch Shell reduce emissions forty-five per cent, and who received a ban on fossil-fuel adverts in Amsterdam’s metro stations—signed their identify to a report detailing the ways in which “social tipping points” might pace local weather motion. The authors say that governments ought to push for brand spanking new know-how, however that this can occur quicker and imply extra if lawmakers get rid of “fossil subsidies, and invest that money to help citizens, businesses, and organizations become more sustainable.” Meanwhile, that Dutch courtroom ruling continues to spark insightful evaluation. The worldwide human-rights lawyer Tessa Khan, writing in the Guardian, reckons that “it is hard to overstate the consequences of a decision that is already being hailed as a turning point for big oil. Given the replicability of the arguments and the international standards and common facts that comprise the basis of the case, it will inspire a wave of similar actions around the world.”

Rebecca Leber affords a few of her all the time illuminating reporting, this time singling out the Permian Basin in Texas as the place which will inform the story about the way forward for oil and fuel in the United States. She writes that counting on state regulators is unlikely to get a lot carried out: authorities in Texas have rubber-stamped thirty-five thousand requests to flare heat-trapping methane from wells, with out issuing a single denial.

Scoreboard

A brand new report from the N.G.O. Amazon Watch particulars the holdings of the three largest asset managers—BlackRock, State Street, and Vanguard—in oil firms that function in the world’s largest rain forest. The whole of these investments is forty-six billion {dollars}, and, the report says, the oil firms are sometimes linked to human-rights abuses and deforestation in the area.

The Wall Street Journal has noticed {that a} nationwide “battle brews” over bans on connecting fuel to new residence building, writing that this has “the potential to reshape the future of the utility industry, and demand for natural gas.” Another advance in that struggle got here final week, when activists in the city of Brookline, Massachusetts, persuaded the annual city assembly to make new building permits conditional on an settlement to go fossil-free.

A brand new study in the journal Nature Climate Change states that thirty-seven per cent of heat-related deaths round the world are attributable to the extra warmth that attends the local weather disaster. As John Schwartz summarizes, in the Times, “Climate change has added to overall mortality from all causes by as much as 5 percent in some parts of the world, the authors found; they detected increased mortality from climate-boosted heat on every inhabited continent.”

Over the years, researchers have realized that wolves play a key position in restoring ecosystems, by reining in prey, similar to deer, that may overbrowse timber and shrubs. A brand new study has discovered that wolves additionally save human lives—by lowering deer numbers, they reduce deadly automobile collisions.

Warming Up

Given the topic of right now’s publication, I can maybe be forgiven for admitting a passion for the fifth Dimension and its treatment of lighter-than-air journey. For good measure, right here is Hugh Masekela’s version.



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