Earth is not a resource, electric pickup dystopia & the Pope's divine ride

The newsletter for people "woke" on carbon and climate.

Issue No. 77

Welcome to the latest issue of Carbon Creed - a curated newsletter for people “woke” on carbon and climate. 

The US needs a successful, federal green bank.

Our history shows that when we have faced overwhelming economic challenges, we have created public institutions up to the task of meeting them. To meet today’s challenges of COVID-19 recovery, inequality and climate change, a federal green bank that would channel public and private investment for the public interest is essential.

The Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator is the green bank for our times. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) recently introduced legislation with bipartisan support, that, if enacted, would establish the accelerator, a nonprofit financial institution with $100 billion in equity and the mission of directing investment into transformative projects that create good jobs, and mitigate both global warming and inequality. It would invest in every state through and alongside local financial institutions. A full 40 percent of investment would support the most vulnerable communities.

President Biden included a version in his American Job’s Plan, and nearly 250 groups have urged Congress to pass the legislation for a green bank as part of the upcoming infrastructure bill. Now is the best chance ever to establish and fund a federal green bank, let’s hope congress will get it done!

For more detailed information on the federal green bank, check out the new report by Coalition for Green Capital.

If you have an opinion on any topic covered in this newsletter, please feel free to send me an email at 

Thank you for your viewpoint and the value of your time.

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Climate quotes and sayings that will inspire you

“Mother Earth is not a resource, she is an heirloom.” ~ David Ipina, Yurok

Credo: Each generation has the privilege to be responsible stewards of this precious planet. ~ WLM

(source: SETI Institute)

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”~ Upton Sinclair, novelist

Credo: Deniers believe the false narrative: climate action equals economic decline. ~ WLM

"Quarrels end, but words once spoken never die. ~Sierra Leone" 

Credo: Choose words to heal not hurt when discussing climate change. ~ WLM


(source: Ford)

EV Dystopia: The Ford F-150 Lightning

In 2019 Elon Musk took the stage to unveil Tesla’s new all-electric Cybertruck pickup - observers were shocked, and that's putting it mildly. The look was, “anti-humanistic,” a ride devised, seemingly, for a Mad Max future many would say.

Fast forward two years, and the real EV pickup of dystopia may have just arrived. This week, Ford unveiled the F-150 Lightning, a relatively inexpensive electric version of the most popular vehicle in America.

Bill Ford, the company’s executive chairman, cast the event in historic terms, saying, “[the F-150 Lightening] will fulfill our promise to our children and our grandchildren that our generation is committed to leaving them a cleaner planet.”

It’s likely no accident that the vehicle’s first bit of marketing touches on surviving a climate-changed Earth. It will be the first electric vehicle, the company says, to serve as a “battery on wheels.” Ford says the extended battery in the more expensive version of the electric F-150 will be able to power a blacked-out home for three days. Potential users will likely have to pay to install a home integration system, price to be determined. 

During the rollout event, CEO Jim Farley cited recent ice storms in Texas, which have been blamed in part on climate change and which stunted the state's electric grid for five days, as a reason to pony up for the Lightning.

Experts have said for years that electrifying America’s vehicles will be a critical part of combating climate change. In the US, the transportation sector is the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions, and the majority of those come from the tailpipes of passenger cars and trucks. For this reason, governments offer subsidies and tax credits to encourage people to buy electric vehicles. Still, the decisions come down to individual consumers. Will consumers want a battery on wheels?

Ford added some practical touches to broaden the appeal. The truck’s more expensive versions come with 11 AC outlets, a nice perk if you want to plug in power tools while on the road. The truck also has a remarkably spacious “frunk”—that is, front trunk, the space where an internal-combustion engine would go on a gas-powered vehicle—which drivers can use to store valuables they’re not comfortable leaving in the bed.

Research conducted by the consulting firm BCG (and funded by Ford) found that, of the 17 million F-series trucks on US roads today, between one-quarter and one-third are used for commercial purposes. If this truck is going to be a success, its power-generating features will need to appeal to people who use it for work.

The vehicle’s ability to power homes (up 9.6 Kw of power) as well as tools, is a real game changer, and might be the sort of feature that will attract even the previously EV-agnostic. 

Americans might not be interested in buying products for climate resilience per se. But demand for in-home generators in Texas has reached an all-time high since the February ice storms. People like to be prepared. That could be electric vehicles’—and Ford’s—gain.

[This post was adapted from the original by Aarian Marshall, who writes for Wired]


(source: Fisker Inc.)

Fisker’s electric Popemobile is Divine

Fisker Inc., the EV startup-turned publicly traded company, is working on a modified version of its all-electric Ocean SUV for Pope Francis.

The company said Friday that it plans to deliver to the Vatican late next year a Popemobile based on its upcoming Fisker Ocean SUV. An initial agreement was reached during a private meeting between Pope Francis and Fisker co-founders Henrik Fisker and Dr. Geeta Gupta-Fisker. Henrik Fisker showed a number of sketches, including one that Pope Francis signed. There aren’t many details about this new Popemobile, although a rendering of the modified Fisker Ocean SUV shows an all-glass cupola. 

(source: Fisker Inc.)

“I got inspired reading that Pope Francis is very considerate about the environment and the impact of climate change for future generations,” says Henrik Fisker. “The interior of the Fisker Ocean papal transport will contain a variety of sustainable materials, including carpets made from recycled plastic bottles from the ocean.”

The agreement marks more than 50 years of automakers working with the Vatican to develop and deliver vehicles to shuttle the Holy See. Ford, which created a version of a 1964 Lehmann-Peterson, was used by Pope Paul VI in his 1965 New York City visit. The term Popemobile was popularized until Pope John Paul II’s tenure. Automakers including Dacia, Stellantis’ Fiat and Jeep brands, Mercedes-Benz and Renault have all supplied vehicles to various pontiffs. Pope Francis has been known to use a Ford Focus for drives in Vatican City.

Fisker is aiming to start production of its Ocean SUV on November 17, 2022. The Popemobile version is expected around the same time.

[This post was adapted from the original by Kirsten Korosec, who writes for Tech Crunch]




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