Throw away, the Nature of Nature & Hurricanes are changing
The newsletter for independent thinkers on carbon and climate.
Issue No. 87
Welcome to the latest issue of Carbon Creed - a curated newsletter for independent thinkers on carbon and climate.
Climate emerges during Senate budget reconciliation process.
Democrats kicked off debate on a budget reconciliation package last week, a process that will make or break President Biden’s promises to tackle climate change.
With United Nations climate talks just a few months away the big investments Democrats envision in clean energy and infrastructure could be crucial to meeting international climate goals.
Senate Democrats unveiled a $3.5 trillion budget resolution, which sets instructions for committees around Capitol Hill to write policies for a filibuster-proof reconciliation package.
While the resolution dictates only the topline spending for each committee, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) laid out the expectations for each panel in a memo.
They include a variation on a clean electricity standard (Clean Electricity Payment Program) to be written in Energy and Natural Resources, a methane fee to be fleshed out in Environment and Public Works, and a clean energy tax overhaul for the Finance Committee (Greenwire).
The rules of reconciliation are narrow, allowing only for a limited set of tax and spending policies to pass with a simple majority, but it’s currently the only tool Democrats have to bypass Republicans in the 50-50 Senate.
That means pained debates and potential partisan brawls before senators even finish writing the reconciliation package in mid-September. The memo isn’t the last word either, and the policy could change significantly by the time it’s in the bill. Let the games begin! [Read more at E&E News]
We’ll keep you posted on the latest carbon policy and market insights as they happen.
If you have an opinion on any topic covered in this newsletter, please feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your viewpoint and the value of your time.
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NOW, LET’S DIVE IN!
Climate quotes and sayings that will inspire you
(source: European Union)
“There is no such thing as ‘away’. So, when we throw anything away, it must go somewhere.” – Annie Leonard, Activist
Credo: Use less.
“The general population doesn’t know what’s happening, and it doesn’t even know that it doesn’t know.” – Noam Chomsky, Scientist
Credo: Climate ignorance and indifference will be our undoing.
“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt, fmr. U.S. President
Credo: Contemplate what it means when our forests are on fire - everywhere.
The Nature of Nature
By Enric Sala
In this inspiring manifesto, internationally renowned ecologist Dr. Enric Sala, makes a clear case for why protecting nature is our best health insurance, and why it makes economic sense.
Sala wants to change the world--and in this compelling book, he shows us how. Once we appreciate how nature works, he asserts, we will understand why conservation is economically wise and essential to our survival. He makes easily digestible for the average person what is happening in our oceans and on our planet due to climate change and habitat destruction and how to solve it.
Dr. Sala, director of National Geographic's Pristine Seas project (which has succeeded in protecting more than 5 million sq km of ocean), tells the story of his scientific awakening and his transition from academia to activism--as he puts it, he was tired of writing the obituary of the ocean. His revelations are surprising, sometimes counterintuitive: More sharks signal a healthier ocean; crop diversity, not intensive monoculture farming, is the key to feeding the planet.
Somewhere along the way he points out, we as a species became obsessed with controlling nature and not living within it. His revelations are surprising and sometimes seem counterintuitive. Dr. Sala shows the economic wisdom and monetary value of making room for nature, even as the population becomes more urbanized and industrialized. He shows, using fascinating examples from his expeditions and those of other scientists, how saving nature can help to reverse the conditions that led to the coronavirus pandemic and prevent further global catastrophes.
Creed Comments: This book seems right for the moment - the first hurricane in 30 years threatens New York and the New England coastline. Nature, as manifested by the ocean’s furry, is beyond the control of man. Humans can only monitor and respond to its rage, while our societies wreck havoc on its bounties. The equilibrium is broken, and it’s up to us to bring nature back into balance.
INSIGHTS - EXTREME WEATHER
(source: Pacific Standard)
How the climate crisis is changing Hurricanes
In the same week that Tropical Storm Fred caused catastrophic flooding in North Carolina, and Hurricane Grace made its second landfall in Mexico, Hurricane Henri is barreling toward New England, where it's expected to be the first to make landfall there in 30 years.
Hurricanes -- also called tropical cyclones or typhoons outside North America -- are enormous heat engines of wind and rain that feed on warm ocean water and moist air. And scientists say the climate crisis is making them more potent.
The proportion of high-intensity hurricanes has increased due to warmer global temperatures, according to a UN climate report released earlier this month. Scientists have also found that the storms are more likely to stall and lead to devastating rainfall and they last longer after making landfall.
Scientists have observed that, globally, a larger percentage of storms are reaching the highest categories -- 3, 4 and 5 -- in recent decades, a trend that's expected to continue as global average temperature increases. They are also shifting closer to the poles, moving more slowly across land, growing wetter, and stalling in one location.
"There's evidence that tropical cyclones are more likely to stall," Jim Kossin, senior scientist with the Climate Service.
Hurricane Harvey dumped more than 60 inches of rain on some parts of Texas, causing about $125 billion in damages, according to the National Hurricane Center, and killing more than 100 people.
A 2020 study published in the journal Nature also found storms are moving farther inland than they did five decades ago. Hurricanes, which are fueled by warm ocean water, typically weaken after moving over land, but in recent years they have been raging longer after landfall. The study concludes that warmer sea surface temperatures are leading to a "slower decay" by increasing moisture that a hurricane carries.
For every fraction of a degree the planet warms, according to the UN report, rainfall rates from high-intensity storms will increase, as warmer air can hold more moisture. Earlier this week, what had been Tropical Storm Fred dumped more than 10 inches of rain on western North Carolina, according to the National Weather Service, which pushed the Pigeon River near Canton 9 feet above flood stage and killed at least four people.
The science behind climate change attribution, which attempts to determine how much of a role it played in extreme weather, has made significant advances in the past decade, according to the UN climate report. Heat waves, flooding, drought and higher coastal storm surge are things that scientists are more confident now in linking to climate change.
[This post was adapted from the original by Rachel Ramirez for CNN]
Creed Comments: As the planet rapidly warms, extreme weather events will become more disastrous and possibly harder to predict.
Just consider: the 2020 hurricane season tore through the alphabet so quickly that it was forced to use Greek letters as names from September through November. This year's season is already above average: Atlantic storms beginning with the letter H typically occur toward the end of September, meaning Henri formed more than a month ahead of average.
Unless climate and emergency management policies are fixed, infrastructure damage and potential loss of life will increase. This is the new normal.
The Keeling Curve a daily record of global atmospheric CO2 concentration.
Congressional Policy Tracker a summary of current federal energy legislation.
Click Clean your favorite apps and tech company clean power rankings.
Advancing Inclusion Through Clean Energy Jobs a report by the Brookings Institute.
Understanding ESG a series of ESG-focused thought leadership webinars for business and investors, presented by Baker McKenzie.
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