Friday, June 28, 2024

#180 / A Quick Transition To Clean Energy?

Bill McKibben is a name that should be well known to anyone who is thinking about the Global Warming emergency that is threatening both human civilization and the life of various species on Planet Earth. That list of threatened species, by the way, most definitely includes the human species. 

If you don't know McKibben, click on one or both of the links I have furnished, to find out more. Then, it is my recommendation that you hunt down and read McKibben's book, Fight Global Warming Now. In addition, I also recommend that you sign up for McKibben's Substack blog, The Crucial Years

Not to give too much away, the "Crucial Years" means NOW.

The edition of McKibben's blog that I read on the morning of June 27, 2024, was titled, "A Morning Reminder that We Face the Election of Our Lives." That's where I got the picture of the melted statue of Abraham Lincoln. Is that pictured intended to be symbolic of the melting away of our democratic system of government? Well, that's why this upcoming election is so important!

Here is a pretty lengthy excerpt from that June 27, 2024, McKibben blog post (though I do want to recommend that you read the whole thing): 

The morning’s events remind us once again of just how surreal the stakes are in this presidential election. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today granted a permit for the proposed CP2 LNG export facility—an environmental justice travesty, and the biggest single climate bomb proposed for the planet right now. The only thing standing between CP2 and construction (and the only thing that can prevent the construction of a dozen more of these death stars in the next few years) is the Department of Energy, aka the president of the United States
Just to review: there’s a huge pool of frackable gas sitting in the Permian Basin of Texas. The only way to monetize most of it is to ship it to Asia, persuading the fast-growing economies there to use it instead of wind and sun to make electricity. This scramble has been underway for about eight years, and LNG exports are already a giant industry; if Big Gas gets its way, within a few years American LNG exports from the Gulf of Mexico will be doing more climate damage than everything that happens in Europe. Faced with these facts, and in the wake of the hottest year in human history, the Biden administration decided in January to pause granting new export licenses for these terminals till it can take new scientific and economic data into account. 
But FERC, a longtime industry rubber stamp now with new members vetted by Joe Manchin (I-Venus), isn’t interested in any new scientific and economic data; they’ve decided not to take climate change seriously, and they’re not greatly interested in environmental justice either. So, of course, they gave CP2 their blessing. Theoretically its backers could now build the project—but since it won’t be profitable without a license to sell the stuff to Asia they probably won’t, hoping instead that the Biden DOE blinks—or, more likely, that Donald Trump gets elected because he has promised to immediately hand over those licenses. Day one, baby. (Not taking any chances, the GOP also introduced language yesterday that would take power for license-granting away from DOE, hand it to FERC, and then mandate how they use it: “the Commission shall deem the exportation or importation of natural gas to be consistent with the public interest”). If Trump and the GOP triumph, get ready for government of Big Oil by Big Oil for Big Oil until the earth shall perish, which shouldn’t take long....
Fascinating new survey data this week shows that huge majorities of people even in the fossil-fuel producing countries want a quick transition to clean energy (emphasis added). In China and India, the biggest coal producers, 80% and 76% respectively want a quick green transition, as do 75% of those in Saudi Arabia, the second biggest oil producer. The poll also found 69% of Australians want a quick transition away from its large coal and gas sector. 
The numbers in America aren’t as high—but even in our deeply divided political culture 54% want that quick transition, which by our current standards is a vast majority. (And steadily growing, as flooding becomes a regular occurrence near the oceans). But we don’t get to directly vote on whether we make this change or not; perhaps some day we’ll have a strong climate action plan, but for 2024 the best we can do is elect a president, and then pressure them all we can. That’s a slender thread, but it’s the one we’ve got.

As you absorb McKibben's message, may I suggest that we all focus on the word "quick"?

To make "quick" happen, people need to start using less energy, immediately, and one way to ensure that we do that is to refuse to use energy produced by fossil fuels, since the combustion of fossil fuels is what is heating the Earth, and diminishing our chances to maintain and protect human civilization as we know it. How "realistic" is that? Not very, unless we are willing to make some significant changes, involving us in an economy of "less," not "more." 

Remember that word, "quick." Read up with McKibben. Think about it. Act accordingly! 

Friends don't let friends destroy the future. 

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