Sure, solar power can help homeowners save a considerable amount on their utilities, but the benefits don't stop there. Boston University researchers found that in Massachusetts, solar power reduced electricity prices for all ratepayers in the state, even those with no solar panels.
I think that it is very important to speak to the co-benefits -- cutting pollutants that cause asthma, deriving jobs and economic development for working and poor people with the new "green economy" -- but the bottom line in the struggle against climate change is that we are facing unmitigated disaster for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren unless we throw every ounce of our human energy into the struggle to stop greenhouse gas emissions. We must fight for a massive transformation of our economy and culture or face the disaster outlined in this article in the top scientific journal in America. Don't mourn, organize.
In support of our mission to speed the transition to a low-carbon future, People’s Power & Light/Mass Energy has introduced Shave the Peak, a program that empowers residential energy consumers to cut down on electricity use during the few hours per year when it matters most—referred to as “pea...
I like how Kate Aronoff ended her response in The Nation to the NYT article, with a quote from Michael Mann.
"Critically, we should remember that it’s not too late to change course. As Mann writes in the most recent edition of his book Return to the Madhouse, co-authored with Tom Toles:
It’s late in the game, but not too late. We may have permanently warmed the planet, but so far only to a limited extent. We still have the opportunity to slow down and end carbon release in time to avoid the worst, truly terrifying levels of disruption.
Blaming human nature is how people say shit is inevitable and the status quo is immutable and just don't rock the boat because it's not going anywhere. It's usually extremely wrong, because the social constructs that shape our lives have, of course, everything to do with the agendas of whoever has power, and that can change. Or as Ursula K. LeGuin put it a few years ago, “We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our art, the art of words.” What did and did not happen in response to climate change has everything to do with power, and there has been a global climate movement and a lot of grassroots and in many nations, governmental action, fighting the profiteers, who are very powerful. Anything that belies that is a cover-up.
Naomi Klein writes: None of the excuses can mask the dereliction of duty. It has always been possible for major media outlets to decide, all on their own, that planetary destabilization is a huge news story, very likely the most consequential of our time. They always had the capacity to harness the skills of their reporters and photographers to connect abstract science to lived extreme weather events. And if they did so consistently, it would lessen the need for journalists to get ahead of politics because the more informed the public is about both the threat and the tangible solutions, the more they push their elected representatives to take bold action.
Which is why it was so exciting to see the Times throw the full force of its editorial machine behind Rich’s opus — teasing it with a promotional video, kicking it off with a live event at the Times Center, and accompanying educational materials.
That’s also why it is so enraging that the piece is spectacularly wrong in its central thesis.
According to Rich, between the years of 1979 and 1989, the basic science of climate change was understood and accepted, the partisan divide over the issue had yet to cleave, the fossil fuel companies hadn’t started their misinformation campaign in earnest, and there was a great deal of global political momentum toward a bold and binding international emissions-reduction agreement. Writing of the key period at the end of the 1980s, Rich says, “The conditions for success could not have been more favorable.”
And yet we blew it — “we” being humans, who apparently are just too shortsighted to safeguard our future. Just in case we missed the point of who and what is to blame for the fact that we are now “losing earth,” Rich’s answer is presented in a full-page callout: “All the facts were known, and nothing stood in our way. Nothing, that is, except ourselves.”
Yep, you and me. Not, according to Rich, the fossil fuel companies who sat in on every major policy meeting described in the piece. (Imagine tobacco executives being repeatedly invited by the U.S. government to come up with policies to ban smoking. When those meetings failed to yield anything substantive, would we conclude that the reason is that humans just want to die? Might we perhaps determine instead that the political system is corrupt and busted?)
This misreading has been pointed out by many climate scientists and historians since the online version of the piece dropped on Wednesday. Others have remarked on the maddening invocations of “human nature” and the use of the royal “we” to describe a screamingly homogenous group of U.S. power players. Throughout Rich’s accounting, we hear nothing from those political leaders in the Global South who were demanding binding action in this key period and after, somehow able to care about future generations despite being human. The voices of women, meanwhile, are almost as rare in Rich’s text as sightings of the endangered ivory-billed woodpecker — and when we ladies do appear, it is mainly as long-suffering wives of tragically heroic men.
The Senate justed voted 36-0 to pass the H.4857 An Act to Promote a Clean Energy Future Conference Committee report. Senators Marc Pacheco, Mike Barrett, Pat O'Connor and I spoke on the Senate floor, highlighting the modest progress in the legislation, but our disappointment that we did not pass a comprehensive bill. I emphasized the influence of corporate, fossil fuel, and utility lobbyists on energy policy, the need for #EnvironmentalJustice when H 4857 continues to allow trash waste to toxic energy to count towards the clean peak standard AND retail rates for low-income solar remain LOWER than single-family homes, and that there is a serious problem with democracy in Massachusetts, when the voices of tens of thousands of concerned residents and climate change activists, and dozens of clean energy advocacy groups, are ignored. The battle is not just in DC, it's here, too.
The state Legislature, on its last day of formal session, adopted a compromise energy bill that environmentalists like the Sierra Club criticized as taking “baby steps … when what are needed are giant strides.” The measure compromised the Senate’s...
Plugging In Plugging In Energy and the Environment Energy legislation makes it out of conference By Colin A. YoungSee all » Plugging In Plugging In Energy and the Environment Lawmakers should embrace clean energy By Emily NortonSee all » Plugging In Plugging In Energy and the Environment Inaction ...
BOSTON--The Massachusetts House and Senate Conference Committee released a compromise energy bill tonight that includes the following provisions: boosts the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) annual increase to 2 percent from the current 1 percent starting in 2020, but declines back to 1 percent in....