I previously wrote about how Corn-based Ethanol is terrible for the environment, but that's (sadly) just the tip of the (shrinking) iceberg. Here's some additional environmental news for the week of February 14, 2022.
The US Southwest is hitting megadrought status. This is, obviously, not ideal.
The term “megadrought” isn’t some sensationalist moniker from bad television; it's a term for the handful of two- to three-decade Southwestern droughts in the past millennium or so—some with history-defining impacts on the civilizations who lived there at the time.
With the analysis updated, 2000-2021 ranks as the driest such 22-year period in the data going back to the year 800. The megadrought years of 1571-1592 slip into second place.
How bad is this? Well, some scientists believe that the drought in the western U.S. could last until 2030. It's almost like people shouldn't be living in the middle of a desert, no?
Finally, drugs. Yes, drugs. Scientists are warning that drugs have dangerously polluted the world’s rivers.
Capitalism is not compatible with environmentalism, especially when fossil fuels are in play. And when there's money to be made, you can count on a generous assist from the media and PR flaks.
Since 2008, the American Petroleum Institute (API), which is the U.S.’s largest oil and gas trade group, has paid the world’s largest PR firm, Edelman, $439.7 million.
And, it's made possible by all the green-washing from big banks, who, despite pledges to go net-zero, have financed large oil + gas projects.
Since joining the Net Zero Banking Alliance last year, 24 big banks have provided $33bn for new oil and gas projects, with more than half of that amount ($19bn) coming from four of the founding members - HSBC, Barclays, BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank, the campaigners said.
Idiocracy was a documentary
Former President Trump famously quipped that windmills cause cancer, most likely because he enjoys tilting and has the mental capacity of a large toddler. President Biden recently joked about his predecessor at a clean energy news conference:
In news closer to home, Kansas - a state that borders / is tied to Missouri in a three-legged race to the bottom - has a rogue State Senator that really enjoys tilting at windmills.
Kansas has embraced renewable development for years. The expansion of wind energy in Kansas has been embraced by Democrats and Republicans alike — and the state’s status as one of the top producers in the nation is celebrated.
I'm actually jealous of Kanas for their wind power. That rules. Good job, Kanas!
But opposition to wind energy has found an ally in the Johnson County Republican leading the Senate Utilities Committee. The struggle between burgeoning resentment of industrial wind projects and the state’s two-decade history as the “Saudi Arabia of wind” received attention all last week in Sen. Mike Thompson’s committee.
“He’s been very clear he is very, very opposed and would like to end renewable energy, and so he brings these wolves-in-sheep-clothing bills to say, ‘Oh, these are just meant to do reasonable things,’ when quite clearly they’re not,” said Alan Claus Anderson, vice president of the energy group at Polsinelli law firm.
I'm sure it's only a coincidence that Thompson received $58,000 from a Utilities PAC.
I hate this shit.
How you can help
It's not all doom-and-gloom – that's not helpful. What is helpful, though, is taking individual actions. If you're able, consider donating to organizations that are taking proactive steps to mitigate the pending climate disaster. Here are two of my favorites:
Priceless Planet Coalition. I work at Mastercard, so I'll shill for them first.
One Tree Planted. I've been donating to One Tree Planted for a while - before I started at Mastercard - and their $1 = 1 Tree for reforestation is a worthy cause.