Sleep Now in the Fire: the Year in Climate

Fog and flood on a 60-degree December day in the Willamette Valley of western Oregon. Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair.


+ New research published this week in the journal Science suggests that even at 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming above preindustrial levels, the Earth will lose nearly half of its 214,000 glaciers, resulting in more than 3 inches of sea level rise. Three degrees C (5.4 degrees F) of warming, the study finds, would result in a loss of over 70 percent of global glaciers and raise global sea levels by five inches.

+ The 1.5C warming target was always a lie: first in that meeting it would forestall devastating convulsions of the Earth’s ecosystems, second that warming could be limited to 1.5C under the timid measures of Kyoto, Paris, Copenhagen and Cairo…

+ The intensity and scale of this week’s winter heatwave is unlike anything in European history.

According to the UN Environment Program. in the 1950s the world generated two million metric tons of plastic each year. Today the amount has swelled to more than 400 million metric tons. And if current trends continue, yearly plastic production will top 1.1 billion metric tons by 2050.

+ More than More than 2,400 lives are expected to be lost to bushfires in Australia over the next decade. The healthcare costs from treating smoke-related deaths will top $110 million.

+ Percent of US land it would take to support an entirely renewable energy system: 0.84%.

+ Percent of US land currently occupied by the fossil fuel industry: 1.3%.

+ Both Vox and New York magazine have now banned ads from fossil fuel companies.

+ Some rare good news coming out of the Ukraine war: A Bill Gates-backed nuclear energy project in Wyoming has been put on hold for at least two years amid worries about the supply of a special fuel currently made in Russia. 

+ By the end of the war, such plants may prove too expensive to build at all. According to Lazard, the price of a new nuclear power plant is around $168 per megawatt hour, while new natural gas plant costs about a third that much, and solar and wind only about one-fifth.

+ Diablo Canyon, the decrepit nuclear plant built on a fault line on the central coast of California, has sprung a welding leak in one of its cooling systems. Shut this monstrosity down. Now.

+ 2022 was the hottest year in the United Kingdom since they began keeping records in 1659.

+ In a state obsessed with the biological accuracy of pronouns and horrified by cross-dressing, the Governor of Ohio just signed legislation redefining natural gas as a “green fuel.”

+ According to Berkeley Earth’s  calculations, 2022 was the 5th warmest year on record, at 1.24 °C (2.24 °F) warmer the 1850-1900 baseline. The year was slightly warmer than 2021, but still cooled by the persistence of La Niña conditions in the Pacific. Based on the recent rate of warming, the Earth will reach the 1.5 °C (2.7 °F) warming threshold around 2034 and 2.0 °C (3.6 °F) around 2060.

+ The eight warmest years on record have now occurred since 2014, the scientists from the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service, reported and 2016 remains the hottest year ever.

+ Even as the La Niña weather event helped to cool the oceans for the third year in a row, global temperatures were still about 0.3C higher in 2022 than the 1991-2020 reference period.

+ The extent of sea ice in the Southern Ocean is about 270,000 square milesless than the previous low, set in 2018.

+ US carbon emissions climbed by 1.3 percent last year.

+ Svalbard is nearly ice-free in January. The temperature in Longyearbyen, the main town, is -1 C now. Salt water freezes at -1.8 C. Once a refuge for polar bears (as any reader of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series knows), Svalbard almost no polar bear habitat this winter. It’s an increasingly dire situation for bears and other sea ice dependent species.

+ The world’s climate goals, timid as they are, rely on forest offsets that will never, and can’t ever, exist…

+ According to NOAA, the US suffered at least 18 “weather disasters” (each doing more than $1 billion in damage) last year. The total cost of 2022’s weather disasters was at least $165 billion, the third-highest on record, behind 2005 and 2017. Five of the last six years (2017-2022, with 2019 being the exception) have each experienced climate events with a cost of at least $100 billion.

+ 24,500,000,000,000 gallons of water have fallen across California over the last 16 days. Some areas of the got hit with 2 years worth of rainfall in 24 hours.

+ Joe Manchin pushed for opening of one-million acres in Alaska’s Cook Inlet to oil and gas leasing. Biden complied, but when the Interior Department held an auction for the leases barely anyone was interested.

+ With this dubious triumph on his resume, Manchin’s former chief of staff, Lance West, took a job with the American Petroleum Institute as the oil lobbyshop’s VP for federal government “relations,” where he flip through his Rolodex (are those still a thing in the Zoom Era?) to chart API’s “engagement and advocacy” with Congress and federal agencies.

+ But there’s hope on the horizon: Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the chief executive officer of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, has been tapped to lead the COP28 climate talks next year in Dubai…

+ The Sierra Nevada Range after a month of snow…


+ Even after over 350 inches of snowfall in the Sierra, most of California remains in drought conditions.

+ Today’s “cool” La Niña years are now warmer than the “hot” El Niño years of 20 years ago.

+ Two months ago at the Cairo climate summit, the world’s major countries signed an agreement to provide aid for escalating climate damages in the developing world. To date, the new fund hasn’t received a single pledge.

+ The state of Louisiana alone is home to more than 4,000 abandoned oil and gas sites, nearly of them toxic, many of them leaking.

+ A nine-month investigation by the German weekly Die Zeit, the Guardian and SourceMaterial, a non-profit investigative journalism outfit, into Verra, the world’s leading provider of forest carbon offsets used by large corporations to greenwash their emissions, found that more than 90% of their rainforest offset credits are likely to be “phantom credits and do not represent carbon reductions.”

+ US climate czar John Kerry has endorsed Sultan al-Jaber, CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., to the head the next round of UN climate talks in Dubai, a choice which Alice Harrison of Global Witness compared to “asking an arms dealer to lead peace talks.” Kerry called al-Jaber a “terrific choice.” Bring back the Swiftboaters!

+ During his recent Oxford address, billionaire Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and one of the largest individual donors in US politics, referred to Greta Thunberg as part of the “autistic children’s brigade.” Thunberg was hauled off by German police this week while protesting the open pit Garzweiler 2 coal mine.

+ Meanwhile, it’s estimated that the Whitehaven colliery, the big coalmine in New Cumbria, will release about 17,500 tonnes of methane every year, shattering UK’s climate pledge.

+ The International Energy Agency predicts that, as China loosens it Covid restrictions, oil demand will hit an all-time high of 107 million barrels a day in 2023.

+ According to Carbon Monitor, global CO₂ emissions for 2022 increased by 1.6%– 8.0% higher than 2020 and 2.1% higher than in 2019.

India +7.1%
US +3.5%
EU & UK +2.4%

Meanwhile, China saw its emission decline by 1.3%.

+ 2022 was the first year in history where the US used more electricity from renewables than coal. Back in 2010, the US got 4.5 times as much electricity from coal than from renewables.

+ Even in Texas, the share of electricity coming from carbon-free resources doubled over the last decade, from 20 percent of the power mix in 2012 to more than 40% in 2022.

+ The price of solar modules has declined by 99.6 percent since 1975.

+ An iceberg the size of London (660 square) miles has broken off of the Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica.

Fracturing of the Brunt Ice Shelf. Photo: European Union/Copernicus Sentinel 2.

+ Since joining the net-zero banking alliances in late 2021, Canada’s 5 biggest banks have financed fossil fuel expansion by at least $46.4 billion.

+ If England and Wales manage to reach Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050, it will result in substantial health benefits and longer lives for their populations. A new study in Lancet estimates that it would will lead to at least 2 million additional years lived across the population of England and Wales.

+ We’re not going to get a handle on climate change until we begin to decarbonize the military-industrial complex, hopefully by defunding it. The US military-industrial complex alone generates 104.1 metric tonnes of carbon per capita each year. That’s more greenhouse gas emission than 167 countries and a higher per capita emission rate than any other country on the planet.

+ Forest fires are burning hotter and longer. New research finds that the average annual area that burned at low-to-moderate severity has fallen  from more than 90% before 1850 to 60-70% today. At the same time, the area burned annually at high severity has increased four-fold, rising from less than 10% to 43% today.


+ Fighting climate change, Biden-style: Biden’s Interior Department just approved the largest single oil drilling plan anywhere in the US, Conoco’s Willow Project in Alaska. It would bring 219 wells, 267 miles of pipelines, and 35 miles of roads to Alaska, while emitting over 280 million metric tons of climate pollution over 30 years. Because of the melting permafrost, Conoco’s own engineers say they “where necessary we will  use cooling devices to chill the ground” drilling.

+ Even if emission rapidly decline in the next few years (very unlikely), there’s still a nearly 70% chance that the two-degree threshold would be crossed between 2044 and 2065.

+ The amount of extent sea ice in the Antarctic on February 1st 2023 was 2.26 million sq km, about 1.35 million sq km less than the 1981-2010 average and the lowest extent ever recorded on this day of the year. It is 10.8% lower than the previous record low, 2.53 million sq km in 2017.

+ Shell announced $39.9 billion in profits this. Another record. Meanwhile, four Greenpeace activists boarded a ship hauling new equipment to Shell’s off-shore platforms, which will enable the oil giant to drain 45,000 barrels of oil per day out of the North Sea.

+ Exxon also ended with 2022 with record profits of $56 billion. And we were led to believe by the likes of Larry Summers and Janet Yellen that the real culprits driving inflation were too many workers making too much per hour. My pal Michael Donnelly did the math: At 72,000 direct Exxon workers in 2022, that makes it $777,777.78 annual profit per worker.

+ Over the course of a year, home heating fires in the UK produce more particle pollution than the exhaust of all traffic on all of the UK’s roads.

+ Duke Energy’s coal plants in North Carolina are so expensive to run and maintain that they could all be replaced with solar for half the cost.

+ In fact, new solar is now cheaper than all currently operating US coal plants. Median cost of new solar is $24/MWh, while median marginal cost of coal is $36/MWh.

+ Major studies out of Brazil, Pennsylvania, and Chicago reveals that many birds are shrinking in size and growing longer wings as the planet warms.

+ The EV Hummer Biden has been pimping this week spews out more carbon than a gas-powered Chevy Malibu.


+ A new report from MIT documents the huge carbon requirements of self-driving cars. The study predicts if we have a mass global adoption of autonomous vehicles, the energy-hungry onboard computers needed to run them will generate as much greenhouse gas emissions as “all of the data centers in operation today.”

+ According to the  Climate Inequality Report 2023, carbon inequalities within countries now appear to be greater than carbon inequalities between countries. The consumption and investment patterns of a relatively small group of a small group of “polluting elite” are vastly outweighing the emissions of the poor.

+ In India, more than 293 coal mines and 259 thermal power plants have already shut down with many more closures forthcoming. Even so, the Indian government has no transition plan for the thousands of unemployed workers and no plans to develop one.

+ A new study in Lancet estimates that of the more than 6,700 premature deaths attributed to higher temperatures in cities during 2015, at least a third of these could have been prevented by increasing urban tree cover up to 30%. Instead many towns and cities are cutting down urban trees because they provide need shade for the houseless!

+ EU nuclear output this year will the second-lowest in modern history. It might even end up the lowest…

+ Extreme weather forced more than 3 million adults in the US to evacuate their homes in 2022, at least 480,000 of them were unable to return. In Louisiana, nearly 370,000 people– 11 percent of the state’s adults — were displaced last year due to a weather disaster,  the highest rate of any state and far ahead of second-place Florida.

+ 30% more land burned in Western wildfires from 2010 to 2020 than the previous decade, but because of escalating sprawl into woodland habitat the number of buildings destroyed went up by 250%.

+ The latest data from NOAA shows again that 2022 was another record high for ocean heat content. Looks like they’re going to need a bigger graph…

+ Record wildfires have been scorching Chile all month prompting Interior Minister Carolina Tohá to proclaim: “Chile is one of the countries with the highest vulnerability to climate change, end this isn’t theory but rather practical experience, The thermometer has reached points that we have never known until now.”

+ After nearly killing the Gulf of Mexico, British Petroleum rebranded itself as BP: Beyond Petroleum. Well, that didn’t last long. Now the company is Back (to) Petroleum, it’s CEO having announced this week plans to “dial back” its investments in green energy and pursue maximizing profits in oil and gas.

+ Big Oil’s profits last year were 20 times larger than the EPA’s budget in 2022.

+ What a difference a day makes…

+ In a virus-weary world, the advancing bird flu plague along the Pacific Coast of South America seems not to have gotten the attention that’s almost certainly warranted: At least 585 sea lions in Peru have died of H5N1 bird flu, according to the Peruvian environment ministry. Peru has also reported the Peru has also reported the deaths of at least 55,000 birds, including pelicans and penguins, from H5N1 bird flu, as well the death of a lion at a zoo in central Peru.

+ The WHO’s Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus: “Bird flu spillover to mammals needs to be monitored closely. While the risk to humans currently low we must prepare.”

+ Is it considered too Woke to say “we’re mammals”?

+ China has seen the future and is capitalizing on it. Power generation from wind and solar grew by 21% in China in 2022, climbing from 12% to 14% of total electricity demand: 87 GW of solar, 38 GW of wind and 8.8 GW of hydropower were added to the mix.

+ Meanwhile, India’s energy usage continues to grow, mostly driven by coal. India’s electricity generation grew by 8.5% in 2022 and coal, by far the largest contributor, grew 8.6%.

+ Similarly, Pakistan announced this week that it is abandoning its LNG expansion plans because the fuel is too expensive, and instead quadruple its coal power capacity.

+ China’s coal consumption also increased last year by about 3.3%–the first time in more than 20 years that coal usage increased faster than China’s GDP.

+ The 2023 Corporate Climate Responsibility Monitor, published by the New Climate Institute, reveals that while both Microsoft and Google currently claim to be “carbon neutral” – the claim only covers between 2% and 12% of their full emission footprint, respectively.

+ A 2021 global survey titled State of the World’s Trees found that one-third of all tree species are currently are at risk of extinction, about 17,500 unique tree species. That’s more than double the number of all threatened (mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles.

+ Climate change is expanding the range of tropical mosquitos and the diseases they transmit, notably malaria: “Using data dating back to 1898, a team of Georgetown University researchers found the limits of the malaria mosquitos’ ranges moved toward the poles by 4.7 kilometers (2.9 miles) a year on average.”

+ The unprecedented warming of the Antarctic Ocean over the past year could disrupt ocean currents, accelerating sea ice loss and sea level rise. “We don’t fully understand the consequences of this kind of event, but this looks like an extraordinary marine heatwave,” said Carlos Moffatt, an oceanographer at the University of Delaware.

+ As the temperature increases from 1.5C warming to 2C warming, the number of people who will experience severe heat waves at least once every five years is expected to more than double.

+ Cyclone Gabrielle, which slammed New Zealand’s North Island this week displacing thousands from their homes, is the worst storm to hit New Zealand this century.


+ Eduardo Mendúa of the Cofán tribe in the Amazonian region of Ecuador, who had been leading the fight against new oil drilling on his tribe’s ancestral lands, was murdered by masked gunmen this week in his village.

+ In Vermont, a train derailed this week on its way to pick up nuclear waste. It was empty…this time.

+ A new study by two employees of the California Department of Water Resources revealed that 91 percent of California’s water rights holders are white. The study also disclosed that 86 percent of the officials who allocated California’s water are white and 79 percent of them are men.

+ The average American emits more CO₂ in one week than an average person in low-income countries does in one year and the top 1% emit over 1,000 times more CO2 than bottom 1%.

+ Only 10 years ago solar power generated less than one percent of the world’s energy supply. Within four years, it will surpass coal as the largest share of any power source.

+ Even so, China continues to build more coal plants. The coal power capacity starting construction in China is 6 times as greater than the rest of the world combined.

+ One reason for China returning to coal is that hydro-power continues to decline due to the dropping water levels behind Three Gorges Dam due to persistent drought. Officials in Yunnan province have once again asked aluminum producers to further cut power usage.

+ England just endured its driest February in 30 years.

+ From 1955 to 2022, the warming oceans absorbed about the same amount of energy as would be released from 11,500,000 (11.5 million) Turkey earthquakes.

+ Last year global sales of SUVs hit an all-time high, increasing their annual CO2 emissions to nearly 1 billion tonnes. The surging number of SUVs in 2022 were responsible for a third of the increase in global oil demand.

+ The air pollution in London is so bad breathing it is like smoking 154 cigarettes a year.

+ The conifers of the Pacific Northwest are so stressed by drought that they’re dying in record numbers. Even common insects and parasites Oregon & Washington’s most common conifer species are all dying in alarming numbers, many because of drought haven’t normally killed trees are now proving lethal.

+ A new study on food consumption and climate in Nature found that global food consumption alone could add nearly 1°C of warming by 2100. Nearly 60% of the increase is due to methane emissions.

+ In 1997 world leaders gathered in Kyoto and agreed to an 18%  cut in CO2 emissions by 2020. In the host country of Japan, CO2 emissions have fallen by only 4%.

+ Extreme rainfall events are likely to quadruple by 2080, according to a new report released by London’s Met Office. For every degree of regional warming, the report estimates, the intensity of extreme downpours could also increase by 5-15%.

+ Between 2001-2010, monthly extreme heat events that would be expected to occur once every 1,000 years (a 0.1% chance in a given year) were now occurring once every 20 years—an increase by a factor of 50 over the previous three decades.

+ The primary driving force behind natural gas demand in the US is…exports, largely to Mexico, where rising exports have been greater than the increase in demand from domestic power generation in the past decade.

+ India currently consumes about six times as much energy as the UK, but given its population sizes that only equates to enough power to light two electric light bulbs per day per person. In order for India to reach US levels of energy consumption, its energy production will have to increase by another 10 times.

+ The US shale oil boom seems to have peaked, as the big producers have drilled out their most productive wells.

+ During the Black Summer of 2019/2020, the dense smoke from the Australian bush fires caused a chemical reaction in the atmosphere that widened the ozone hole by 10 percent. According to John Valliant’s recent book Fire by Weather, the bushfires also “generated a Texas-sized carbon ‘balloon’ that drifted around the Southern Hemisphere, en masse, for three months, covering 40,000 miles.”

+ The 22 million 22 million citizens of Mali each use less electric power in an entire year than the average European uses to boil just one kettle of tea.

+ A new paper argues that climate change is occurring so rapidly that it will overwhelm wildlife species’ ability to move to suitable new habitats, even if those habitats are connected by wildlife corridors and core areas.

+ Around 88,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel from commercial reactors remain “stranded” at reactor sites, and it’s continuing to pile at a rate of 2,000 metric tons every year.

+ The U.S. has contributed 20.9% of all CO2 emissions to date, nearly double  as much as China. The EU nations If the E.U.nations are responsible for 11.8% of CO2 emissions, barely half the American contribution from a population more 140% the size of the U.S.

+ To keep 1.5 C warming within reach, carbon emissions need to be slashed 43% by 2030 and 60% by 2035, from 2019 levels. Needless to say, that ain’t happening.

+ The U.S. delegation attempted to delete a sentence about climate finance gaps from the latest IPCC report and slash the word “equitable” from a line about access to international finance.

+ Technology that sucks CO2 out of the air requires huge amounts of energy. To reach the Paris goals, Shell models direct air capture requiring more energy than all homes by 2100.

+ According to a new study in Nature: “2022 emissions consumed 13%–36% of the remaining carbon budget to limit warming to 1.5 °C, suggesting permissible emissions could be depleted within 2–7 years.”

+ More than 70% of people surveyed in the US, European Union, UK and China said governments are too slow in acting against climate change.

+ What does plutonium taste like? A sweet-and-sour metallic candy, according to Don Mastick, a chemist at Los Alamos who got some on his face during a botched experiment at the New Mexico nuclear lab. The scientist had his stomach pumped and his breath tested as slightly radioactive for the remainder of his life. Mastick’s urine and feces tested positive for many years. He died at 87.

+ Sea levels have gone up globally by over 9 centimeters in 30 years, according to measurements by NASA satellites, and the rate of rise has more than doubled in that time…

+ DeSantis has stayed quiet about the insurance industry’s massive underpayments for damages from hurricanes striking Florida. Why? Perhaps because he just pocketed a trove of campaign from State Farm agents. He has already received about $700,000 from the industry.

+ The housing crisis few people have started thinking about: “In response to growing concerns increasing costs of flooding are not fully captured in property values, we quantify magnitude of unpriced flood risk. We find residential properties overvalued by US$121–US$237 billion.” I’m not great at math, but that sounds like a lot to me.

+ As a consequence of the rapid melting of Antarctica’s ice sheets, the currents of the Southern Ocean heading toward collapse.

+ Critical Water Theory: “The world is facing an imminent water crisis, with demand expected to outstrip the supply of fresh water by 40% by the end of this decade, experts have said on the eve of a crucial UN water summit.”

+ Around 43,000 people are estimated to have perished in last year’s drought in Somalia.


+ Don’t be a climate doomsayer, we’re admonished. You’ll scare the children. Okay, okay. We’ll try to be more upbeat. Look for the bright side. Emphasize the positive developments, such as they are. Then you read that globally new oil and gas projects either approved in 2022 or slated to be approved between 2023 and 2025 “could cause 70 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions,” an amount that is more than 30 times the United States’ total carbon dioxide emissions in 2021.

+ According to a new report by researchers from the University of Michigan and Stanford, methane pollution in the Gulf of Mexico totals 600,000 metric tons a year. The average methane levels in federal waters were three times higher than official inventories, and 13 times higher in state waters. This grim disclosure didn’t deter Biden from offering one of the largest oil lease sales in history in the Gulf, opening up for drilling an area the size of Italy…

+ As the UAE prepares to host the next climate summit, Sultan Al Jaber is overseeing the expansion of the nation’s oil and gas production to 7.5 billion barrels of oil–90% of which would have to remain in the ground to meet the net zero scenario established by the International Energy Agency.

+ The European Parliament voted to list “ecocide” as an international atrocity on par with genocide. Ecocide statutes could soon be part of domestic law in all 27 countries of the EU.

+ Up to 38% of air pollution that poses a threat to human health in UK cities is the result of agriculture, more than produced by the cities themselves.

+ According to the latest data from NOAA, global sea-surface temperatures are now in excess of 21°C, temperature that has not been previously recorded at any time of year.

+ By studying sediment from the last ice age, scientists now calculate that melting ice sheets can collapse at a rate of 600 meters per day, far faster than previously believed.

+ March 2023 was the 2nd-hottest March globally since record-keeping began in 1880, measuring at 1.21°C (2.18°F) above’s 1951-1980 baseline average. Nine of the 10 hottest Marches have occurred since 2015.

+ The Earth’s polar ice sheets have lost 7,560 billion tonnes in mass between 1992 and 2022. Seven of the worst melting years have occurred in the past decade. This annual melting is five times what it was 30 years ago.

+ The Biden administration has now approved exports for the Alaska LNG project. It consists of a pipeline, gas treatment plant, liquefaction facilities, and LNG terminal capable of exporting 20 million metric tons of gas per year. Most of which would go to Asia. This project could result in over 50 million metric tons of carbon emissions annually.

+ According to the new Banking on Climate Chaos report, the world’s 60 top banks provided $5.5 trillion in fossil fuel funding in 7 years since Paris Agreement. Royal Bank of Canada was biggest 2022 funder, providing $42.1 billion, making $253 billion since 2016.

+ Germany is now nuclear free, after its last nuclear energy plant powered down last week.

+ This happy news was followed by the German  cabinet on Wednesday approving a bill that bans most new oil and gas heating systems starting in 2024.

+ According to documents acquired by Ken Klippenstein, a Kansas intelligence agency (the Kansas City Regional Fusion Center)  is warning law enforcement that the fictional movie “How to Blow Up A Pipeline” poses a terror threat, even though they admit the film protected speech and that they couldn’t identify any specific threats.

+ Biden’s EPA approved a plan to allow the world’s largest Chevron refinery in Pascagoula, Mississippi to turn plastic waste into fuel, even though EPA’s own review found that the production poses a cancer risk that is 250,000 times greater than it usually considers unreasonable.

+ Methane emissions from the US oil and gas industry were 70% higher than the Environmental Protection Agency’s own estimates between 2010 and 2019, according to a new report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

+ Washington Post: “Replacing coal with natural gas, while gradually expanding wind and solar, has reduced carbon dioxide emissions per unit of energy generated, but not by much. The carbon intensity of U.S. electricity has fallen very little in the last two decades.”

+ I remember when the Sierra Club secretly pocketed $26 million from Chesapeake Energy, then hawked natural gas as a “bridge fuel.” Bridge to nowhere for the climate, it turns out…

+ Did Marge hire Herschel Walker as her climate staffer?

+ Asia has been broiling this week. Thailand crushed its all-time heat record with a temperature of 114F. While Hunan, China has sweltered under 22 consecutive days at 95F.

+ The 100th Meridian used to be the dividing line between the arid west and the humid east. But that line has moved eastward by more than 140 milessince 1980, portending major changes to what was once the nation’s breadbasket.

+ A 2021 study that determined that covering the California’s canals with solar panels could reduce evaporation by as much as 90 percent and save 63 billion gallons of water per year.

+ Even after a winter of record storms, rains and snowfall, more than 1,800 residents of California’s San Joaquin Valley continue to depend on state-funded water deliveries. Some of their wells went dry last year, while others have been coping with dry wells for as long as three years.

+ Nearly two-thirds of the homes in Norway now have heat pumps, the highest percentage in the world. Since 1990 emissions from home heating have fallen by more than 80%.

+ Nearly 120 million Americans are living in towns and cities with unhealthy levels of soot and smog, according the latest State of the Air report from the American Lung Association with 10 of the 11 most heavily polluted counties being located in California. Blacks, Native Americans and Hispanics account for 54% of those living in counties with dangerous air quality, despite accounting for just over 40% of the population.

+ The Colorado River is running dry largely as a consequence of climate change. The river has the capacity to provide water for 1 in 8 Americans, but at least half of the water goes to meat and dairy production, industries which are a contributor to climate change.

+ According to Peter Singer, “if Americans were to replace 50 percent of all animal-based foods with plant-based alternatives by 2030, that alone would help them get a quarter of the way toward hitting the U.S. climate target under the Paris agreement.”

+ Since 2008, the planet has absorbed nearly as much heat as it did in the previous 45 years. Most of the extra energy has gone into the oceans.

+ By the end of the century, carbon-collecting northern peat bogs could become carbon emitters.

+ The global rice shortage is now the greatest in 20 years: “At the global level, the most evident impact of the global rice deficit has been, and still is, decade-high rice prices.”

+ Sea surface temperatures off the east coast of North America in March were 13.8C higher than the 1981-2011 average.

+ Internal documents from Shell admit that meeting the 1.5C climate goal would require an immediate end to fossil fuel growth.

+ Carbon capture is proving to be an even bigger fraud than carbon credits. Chevron’s Gorgon gas project off Western Australia is now emitting by more 50% CO2 even though it is home to the world’s largest industrial carbon capture and storage system. Meanwhile, the amount of CO2 stored underground at the LNG facility has fallen steeply in the last three years.

+ The wider the gap between rich and poor the higher the mortality rates during periods of flooding.

+ As oases dry up, Morocco is entering its eighth year of drought, with no end in sight.

+ A new study in Nature Communications argues that no one is exempt from risk of killer heat waves: “Our global assessment shows that statistically implausible extremes have occurred in 31% of regions between 1959 and 2021, with no apparent spatial or temporal pattern…It appears that such extremes could occur anywhere and at any time. This suggests that everywhere needs to be prepared for a heatwave so extreme it is deemed implausible based on the current observational record.”


+ According to the latest IPCC report, by 2050 more than 1 billion people will experience “extreme sea level rise events” every four years.

+ Around 15% of energy-related global greenhouse gas emissions come from the process of getting oil and gas out of the ground and transported to consumers–more than all emissions from India or the US.

+ The Po River (Italy’s largest) is already as low as it was at the end of last summer, a grim sign for the nation’s fishing, tourism and agricultural industries.

+ Nearly two-thirds of Dutch children walk or bike to school and around 75% of secondary school kids cycle to school.

+ Last year, heat pump sales hit a record number. This year heat pump sales are up by 122% in the most quarter compared to last year’s record.

+ Using a commercial gas leaf blower for an hour generates emissions equal to driving from Denver to Los Angeles.

+ The April temperatures for Spain’s Córdoba airport soared to 38.8 °C (101.8 °F), almost 5 °C (9 °F) warmer than the previous April record at this location.

+ Some roads in the Sierra Nevada Range are still buried under as much as 50 feet of snow.

+ Norway’s oil fund is larger than the combined wealth of the ten richest people in the world and is growing by  $1 billion a week.

+ The climate crisis is proving to be a big driver behind global inflation. In the last year, the price of food has risen by more than 24% in Nigeria and 62.7% in Egypt.

+ A study of 200,000 hospital admissions in China showed that found a significant increase in the risk of heart arrhythmias in the first few hours after an increase in air pollution levels.

+ Nuclear power plants are a textbook case of “negative learning,” where each new generation gets worse and more expensive instead of better and cheaper.

+ There are at least 90 fires burning in parched portions of western Canada, across more than one million acres. For context, over the last five years the average acres burned to date has been around 1,000 acres.

+ According to new satellite data, methane leaks from Turkmenistan’s two largest oil and gas fields caused more global heating in 2022 than the entire carbon emissions of the UK.

+ Last week, an assessment by the EPA determined that three neonicotinoid insecticides (clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam) are likely driving more than 200 endangered plants and animals toward extinction.

+ Three decades the EPA banned a radioactive, cancer-causing material called phosphogypsum for use in road construction. Now Florida Republicans have passed a bill to bring it back.

+ At least ten property insurers have gone bankrupt in Florida in just the last two years. And more and more home-owner insurers are pulling back in risky areas, leaving state-backed insurance plans “holding the bag.”

+ Billed as an FDR-like public works project, Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) program is proving anything but. Instead, it is serving to speed the privatization of US infrastructure.

+ There are more than 14,000 uncapped oil wells leaking methane and other pollutants into the Gulf of Mexico. It will cost $80 billion to plug them.

+ Mired in a prolonged drought, Spain just experienced its hottest and driestApril since records began in 1961. Rainfall was about a fifth of what would normally be expected in the month. The outlook for Spain’s olive crop is ominous.

+ Last week saw the hottest May day ever in Botswana with 36.1C at Mababe on the highlands in the NE of the country. When the heat rises, hippos roll in mud (water evaporates more slowly from mud, keeping them cool longer). Lions climb trees to get off the hot ground. Birds cool themselves with gular fluttering, a frequent vibration of their throat membranes which increases airflow and thus increases evaporation. Giraffes’ beautifully patterned skin functions like a network of thermal windows. They direct warm blood to the vessels at the edges of the spots, forcing heat out of the animals’ bodies.” – Jeff Goodall, The Heat Will Kill You First.

+ The Ukraine war has accelerated Europe’s shift away from fossil fuels, the generation of which  is expected to fall by another 20% in the EU this year.

+ There’s now a 66 percent chance that global temperatures breach 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) threshold of warming by 2027, according to the World Meteorological Organization. Only last year, the WMO placed the odds of exceeding the levels set by 2015 Paris Climate Agreement at 50/50.

+ New research out of Boston University found pollutants (nitrogen oxide, fine particulate matter and ozone) from U.S. oil and gas production contributed to 7,500 excess deaths, 410,000 asthma attacks, and 2,200 new cases of childhood asthma across the U.S. in 2016 alone.

+ $77 billion: the annual cost in health impacts nationwide every year from air pollution generated by oil and natural gas production in the US.

+ Surprise! It turns out that the Biden EPA’s most recent proposal will not effectively eliminate carbon pollution from the power sector by 2040, as has been widely reported …

+ Owing to the “slow circulation of the deep ocean,” the warming of the ocean is likely to continue “until at least 2300” even if greenhouse gas emissions nearly eliminated.

+ A study published this week in Environmental Research Letters finds that nearly 40% of forest area burned by wildfire in the western United States and southwestern Canada over the last 40 years can be attributed to carbon emissions from the world’s 88 largest fossil fuel producers and cement manufacturers.

+ The worst wildfires in the history of British Columbia have all occurred in the last five years: 2017, 2018 and 2021. The worst fires in Alberta have all happened since 2010 (2011, 2016 and 2019) and this year may be the most devastating of all. On average, 7,000 wildfires burn about 6 million acres in Canada each year. But that number has more than doubled since the 1970. By the 2080s, Canadian researchers predict, the acreage charred could easily quadruple or quintuple.

+ The air quality index for the Calgary on Tuesday hit the top of the scale, at 10+, or ‘very high risk,’ meaning that that the air quality from wildfire smoke was so poor that even those without pre-existing health conditions could experience symptoms such as difficulty breathing.

+ You can drill, but you can’t hide

+ Meanwhile, south of the Alberta border Montana just outlawed state regulators from analyzing the impacts of climate change on environmental, water and energy policy. (In one week, the Montana legislature has eliminated the threat of climate change and Tik-Tok. Next week it will outlaw cancer and earthquakes.)

+ A study out this week in Science magazine finds that El Niño events persistently reduce economic growth in tropical countries and that global warming is likely to increase these costs by trillions of dollars. A new El Niño appears to be forming in the eastern Pacific this year.

+ The hottest days in Northwest Europe (i.e. UK, northern France) have warmed twice as fast as average summer days over the past 60 years. In a in a 2°C warming world, a hot day that occurs once every 20 years in the present-day climate would be about 2.5 times more likely.

+ Rahmbo of the Arctic: In order to attract private equity to invest in an 800-mile-long Liquified National Gas pipeline across Alaska’s melting permafrost, the Biden White House has called on the services of … Rahm Emanuel.


+ The CO2 levels at the Mauna Loa observatory hit 424.76 ppm on May 29 2023  Up 3.02 from 421.74 ppm one year ago.

+ If the planet warms by 4 degrees Celsius, people living in Africa will experience a 118-fold increase in exposure to extreme heat. (Africa has generated less than 3 percent of the world’s cumulative greenhouse gas emissions.)

+ Last week, State Farm terminated the sale of new home-insurance policies in California, citing wildfire risk and rapid inflation in construction costs. Michael Wara of Stanford’s Doerr School of Sustainability: “If it was some small insurer, maybe no one would care. But this is State Farm. This is a situation that threatens the broader economic picture of California.” A week after State Farm stopped writing new home insurance policies in California, Allstate followed suit.

+ According to Bloomberg, China has reached peak CO2 emissions seven years ahead of schedule. Next year the country’s reliance on fossil fuels will begin to settle into a long-term decline, largely because China is now adding three times as much solar as it did only 2 years ago  and a third of all new vehicle sales are EVS.

+ As El Niño gathers its forces for a march up the Pacific, ocean temperatures off the coast of South America spiked upward roughly 6 degrees Celsius (10.8 Fahrenheit) warmer than usual in April.

+ A report in the New Scientist charts the gradual rise in the number of people under 50 being diagnosed with cancer  and concludes that scientists “don’t entirely know why.” Plastics, micro plastics, PFAs, petro-chemicals, pesticides, processed foods….ring any bells?

+ Protest is being criminalized across America and you’re not hearing much about it from the supposed defenders of free speech, who bemoan the fact they can’t use the N-word in a sentence without repercussions. On Thursday morning, swat teams from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) and Atlanta Police Department (APD) raided Teardown House and arrested bail support and legal defense workers, who are providing charitable support to protestors arrested for opposing Cop City in Atlanta. The police accused the activists of committing financial crimes. “Arresting bail fund organizers is state repression,” said Suzanne Adely, president of the National Lawyers Guild. “We strongly condemn the state of Georgia’s organized effort to silence, criminalize, and punish movements for justice.”

+ Solidarity is often the greatest crime in the eyes of a corrupt state, especially a police state. It’s certainly what they fear the most. It may be the only thing they really fear.

+ For decades, many economists asserted that immediate action to fight climate change would cripple the economy, but a new study (one of several) demonstrates that the economic benefits of a rapid and immediate cut in CO2 emissions outweigh the costs.

+ A study in Nature argues that the rapidly increasing likelihood of temperatures in excess of 50°C (122°F) across the Mediterranean and Middle East is attributable to human influences: “We find that at all locations, temperatures above 50 °C would have been extremely rare or impossible in the pre-industrial world, but under human-induced climate change their likelihood is rapidly increasing.”

+ A report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences estimates that at least a third of all agricultural production around the globe occurs on lands of “high conservation priority.”

+ Phoenix, the fastest growing metro area in the US, doesn’t have enough water for all the homes that have already been permitted. Thoughts and prayers…

+ The overturning circulation of the Southern Ocean has declined by 30%since the 1990s, leading to higher sea levels and changing weather patterns…

+ In 2017, nearly one-third of all natural gas extracted Canada was used to separate bitumen from bituminous sand. In other words, hydrocarbons are being used to produce more hydrocarbons. Efficient system, you’ve got going up there.

+ A new report calls plastic the new coal: “As of 2020, the U.S. plastics industry is responsible for at least 232 million tons of CO2e gas emissions per year. This amount is equivalent to the average emissions from 116 average-sized (500-megawatt) coal-fired power plants. The U.S. plastics industry’s contribution to climate change is on track to exceed that of coal-fired power in this country by 2030.”

+ Every year another 400 million tons of plastic is produced, about the weight of 1,000 Empire State Buildings. The world is generating twice as much plastic waste as two decades ago. As much as 14 million metric tons of plastic is believed to enter aquatic ecosystems per year.

+Average cost overrun for new power plants:

Nuclear 120%
Hydro dams 75%
Fossil 16%
Wind 13%
Solar 1%

+ Last week as the smoke from the Quebec fires settled over the east coast,  200 air quality monitoring stations recorded all-time high air pollution. More than 100 million people were impacted by unhealthy levels of air pollution over the week.

+ Since the beginning of the year, more than 17,800 square miles have burned in Canada, far more than previous averages. The fires are expected to burn all summer.

+ On Monday of this week, nearly half a million acres of forests burned in Canada–scorching considerably more land in a single day than burned in California all of last year.

+ $125 billion: amount in lost annual earnings in US from workers exposed to drifting smoke from wildfires.

+ A new paper in PNAS by Marco Turco, John Abatzoglou, and Sixto Herrrera finds that in California “nearly all of the observed increase in burned area over the past half-century is attributable to anthropogenic climate change.”

+ Despite the preening of Justin Trudeau over his nation’s enlightened policies, Canada has the worst record on emissions reduction in the G7 since 1990.

+ In 2020, rich nations mobilized $83.3 billion for climate finance, but according to a new Oxfam analysis only $24.5 billion in new donor money actually went to climate projects.

+ Even though Columbia University’s oral history of the Obama administration is funded by the Obama Foundation, it still can’t salvage his pathetic record on climate change.

+ The Arctic Ocean will be ice-free a decade earlier than previously predicted.

+ Sea temperatures at a depth of about 10 meters were a quarter of a degree Celsius higher than ice-free oceans in May averaged across 1991 to 2020, according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S). Year-round, long-term trends have added 0.6C to the ocean’s surface waters in 40 years. April also set a new record for heat.

+ The temperature of the North Atlantic is literally off-the-fucking-chart…

+ Since 1971, the Earth (largely its oceans)  has absorbed the heat equivalent of over 6 billion atomic explosions of the size that decimated Hiroshima in 1945.

+ Ken Saro-Wiwa’s killers are coming for us all…”Shell scrapped projects in offshore wind, hydrogen and biofuels, due to projections of weak returns. At the same time, Shell reported record profits of $40 billion last year on the back of strong oil and gas prices.”

+ According the latest report by the World Meteorological Organization, Europe is heating up faster than any other continent. Last year, Europe was 2.3 degrees C warmer than in the preindustrial era.

+ The city of Del Rio, Texas Del Rio has already experience 20 record highs this year, including 8 in a row.

+ More than a fifth of ecosystems worldwide, including the Amazon rainforest, are at risk of a catastrophic breakdown within a human lifetime, according to a research paper published in Nature Sustainability.

+ At least  half of the native plants in the UK and Ireland are in decline, according a 20-year study published in Plant Atlas.

+ Last summer, the Thames River had become so hot and saturated with sewage that it had to be pumped with tonnes of oxygen for 11 days to keep fish and aquatic plants from perishing.

+ Tropical forest loss increased by 10 percent last year with the planet losing more than 10.2 million acres of primary rainforest. Brazil alone is now losing forest canopy the size of Belgium every year.

+ In 2022, global deforestation caused the release of carbon dioxide equivalent to the annual fossil fuel emissions of India.

+ At least, 257 fires are still burning out of control across Canada, having already burned a record 20 million acres, an area about the size of Maine.

+ Why is Canada burning? Climate change and drought, obviously. But less obviously: plantations. Research has shown that logged areas of the boreal forest in Canada are more susceptible to fires in the decade after they’ve been clearcut than native forests.

+ Gas stoves pollute homes with benzene, emitting more of the known carcinogen than present in secondhand smoke, according to a new study by researchers at Stanford published in Environmental Science and Technology.

+ More gas is now being delivered by LNG tankers than through inter-regional pipelines, according to the latest report from the Statistical Review of World Energy.

+ According the Financial Times, this year global spending on solar energy production will outpace spending on oil production for the first time in history: $380 billion on solar compared with $370 billion on oil.

+ The big winner here is China, which has now eclipsed both the EU nations and the US in renewable energy production: “China now generates 650 terawatt-hours of wind electricity, almost twice as much as America. It provides a third of the world’s solar power, 330 terawatt-hours, more than twice as much as the US.“

+ Still according to the Energy Institute’s Statistical Review of World Energy, global energy-related CO2 emissions continued to grow by 0.8%  in the “post-pandemic” (so-called) period and the overall dominance of fossil fuels is largely unchanged at almost 82% of total consumption, despite the impressive growth in renewables.

+ The exception is Europe, where fossil fuel generation is expected to fall by 20% in 2023.


+ In 2003, more than 70,000 people died during a prolonged heat wave in Europe. But few lessons seem to have been learned from the mass death. A new study in Nature using data from the Eurostat mortality database for 35 countries calculates that 61,672 people died from heat-related illness between May 30 and September 4 of last year. “The fact that more than 61,600 people in Europe died of heat stress in the summer of 2022, even though, unlike in 2003, many countries already had active prevention plans in place, suggests that the adaptation strategies currently available may still be insufficient,” warns Hicham Achebak, one of the study’s authors. This summer looks to be the hottest ever.

+ According to calculations from Berkeley Earth, June was the warmest June on record by a big margin, topping the previous (2022) record by 0.18C. It was also 1.47C warmer than preindustrial (1850-1899) June temperatures. The 5 hottest Junes on record have occurred in the last five years.

+ In the pre-industrial age these extremely hot summers occurred less than 1% of the time. Now the likelihood of killer heat is more than 20%.

+ Last week, it was Bidenomics. This week Bidenmentalism: The US is producing more oil now than it did at the same time of year in 2019.

+ Subsidies for the consumption of fossil fuels soared worldwide in 2022, rising above a trillion dollars for the first time, according to IEA new estimates by the International Energy Agency.

+ For the first time, wind and solar generated more than 20 percent of the USA’s monthly electricity. Wind and solar generated a monthly record 21.06% of US electricity in April 2023. Wind alone produced 13.95% and solar 7.11%. Each were monthly records for wind or solar alone.

+ Through July 10th, Miami had endured more hours above a 105°F heat index than it ever has in any entire year.

+ The water temperatures surrounding Florida this week are hot tub-like…

Key West 92.1F
Vaca Key 94.3F
Johnson Key 95.7F

+ The highest recorded oceanic temperatures have been in the Arabian Gulf with 99F/37C.

+ Twenty years of satellite data shows that the oceans are turning from blue to green as a result of climate change.

+ From July 9 through July 11, daily maximum temperatures reached Climate Shift Index (CSI) Level 5 in central Texas, parts of New Mexico and Colorado, large portions of the Mexican state of Chihuahua and most of the Gulf Coast of Mexico. Climate Shift Index (CSI) Level 5 means that human-caused climate change made this excessive heat event five times more likely, indicating an exception climate change event.

+ The temperature 100 degrees in the town of Norman Wells in the Northwest Territories of Canada last Saturday, the hottest temperature ever measured north of 65 degrees latitude in the Western Hemisphere.

+ Zeke Haufsfather, the Climate Brink: “The 2.5 trillion tons of CO2 we have emitted from both fossil fuels and land use change is larger than the total dry living biomass (e.g. all living things on the planet today) and the mass of all human-made structures (all concrete, brick, steel, etc.).”

+ With three months to go in the fire season, Canadian wildfires have now burned an area the size of Portugal. Hundreds of fires are still burning and temperatures are expected to climb through July and August. More than 155,000 people already have been forced out of their homes.

+ In a survey conducted by the Ella Baker Center, nearly 40% of  the people in California state prisons surveyed by say that wildfire smoke (and other environmental hazards) has worsened an existing respiratory condition.

+ The Lula Effect: Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon dropped by 34% in the first half 2023.

+ The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a temporary injunction stopping the construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline in the Jefferson National Forest over questions about the constitutionality of over the debt ceiling deal that approved it.

+ By Thursday of this week, the planet had experienced 18 consecutive days with global temperatures hotter than any prior days on record.

+ To date, the North Atlantic Ocean has warmed in one year by about the same amount as during the past 15 years, which was already a record period of warming. In fact, the current temperatures in the North Atlantic are as far above the previous record high as the previous record high was above the average high.

+ Sanbao, China, which is located at a latitude of 43N, hit 51.7C last weekend, smashing the previous Chinese national record by a full 1C ! China had five weather stations recording temperatures above 50C.  Sanbao’s 51.7 is also a new world record for any location north of 40N latitude.

+ According to data collected by NOAA from the 50 largest cities in the US, the heatwave season is 49 days longer now than it was in the 1960s.


+ Matthew Huber, a paleo-climatologist at Purdue University: “We are pushing temperatures up to Pliocene levels, which is outside the realm of human experience; it’s such a massive change that most things on Earth haven’t had to deal with it.”

+ One July 17, the Earth experienced one of its hottest nights ever. At 1 am in morning the temperature in Death Valley was 120°F, before slowly falling to 105°F at 7 am, when it began to rise again before topping out at 126F.

+ In Phoenix, America’s fastest growing city, which has now undergone 20 consecutive days with temperatures reaching 110F or higher, 85 people have suffered severe burns from contact with pavements heated up to 180F (82C), 7 of those people died. In total, at least 257 people had underlying cause of death listed as “exposure to excessive natural heat”.

+ More from excellent piece by John Burn-Murdoch in the Financial Times: “Between 1970 and 1990, an average of 16 people per year died in Arizona from ‘exposure to excessive natural heat.’ Between 1990 and 2015, the average rose to 38. In 2020 it was 210, and 2022 came in at 257.”

+ When the solution to the heat problem is fueling the heat problem: The U.S. is poised to burn a record amount of natural gas this summer to produce enough electricity to power the air conditioners needed to keep people safe from extreme heat.

+ The heat waves in the US are causing electric cars to loss a third of their range. So much for that quick fix…

+ Riders in the Tour de France had to wear “ice-vests” to keep from collapsing from heat stroke.

+ FEMA is nearly out of money and the hurricane season hasn’t powered up yet.

+ The new medical protocols for heat-stressed cities include doctors writing prescriptions for air conditioning and immersive cooling of patients in a “body bag filled with ice and zipped to about shoulder level.”

+ Canadian wildfires have now burned more than 10 million hectares of forest, about 10 times the amount of any year since 2016 and we’re not even halfway through the fire season.

+ This year alone China will install more solar capacity than the US in its entire history.

+ The Italian island of Sardinia experience temperature above 47C (117 degrees) this week, while Rome sizzled at 108F, three degrees above its previous all-time record.

+ Preliminary data from the World Meteorological Organization shows that the first week of July 2023 was the hottest week ever recorded, following the hottest June on record.

+ The drought in Spain has sent olive prices to all-time highs.

+ Remember when Obama and HRC (not to mention the Sierra Club) were promoting natural gas as an atmosphere-friendly “bridge” fuel? Now a new study by researchers from Harvard and Duke Universities and NASA finds that due to methane leakage burning natural gas can be just as bad for the climate as burning coal.

+ Declining water levels in rivers have so greatly reduced the power generated from hydroelectric dams that many states have been forced to tap into fossil fuel power plants instead,  a shift that has increased U.S. carbon emissions by about 121 million metric tons over the last 20 years.

+ In southeast Alaska, the deathwatch is on for the King Salmon, who numbers continue to plummet. “General anxiety in southeast Alaska is through the roof. People are freaking out,” Ajax Eggleston, a salmon fisherman from Pelican, Alaska told the New York Times. “The health of the species? It’s doomed, man. I’m not optimistic about the future of trolling. We’ll be eating bugs and farmed fish from New Zealand.”

+ Both the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers are drying up for the second straight year. The problem isn’t simply ecological. The waters may get so low again that they snarl shipping traffic on two of the nation’s most vital freight routes.

+ Republicans have introduced legislation to block any president from declaring a climate emergency. Predictable, of course. Equally predictable: Biden not declaring a climate emergency, despite fires, floods, cities shrouded in smoke, hurricanes, power outages, droughts, insurance company bankruptcies, eroding coastlines, life-threatening heat waves …

+ The entire Northern Hemisphere is +1.23°C warmer than average (1979-2000) and +0.44°C warmer than ever recorded.

+ As the Sicilian capital of Palermo is encircled by fire, large sections of the city of Catania (pop: 300,000) have gone 48-hours without water or electricity because the cables laid under the roads have melted in 46C heat.

+ Combined, wind and solar facilities generate nearly 40% of installed capacity in Texas. Natural gas, formerly the state’s dominant power source, now accounts for less than 42%.

+ Talk about “cooking the books“: “An assessment of global GDP loss in a so-called ‘hothouse’ world of 3C by a group of 114 central banks and financial supervisors did not include ‘impacts related to extreme weather, sea-level rise or wider societal impacts from migration or conflict.”

+ One in 10 flights taking off from UK are private jets. (Let ’em take off, don’t let ’em land!)

+ Charles Oppenheimer, who describes himself as an “entrepreneur and investor”: “As J. Robert Oppenheimer’s grandson, I believe that my grandfather would support the expansion of nuclear energy as an environmentally friendly solution to address both the world’s energy problems and, perhaps counterintuitively, as a catalyst for peace and unity.” Why should we listen to the Oppenheimer brood and not the descendants of physicists like Leo Szilard and James Franck who refused to have anything to do with his mass-murder project and knew that the atomic power industry would always be linked inseparably with the atomic weapons industry.

+ Writing in Nature about their new research on the impending collapse of the Gulf Stream, Danish scientists Peter and Susanne Ditlevsen warn: “We estimate a collapse of the AMOC [Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation] to occur around mid-century under the current scenario of future emissions.” Under the Ditlevens’ scenario, the current, which transports water around the Atlantic basin and plays a key role in regulating everything from the rate of sea level rise on the East Coast to Europe’s average temperatures, is already beginning to slow and will likely stop entirely sometime 2025 and 2095. The change would probably be irreversible and is like to trigger increased storms, flooding and dramatic sea level rise. The socioeconomic consequences (not to mention the disastrous impacts on marine life) would be catastrophic for tens of millions of people.

+ The ocean temperature in Manatee Bay, near Key Largo, reached 101.1F on Monday, the hottest sea surface temperature ever recorded on Earth.

+ The news may be even worse up north off the east coast of Canada, where hundreds of thousands of square miles of ocean experienced sea surface temperatures more than 5°C (9°F) above normal and some areas approaching 10°C (18°F) above normal. Thermal stress from this marine heatwave is certain to have major impacts on marine life in the Northwest Atlantic.

+ The Florida Keys contain the third largest coral reef system in the world and the only one in the continental US. With the extreme ocean temperatures this summer, all of these reefs are at risk of dying out. Many already have. Scott Atwell from The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary: “We’ve never seen anything like this. Some are not even bleaching, they are going straight to dead.” “We are surprised by the pace. It is unprecedented what we have seen. We’ve never seen anything like this. Some are not even bleaching, they are going straight to dead.”

+ The brutal heat waves pressing down on Europe are eviscerating the continent’s cereal crops. Southern Europe grain yields are likely to be 60% lower than last year and 9.5% lower than the 5-year average. 

+ According to the International Energy Agency, “low-cost new wind and solar PV installations have displaced an estimated 230 TWh of expensive fossil fuel generation.” The new wind and solar systems are expected to save EU consumers 100 billion Euros from 2021 through 2023.

+ Brandi Morin: “There were uncontrollable sobs in my chest as I stood at Peez’uh near Pee-hee-mm-huh (Thacker Pass) where it’s being dug up for North America’s largest lithium mine. Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral territories this is that I interviewed, do not want their lands sacrificed to meet the world’s need for the “green” transition. The pain here is deep. Paiute-Shoshone were massacred here and their ancestors I spoke with told me some of them ran up this hill to try to escape.”

+ This summer about 200 million people in cities today are at risk from extreme heat. That number that is expected to increase eightfold by 2050.

+ In a 24-hour period last week, Nova Scotia was deluged with 3 months’ worth of rain.

+ People keep asking me, as they wipe the sweat from their brow: “Is this the new normal? Is this what summer’s going to be like from now on?” My answer is no. We won’t know what the new normal is until after we’ve stopped burning fossil fuels. And we’re still using more each year than the year before.

+ FoxNews’ Bill Hemmer defending RFK, Jr. to Karl Rove: “He was never on to the Green New Deal. He was never on electric chargers running from California to the state of Maine. He’s a different kind of Democrat. The kind of Democrat that, frankly, you and I grew up with.”


+ Firestorms sweeping Maui, Lāhainā in ashes, at least 55 people burned to death (and 1000 still missing).  Hawai’i 2023.

+ Here’s a link to the Maui Food Bank. Folks are going to be struggling there for some time…

+ Kaniela Ing: “Lāhainā was once wetland. Boats circled around Waikoloa Church. It’s only became dry and fire-prone because of illegal water diversions and land theft by sugar barons in the 1800s. Today, the same families reap insane profits off continued control of our irrigation, land regulators, and politicians. As we rebuild, we must restore the Green New Deal promise of public land and water use.”

+ For 35 straight days this summer, every day the average temperature on the planet was hotter than every day on record in any previous year.

+ For the first time on record, Utqiaġvik (formerly Barrow), Alaska, has a 30-day running average temperature over 50F. Prior to this year, the highest 30-day average temp was 48.4F.

+ The heat index hit 158F at a Qeshm international airport in Dayrestan, Iran on Tuesday…

+ Steve Scalise: “By the way, we had hot summers 150 years ago, when we didn’t have the combustion engine. But they don’t want to talk honestly about science.” It was 103F in Paraguay last week in mid-winter.

+ Top 5 House recipients of oil & gas money:

1. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)$616,563
2. August Pfluger (R-Texas) $550,221
3. Wesley Hunt (R-Texas) $415,445
4. Steve Scalise (R-La.) $368,291
5. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) $354,69

+ In Hawai’i, people are “taking shelter” in the ocean from the ravages of climate change. In Florida, people are removing coral from the super-heated ocean to protect them from the ravages of climate change…

+ As the UAE prepares to host the COP28 climate summit, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company has planned for $150 billion in capital expenditure over the next five years towards expanding its oil and gas production, while earmarking only $15 billion for low-carbon and renewable spending over a longer period.

+ Searching for signs of hope? Well, don’t look here: global oil demand is at record highs, with consumption hitting 103 million barrels a day for first time…

+ Tim Scott on Fox and Friends this morning: “This is ridiculous to talk about climate emergency when we have a border emergency right now.” Stay with me Tim, but what if one ’emergency’ is a consequence of the other?

+ The largest property insurer left in Florida is capable of paying out $16 billion in claims. Hurricane Ian alone inflicted $100 billion in damages.

+ Beef emits 31 times more CO₂ per calorie of food than tofu does.

+ A study published in Nature in 2022 found that between 2013 and 2021 there were an average of 60 pyrocumulonimbus (fire breathing) clouds recorded around the world by satellites each year. This year have already been 148 of the stormsworldwide with 129 of them in Canada.

I-90 was closed last week. By smoke. The air quality in Spokane hit 635, air as lethal as any major city on the planet has ever seen. Then the wind currents shifted and the grey streams of smoke from fires in British Columbia and eastern Washington turned back on themselves, merging with the palls of smoke percolating northward from fires in southern Oregon and California to blanket the entire Northwest under a suffocating layer of smoke for three days.

The sweet smell of burning forests saturated the air. Forest I’d walked in many times. Forests, like the Harry Andrews Experiment Station in the Oregon Cascades, that harbors some of the last low-elevation old-growth. Forests that had been the source of much of what we now know about the webs of life in these ancient ecological systems.

Farther south, the forests along the Smith River were also ablaze–that enchanted corridor along Highway 199, the so-called Redwood Highway that twists through the Siskiyou Mountains to the California Coast at Crescent City. A road I’ve driven dozens of times to visit Alexander Cockburn, Becky Grant, Deva Wheeler and CounterPunch headquarters in Petrolia. Forests of old-growth Doug-fir and redwoods, spotted owls and black bears, a rushing green river with salmon and cutthroat trout. For a week, I could smell it going up in flames, like the cremation of an old friend.

Here the sunlight was fractalized by the smoke and ash. But the yellow sheen of the sky didn’t do much to tamp down the temperature. We had a string of 100-plus days on top of a run of 90-plus days. In the last four years alone, the northern Willamette Valley, where we live, has experienced 17 days where the temperatures topped 100F, more than it has in any 10-year period on record.

We’re far beyond 1.5° warming here. The average temperature greater Stumptown this May was 5.4° above normal. The average temperature for June was 3.9° above normal. The average temperature for July was 3.3° above normal. The average temperature for August to date has been 5.1° above normal. The marine layer that often shields the sun in the mornings here has been largely absent and with it the morning dew. The sun sets late and rises early, full-blast.

Everything is brown and has been for weeks: grass, gardens, parks, median strips, cemeteries–all withered by unrelenting sun and lack of rain.  Even the leaves are beginning to turn–sickly pale colors, not the vibrant shades of autumn. We haven’t had a major rainfall since the end of April. “Sere” is the Keatsian term that sticks in my head: “And the fallen leaves are sere.” The old rule of thumb was to expect showers in western Oregon until the Fourth of July. The Farmer’s Almanac needs a major revision. The creek in our canyon, a salmon-spawning stream, has shriveled to a few pools in the gravel streambed. The silky falls at the head of the canyon is dry. The Clackamas River, whose once verdant valley has been scorched by the fires that nearly reached our house three years ago, is reduced to a near trickle at its confluence with the shrunken Willamette.

The point has been tipped, as they say. We’ve lived on the same ridge for 34 years. But it’s not the same. The ecosystem around us has changed. Been changed, one should say. And continues to change, rapidly. Summers, which now start in late March, don’t look, feel or smell the same. Places that were once a refuge for exploration and contemplation–Big Bottom, Pup Creek, Roaring River canyon, Opal Creek, Oneonta Gorge–are now danger zones, ghost forests. Shorn of its multilayered canopy, the forest floor is braised by unfiltered sunlight, where you step on trails of ash and hear the crash of falling trees.

It’s a metaphor for our time. There is no escape from the strange spasms of the world as we’ve remade it.


+ The tragedy of Lahaina is compounded by the kind of government incompetence corporate indifference we witnessed in New Orleans. Despite repeated warnings, Hawaiian Electric refused to shut down the power lines, which have contributed to killer fires in California and Oregon, even as they were whipped apart by near hurricane-force winds, sending spark-showering wires writhing in parched grasses. Then, the only road out of town was barricaded by police and cars were either stuck in line or sent back into the burning town. Only those chose to drive around it ended up surviving the fast-moving fires. During Katrina, the bridge to Gretna was one of the few ways out of the flooded city, until police used force to stop desperate pedestrians, most of whom were black, from crossing it.

+ Christopher Blackwell, a CounterPunch contributor who is incarcerated in a Washington State Prison near Spokane: “The smoke is so bad at my prison from the wild fires across the state that when I blow my nose it’s black. I can’t imagine what’s it’s like for the thousands of people incarcerated at the prisons right near the fire. You can’t disentangle climate justice and mass incarceration.”

+ Between 2017 and 2022, the average number of air quality warnings issued by Environment Canada during Canadian wildfire season was 897. This year, the agency has already released more than three times as many: 3,166.

+ The temperature of the North Atlantic Ocean hit 25.3°C for the first time in observational history.

+ Cities in the Pacific Northwest are now building smoke shelters.

+ As Canada burns from border to border, Rich Kruger, the CEO of Suncor, the country’s biggest CO2 emitter, pledges to accelerate its fossil fuel production: “I play to win. We’re in the business to make money and as much of it as possible.”

+ He’s not alone. Check out Bidenmentalism in action: US domestic crude oil production has reached 12.7 million barrels per day, up 600,000 barrels per day from one year ago, the highest level since 2020.

+ The IMF estimates that fossil fuels are being subsidized at rate of $13 million every minute or about $7 trillion a year.

+ A study published in PLOS Climate estimates that the richest 10 percent of Americans account for 40 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions. Sounds low to me.

+ Starting on May 27, 2023, State Farm will become the biggest company to stop offering insurance to California homeowners, attributing the decision to the rising risk of wildfires. The company, which held the most policies in the California property market in 2021, experienced about a 60% loss that year.

+ Allstate isn’t trailing far behind State Farm. It lost 32 cents on the dollar in the first six months of 2023 insuring homes…

+ Europe has already experienced at least 1,100 fires this summer, scorching more than 1,100 square miles of land–far above the average of 724 fires a year from 2006-2022.

+ The flooding in Slovenia is now the worst natural disaster in the country’s history. More than two-thirds of Slovenia is devastated with hundreds of villages still cut off from the outside world.

+ New Orleans endured more than a month with a heat index of at least 105 degrees, nearly doubling the record set in 2021. For nine consecutive days during that stretch temperatures felt like 115 degrees or higher.

+ For the third time on record (since 1851), three Atlantic tropical cyclones formed over 24 hour period (Tropical Depression 6, Emily, and Franklin). The historic outbreak of tropical cyclones was matched only by August 22, 1995, and August 15, 1893.

+ What are currently considered 1-in-100 year extreme sea level events are projected to occur at least annually in over half of the world’s tide gauge locations by 2100.

+ Terry Tempest Williams: “In Castle Valley (Utah), according to our town’s weather keeper, we have had 47 days this summer where the temperature exceeded 100 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter, and the average high was 107 degrees. At its peak the heat reached a sweltering 114 degrees. From Texas to Phoenix to the Four Corners, there has been no relief.”

+ An analysis by RStreet reveals that the most rigorous level of environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is used far more often for clean energy projects than for fossil fuel projects. In fact, many fossil fuel projects are “categorically excluded” from NEPA even when similar scale clean energy projects aren’t.

+ According to the IPCC, by 2050, about half of the European population are likely to be exposed to high or very high risk of heat stress during summer months.

+ The Alexandroupolis wildfire complex in Greece and Macedonia is now the largest wildfire on record in the EU.

+ A study by researchers in Norway finds that when it comes to motivating people to become climate activists “anger” is seven times stronger than “hope.”

+ Voters in Ecuador voted overwhelmingly to ban oil exploration in the Block 44 area, situated within Yasuní National Park, one of the world’s most biologically diverse regions.

+ The debt owed by global south countries has increased by 150% since 2011, according to a new report by Debt Justice. At least, 54 countries are in a debt crisis, having to spend five times more on repayments to rich industrial nations than on addressing the climate crisis.

+ More than 200 cargo ships are backed up waiting to enter the dwindling waters of the Panama Canal, where each crossing requires 51 million gallons of water. Mired in the worst drought since the opening of the Panama Canal more than 100 years ago, some ships are waiting more than 3 weeks to cross the canal, which handles around 40% of US container traffic.

+ According to CERES, the Earth Energy Imbalance (EEI) hit another all-time high in June. The 36-month EEI now stands at a record 1.46 W/m², which is about 11.9 Hiroshimas per second, or 1.12 billion Hiroshimas over the last three years.


+ This was the hottest summer ever recorded and August (16.82°C) was the second hottest month on record, behind only July  (16.95°C) of this year.

+ Jonathan Donges, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research: “To effectively prevent all tipping risks, the global mean temperature increase would need to be limited to no more than one degree – we are currently already at about 1.2°C.’”

+ Since the 2015 Paris Climate Accords, international banks have provided around $3.2 trillion to the fossil fuel industry to expand operations.

+ A new study published in Energies by Joshua Pearce at the University of Western Ontario, and Richard Parncutt from the University of Graz, still climate change could led to more than one billion deaths in the next century: “If global warming reaches or exceeds two degrees Celsius by 2100…it is likely that mainly richer humans will be responsible for the death of roughly one billion mainly poorer humans over the next century.”

+ The 2023 global temperature peak was around 0.3C higher than 2022.

+ West Antarctica is warming twice as fast as climate models predicted. If it’s ice sheet collapses, it would raise sea levels by several meters.

+ At least five of the nation’s largest property insurers—Allstate, American Family, Nationwide, Erie and Berkshire Hathaway—have told regulators that extreme weather patterns caused by climate change have led them to raise premiums and stop writing coverages for natural disasters, such as hurricanes and wildfires, in some regions.

+ From 2003 to 2020 California experienced about 18,000 fires, 380 of them included at least one day when the fire grew by at least 10,000 acres. Climate change increased the likelihood of that explosive growth for most of the fires.

+ In British Columbia, four of the most severe wildfire seasons of the last century occurred in the past 7 years: 2017, 2018, 2021, and 2023.

+ By 2050, more than 5 billion people could face at least a month of extreme heat each year.

+ Africa will need around $277 billion annually to implement “nationally determined contributions” to meet the continent’s 2030 climate goals, according to the Climate Policy Initiative. Currently, however, Africa is receiving only $30 billion a year in climate financing.

+ A couple of months before Hurricane Idalia ravaged the Gulf Coast of Florida, Ron DeSantis rejected $350 million in federal funds meant to help tackle climate change. Then DeSantis refused to meet with Biden as he toured the damage and doled out emergency relief funding from FEMA….

+ When Hurricane Lee intensified into a Category 5 with more than 160 MPH winds, it became the 8th Cat 5 Atlantic storm in the last eight years. Comparing 1970-2000 with 2001-2022, the frequency of Cat 5 storms has tripled.

+ Water levels at Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake in the world, are dropping dramatically after an historic winter heat wave, which has seen Peru smash records for both minimum (87.6) and maximum temperatures (103).

+ Currently, air pollution contributes to around ten million deaths a year. An additional two degrees of global warming will lead to an extra 153 million air pollution-linked deaths this century alone.

+ The floods that surged through eastern Libya have killed at least 11,300 people and left many thousands more missing. One official said, “whole neighborhoods with their residents” were swept into the Mediterranean Sea. In the city of Derna, home to 90,000 people, nearly 20,000 are feared dead. At least, a quarter of the city is estimated to be destroyed after two dams collapsed, unleashing a wall of water 23 feet high down the city’s streets.  Since 1922, when records began for the region, there have been a total of 3,000 people killed by flooding in Libya.

Image of “Medicane” Daniel over the Sahara desert in eastern Libya.

+ The half-century-old dams that failed outside Derna hadn’t received any maintenance since the Obama-HRC regime change operation that killed Moammar Qaddafi and left Libya bankrupt, in ruins and in political chaos, from which it still hasn’t recovered. So you can add another 10,000 or so deaths to the Peace Prez’s tab.

+ From July through August, the Paris Agreement global warming target of 1.5°C was breached for more than a single month for the first time since records began.

+ According to a report from NOAA, the US has already been hit by 23 separate billion-dollar climate-related disasters, the most ever with four months still to go in the year. NOAA cites 18 severe weather events;  two flooding events; one tropical cyclone (Hurricane Idalia); one wildfire event; and one winter storm event. The U.S. has experienced 371 distinct weather and climate disasters since 1980 where overall damages exceeded $1 billion.

+ The Wall Street Journal, yes, the Wall Street Journal, has obtained internal documents showing how ExxonMobil executes–including Rex Tillerson–publicly cast doubt on the severity of climate change and the credibility of climate science, including an email from 2012 in which the company’s top climate expert says the oil company’s then-CEO wanted them to influence the findings of the IPCC.

+ Wade Davis: “As much as anyone, I found it unsettling to learn that the entire water crisis in the American West comes down to cows eating alfalfa in a landscape where neither belongs.”

+ A 2022 study of yellow pine and mixed-conifer forests in California found that the severity of fires in private industrial forests was 1.8 times greater than in similar public forest lands. The authors concluded that current management approaches (clearcuts, monocultural plantations, dense roading) on private timberlands may be driving high-severity fires. The U.S. has experienced 371 separate weather and climate disasters since 1980 where overall damages or costs reached or exceeded $1 billion (including CPI adjustment to 2023).

+ After a year of drenching monsoons and desert flooding, the water level at Lake Mead, which has been rising for five months, has finally leveled off. But all of this remarkable rain has left the reservoir only 34% full.

Source: Bureau of Reclamation.

+ In 2010, energy-saving LEDs accounted for less than 1% of electric light bulb sales. By 2022, they made up more than 50%.

+ There are currently more than 300 million electric motorcycles/scooters/2-3 wheelers on the road worldwide and they are displacing four times as much oil demand as all the electric cars in the world so far.

+ As the planet writhes from the deepening climate catastrophe, the World Bank continues to finance fossil fuel projects around the globe, despite its lofty green rhetoric. Last year alone, the Bank financed oil and gas projects to the tune of $3.7 billion.

+ New research shows that heat pumps are 2 to 3 times more efficient than oil and gas-based fossil heating systems in cold and subzero temperatures. Even in temperatures approaching -30°C they perform significantly better than their fossil-fuel-based competitors.

+ Since humans appeared on the planet, the rate of species extinction has accelerated by 35 times. In the last 500 years alone, at least 73 complete branches of the evolutionary tree of life have gone extinct.

+ A new report from Global Witness shows that it’s becoming more and more dangerous to be an environmental activist. Between 2012 and 2022, at least 1,910 people advocating for environmental protection were killed worldwide. In 2022 alone, at least 177 environmental activists were murdered, about every two days.

+ On the last day of WINTER in South America, temperatures peaked as high as 45°C (113°F) in Brazil. The highest temperature in its history for any day of any month.

+ The 2023 Canadian wildfire season so far:

+ 5% of Canada’s forest area burned;

+More 43 million acres of forest charred, greater than the size of Florida;

+ 3 times more carbon produced than previous record wildfire year;

+ 2.5 times more acres burned than the previous record year.

+ Studies from Antarctica reveal that ice sheets can collapse into the ocean much faster than previously thought, up to 2,000 feet a day.

+ Arctic lakes used to function as carbon sinks. Now they’re emitters.

+ Southern California air regulators could have collected more than $200 million in fines from the region’s worst smog polluters over the last decade. Instead, they adopted a rule exempting polluters from having to pay, saying the fines wouldn’t help.

+ Even if no new coal plants are built in the future, the International Energy Agency says that the emissions from the world’s existing coal plants, if they remain online, would make it impossible for the world to meet the Paris Climate Agreement goal of limiting warming to 1.5C.

+ Around one million people who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina from 1953 to 1987 may have been exposed to contaminated drinking water. Many women on the base experienced repeated miscarriages, stillbirths and other defects during that period.

+ According to an analysis by First Street, around 39 million properties—roughly a quarter of all homes in the US—are being underpriced for the climate risk to insure those properties. This year the price for Florida property catastrophe reinsurance has jumped 30-40%, according to Moody’s, prompting a new spike in homeowners’ premiums.

+ An extreme weather event like the floods that swept more than 10,000 people to their deaths in Libya has become up to 50 times more likely and up to 50% more intense compared to the planet under a 1.2C cooler climate.

+ Iraq is running out of water. The flows of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers are down by half. Yet these shortages haven’t stopped the oil industry from hogging more than 25% of the nation’s daily water consumption.

+ A new study out of the University of Michigan links wildfire smoke to dementia: “All airborne particles increased the risk of dementia but those generated by agricultural settings and wildfires seemed to be especially toxic for the brain.” A new study links wildfire smoke inhalation to higher rates of dementia.

+ Every year, around 400,000 Europeans die from diseases linked to air pollution. A Guardian investigation found that 98% of Europeans live in areas with highly damaging fine particulate pollution that exceeds World Health Organization guidelines. Nearly two-thirds live in areas where air quality is more than twice as dangerous as the WHO’s guidelines.

+ Claiming the UK had already made extraordinary progress on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says he’s delaying by five years a ban on new gas and diesel cars that had been scheduled to take effect in 2030.

+ On September 25, the Copernicus Sentinel 3 satellite captured this image of southern Greenland, including the capital city Nuut, smothered by a suffocating layer of smoke from the Canadian wildfires.

+ The number of heat-related deaths in the UK has been climbing for the last decade. Last year, more than 4,500 people died in England alone as a consequence of high temperatures, the most such deaths on record.

+ A  Wall Street Journal investigation of Hawaiian Electric records shows the company fell behind on replacing old utility poles and invested millions less on upgrades than it planned in the years leading up to the fires that incinerated Lāhainā.

+ The most extreme heat wave recorded on Earth was 39 degrees above normal. It took place last year in… Antarctica.

+ With rising sea levels and dwindling river flows, the Corps of Engineers is now planning to barge 36 million gallons of fresh water every day into the lower Mississippi River near New Orleans to protect drinking water supplies from the intrusion of saltwater from the Gulf of Mexico. Flint, Jackson and now New Orleans, three of America’s major black cities may soon be without safe drinking water.

+ Jared Goyette, a former reporter for Fox9 in Minneapolis, wasn’t allowed to cite climate change in weather-related stories. Goyette: “At my MN TV job, we couldn’t mention climate change in stories about weather-related news. When I cited science on forest fires & climate change, the Chief Meteorologist pulled the piece, no debate.”

+ Last week, daily global surface temperatures were a full 1C above the recent 1991-2020 baseline period and around 1.9C above the preindustrial averages.

+ Battered by climate-driven drought, extreme temperatures and wildfires, French forests are in rapid decline. In 2011, French forests absorbed more than 60 million tonnes of CO2. A decade later that number has plunged to only 31 million tonnes of CO2. Over the same period, tree mortality in France is up by 54%, according to surveys by the National Geographic Institute.

+ After comparing current climate trends to the planet’s climate 3 million years ago, an international team of scientists has concluded that most of Earth’s near-surface permafrost could be gone by 2100.

+ The volume of ice lost from glaciers in the Swiss Alps during the summers of 2022 and 2023 is roughly the same as that lost between 1960 and 1990.

+ Between, 2001 and 2021, 90% of all U.S. counties experience a weather disaster.


+ Earth’s average temperature in September crushed the previous record by more than half a degree Celsius (0.9 degrees Fahrenheit), which represents the largest monthly margin ever observed.

+ “This is not a fancy weather statistic,” said Friederike Otto, a climate scientist at Imperial College of London. “It’s a death sentence for people and ecosystems. It destroys assets, infrastructure, harvest.”

.+ As of October 10, the daily average temperature for the Northern Hemisphere had been at a record high for 100 consecutive days

+ Plans for new oil and gas power plants have grown by 13% in 2023.

+ According to a new study in Nature, from 2000 to 2019, the total human-caused climate change-attributed costs for extreme weather events reached $2.86 trillion, averaging $143 billion annually. The study attributes 63% of these costs to the loss of human life. These climate crisis-related damages have averaged $16 million per hour over the past two decades.

+ This year, the USA has experienced 24 weather and climate disasters with losses of more than $1 billion – a new record. Total cost exceeds $67.1 billion, with 373 fatalities, according to NOAA.

+ Climate-driven extreme weather events (fires, floods, droughts, hurricanes) have displaced around 43 million children in the last six years.

+ Hurricane Lidia, which made landfall with 140 mph winds just south of Puerto Vallarta on Tuesday night, was one of the fastest-intensifying hurricanes on record, going from a Category 1 to a Category 4 storm in only 9.5 hours.

+ The UK is now 40% behind on its $14.2 billion climate finance pledge.

+ From the latest dire report published this week in Nature on the irreversible damage being inflicted on ocean ecosystems by climate change: “We find that changes in ocean temperature and oxygen drive a centuries-long irreversible loss in the habitable volume of the upper 1000 meters of the world ocean…These results suggest that the combined effect of warming and deoxygenation will have profound and long-lasting impacts on the viability of marine ecosystems, well after global temperatures have peaked.”

+ David Scott, the head of ExxonMobil’s shale oil and gas operations, was arrested at a Texas budget hotel on a sexual assault charge last week.

+ In the 1990s, there were two or three sand and dust storms per year in Tajikistan. In recent years, there have been as many as 35.

+ A report by the British Antarctic Survey concludes that the melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet is now inevitable. Even under the best possible scenario of reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, the ice sheet will continue to melt, at a speed three times faster than during the 20th century, causing global sea levels to rise by 3.9 feet by 2100. The melting of the entire ice sheet would raise sea levels worldwide by 17 feet.

+ For 223 straight days, Earth’s sea surface temperatures have been at record warm levels.

+ As of mid-October, 78% of the global oceans were experiencing a marine heatwave.

+ A new study in Nature asserts that these changes in ocean temperature and the associated loss of oxygen are causing a centuries-long irreversible loss in the habitable zone of the upper 1000 meters of the world’s oceans: “These results suggest that the combined effect of warming and deoxygenation will have profound and long-lasting impacts on the viability of marine ecosystems, well after global temperatures have peaked.”

+ North Pacific marine heatwaves – super-charged by climate change – killed 10 billion snow crabs, largely through starvation.

+ We have the clearest evidence to date that the Gulf Stream is weakening and may ultimately collapse, with catastrophic implications for the marine life of the Atlantic and the global climate. According to research conducted by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, over the past four decades, the flow of warm ocean water through the straits of Florida has slowed by four percent. Not only does the Gulf Stream distribute oxygen, nutrients, carbon, and heat around the Atlantic, but its sweeping currents also regulate sea levels, keeping near-shore water levels as much as up to 5 feet lower than the ocean farther off-shore.

+ Hurricane Otis, which seemed to materialize almost full-grown out of the eastern Pacific, is one of the fastest-intensifying hurricanes in history, growing from a tropical storm to a Category 5 hurricane in just 12 hours. It made landfall at Acapulco, Mexico as a Category 5 storm with sustained winds of 165 mph and gusts to nearly 200 mph.

+ Fishing boats that trawl the ocean floor with heaving nets release more than a gigaton of carbon dioxide every year, roughly much as the entire airline industry, according to a study published in Nature.

+ By 2035, the steel, cement and chemical industries will overtake both transportation and electricity generation to become the largest sources of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

+ 41 percent of the land base in the continental US is consigned for the production of meat, dairy, and eggs.

+ In 2020 wind was usually the cheapest energy source.  By 2030, solar will be the cheapest nearly everywhere,  even in Greenland.


+ Here’s some harrowing new body cam footage of the Lahaina fire:

+ There is now a greater than 99 percent chance that 2023 will be the hottest year on record.

+ When Hurricane Otis tore into Acapulco, it unfurled wind gusts of 205 mph –among the most powerful ever seen on Earth. The storm, the first Category Five storm to ever hit the Pacific Coast of Mexico, killed at least 46 people, with another 58 still missing. Economic damages are expected to exceed $10 billion.

+ Between October 9 to October 25, western Mexico was hit by four eastern North Pacific tropical cyclones. Three were hurricanes at landfall. Lidia and Otis were major hurricanes that rapidly intensified on approach to land.

+ In an open letter to the International Criminal Court, human rights groups called on the court’s prosecutor to begin gathering evidence on the way climate-amplified extreme weather, heat, drought, and flooding are driving armed conflict and war crimes.

+ Over the last 50 years, extreme weather and climate-related events caused a staggering $4.3 trillion in economic losses worldwide, according to a report by the World Meteorological Organization.

+ Africa’s extreme weather has killed more than 15,000 people in 2023.

+ If climate change continues at its current pace, scientists predict that by 2100 summer-like weather will last nearly six months of the year and wintry weather will last less than two.

+ Indigenous people in Amazonia are demanding that the Brazilian government declare a climate emergency as their villages have no drinking water, food, or medicine due to a severe drought that has dried up rivers vital for travel in the rainforest. More than 600,000 people are imperiled by the drought, which has left one of the major tributaries of the Amazon, the Rio Negro’s water levels at a 121-year low.

+ Amid the deepening drought, crossings of the Panama Canal will be cut back from an average of about 36 per day gradually to only 18 a day.

+ Ocean heat uptake has accelerated dramatically since the 1990s, nearly doubling during 2010–2020 relative to 1990–2000, according to a new study in Nature.

+ Over the last 12 months, ocean heat content has increased by 42 zettajoules, about 72 times as much as the total energy produced by all human activities on Earth last year.

+ Sea surface temperatures in the western Caribbean are about as warm now at the beginning of November as at any previous time of the year before 2023.

+ Coral bleaching is now taking place hundreds of feet below the surface of the ocean, at depths where coral was once believed to be safely insulated from the effects of warming oceans.

According to Andreas Aepli, CFO of Direct Air CaptureCompany carbon removal and capture will be applicable and financially viable for only about 10% of emissions.

+ Oil and gas companies are capturing an estimated 18 million metric tons of CO2 every year in the U.S. But most of it is still going into new oil, through the discredited practice of “enhanced oil recovery.” Much of it is subsidized by the federal government.

+ An investigation by Inside Climate News found that oil and gas companies have spilled nearly 150 million gallons of toxic, highly saline wastewater in Texas over the last decade.

+ Top 10 Fossil Fuel Emitters of 2023…

1. China
2. USA
3. India
4. EU
5. Russia
6. Japan
7. Indonesia
8. Iran
9. Saudi Arabia
10. South Korea

+ If the world ever manages to get the temperature rise back down to 1.5C the melting would eventually stop. However, by the time we can get back down to 1.5C, sea levels will be 2 or 3 meters higher than today.

+ According to Goldman Sachs’ decarbonization cost curve, it is getting cheaper to decarbonize the economy.

+ NOAA reports that Miami reached the current level of King Tide flooding twice last year, but by 2050 it could happen as often as 50 days a year.

+ The planet just experienced the hottest 12 months in at least 125,000 years.

+ Greenland’s coastal glaciers are melting twice as fast as they were two decades ago, a new study finds.

+ A study in Science Advances found that Antarctica had 68 ice shelves that shrunk significantly between 1997 and 2021.

+ Of the 20 top fossil fuel-producing countries, the U.S., Brazil and Saudi Arabia project large increases in domestic oil production. Meanwhile, Russia, India and Indonesia all forecast substantial increases in coal. Combined the plans would produce 69% more fossil fuels than is compatible with the 2C target.

+  In 2021 Xi Jinping pledged to “strictly control” new coal power projects until 2025. But the opposite occurred.  In the next two years, China issued permits for new coal power projects at more than double the rate of the previous two years.

+ We’ve reduced sulfur dioxide pollution by 94% over the last 40 years, nearly eliminating acid rain. A cost/benefit analysis of the Acid Rain prevention measures shows benefits of $122 billion annually and costs of only $3 billion annually. So, it is an economic boon, not the catastrophe so many industry lobbyists warned about. For example, the Business Roundtable loudly proclaimed the measures would cost $104 billion a year. The reverse happened.

+ The prolonged drought led to a steep decline in Europe’s production of cereal grains: Romania (-32%), France (-10%), Spain (-24%) and Hungary (-35%).

+ 20 farming families in California’s Imperial Valley use more of the Colorado River than all of Wyoming, New Mexico or Nevada. A vast green quilt of crops covers this naturally bone-dry valley, all of it grown with water from the river.

+ 19% of European species are threatened with extinction. The extinction risks are higher for plants (27%) and invertebrates (24%) compared to vertebrates (18%).

+ A review of public records shows that 19,543 wildfires on US Forest Service lands in California were attributed to human causes between 2000-2022.


+ More than 70,000 people are expected to show up at COP28 in the UAE, that’s double the previous record. The climate conference has become a kind of global trade show. What’s the collective carbon footprint of that migration?

+ According to Amnesty International, Sultan Al Jaber the president-designate of COP28, who also serves as the chief executive of ADNOC, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) state oil and gas company, was briefed to advance the business interests he represents during COP meetings. The documents contain a summary of the objectives for the meetings, including information about the minister or official Dr Jaber was scheduled to meet and what issues he should raise in the UAE’s efforts during the climate talks. For more than two dozen countries, the documents also contain talking points developed by ADNOC and Masdar, the UAE’s renewable energy company:

* The Brazilian environment minister was to be asked for help “securing alignment and endorsement” for ADNOC’s bid for Latin America’s largest oil and gas processing company, Braskem. Earlier this month, ADNOC made a $2.1 billion offer to buy a key stake

* Germany was to be told by Adnoc: “We stand ready to continue our LNG supplies”

* ADNOC  suggested the oil-producing nations of Saudi Arabia and Venezuela be told “there is no conflict between the sustainable development of any country’s natural resources and its commitment to climate change.”

+ Atmospheric CO2 is 422.36 parts per million, 5.06ppm more than the same day last year. The increase over the last 12 months is the largest ever recorded – more than double the last decade’s annual average.

+ November will be the 6th record-warm month in a row, probably in the order of +0.3°C above the previous warmest November.

+ According to the UN Environment Program, global greenhouse gas emissions reached a record high of 57.4 GtCO2e in 2022, increasing by 1.2%. This rate is slightly above the average rate in the decade preceding the COVID-19 pandemic (2010–2019), 0.9%/yr.

+  At least 86 days between January and the start of October had average temperatures exceeding 1.5C. November 18, 2023 was the first time in recorded history that the global 2m surface temperature breached 2.0°C above the 1850-1900 IPCC baseline. And then did it again. The long-term average remains below 1.5°C. But not for long.

+ The domestic greenhouse gas emissions generated by the UK account for 3% of total world emissions dating back to 1850. When you include emissions in countries while they were under the British empire’s rule, the figure rises to more than 5%.

+ China deployed a record 142GW in the first 10 months of 2023, up 144% compared to 2022. China had 540GW of total installed solar capacity by October 2023.

+  Long considered a weak investment, clean energy now yields a 6% return on capital invested, approaching the 6-9% average return for oil and gas.

+ On the eve of COP28, the US and France have proposed banning private financing for new coal plants. Meanwhile, Modi’s government in India is planning to triple its rate of underground coal mining.

+ Four years ago Jeff Bezos pledged that Amazon would lead the way on carbon reduction. Since then, the corporation’s emissions have soared by 40 percent. (The real figure is likely much higher.)

+ The devastating drought in the Amazon region is now expected to last until mid-2024. Long stretches of the Amazon River, and its major tributaries, now have their channels exposed. At Manaus, the largest city in Amazonia, the water levels are the lowest since recorded keeping began 121 years ago. More than 150 dolphins died in a lake where water temperatures hit 39°C (2°C above human body temperature).

+ As drought grips much of the world and aquifers are being depleted, “luxury water” is becoming a thing among the rich.

+ Nearly, a decade ago the EPA detected the chemical TCP (a likely carcinogen) in the water of 6 million people. The agency still hasn’t set any safety limits on TCP in drinking water.

+ A new report on the “state of the cryosphere” issued by the International Cryosphere Climate Initiative (ICCI) predicts “catastrophic global damage” to the Earth’s frozen land and seas from sustained warming at 2C. The report concludes that the real “‘guardrail’ to prevent dangerous levels and rates of sea level rise is ‘not 2C or even 1.5C, but 1C above pre-industrial.’”

+ The report predicts that “if global average temperatures rise by two degrees, the Earth faces a sea-level rise of more than 12 meters, or 40 feet — and that’s the conservative estimate. The report states sea levels could rise up to 20 meters, or 65 feet.”

+ Kaitlin Naughten, British Antarctica Survey: “It looks like we’ve lost control of melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. If we wanted to preserve it in its historical state, we would have needed action on climate change decades ago.”

+ Yet, according to the UN’s new report, emissions will be reduced by only 2% by 2030 which will result in 3°C (5.4°F) of warming. But even that isn’t guaranteed since the 2% reductions are based on pledged policies not current policies. 

+ According to the latest data from the UNDP and the Climate Impact Lab, climate change’s influence on coastal flooding could increase 5 times over this century, subjecting more than 70 million people to expanding floodplains.

+ Last week, Brazil recorded its hottest-ever temperature – 44.8C (112.6F).

+ By simply allowing forests to grow old and restoring degraded forests, ecologists estimate that at least 226 gigatonnes of carbon could be sequestered, an amount roughly equivalent to the last 50 years of US emissions. More than 60% of this potential could be realized merely by protecting standing forests.

+ Cars and trucks keep getting bigger and bigger, negating many of the gains in fuel efficiency: “Emissions from the motor sector could have fallen by more than 30% between 2010 and 2022 if vehicles had stayed the same size.”

E-bikes and scooters displace four times as much demand for oil as all of the EV cars, buses and trucks in the world.

+ On Sunday, November 26, 2023, the Transportation Security Administration screened 2,894,304 individuals at airports nationwide, the busiest day ever for air travel in the US.

+ Over the last 20 years, coal power plants in the US killed at least 460,000 people, twice as many premature deaths as previously thought. According to a new study published in Science, much of the increase is owing to a new understanding of the dangers of PM2.5, toxic air pollutants known as fine particulate matter that elevate the risk of life-threatening medical conditions including asthma, heart disease, low birth weight and some cancers.

+ According to the European Environment Agency, toxic air killed more than half a million people in the EU in 2021. Nearly half of those deaths could have been prevented by cutting pollution to the limits recommended by the World Health Organization. 

+ In the four years between 2015 and 2019, the world lost at least 100 million hectares of productive land a year to desertification, according to an analysis for the United Nations.

+ This year has been the hottest in the recorded history of the planet, a year when the Earth hit five catastrophic tipping points posing “threats of a magnitude never faced by humanity,” so you might be forgiven for thinking it’s an auspicious time for a global summit on the climate crisis. You’d be wrong. In fact, rarely have we seen a more blatant and gratuitous display of carbon washing, starting with siting the conference in the world’s 7th largest oil producer, the UAE, whose entire economy flows from crude production, and ending with the leader of the world’s largest crude oil producer, the US at 12.9 billion barrels a day, skipping the conference altogether and sending in his place the desiccated globetrotter John Kerry, to assure the assembled that the US “largely” backs “phasing out” the use of fossil fuels …once they’ve drained the Arctic slope and Gulf of Mexico.

Before COP28 even opened its doors to the flood of oil executives, lobbyists, PR hacks and carbon capture conmen, the chair of the conference, Sultan Al Jaber, had been caught red-handed plotting to use the gathering to cut deals to sell UAE oil and carbon capture technology, deals he later shrugged off by ridiculing the whole idea of phasing out fossil fuel production, claiming it would return the people of the world “back into caves.”

“There is no science out there, or no scenario out there, that says that the phase-out of fossil fuel is what’s going to achieve 1.5C,” the president of COP28asserted last week. “I’m telling you, I’m the man in charge.” So, c’est la vie. Or c’est la mort, I suppose.

+ On Brazil’s entrance to OPEC+, Lula says, “It’s important […] because we need to convince petroleum-producing countries to prepare for the end of fossil fuels…”

+ The Canadian wildfires of 2023 burned more than 18.5 million hectares, six times the ten-year average and far above the previous record of 7.1 million hectares in 1995.

+ Data from Natural Resources Canada shows that last summer’s fires emitted around 2,400 megatonnes of CO2 equivalent – more than triple the 670 megatonnes of CO2 equivalent reported as Canada’s total emissions for 2021.

+ Since it was listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1980, the number of Mojave desert tortoises has declined by 90%. The losses are accelerating, largely as a consequence of giant solar “farms”, other forms of renewable energy development and off-road vehicle use.

+ A new study in Nature reveals that in old-growth redwood trees that resprout after fire damage “up to half of sprout carbon was acquired in photosynthesis more than 57 years prior…Sprouts also emerged from ancient buds, dormant under the bark for centuries.”

+ Global installed solar capacity has doubled in the last 18 months and is now the cheapest source of electricity in history.

+ A report in The Nation magazine discloses that the NYT has banked more than $20 million of fossil fuel money in the last 3 years; Reuters Events has organized oil drilling summits; both making podcasts for oil majors touting their leadership on energy transition and that both Reuters and the NYT have produced podcasts promoting the alleged leadership of the big oil companies in leading the alleged energy transition.

+ Moreover, one of the authors of the Nation story, Amy Westerveld, has also reported for Drilled Media on the financial ties between the press and the fossil fuel companies they’re meant to report on, including the Washington Post sending out an Exxon-sponsored weekly newsletter; Bloomberg making CCS propaganda for Exxon; the Financial Times hosting content hubs sponsored by Aramco & Equinox; Politico churning out Chevron-sponsored podcasts & newsletters; and the Economist publishing a “Sustainability Week” supplement sponsored by BP.

+ China sells more EVs in two months than the US does in a year. And those sales continue to rise. EV sales in China were up 41% in October to an eye-popping 808,000 EVs.  Chinese models are 18 of the top 20 EV sellers.

+ Despite reports of a slowdown, global EV sales will likely top 14 million this year, up 36% from last year, a new record.

+ In 2021, the Biden administration got $7.5 billion from Congress to build a nationwide network of EV chargers. Two years later, not a single charger funded by the appropriation has come online.


+ How much more Bidenmentalism can the world take? This year the US pumped out more oil than any nation in history, accounting for nearly one-fifth of total global production.

+ Per person emissions for 6 largest Greenhouse Gas emitters

Russia 11.4
Japan 8.5
China 8.0
Euro27 6.2
World 4.7
India 2.0

+ The chance that 2023 will be the warmest year since measurements started is almost 100%.

The chance that 2023 will be the 1st year to exceed 1.5°C is greater than 40%.

The chance that the 12-month running mean from February 2023 to January 2024 will exceed 1.5°C is greater than 90%.

+ A study in Nature this week confirms the obvious: the surge in high-intensity forest fires has been driven by climate change and the enormous CO2 emissions from these fires have become a driving force accelerating climate change: “The increased numbers of forest fires was largely driven by frequent heatwaves & droughts caused by climate change…In turn, the CO2 emitted by forest fires contributes to global warming, creating a feedback loop between the two.”

+ Across British Columbia, there are more than 7 million acres of land where logging companies have evaded the establishment of spatially-designated old-growth management areas [by withholding forest inventory data].

+ Southern Alberta is the “driest it’s been in the last 50 years,” which is the same thing they said in 2016 before the huge Fort Mac Fire.

+ Insurance costs for California’s “affordable housing” developments increased by 56% from 2020 to 2022.  But from 2022 to 2024, those costs increased from 50% up to 500%.

+ The International Energy Agency predicts that renewables will provide half the world’s electricity by the turn of the decade.

+ A new study by CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization) an Australian government agency responsible for scientific research, determined that solar and on-shore wind provide cheapest the electricity and nuclear most expensive. Moreover, the costly small modular nuclear reactors would provide the most expensive source power and will not be available until 2030.

+ At COP28, Norway made a big announcement of a $50 million donation to the Amazon Fund. Impressive, right? Perhaps not when you consider that the country recently approved $18 billion in new oil and gas projects.

+ In 1977, SUVs and trucks accounted for a combined 23 percent of American new car sales; today they comprise more than 80 percent. the major factor in the high toll of traffic deaths on American roads.

+ In 2022, there were 1.1 million e-bikes sold in the United States, almost four times as many as were sold in 2019. In 2018, there were 325,000 e-bike sales, but that number dropped to 287,000 the following year. In 2021, e-bike sales sprang back with sales more than doubled from the previous year. (Source: DOE)

+ Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, wants to triple parking rates for SUVs in central Paris to €18 an hour, and €12/hour for the rest of the city. The measure would affect roughly 10% of the cars in the city. Elon Musk’s cybertruck wouldn’t be permitted to park in Paris at all.

+ In his latest, “reelect me” first gimmick, Biden says he plans to ban logging old-growth forests…in 2025!

+ Richard Powers: “Our brains evolved and have been shaped by forests for longer than we’ve been Homo sapiens…And it could be the eternal project of humankind, to learn what forests have figured out.” (The Overstory)

+ The 5th National Climate Assessment discussion on wildfire fails to even mention, never mind analyze, the well-documented impact of commercial logging on fuel loads and fire hazards in most western landscapes. Selective omission of important contributing factors is not sound science.

+ Sam Knight reports in a piece for The Lever that the Kingspan Group, an Irish company that made insulation used in the scaffolding on Grenfell Tower, deceived the public about fire safety tests for the product. Now, the same company is angling to cash in on green subsidies from the Biden administration, despite its unsavory record.

+ Food is 26% of global greenhouse gas emissions…and the emissions associated with food produced and not eaten are nearly the same as all of India’s GHG emissions.

+ Nearly 1 in every 4 animals that is raised and killed on a factory farm never actually makes it to your plate.

+ Using 34 years of data,  a study of more than 1,500 species of herbivorous insects in Europe has found that 60% of insects are already struggling to keep up with the plants they rely on because climate change is advancing key seasonal timings.

+ Writing on Climate Uncensored, Kevin Anderson on the closing window for keeping warming below 2°C:  “If all nations deliver on their emission-reduction pledges, then in 2030 the remaining carbon budget for 2°C will be similar to what we have left for a 50:50 chance of 1.5°C today; a budget many/most analysts consider no longer viable.”

+ As of December 28, the snowpack on the base of our 11,000-foot local volcano, Mt. Hood, was nearly 50 inches below the normal amount for this time of year.  Sleep now in the fire…


Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His most recent book is An Orgy of Thieves: Neoliberalism and Its Discontents (with Alexander Cockburn). He can be reached at: or on Twitter @JeffreyStClair3