There’s an interesting trio of news snapshots this week, which nicely summarize the current climate situation: there’s a powerful climate-denial movement even while it’s more and more obvious that the climate is in trouble. And meanwhile, we’re (slowly) making real progress, on at least some fronts!
Conservative groups spend up to $1bn a year to fight action on climate change (link here)
Conservative groups may have spent up to $1bn a year on the effort to deny science and oppose action on climate change, according to the first extensive study into the anatomy of the anti-climate effort. The anti-climate effort has been largely underwritten by conservative billionaires, often working through secretive funding networks. They have displaced corporations as the prime supporters of 91 think tanks, advocacy groups and industry associations which have worked to block action on climate change.
Flooding, snow and record heat (link here)
Flooding in Kentucky left five people dead on a winter weekend that included snow in the Midwest and New England, apparent tornadoes in the South and record heat in New York. Almost half a million customers were reportedly without power across Michigan and New England as winter weather hampered early holiday travel. More than 200 flights were canceled in Chicago as New Yorkers strolled through balmy Central Park in shirt-sleeves.
Closures of coal power plants escalating (link here)
Reports from the end of an era keep coming. This year alone, the Tennessee Valley Authority announced eight coal-fired power plants are closing. Georgia Power will shutter 10 units. Three more coal plants in Pennsylvania. Plant closings announced in Indiana. Ohio. Utah, the heart of coal country.The Sierra Club counted 150 coal plant closure announcements since 2010. The Union of Concerned Scientists, in a report this month, puts the numbers at 138 coal plants closed since 2011, 150 more likely in the “near future,” and 329 additional plants it identified as “ripe for retirement.”