“Greater reliance on green energy also requires a stupendous increase in mineral extraction to provide the needed materials. Even if the world unquestionably possessed the mineral capacity necessary for the global energy transformation envisioned by President Joe Biden, Democrats in practice are enemies of mining. The U.S. Mining Association estimates that the country has $6.2 trillion of recoverable mineral resources like copper and zinc available for mining on millions of acres of federal, state, and private lands. Unfortunately, our labor, health, and climate regulations often make it practically impossible to profitably mine. As a result, these precious resources stay in the ground, which explains why the United States went from being the world’s No. 1 producer of minerals in 1990 to seventh place today.
Democrats committed to a green energy transition should make it a priority to reform counterproductive regulations like the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and to implement other permitting reforms. Yet for the most part they won’t do so, as we saw when they helped strike down the permitting deal cut last year between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D–N.Y.) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D–W.Va.).”
“At issue is whether it’s fair to use century-old rules, created during an era of relative abundance, to ration water from the rapidly shriveling river now that the West is on the precipice of climate disaster. With California and its six neighbors locked in a dispute over two competing approaches to divvying up the cuts in water deliveries, whatever the administration decides will almost certainly end up in court.”
“The current feud centers on California, a longtime Democratic stronghold, and Arizona, a newfound swing state that has proven crucial to the party’s control of the White House and Senate.
The 1,450-mile long Colorado River made much of the West inhabitable, and now supplies water to 40 million Americans from Wyoming to the border with Mexico, as well as an enormously productive agricultural industry. But climate change has shriveled its flows by 20 percent over the past two decades, and for each additional degree of warming, scientists predict the river will shrink another 9 percent.
Water levels at the system’s two main reservoirs are falling so fast, the Interior Department has said that water users must cut consumption by as much as a third of the river’s flows or risk a collapse that could cripple their ability to deliver water out of those dams. That would also cut off hydropower production that is crucial to the stability of the Western grid.
The states broadly agree that the vast majority of those immediate cuts must be made by the Lower Basin states of Arizona, California and Nevada, whose decades of overuse have accelerated the crisis. But the fight is over whether California, which holds strong legal rights to the lion’s share of the Lower Basin’s water, should have to share in those reductions.”
“Total births and the general fertility rate in the US have fallen significantly over the past 15 years. While 2021 saw a 1 percent increase in births from the year before — the likely result of planned pregnancies postponed during the first difficult year of the pandemic, plus the reproductive benefits of remote work — that number was still more than half a million fewer than the US peak in 2007. The total fertility rate — the number of children women are projected to give birth to over the course of their lifetimes — stood at 1.67, well below the point needed to replace the population through reproduction alone. Nearly one in six Americans 55 and over is childless, a percentage that is only expected to grow. Without the boost of immigration, the US population growth rate would have essentially flatlined in recent years, and even with it, it grew by just 0.4 percent in 2022, among the lowest rates in the nation’s history.”
“America has room for more children; it needs them to thrive; and most of all, people do want the freedom to choose the family sizes they desire, including larger ones. It’s a future that progressives can — and should — help create.”
” while it’s true that a child born today will be responsible for adding more carbon into the atmosphere, that 60-metric-ton figure was derived from work by researchers in 2009 who added up not just the lifetime emissions of the child, but dwindling portions of the lifetime emissions of that child’s descendants, all the way until 2400 — and making all of that the responsibility of the parents. And that number assumes that the world will make no additional progress in decarbonizing the global economy, which already isn’t true. In a rich country like the US, a baby born today will emit less CO2 on average over the course of their lifetime than their parents did; according to the International Energy Agency, if the world achieves carbon neutrality by 2050, the carbon footprint of those New Year’s babies could be 10 times smaller than that of their grandparents.”
“As for those fears that having a child would doom them to life in a hot hellscape, the world now appears to be on a path to dodge the worst-case climate scenarios. This isn’t to minimize the very real suffering that will be unavoidable thanks to warming, especially in poorer countries, but a child born today almost anywhere around the world has a better chance of living a good, long life than at almost any other time in the whole of human history.”
“an aging country is one that will have a dwindling number of young workers to support a growing number of elderly. Today there are around three and a half working-age adults to support every American eligible for Social Security. By 2060, that is projected to fall to two and a half workers for every retiree. Social Security isn’t a Ponzi scheme, but without enough young workers putting in payroll taxes, it can’t continue in its current form.”
“A study of 33 OECD nations between 1960 and 2012 found that while countries can remain inventive even as they age, rates of innovation eventually begin to stagnate and decline. As a 44-year-old it pains me to say this, but creativity is a quality most concentrated in the young.”
“The average cost of child care in the US now exceeds $10,000 a year. That’s an enormous burden for working- and middle-class families, but it also discourages people who would have more children from doing so. Reducing the cost of care is one of the few proven ways of boosting fertility over the long term”
“while the most effective way to grow population over the long term is the old-fashioned one — have more children — liberalizing immigration to add more Americans would pay off immediately.”
“The new study includes Exxon’s graphs, models, projections and publications that show it understood how its business would affect the planet, according to the researchers Geoffrey Supran of the University of Miami, Stefan Rahmstorf of the University of Potsdam and Naomi Oreskes of Harvard University. Oreskes previously co-authored the book “Merchants of Doubt,” which detailed the efforts of a small number of scientific researchers who worked to undermine the public’s acceptance of climate science.
“All told, ExxonMobil was aware of contemporary climate science, contributed to that science, and predicted future global warming correctly,” the researchers wrote. “ExxonMobil accurately foresaw the threat of human-caused global warming, both prior and parallel to orchestrating lobbying and propaganda campaigns to delay climate action.”
Exxon spokesperson Todd Spitler rebutted the claims and said the company supports addressing climate change.”
“Exxon’s models aligned with the best science between 1970 and 1990, the paper found. Exxon projected 0.2 degrees Celsius (0.36 Fahrenheit) of warming every decade with a 0.04-degree C margin of error. That figure is close to the 0.19 degrees C rise and 0.03-degree C margin of error derived from 18 government and academic models.
Under one metric, Exxon proved more precise than famed NASA climate scientist James Hansen, who first brought global warming to Congress’ attention in 1988.
“It has been established that, for many years, Exxon’s public affairs strategy was — as a 1988 internal memo put it — to ‘emphasize the uncertainty in scientific conclusions regarding the potential enhanced greenhouse effect,’” the report said. “However, our analysis shows that in their reports and briefings to management, ExxonMobil’s own scientists did not particularly emphasize uncertainty.””
“The EU’s carbon border levy is the latest, and most symbolic, measure to upset the EU’s trade partners. The idea is that producers importing carbon-intensive products into the bloc will have to buy permits to account for the difference between their domestic carbon price and the price paid by EU producers.
The goal of the levy, called the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), was to level the playing field for EU producers and avoid companies moving their production over lower climate standards — so-called carbon leakage. For Brussels, the sense of climate urgency is too high to wait for others to follow suit, or to reach a deal at the multilateral or global level.”
“Brazil, South Africa, India and China have jointly expressed their “grave concern regarding the proposal for introducing trade barriers, such as unilateral carbon border adjustment, that are discriminatory.” The measure is likely to be challenged at the World Trade Organization.”
“The carbon border levy is far from the only measure to make exporting to the world’s biggest trading bloc harder.
Brussels’ Farm to Fork strategy seeks to prioritize sustainability in agriculture by slashing pesticide risk and use in half by 2030. A plan announced last September to ban imports of products containing residues of harmful neonicotinoid insecticides from 2026 has drawn “unprecedented” criticism from other countries, according to a senior European Commission official.
As the Green Deal tightens rules on pesticide use in the EU, new trade barriers are going up, said Koen Dekeyser of the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM). “Certain farmers can make those investments. Other, more small-scale farmers are likely to seek other markets, for example in Asia,” said Dekeyser.
The EU’s effort to stop deforestation is likely to have similar results.
Under new rules, it will be illegal to sell or export certain commodities if they’ve been produced on deforested land.”
“Even though 2022 was only the Arctic’s sixth warmest year on record, researchers saw plenty of new signs this year of how the region is changing.
A September heat wave in Greenland, for instance, caused the most severe melting of the island’s ice sheet for that time of the year in over four decades of continuous satellite monitoring. In 2021, an August heat wave had caused it to rain at the ice sheet’s summit for the first time.”
“Warming at the top of the Earth raises sea levels worldwide, changes the way heat and water circulate in the oceans, and might even influence extreme weather events like heat waves and rainstorms, scientists say. But Arctic communities feel the impacts first.”
“Between October 2021 and September, air temperatures above Arctic lands were the sixth warmest since 1900, the report card said, noting that the seven warmest years have been the last seven. Rising temperatures have helped plants, shrubs and grasses grow in parts of the Arctic tundra, and 2022 saw levels of green vegetation that were the fourth highest since 2000”