Author: Meteor Blades

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Even if you don’t have permafrost in your backyard, the Arctic meltdown is BAD NEWS

Big changes had long been happening in Alaska back in 2007 when scientists of the  Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Working Group II predicted widespread thawing of Arctic permafrost would have significant impacts. Permafrost is frozen soil, rocks and sand that stay frozen for at least two consecutive years, and as long as millennia. Near the surface, the frozen ground contains […]

January 27th

Clean Energy: Despite its addiction to oil and coal, North Dakota is getting its largest-ever wind farm

North Dakota currently has more 1,700 wind turbines for a cumulative 4 gigawatts of installed electricity-generating capacity, making it 9th in capacity among the states, with more than 31% of its power having come from wind resources in 2020. That soon could get a boost from Discovery Wind’s planned 400-megawatt wind farm. This would be the state’s largest and located in the heart of the […]

January 24th

Everybody Poops – And the cleanup is an environmental conundrum

As Taro Gomi notes in his best-selling book on the subject for kids and adults, everyone poops . We don’t know exactly how much human excrement is dumped into the world’s waterways without treatment, or its full impacts. One study puts it at 80%. Another says 48%. Regardless, we do know that nearly half the world’s […]

January 23rd

Earth Matters: Killing tigers, cleaning up trucks, plus the great hydrogen swindle

EPA PREPARES TO ISSUE CLEAN TRUCK RULE Five states have joined California in adopting an Advanced Clean Truck (ACT) rule that, depending on the state, mandates that 40% to 75% of new medium- and heavy-duty trucks be zero emission vehicles by 2035. California and Oregon also passed a Heavy-Duty Omnibus rule. This would boost trucks’ fuel economy and make their […]

January 22nd

Meet Harriet Hageman, the fire-breathing Trumpist running against Liz Cheney

Right-wing land-use attorney Harriet Hageman is keen to export “clean coal” from Wyoming and export Rep. Liz Cheney back to the private sector in the state’s Republican primary this August. Of the four candidates opposing Cheney, Hageman, who placed third in her 2018 primary bid to run for governor, is the strongest. By Meteor Blades […]

January 21st

SCOTUS could obliterate ALL executive regulatory authority, not just the EPA’s

Fifteen years ago, by 5-4, the Supreme Court ruled in Massachusetts v. EPA that carbon dioxide greenhouse gases qualify as air pollutants under the Clean Air Act, and as such the agency had to either issue a rule declaring them a threat to public health and welfare—which would catalyze steps toward regulatory controls—or explain why they shouldn’t be considered […]

January 20th

Climate Brief: Tracking Biden’s progress, polar bears in (more) trouble

Melting sea ice foreces polar bears to travel farther to survive: Mary Jo DiLonardo reports on a study that shows higher Arctic temperatures because of climate change have contributed to a 30% drop in the polar bear population of the Beaufort Sea. The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Endangered Species calculates that there are some 26,000 polar bears […]

January 19th

Martin Luther King Jr. spoke for labor, unions and environmental justice

The “I have a dream” speech Martin Luther King Jr. delivered on August 28 1963 was not the first version ever spoken before a mass audience. The video below shows King inspiring a crowd on June 23, 1963, in Detroit as part of the “Walk for Freedom” that drew 125,000 participants. The event was organized […]

January 17th

Kentucky coal mine will be transformed into giant water battery for renewable energy

While lithium-ion batteries have so far proved a good source for short-term storage of electricity of a few hours, they are far too expensive for long-term storage of half a day or more. While other approaches are being tried or investigated, pumped hydro is still the only source of storage can that handle the task. […]

January 17th

Earth Matters: Climate activists must get bolder

Even if some version of the much-diluted Build Back Better bill somehow manages to squeak by in the Senate come March or later, it is obvious its 10-year-long government investment in climate defense—even though it is accurately described as “unprecedented”—won’t be nearly enough to deal with a crisis beyond anything Homo sapiens have encountered since modern humans left Africa. Even before it was chopped to appease the […]

January 16th

Earth Matters: Shipping news, billion dollar disasters, pollution controls, and more

Over the past five years, 86 billion-dollar U.S. weather disasters, a record average of more than 17 a year, have cost $742 billion. That’s nearly $100 billion more than all the billion-dollar disasters from 1980 to 2004, adjusted for inflation. It’s also more than five times the three billion-dollar disasters a year that the nation averaged in the 1980s. Last year, […]

January 15th

46% of new electricity plants will be solar in 2022

The U.S. Energy Information Administration this week projects that solar will comprise 46% of new utility-scale electricity generating installations this year. Overall, the EIA estimates 46.1GW of additional capacity will be added to the grid from all sources. For comparison, the nation’s current generating capacity from all sources is about 1,120 gigawatts, with 38 of […]

January 14th

Earth Matters: Tribes working with conservation groups to protect lands,

Conservation groups have been working together with Natives to buy lands and put them under the permanent protection of the tribes. At least in the few instances where it has occurred, it’s been a good fit and could provide a model for many more. By Meteor Blades As Hallie Golden writes at The Guardian, Indigenous people make up just […]

January 9th

Earth Matters: Tesla delivered nearly a million EVs in ’21

Tesla delivered more than 936,000 EVs in 2021. That’s an 87% gain over 2020. By Meteor Blades Tesla had hoped to have its giant new Giga Berlin factory cranking out electric vehicles by October, but the German government’s review and approval of final permits is still weeks, perhaps even a couple of months away. Although construction […]

January 8th

Earth Matters: Colorado River water disaster affects millions, including Western Tribes

More than a half-century ago, Tom Bell of Lander, Wyoming, bought a weekly recreational newsletter and eventually turned it into a shoestring operation called High Country News. He soon extended its coverage of the environmental crisis that he saw plaguing his state and much of the rest of the American West. Based in Colorado since the early 1980s, […]

January 7th