Sunken Treasures: Sylvia Earle On Why We Need To Protect The Oceans by Michael Shapiro, The Sun Magazine Interview, July 2018. There are some pluses and minuses for the current era listed here, but the really cool thing is to see the particular concern of this website addressed, albeit with a modicum of indirection, in a major publication. Two projects founded by Sylvia Earle: Mission Blue and Deep Hope.
For Hopeful Thoughts every day in your email, check out SmartBrief on Sustainability. Find it under the 'Energy and Chemicals' list. [I am myself subscribed, but not in contact with, affiliated, or compensated in any way by SmartBrief for placing this recommendation. I don't often find time to read more than the summaries.]
The Race to Solar-Power Africa While the people concerned were not on the grid to begin with, aside from various social benefits from electricity noted, this cuts down a lot on kerosene use for lighting. And continues to drive the advance of solar and efficient technologies.
My Life in the Elusive Green Economy - Michael Grunwald - Politico Magazine - March 2018 - 5300 words.
“But in 2017, I finally went green. I bought solar panels for our roof and an all-electric Chevrolet Bolt. I didn’t do it because the climate emergency has gotten more urgent, although it has, or because I want to be a better person, although I do. I did it to save money.
While the political debate over climate change has been stuck for years on the same is-it-real, is-it-us, should-government-act arguments, there’s been a quiet revolution on the ground, driven not by environmentalism or altruism but the bloodless logic of the marketplace.”
Massive report details the energy economy that limits warming to 2°C - John Timmer - Ars Technica - November 2016 (post-US-election) - 1400 words. Haven't had time to fully re-read all my relevant bookmarks yet, but here's one bullet point:
‘ But the report starts off with a look at the present, including the fact that carbon emissions have stayed flat for several years running, even as the global economy grew. The report suggests that we may have reached the point where a combination of efficiency and deployment of renewables has decoupled economic growth from carbon emissions. That had happened previously in a number of countries, but it wasn't clear when it would apply to the global economy. ’
The Myth of Scott Pruitt's EPA Rollback - Michael Grunwald, Politico Magazine, 4/7/2018
""" But the EPA rules that were in effect in 2016 are still the rules in 2018, despite Pruitt’s efforts to overturn them. He tried to impose a unilateral stay on an Obama rule regulating climate-warming methane emissions from oil and gas operations; a federal appeals court deemed the stay “unauthorized” and “unreasonable,” so the methane rule is now in force again. He tried a similar maneuver to suspend Obama’s restrictions on smog; after a group of state attorney generals sued, Pruitt reversed course, so those restrictions also remain in effect. Obama’s EPA had worked on both rules for years, engaging with stakeholders and the scientific community, creating a lengthy administrative record. Pruitt still hopes to rewrite them, but success would require the same kind of meticulous process.
“You can’t just govern by press release. You have to do the hard work of developing a rule that can withstand judicial scrutiny, even though it isn’t sexy,” says State Energy & Environmental Impact Center director David Hayes, an Interior Department official in the Clinton and Obama administrations. “Pruitt hasn’t been willing to do that, and that’s why he isn’t really having much of an impact.” """
The best news all month: [United States] All of a Sudden, Voting Rights Are Expanding Across the Country - Ari Berman - Mother Jones - March 2018 - 900 words
‘ From 2010 to 2017, 23 states passed new voting restrictions. Now, the pendulum is starting to swing in the other direction: Legislators have introduced at least 206 bills to expand access to the ballot in 30 states this year, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.ACLU blog post on Let People Vote The ACLU's new grassroots organization, People Power
“Unlike previous years, we’re playing on offense,” says Faiz Shakir, political director of the ACLU, which this year launched a Let People Vote campaign in every state. “We’re seeing a nationwide awakening around voting rights." ’
The world has rejected the Trump administration's move to repudiate the Paris Climate Accord (Which is supposed to soon be updated with more aggressive pledges and plans). Every UN member state has signed, and 176 have ratified it. The Trump administrations withdrawal is not in effect yet. The Climate Change Denial Delusion (& cynical propaganda) continues to be a uniquely US American phenomenon. The pace of economic change toward sustainability is only accelerating (we HOPE fast enough, soon enough).