Cutting fossil fuel subsidies, cities taking action, and how to find hope
This is wonderful and so inspiring. Thank you so much.
One of the things I love about Substack is the number of writers who encourage you to find your sense of wonder, to seek out enchantment, who bring a drop of beauty to your day, elicit a reluctant smile (and even a chuckle), think beyond the surface appearance of things, and especially those, like you, who lead the way out of the dark, deep hole of doom. Thank you, Katharine!
Great piece. I just want to let you and the other commenters know that one really powerful thing you can do is to move your retirement money and any other investments to sustainable funds. We talk to people all the time about this (you can see our advocacy at tillinvestors.com) and we're absolutely convinced that it's a game changer.
Every single person who has lost someone to heatdomes, forest fires, flooding or wind storms should join together and sue Big Oil for Wrongful Death.
There are signs of hope and there have been some articles recently in both the NYTimes and the Washington Post that are encouraging.
"The clean energy future is arriving faster than you think"
In the Washington Post, Harry Stevens recently posted a corrected version of his article on which states have the cleanest electricity based on carbon intensity, https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/interactive/2023/clean-energy-electricity-sources/?itid=sf_climate_climate-lab_article_list
The carbon intensity of electricity generation in the U.S. decreased by nearly 40% between 2000 and 2020 due to replacement of coal with natural gas and renewables.
It's extremely speculative to say the Canadian or Hawaiian fires are the result of climate change. In the case of Hawaii there was a lot of dry grass that had grown up over old pineapple plantations, and in Canada even age tree plantations build up dead branches on the forest floor. Both of these situations are tinderboxes and would be tinderboxes regardless of the climate.
And note, I am not a global climate change denier. I believe the ICC models are pretty accurate that we are looking at roughly 2.5 degrees F. change in the next 20 years. That is not nothing, but it is within the temperature variation seen between El Nino and La Nina years at least in north America. Yes eventually we will have to act to bring about a post fossil fuel society, because we are going to run out of fossil fuels in roughly 50 years if nothing else. Yes ending fossil fuel industry subsidies is just a good idea in general as subsidies distort markets. But the whole "climate emergency" rhetoric is pure sophistry being promoted by technocrats with self interested agendas.