Weekly News Update

Jonathan Staufer | April 2, 2019 | Leave a Comment

Families for a Liveable Climate has launched in Missoula, Montana. The non-partisan, grassroots effort, bringing together people from diverse backgrounds throughout the city, is advocating for climate friendly policies in the city. Partnering with 350Montana, Climate Smart Missoula and Mothers Out Front, Families for a Liveable Climate’s inaugural campaign is an effort to wean local utility NorthWestern Energy off coal and toward low-carbon sources such as solar.

Economically sound examples for NorthWestern to follow abound. As we’ve reported previously, Xcel Energy of Colorado has found that solar and battery solutions are highly competitive. Last week,   Florida Light and Power announced it would scrap two natural gas power plants and build what is likely to be the world’s largest solar-powered battery bank.

In a watershed moment in the history of the Southwest and in the relationship between indigenous peoples and colonial settlers, the Navajo Council voted down the sale of the Navajo Generating Station and the Kayenta coal mine which supplies it, ensuring that one of the most polluting power plants in the Four Corners Region will close.

The closing of Navajo Generating Station is a positive development against a recent tide of negative trends: The International Energy Agency reported that use of fossil fuels –  and an associated increase in global greenhouse gas emissions output – increased last year largely thanks to the development of a fleet of new coal fired power stations in Asia and increased use of natural gas in the United States – a whopping increase of 10% , the equivalent of the annual natural gas use of the United Kingdom.

Exhaustingly, it would seem that the media spectacle of the 2020 election is in full swing. It is more important than ever that we know who is funding the campaigns of our candidates. The New York Times reported on big donor funding of several Democratic candidates on Sunday and Mother Jones examined John Hickenlooper’s close ties to the fracking industry.

A politics that can not address the needs and desires of people will be rendered irrelevant and that looks increasingly to be the case: Student strikes mobilized children – 1.4 million of them worldwide – urging action on climate change. The movement is motivated, and diverse, as this essay from Isra Hirsi one of the leaders of the US effort, discusses.  

Extinction Rebellion engaged in a naked protest during the latest UK Parliamentary debates over Brexit, criticizing the ongoing distraction from the REALLY big issue.

Strikes and protests are good reminders that democracy is built from the ground… or bottom.. up.

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