On today’s morning magazine, we hear audio from a gathering to memorialize the unhoused people who died this year in Boulder County. After that, Chris Mohr shares his weekly commentary, Make Them Hear You. And we’ll wrap up with herbalist Brigitte Mars and her regular Wednesday feature, Naturally.
This is Make Them Hear You, with ideas on how you can have your voice heard before Congress. The latest UN Climate Conference has been hailed as a success by some, but climate activists are not so sure. After all, it was held in an OPEC country, and was attended by 2000 oil and gas lobbyists. That made progress excruciatingly difficult for an issue that remains existential for humanity. But preserving the fossil fuels industry is existential for the petroleum corporations. Countries agreed to transition from fossil fuels “in a just, orderly and equitable manner.” It was considered a great success just because they mentioned fossil fuels for the first time.
After the deal was wrapped up, the lead negotiator for small island nations said they were not even “in the room where it happened” as the big countries and lobbyists forged the final document. Though they objected to aspects of the text, the island group said it wouldn’t try to derail the agreement, even though some of their countries are literally being swallowed up by the rising oceans.
US Climate Negotiator John Kerry was more optimistic. “It takes a long time before the ship turns. … But I think it’s speeding up by the day… The message coming out of this is: We are moving away from fossil fuels. We’re not turning back. That is the future.”
The deal suggests the options which could include “abatement and removal technologies such as carbon capture and utilization and storage, particularly in hard-to-abate sectors, and low-carbon hydrogen production,” more concessions to fossil fuels. In a nod to the lobbyists, the deal “Recognizes that transitional fuels can play a role in facilitating the energy transition while ensuring energy security.”
There is not much being actively considered by congress. A bill that has almost no chance of passing has been submitted by U.S. Representatives Jan Schakowsky and Nanette Barragán, the Future Generations Protection Act of 2023. This bill would help ensure a rapid shift away from fossil fuel to clean renewable energy. “The 21st century demands drastic actions to mitigate climate change and pollution. This legislation will ban greenhouse gas emissions from all new power plants, end hydraulic fracking, and ban crude oil and natural gas exports.” It is a comprehensive bill, but it has zero chance of passing in our Republican House.I had a chance to talk with Vice President Kamala Harris recently, and asked her if the administration’s climate experts are considering geoengineering: seeding the atmosphere with reflective particles or pouring iron filings into the ocean to stimulate kelp growth, as two examples. Many experts consider this to be a transitional, temporary bridge as we slowly transition away from fossil fuels. And thanks to the petroleum corporations and their 2000 lobbyists, they will make the transition as slow as possible while the planet continues to heat up.
If you have thoughts on the Future Generations Protection Act of 2023, you can contact your representative at https://senate.gov
. You can also share your thoughts on geoengineering at whitehouse.gov
. This is Chris Mohr with Make Them Hear You.