Hello from lovely, autumnal Astoria, Queens. I went last week to the opening of Zaria Forman’s new exhibition in the Winston Wächter Fine Art gallery in Chelsea. It’s really hard to make compelling art about climate change with images of polar ice. But Zaria is a master of it, and I recommend checking out the show, which is open through mid December.
I realize it’s been a few weeks since your last edition of This Anthropogenic Life. I went upstate for a long weekend to roast marshmallows in a solar-powered cabin and enjoy New York’s finest season. Then, to be honest, last week’s massacre in Pittsburgh made it too difficult to set myself to writing. But now I’m back, and I’m bearing an invitation to a very cool real-life event.
Kate Aronoff and I are co-hosting a happy hour for environment/climate nerds on Nov. 28 at Cherry Tree in Brooklyn from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. You’re invited.
Not to make the non-New Yorkers jealous, but the story I wanted to draw your attention to is a local one with international implications.
I got my hands on an early version of New York City's landmark bill to cut climate pollution from big buildings, the city's top source of carbon dioxide emissions by far.
The bill is based on a historic agreement from August that set out a policy framework and established a united front of real estate giants and housing advocates who promised to support the legislation.
But this version -- which, sources stressed to me, is an early draft -- doesn't include parts of the agreement that proposed loopholes for New York's dwindling stock of less than 1 million rent-regulated apartments. That means it could, as it's written now, cause rent hikes.
Instead, the draft proposal offers a green energy loophole that critics say won't work, and will also allow landlords to raise prices.
It’s hard to stress how important this bill is. New York made waves in January by suing big oil companies and announcing plans to divest its pension funds of $5 billion worth of fossil fuel investment. That prompted other cities to do the same. If New York can successfully regulate its biggest source of climate pollution -- big buildings -- other cities, from Toledo to Tokyo, might, too
"(Our) job is to educate the Jewish masses on the meaning of white supremacy and to enroll the Jewish community in an all-out fight against it."
-- Jewish Currents, back in 1950, much to the chagrin of white supremacists at the time.
“I like to think that Lincoln doesn’t have his back to General Lee. He’s in front of him. There’s a difference. Similar to Martin Luther King doesn’t have his back to Lincoln. He’s in front of Lincoln as we march together to form a more perfect union. That’s a great story, and so is Camp Nelson.”
-- Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke comparing Robert E. Lee to Martin Luther King, Jr. during a ceremony to open a national monument at Civil War site famous for its African-American history.
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Welcome back to the 1880s. Monopolies thrive. Billionaire tycoons run amok. Cartoonishly unshy corruption allows coal executives to bring home the wild animals they kill on safari.
Steven Chancellor -- a guy who would definitely do fucked up stuff in “Westworld” and who raised more than $1 million for President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign --- obtained permits to import the heads and hides of at least three male lions he shot in Zimbabwe. That came after he got a political appointment at the Interior Department. My colleague Chris D’Angelo found the retroactive permits in a FOIA response..
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Six years ago, North Carolina lawmakers passed a bill barring policymakers and developers from using up-to-date climate science to plan to for sea level rise.
Last Monday, Gov. Roy Cooper, a conservative Democrat, signed an executive order calling on agencies to cut greenhouse gases 40 percent before 2005 levels by 2025. It’s a significant step forward for a state still reeling from Hurricane Florence.
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Hurricanes are already changing the way we talk.
A study of New Orleans English found shifts in the accent and lingo after Hurricane Katrina sent thousands into diaspora and brought many more to the city. The research suggests displacement from climate change-fueled storms is going to transform regional dialects.
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The Trump administration’s fuel-economy rollback is riddled with mathematical errors.
That’s the finding of Robinson Meyer’s deeply-reported analysis in The Atlantic, which reads: "The mistakes range in scope from the comical to the bizarre, from the obviously accidental to the how-did-they-miss-that."
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Democrats are warming up to the idea of a green jobs plan.
In a nationwide YouGov survey of 1,903 Democrats, registered voters on average ranked green jobs fifth among 15 progressive policy priorities ― behind universal health care, gun control, immigration reform and impeaching President Donald Trump. That ranking put green jobs ahead of several other priorities of the left, including criminal justice reform, strengthening unions and statehood for D.C. The survey found even stronger support among young voters and people of color. Voters aged 18-29 ranked green jobs as their No. 4 priority, and voters of color in that age range ranked it No. 3.
Nonvoters who identified as Democrats also ranked green jobs third, suggesting that such a policy could open a previously untapped well of electoral support.
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Germany’s Green Party is on the rise.
The center-left party, which hit a 15-year record low in polling last year, is surging in popularity as disaffected voters flee the neoliberal Social Democratic Party.
“Admittedly, you can’t entirely hold it against the foreign media to be less fascinated with the recent rise of the Greens than with the AfD,” Leopold Traugott a policy analyst at the think tank Open Europe, wrote for the London School of Economics. “Nevertheless, if you want to understand German politics, closely watching this party over the coming months will be crucial.”
Kate Aronoff took BP to task for spending way more lobbying against a carbon tax than for one.
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