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Climate Crisis Report

Climate Crisis Report - June 2024
By Rod Elder
Posted: 2024-06-04T20:33:18Z

"What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” — Jane Goodall. We all need to take actions to make a difference in the fight to deal with the changing climate.


1. Students at the University of Middle Tennessee have installed a full plug-in hybrid kit in a stock 1994 Honda Accord. The setup gives between 50 and 100 percent better gas mileage with two electric motors delivering power directly to the rear wheels, leaving the engine-powered front wheels to work with little effort. The price of all the parts is about $3,000 and can be applied to almost any car. A production version is not yet available.

 2. Renewable energy now exceeds more than 30 percent of the world’s electricity supply, following a fast rise in solar and wind power. “The renewables future has arrived,” said Dave Jones, Ember’s global insights director. “Solar, in particular, is accelerating faster than anyone thought possible.”

3. Climeworks, a Swiss start-up, opened the biggest carbon absorbing plant in the world in Iceland. The plant is designed to remove 36,000 metric tons of carbon from the atmosphere each year, the equivalent of taking 8,600 cars off the road. This a good step, but the carbon captured is only about 1% of the annual carbon emissions of a single typical coal-fired power plant. Luckily, several other carbon-sequestering plants are already in the works. One in Texas should capture 500,000 metric tons of carbon each year, while another in Louisiana should remove 1 million tons, and a third in Wyoming is designed to sequester 5 million tons per year. Combined, they would be equal to removing approximately 1,190,000 cars from the roads.

4. Oakland California became first city in the country to have a completely electric school bus fleet.

5. Claudia Sheinbaum has been elected president of Mexico and has promised a state-led energy transition. She was part of the United Nations panel of climate scientists that received a Nobel Peace Prize for contributing to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. As an academic, she has authored over 100 articles and two books on energy and the environment. The election comes on the heels of a deadly heat wave and a climate-fueled water crisis that could see Mexico City run out of water as early as next month.


1. At a recent dinner with oil company executives Donald Trump said the following: “You all are wealthy enough that you should raise $1 billion to return me to the White House.” At the dinner, he made the following climate related promises if elected.

a. He vowed to immediately reverse dozens of the current administration's environmental rules and policies and stop new ones from being enacted. 

b. He would end the current freeze on permits for new liquefied natural gas exports.

c. He would start auctioning off more leases for oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

d. He would reverse the restrictions on drilling in the Alaskan Arctic.

e. He would scrap Biden’s “mandate” on electric vehicles.

2. It is a fact that growing cattle is very bad for the climate for multiple reasons. Advancements have been made in growing meat in labs that is actual meat without the environmental downsides. Eating meat grown in a lab in place of traditional meat has the potential to reduce carbon emissions.  Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has announced a ban on the selling and distribution of lab-grown meat in the state, the first law of its kind in the United States.

3. Consol Energy aims to be a leading force in slowing the shift to renewable energy and expects growth in coal power. They reason that there will be large growth in electricity demand is due to expected growth in artificial intelligence, power for electric vehicles, heat pumps and the manufacturing of microchips, EVs and batteries. A Wall Street Journal article's headline read, “Renewables can’t keep up with growth, which means more coal and more emissions.”

4. Acceleration of global warming is now hard to deny. Dr James Hansen interprets acceleration of warming since 2010 to be a consequence of decreasing global aerosols, with a significant contribution from reduction of ship aerosols due to the strict 2020 emission limit imposed by the International Maritime Organization. Aerosols are fine particles suspended in the air. These aerosols reflect incoming solar energy and result in less heating.

5. A study published by the National Academy of Sciences shows evidence of “vigorous melting” at Antarctica's Thwaits (“doomsday”) glacier. For the first time, there is evidence that shows warm seawater is pumping underneath the glacier. The study also suggests the entire Antarctic Ice Sheet is more vulnerable to a warming ocean than previously thought and may “require a reassessment of sea-level rise projections.” “Thwaites contains the equivalent of 2 feet of sea-level rise,” said study co-author Christine Dow of the University of Waterloo. The worry is that we are underestimating the speed that the glacier is changing, which would be devastating for coastal communities around the world. The melt will take decades, not centuries. The melt rate depends on whether our climate keeps getting warmer, which is completely on us and how we manage the planet.

Action Item

Recent polling shows that a majority of U.S. voters are concerned about the climate crisis. You could help by communicating with anyone running for office, from local officials to the president, and remind them to emphasize their positive climate actions in their campaigns.