help_outline Skip to main content

Follow Us

Social networking will appear here

Support Us

Join  |   Donate

Contact Us
Phone 412-261-4284
LWV of Greater Pittsburgh
436 Seventh Avenue
Suite 350
Pittsburgh PA 15219
Copyright 2022 All Rights Reserved Privacy Policy Terms of Use Powered by ClubExpress
HomeBlogsRead Post

Climate Crisis Report

Climate Crisis Report - May 2023
By Rod Elder
Posted: 2023-05-04T18:44:26Z

Some people are fond of quoting Albert Einstein to the effect that “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”  It is true that we will need to think outside the box to solve the climate crisis.


1. Because of the massive rains and heavy snowpack, there is good news for the Western U.S. water supply problems.

  a. The California reservoirs are mostly at normal water levels for this time of year and the coming snowmelt will add significant water.

    b. The Great Salt Lake in Utah has added three feet of water, and more is expected.

    c. Water levels in Lake Powell and Lake Mead in Arizona have stopped falling and have risen less than one foot. However, both lakes are still about 180 feet below full pool level and plans to significantly reduce water usage from these lakes will be essential in the near future.

2.  EV sales are outperforming even the more optimistic projections of a few years ago.  EV sales are slated to grow 35% worldwide this year, a new International Energy Agency report finds.  The agency sees 14 million passenger EV buys in 2023, comprising nearly a fifth (18%) of the new passenger vehicle market.

3.  According to a report from American Clean Power, the U.S. saw $40 billion in clean energy investment in the first three months after the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was signed. Additionally, analysis shows 100,000 climate-friendly jobs have been created following the passage of the IRA.

4.  Redwood Materials, a company founded by Tesla co-founder J B Straubel, demonstrated that it can successfully re-cycle lithium-ion batteries. It has recovered lithium, cobalt, nickel, and copper at a rate above 95% from 1,268 used EV batteries. This is very positive and will greatly reduce the need for mining those materials for new electric vehicles.  

5.  The Department of Energy (DOE) announced 11 communities in 10 states have been selected to design community geothermal heating and cooling systems. Using clean geothermal energy for heating and cooling can help cities meet their energy needs, drive down costs, create jobs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


1. Although operating coal power plants are being retired and scheduled new plants are being canceled around the world, except in China, they must be phased out 4.5 times faster in order to meet the goal of having no coal plants by 2040, according to a survey Global Energy Monitor.

2.  The sea level in the Gulf of Mexico and the Southeast coast has risen six inches since 2010. This is three times higher than the global average over the same period. The gulf water temperature is rising faster than other sea water and is therefore expanding. Also, many parts of the land in the Gulf area are sinking.  Louisiana has lost 2,000 square miles of land (an area larger than the state of Rhode Island) to the sea and is currently losing the area of a football field every hour according to the U.S. geologic survey.

3. Because of ocean water temperature 2 to 3 degrees higher than normal and high air temperature Fort Lauderdale was deluged by heavy rain. The storm dumped more than 25 inches of rain at the airport — over 10 inches more than the previous one-day record. The city's storm drainage system was designed for three inches of rain in a day.  “This is worse than any hurricane we have had,” said Fort Lauderdale city commissioner Warren Sturman.  “No city can prepare for this,” Fort Lauderdale mayor Dean Trantalis told the Washington Post. 

4. The Department of Energy approved a proposal to export liquified methane gas extracted from Alaska's North Slope. The proposed $39 billion project would include constructing an 807-mile pipeline to transport gas from the North Slope to a liquefaction facility in Nikiski, on the south-central coast of Alaska.  "Joe Biden’s climate presidency is flying off the rails," said Lukas Ross of Friends of the Earth, with this being the administration's second approval of a "fossil fuel mega-project" in two months.

5.  Temperatures in the world’s oceans have broken records, setting new highs for more than a month in an “unprecedented” run. “This is heading in an unprecedented direction and could be taking us into uncharted territory” said Ben Webber, lecturer in climate science at the University of East Anglia. 

Action Items

The House of Representatives has passed a debt ceiling proposal that has major implications for America’s clean energy future. The legislation would gut the climate and clean energy provisions of the IRA. You can call Congress with a clear message: “Climate action is popular. Do not roll it back.” Encourage them to leave climate policy intact through the debt ceiling debate and beyond.