Baby, it’s cold outside, but please, let’s lay off the denialist snowball posturing—global warming is a very real phenomenon, and there’s been lots of action on that critical political front since the November elections.
This week, a coalition of California energy providers, local governments and environmental organizations released a policy roadmap outlining a new statewide push to deal with a very large elephant in the living room: the continued burning of fossil fuels in homes and buildings—identified as a major blind spot in the state’s ongoing GHG-reduction effort.
The Building Decarbonization Coalition announced the initiative this week through the Oakland-based Sunshine Strategies media firm. The firm notes that while homes and buildings are responsible for 25 percent of annual greenhouse-gas emissions in the state every year, “unlike other high-emitting sectors, no comprehensive plan exists to help the state cut those emissions, the majority of which are caused by fossil fuel appliances like space and water heaters.” Hey, but it’s cold out there! As Mom used to say: Put on a sweater.
The coalition released a report on Feb. 12 that emphasizes an urgent need to accelerate the development of zero-emission homes and buildings in the state, if California’s to meet its GHG reduction plans before the whole planet just gives up the ghost. It’s all very “Green New Deal,” in its own right.
On that note, there are hard-working lawmakers out there working to reverse the reversals on climate change policy, but most of the Washington Republicans we’re hearing from these days are happy to just beat up on the Green New Deal. Signs of bipartisan agreement on climate change are scant and negligible.
U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman was one of 56 lawmakers to introduce the Still in Paris congressional resolution this week that reaffirms Congress’ support of the Paris Agreement (Blue Dog Dem Rep. Mike Thompson did not sign the resolution). President Donald Trump announced the United States would exit the Paris Agreement in 2017. The resolution is being promoted as a “bipartisan” reaffirmation of the Unites States’ participation in global efforts to combat global warming. It’s a bipartisan bill, barely: Pennsylvania Republican Brian Fitzpatrick is the only member of the House GOP to cosponsor the resolution.
Huffman was recently named to the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis and he also introduced a resolution this week that seeks to push back against Trump’s efforts to open Alaska’s arctic wilderness to fossil-fuel drilling. The bill to restore Arctic National Wildlife Refuge protections was promoted by House Democrats as a bipartisan bill. One hundred lawmakers co-sponsored the bill and yes—the only Republican co-sponsor was Fitzpatrick.
Tom Gogola is warming up to the idea of hiding under the blankets for a while.