The Evening Blues - 9-24-20
Hey! Good Evening!
This evening's music features Bay area blues and gospel singer Tiny Powell. Enjoy!
Tiny Powell - Done Made It Over
“One thing we forget to know is that failed states once had civil, constitutional laws that were put in place, when these laws don't work for all that's when dictatorship arises and injustices hugs the land, and prosperities becomes the luxury of the few, not the masses.”
-- Henry Johnson Jr
News and Opinion
The level of hunger in U.S. households almost tripled between 2019 and August of this year, according to an analysis of new data from the Census Bureau and the Department of Agriculture. Even more alarming, the proportion of American children who sometimes do not have enough to eat is now as much as 14 times higher than it was last year.
The Agriculture Department conducts yearly studies on food insecurity in the U.S., with its report on 2019 released this month. The Census Bureau began frequent household surveys in April in response to Covid-19 that include questions about hunger.
The analysis, by the Washington, D.C.-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, found that 3.7 percent of U.S. households reported they sometimes or often had “not enough to eat” during 2019. Meanwhile, the most recent Census data from the end of August of this year showed that 10 percent of households said they sometimes or often did not have enough to eat within the past seven days. Levels of food insecurity in Black and Latino households are significantly higher, at 19 percent and 17 percent, respectively, compared to 7 percent in white households.
Even worse, while about 1 percent of adults with children said their children sometimes or often went hungry in 2019, between 9 and 14 percent of such adults said the same about their kids in August 2020. CBPP estimates that this adds up to about 5 million school-aged children in such households. ... According to CBPP, the USDA and Census numbers are not an exact apples-to-apples comparison due to some differences in how the surveys are conducted. But it’s clear, states CBPP’s Brynne Keith-Jennings, that the number of Americans “struggling to put food on the table has skyrocketed compared to before Covid-19.”
A new analysis out Wednesday reveals that the Federal Reserve bond purchasing program meant to prevent workers from losing their jobs amid the Covid-19 pandemic instead bolstered companies who laid off more than one million workers while paying massive dividends to shareholders—a finding escalating concerns that the central bank's behavior is "contributing to an economic recovery that benefits wealthy executives and investors but leaves behind American workers."
The report put forth by the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis —titled "Prioritizing Wall Street" (pdf)—examines individual corporate bonds purchased through the Fed's Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility (SMCCF), a lending system supported by funds from the CARES Act but which lacks taxpayer and worker protections included in other programs backed by the legislation passed earlier this year.
For corporations hoping to become eligible to issue bonds purchased by the Fed, the SMCCF "imposes no conditions requiring companies to save jobs or limit payments to executives or shareholders," the report notes.
The central bank has purchased corporate bonds issued by approximately 500 large companies since June. Subcommittee staff compared those transactions to public data on layoffs, dividend payouts, and illegal conduct.
"Fed Chair Jerome Powell testified in June that 'the intended beneficiaries of all of our programs are workers,'" the report states. "In May, he justified purchasing corporate bonds that had been downgraded to junk status since the start of the coronavirus crisis by stating that, because of the Fed's intervention, 'those companies have been able to go out and finance themselves. They've been able to avoid big layoffs. That is the point of all this.'"
However, the analysis shows that several of the companies whose bonds were purchased by the Fed conducted substantial layoffs, "suggesting that the primary beneficiaries of the program have been corporate executives and investors, not workers."
According to the report, nearly 140 of the companies that issued bonds purchased by the Fed have carried out furloughs or layoffs since March, affecting over one million workers.
The analysis notes several key instances of corporate opportunism. For example:
Boeing turned down a CARES Act loan, which would have imposed job retention requirements, limitations on executive pay, and restrictions on payouts to shareholders. Instead, it issued a massive corporate bond offering following the Fed's announcement of its corporate credit facilities, thanking the Fed for its intervention in the market. Boeing then laid off more than ten percent of its workforce, totaling about 16,000 employees.
The report also reveals that 383 of the roughly 500 companies whose bonds were purchased by the Fed have paid out dividends to their shareholders since April.
Ninety-five of these companies paid dividends and simultaneously laid off employees, "prioritizing their shareholders over their workers in the midst of the pandemic."
In addition, Subcommittee staff found that the Fed purchased bonds issued by 227 companies accused of lawbreaking since 2017, "including violations of workplace safety and environmental standards, as well as allegations of defrauding the government."
Tyson Foods is a beneficiary of the Fed's bond purchasing program even though the "multinational food processing company has been cited by the Department of Labor for at least 35 workplace safety or health violations since 2017 and at least five environmental violations from the EPA." Furthermore, the company "also failed to take adequate precautions to protect workers from the spread of the coronavirus," and "outbreaks in its facilities have led to the deaths of more than 24 employees and over 7,000 infections."
Finally, the report shows that oil, gas, and coal companies have benefited disproportionately from the Fed's actions. While fossil fuel companies employ only 2% of workers at large companies, they accounted for more than 10% of bond purchases.
Subcommittee staff wrote that "BlackRock—which executes the bond purchases on behalf of the Fed—has recognized that 'climate risk is investment risk'." Nevertheless, despite the exacerbation of the climate crisis and the declining status of the dirty energy sector, "the Fed, acting on behalf of U.S. taxpayers," has invested heavily in the fossil fuel industry.
Frontline healthcare workers are locked in a heated dispute with many infection control specialists and hospital administrators over how the novel coronavirus is spread – and therefore, what level of protective gear is appropriate. At issue is the degree to which the virus is airborne – capable of spreading through tiny particles lingering in the air – or primarily transmitted through large, faster-falling droplets from, say, a sneeze or cough. This wonky, seemingly semantic debate has a real-world impact on what sort of protective measures healthcare companies need to take to protect patients and their workers. ...
Dr Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious disease expert, addressed the debate head-on in a 10 September webcast for the Harvard Medical School, pointing to scientists specializing in aerosols who argued the CDC had “really gotten it wrong over many, many years”.
“Bottom line is, there’s much more aerosol [transmission] than we thought,” Fauci said.
The topic has been deeply divisive within hospitals, largely because the question of whether an illness spreads by droplets or aerosols drives two conflicting sets of protective practices, touching on everything from airflow within hospital wards to patient isolation to choices of protective gear. Enhanced protections would be expensive and disruptive to a number of industries, but particularly to hospitals, which have fought to keep lower-level “droplet” protections in place.
[More at the link. -js]
Leaked documents show how UK government contractors developed an advanced infrastructure of propaganda to stimulate support in the West for Syria’s political and armed opposition. Virtually every aspect of the Syrian opposition was cultivated and marketed by Western government-backed public relations firms, from their political narratives to their branding, from what they said to where they said it. The leaked files reveal how Western intelligence cutouts played the media like a fiddle, carefully crafting English- and Arabic-language media coverage of the war on Syria to churn out a constant stream of pro-opposition coverage.
US and European contractors trained and advised Syrian opposition leaders at all levels, from young media activists to the heads of the parallel government-in-exile. These firms also organized interviews for Syrian opposition leaders on mainstream outlets such as BBC and the UK’s Channel 4. More than half of the stringers used by Al Jazeera in Syria were trained in a joint US-UK government program called Basma, which produced hundreds of Syrian opposition media activists. ...
These UK-funded firms functioned as full-time PR flacks for the extremist-dominated Syrian armed opposition. One contractor, called InCoStrat, said it was in constant contact with a network of more than international 1,600 journalists and “influencers,” and used them to push pro-opposition talking points. ...
Virtually every major Western corporate media outlet was influenced by the UK government-funded disinformation campaign exposed in the trove of leaked documents, from the New York Times to the Washington Post, CNN to The Guardian, the BBC to Buzzfeed. ...
The leaked documents consist mainly of material produced under the auspices of the the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. All of the firms named in the files were contracted by the British government, but many also were running “multi-donor projects” that received funding from the governments of the United States and other Western European countries.
Free speech advocates warned against President Donald Trump's authoritarian rhetoric demonizing journalists following a speech at a rally in Pennsylvania on Tuesday in which the commander-in-chief celebrated violence against members of the press.
"Trump has been inciting hatred of reporters for years," Mark Follman, national affairs editor for Mother Jones, tweeted. "As a result, American journalists have faced many violent threats... Trump veils it with mockery—but this behavior is no joke. It's fascist, and it's dangerous."
Referring to journalists covering ongoing Black Lives Matter protests in the United States and worldwide, Trump said: "They'd grab one guy... They threw him aside like he was a little bag of popcorn. Honestly, when you watch the crap that we've all had to take so long, when you see that—you don't want to do that—but when you see it, it's actually a beautiful sight."
"It's a beautiful sight," he repeated. The president also called MSNBC correspondent Ali Velshi, who was struck with a rubber bullet while covering a protests, an "idiot reporter."
Velshi responded, tweeting, "Why is a journalist getting shot 'a beautiful thing' to Trump?" ...
"These are the actions of a fascist," Wajahat Ali, a contributing writer for the New York Times, tweeted last week following a rally where Trump also took aim at Velshi following his injury.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) also called attention to Trump's rhetoric, tweeting last week about the president's comments, "This is what authoritarianism looks like."
"An American president does not praise violence against a reporter for doing his job," the senator continued. "That is what an ugly, insecure two-bit dictator does."
Leaked chat logs show Portland-area pro-Trump activists planning and training for violence, sourcing arms and ammunition and even suggesting political assassinations ahead of a series of contentious rallies in the Oregon city, including one scheduled for this weekend. The chats on the GroupMe app, shared with the Guardian by the antifascist group Eugene Antifa, show conversations between Oregon members of the Patriots Coalition growing more extreme as they discuss armed confrontations with leftwing Portland activists, and consume a steady diet of online disinformation about protests and wildfires.
At times, rightwing activists discuss acts of violence at recent, contentious protests, which in some cases they were recorded carrying out. At one point, David Willis, a felon currently being sued for his alleged role in an earlier episode of political violence, joins a discussion about the use of paintballs. ...
Another prolific poster is Mark Melchi, a 41-year-old Dallas, Oregon-based car restorer who claims to have served as a captain in the US army. Melchi has been recorded leading an armed pro-Trump militia, “1776 2.0” into downtown confrontations in Portland, including on 22 August. At several points in the chat he proposes violence in advance of those confrontations, and appears to confess to prior acts committed in the company of his paramilitary group.
In advance of the 22 August protest, Melchi wrote: “It’s going to be bloody and most likely shooting, they’re definitely armed… so let’s make sure we have an organized direction of movement and direction of clearing or other Patriots will be caught in the possible cross fire. When shit hits the fan.” He advised other members to ignore weapons statutes, writing, “I saw someone say bats, mace, and stun guns are illegal downtown. If you’re going to play by the books tomorrow night, we already lost. We are here to make a change, laws will be broken, people will get hurt… It’s lawlessness downtown, and people need to be prepared for bad things.”
Following these comments, several rightwing demonstrators were recorded using gas and bats on 22 August, where Melchi and his militia were also present.
[Much greater detail at link. -js]
When 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse killed two Black Lives Matter protesters (and wounded a third) in late August in Kenosha, Wisconsin, he instantly became a hero among white nationalist circles, in which the Second Amendment is sacrosanct. On Wednesday, Rittenhouse and the members of the armed militias that supported him, including the Kenosha Guard and Boogaloo Bois, were named in a federal lawsuit brought under the post-Civil War Reconstruction amendments that aimed to establish Black equality.
The suit also names what it alleges was the militia groups’s most prominent enabler: Facebook. All of the parties, the complaint contends, helped deprive Kenosha Black Lives Matter protesters of their First Amendment right to assemble, thus violating the Black Lives Matter activists’ 14th Amendment right to equal protection. ... Along with a handful of protesters harassed by the militia groups, the plaintiffs include Hannah Giddings, the life partner of 26-year-old Anthony Huber, who was gunned down by Rittenhouse while trying to disarm the teenager.
According to the complaint, the Kenosha Guard, Boogaloo Bois, and Facebook all partook in a conspiracy that resulted in Huber’s death (thus causing harm to Giddings) and deprived the other plaintiffs of their ability to peacefully protest. Both the First and 13th amendment stipulations were key to Griffin v. Breckenridge, a U.S. Supreme Court case that was decided in 1971 and is cited in the complaint. That case concerned the right to travel, which is also an issue in the Kenosha protests. Some of the plaintiffs had their tires slashed and were otherwise impeded.
The 14th Amendment provided the constitutional basis for federal statutes §1985 and §1986, which prohibit interference by private groups with other’s exercise of their rights. Established under the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, the statutes were recently applied in the aftermath of the Charlottesville, Virginia, white supremacist protest in 2017.
In order to recruit foot soldiers for the August 25 protest, the Kenosha Guard created an event page on its Facebook account. Titled “Armed Citizens to Protect Our Lives and Property,” the posting summoned “patriots willing to take up arms … and defend our City from the evil thugs.” Over 450 Facebook users alerted the platform’s moderators that the Guard’s violent rhetoric violated the company’s policies. According to BuzzFeed News, four Facebook moderators deemed the Guard’s posts “non-threatening.”
Declarations of "true justice denied" went up Wednesday afternoon after a Kentucky grand jury indicted former Louisville police officer Brett Hankison on three counts of first-degree "wanton endangerment" related to the no-knock raid in which Breonna Taylor was killed—with no charges for the murder itself—when three officers burst into her residence and shot the 26-year-old paramedic multiple times earlier this year.
Critics of the grand jury's decision were outraged that Hankison's indictment was not based on the killing of Taylor, who was asleep in her bed when police entered her apartment, but on the firing of bullets into the homes of the victim's neighbors during the raid.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) described the decision as another manifestation of a legal system in which property is considered "more valuable than human life."
Did I hear that correctly? Only one officer is being held remotely accountable, and it's not for killing Breonna Taylor but instead for shooting apartments? It's never been clearer this country considers property more valuable than human life.
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) September 23, 2020
Once again, the law says that property is more valuable than Black life.
We cannot let up in our fight for justice for Breonna Taylor and every Black and brown person murdered at the hands of police. We will fight to end qualified immunity. https://t.co/JeHOP3GEVG
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) September 23, 2020
Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly—who on Tuesday described protesters as "thugs" and lamented that "the good guys are demonized" in an email sent to approximately 1,000 law enforcement personnel in Louisville—and detective Myles Cosgrove, the two other officers present at the time of the shooting, were not charged.
A reporter at the Louisville Courier Journal shared a video in which a protester asks: "Is that it?" ...
UltraViolet characterized the grand jury's decision as an "insult to the idea of justice," saying it reflected "the pervasiveness of white supremacy and the need to continue to demand justice."
"There will be no justice," the women's rights group added, "until all of the officers who killed Breonna are held accountable for her murder."
A Black man killed by Los Angeles sheriff’s deputies wasn’t holding a gun when officers fired 19 shots at him, attorneys for his family said Tuesday, contradicting police officials’ claim that he was armed during a struggle. Dijon Kizzee, a 29-year-old bicyclist, “posed no threat“ to deputies when they fired a flurry of bullets, striking him at least 15 times, the civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump said at a news conference. ...
Kizzee was killed 31 August in South LA after sheriff’s deputies tried to stop him for riding a bicycle in the wrong direction. They alleged that he had a weapon wrapped in a piece of clothing he was carrying, but said they were unaware of that when they stopped him for the “vehicle code violation”.
Two deputies told investigators they fatally shot Kizzee after he picked up the handgun he had dropped during a struggle with one of them, authorities said last week. A video shows him stooping down. But a wall blocks a full view, and no weapon can be seen.
It doesn’t appear the deputies tried to de-escalate the situation before shooting Kizzee. Authorities previously said Kizzee had only “made a motion” toward the gun but recently revised their narrative, saying the deputies have now claimed he had picked it up.
Kizzee was shot multiple times in the chest and arms and once in the back, authorities have said. The full autopsy hasn’t been completed yet. Carl Douglas, another civil rights attorney who is representing Kizzee’s family, said witnesses said the deputies fired three or four shots at Kizzee, followed by a pause and then a second volley while he was on the ground.
Why do media outlets write such stupid headlines? The article is otherwise worth a full read.
Three years after the worst mass shooting in recent American history, the FBI has yet to identify a motive explaining what could have driven Stephen Paddock to open fire on a crowded music festival from a Las Vegas hotel window, killing 58 people and injuring many hundreds more. But the FBI, which has been notoriously slow to recognize right-wing threats in recent years, may have ignored a politically inconvenient explanation: Paddock, in our view, fit the profile of a far-right political extremist bent on sowing violence in society.
Paddock appeared fixated on three pillars of right-wing extremism: anti-government conspiracy theories, threats to Second Amendment rights, and overly burdensome taxes. For instance, one witness told Las Vegas police that Paddock was “kind of fanatical” about his anti-government conspiracies and that he believed someone had to “wake up the American public” and get them to arm themselves in response to looming threats. Family members and associates of Paddock painted a picture of a man who loathed restrictions on gun ownership and believed that the Second Amendment was under siege, according to our review of their statements to investigators after the shooting and other documents compiled by the authorities.
Some violent, far-right extremists, including the attacker in last year’s mass shooting at two New Zealand mosques, point as inspiration to the notion of “accelerationism”: their desire to create violent chaos in society, even a civil war. While that term hadn’t yet taken hold when Paddock opened fire on October 1, 2017 — and, as his final act, shot himself dead — his anti-government hostilities, his right-wing ideologies, and his violent rampage that night might qualify him as one of the first in a new wave of accelerationists.
The FBI and Las Vegas police each spent many months searching for a motive in the Las Vegas attack, and both agencies claimed to come up empty in the end. There was “no single or clear motivating factor behind Paddock’s attack,” an FBI panel concluded in a report released in January 2019, and it found “no evidence that Paddock’s attack was motivated by any ideological or political beliefs.” The FBI said that “throughout his life, Paddock went to great lengths to keep his thoughts private, and that extended to his final thinking about this mass murder,” much like many violent lone actors before him. ...
With the three-year anniversary of the Las Vegas massacre a week away, Paddock’s motives deserve closer scrutiny by the FBI and others — not only for understanding the rampage itself, but also for understanding a string of other deadly attacks carried out by right-wing extremists in recent months in response to the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests.
Jared Kushner, the US president’s son-in-law, told journalist Bob Woodward that one of the best ways to understand Donald Trump is to study Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Kushner paraphrased the Cheshire Cat’s philosophy: “If you don’t know where you’re going, any path will get you there.” Wednesday was one of those days when to have a seat in the White House briefing room felts like stepping through the looking-glass into Blunderland, where the mad hatter has an authoritarian streak a mile wide.
Trump careered from touting miracle vaccines to building supreme court suspense, from insulting a female member of the British royal family to abruptly departing for a mysterious “emergency” phone call. But first, there was the small matter of kneecapping American democracy.
Perhaps it was not chance that the president, ever eager to generate media outrage, gave the first question to Brian Karem, who describes himself on Twitter as a “Loud Mouth” senior White House reporter at Playboy. “Will you commit to make sure there’s a peaceful transferral of power after the election?” Karem asked. All of his 43 predecessors would have said yes, presumably. But Trump replied: “We’re going to have to see what happens, you know that. I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster.”
This is the most frightening answer I have ever received to any question I have ever asked. I’ve interviewed convicted killers with more empathy. @realDonaldTrump is advocating Civil War. https://t.co/8eMY9Csuhp
— Brian J. Karem (@BrianKarem) September 23, 2020
Karem shot back: “I understand that, but people are rioting. Do you commit to make sure that there’s a peaceful transferral of power?”
Still Trump refused to commit. “Get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation. The ballots are out of control. You know it. And you know who knows it better than anybody else? The Democrats know it better than anybody else.”
Old enough to remember when we were told that putting Kamala on the ticket would excite non-white voters. https://t.co/l3655xc68J
— Krystal Ball (@krystalball) September 23, 2020
Trump Openly Admits He Wants to Fill RBG Vacancy Before Election Day So His Justice Can Help Fight Mail-In Ballots
Speaking to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House Tuesday evening, President Donald Trump frankly stated his motive for rushing to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: To help him dispute the legitimacy of mail-in ballots in the November election.
"We need nine justices. You need that. With the unsolicited millions of ballots that they're sending, it's a scam, it's a hoax," said the president, who for months has falsely attacked mail-in voting as highly susceptible to fraud. "Everybody knows that. And the Democrats know it better than anybody else."
Trump said pushing his nominee through the Republican-controlled Senate before Election Day—now just over 40 days away—"would be a very good thing" and baselessly claimed Democrats are "trying to sow confusion and everything else."
"And, you know, when they talk about Russia, China, and all these others, they will be able to do something here because paper ballots are very simple—whether they counterfeit them, forge them, do whatever you want. It's a very serious problem," Trump said, without offering a shred of evidence for the supposed threat of ballot manipulation by other nations. "And the Democrats know what they're doing is wrong, and all they want to do is go forward with it. So I think you're going to need the nine justices."
"We need 9 justices. You need that. With the unsolicited millions of ballots that they're sending ... you're gonna need 9 justices." -- Trump suggests he's counting on SCOTUS to have his back when he makes claims of election fraud following November's election pic.twitter.com/Ju8ShMe8MN
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 22, 2020
The president's latest comments, observers warned, suggest he is looking to rely on the conservative-dominated Supreme Court to provide his assault on the legitimacy of the election with a stamp of legal approval.
"They aren't hiding that they want to confirm a new Trump justice so that justice can steal the election," Ian Millhiser, senior correspondent at Vox, tweeted late Tuesday.
Journalist Matt O'Brien said the president "is like a Bond villain who can't help but tell us about his plan to rig the election."
"That's telling his supporters to vote in person so he wins the votes that cast on Election Day itself and then suing to stop absentee ballots from being counted," O'Brien added. "Bush v. Gore 2.0 is the plan."
Federal investigators are looking into whether a huge wildfire burning in the mountains near Los Angeles was sparked by Southern California Edison utility equipment, according to the company. Edison has turned over a section of an overhead conductor from its transmission facility in the area where the Bobcat fire started more than two weeks ago, a company spokesman, David Song, said on Wednesday.
In an incident report filed with the state Public Utilities Commission last week, Edison said its nearby equipment had experienced an issue five minutes before the initial report of the fire on 6 September.
A circuit at a nearby substation experienced a “relay operation”, indicating its equipment detected some kind of disturbance or event, Song said. However, cameras captured smoke developing in the area before the activity on Edison’s circuit, he said.
Firefighters on Wednesday finally started to tame the enormous wildfire in the San Gabriel Mountains. They took advantage of two days of calmer weather to make progress before hot, dry winds are expected to return in a few days. ...
The Bobcat fire started on 6 September, and quickly grew with the help of erratic winds. Officials said on Tuesday that the fire was able to spread so quickly in part because of a lack of firefighting resources.
California’s governor signed an executive order on Wednesday that would ban the sale of gas-only cars within 15 years, in a bid to combat the effects of climate change crisis. The move comes as the state battles historic wildfires, following a summer of record-high temperatures. “We can’t continue down this path,” Gavin Newsom said. ...
The transportation sector is responsible for 80% of California’s smog-forming pollution and 95% of the state’s toxic diesel emissions. Transportation is California’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, but the targeted goal of the ban would reduce such emissions by 35%, Newsom said. ...
The order, which requires that all new passenger vehicles sold in California by 2035 be zero-emission, “will improve air quality as well as improve the economic climate here in the state of California”, Newsom said. In his announcement Wednesday, he drummed up the creation of “green-collar jobs” among the state’s 34 electric vehicle manufacturers – more than any other state in the nation.
Ban Fracking in Calif. Now—Not 2024, Say Climate Groups Following Newsom Order to Phase Out Gas-Powered Cars
California Gov. Gavin Newsom was accused Wednesday of providing "rhetoric rather than real action" to address the state's fossil fuel production in response to an executive order widely hailed for directing a phase-out of gas-powered cars by 2035. ...
The state's commitment on zero emissions vehicles drew praise from Greenpeace USA senior climate campaigner Caroline Henderson, but, she cautioned, the order "comes up short on the issue of fossil fuel extraction and does nothing to halt the significant increase in new oil and gas permitting that's occurred under his administration in the last six months." Greenpeace drew attention to the flurry of new drilling permits Newsom has given just this year.
"When it comes to protecting communities from oil and gas drilling," Henderson charged that the order amounts to "all words and no teeth."
"Rhetoric alone will not protect frontline communities from the harms of oil and gas extraction, nor will it address the climate emergency that's currently playing out in California," she said.
"It's not enough for Newsom to believe in climate science if he continues to exacerbate the problem by expanding the fossil fuel industry—especially when he has the ability right now to immediately halt new oil and gas permits," Henderson added. "If Governor Newsom truly wants to be a climate leader, he must put forth concrete policies and urgent timelines for implementation."
CA has over 80K active oil & gas wells. Shocking, right? All of them are climate polluters. Instead of curbing emissions with a managed decline of drilling, @GavinNewsom added 1,500 more wells to that count this year! Unacceptable! #CAClimateAction Fail https://t.co/DtViX9ajUw pic.twitter.com/3RdIOsMkj8
— Alexandra Nagy (@RealFoodNagy) September 23, 2020
Kassie Siegel, director of the Center for Biological Diversity's Climate Law Institute, similarly offered qualified praise for the new order.
"Setting a timeline to eliminate petroleum vehicles is a big step," she said, "but Newsom's announcement provided rhetoric rather than real action on the other critical half of the climate problem—California's dirty oil production."
"Newsom can't claim climate leadership while handing out permits to oil companies to drill and frack. He has the power to protect Californians from oil industry pollution, and he needs to use it, not pass the buck," said Siegel.
Melting Antarctic ice will raise sea level by 2.5 metres – even if Paris climate goals are met, study finds
Melting of the Antarctic ice sheet will cause sea level rises of about two and a half metres around the world, even if the goals of the Paris agreement are met, research has shown. The melting is likely to take place over a long period, beyond the end of this century, but is almost certain to be irreversible, because of the way in which the ice cap is likely to melt, the new model reveals.
Even if temperatures were to fall again after rising by 2C (3.6F), the temperature limit set out in the Paris agreement, the ice would not regrow to its initial state, because of self-reinforcing mechanisms that destabilise the ice, according to the paper published in the journal Nature.
“The more we learn about Antarctica, the direr the predictions become,” said Anders Levermann, co-author of the paper from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. “We get enormous sea level rise [from Antarctic melting] even if we keep to the Paris agreement, and catastrophic amounts if we don’t.” The Antarctic ice sheet has existed in roughly its current form for about 34m years, but its future form will be decided in our lifetimes, according to Levermann. “We will be renowned in future as the people who flooded New York City,” he told the Guardian.
Also of Interest
Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.
A Little Night Music
Tiny Powell - Bossy Woman
Tiny Powell - Take Me With You
Tiny Powell - My Time After Awhile
Tiny Powell - Get Your Hat
The Five Blind Boys Of Mississippi w/Tiny Powell - In The Wilderness
Tiny Powell - Going Home
The Five Blind Boys w/Tiny Powell - He's My Rock
Tiny Powell - On The Blue Side