It's like using a squirt bottle to put out the brush fires in Australia
This started out as just a comment in reply to Dystopian's reply to my rant about the Shallow Victories of Environment Movement In Texas, but exploded into this...
First and foremost, Dystopian, I truly do not mean to insult anyone. At least not on purpose. True, I picked on TCE but lumped all Texas Environment Groups into my essay title, as you rightfully pointed out.
To characterize one groups doings as 'the shallow enviro movement in Texas' is an insult to many thousands of Texans that have spent their lives fighting for, saving, and protecting millions of acres of habitat among many other things.
Now, I'm gonna ask a question, and I do not mean to offend, BUT, what does “protecting millions of acres of habitat” do for reducing our dangerous levels of carbon emissions, which, according to NOAA, the week of Jan 5th 2020, Co2 emissions were at 413 ppm? (I reckon it would be might hard to quantify, no?)
Now, I would like for you to consider, that all across America, state legislatures are gutting state environmental agencies budgets and enforcement mechanisms.
From the Energy Integrity Project:
We found that 31 states reduced funding for their environmental agencies’ pollution control programs, with 25 states imposing cuts of at least 10 percent. Forty states reduced staffing levels at their environmental agencies, with 21 states cutting their environmental workforce by at least 10 percent. Overall, states eliminated 4,400 positions at agencies responsible for protecting the environment.
Over the same time period, Congress and the White House cut the U.S. EPA’s funding for pollution control and science by 16 percent (adjusted for inflation) while reducing its workforce 16 percent by eliminating 2,699 positions.
And If you look at their interactive map, Texas has reduced it's environmental agency's budget since 2008, by over 35%.
Also consider, Texas is experiencing a boom in oil and gas production. From the TexasObserver
The explosive boom in the oil and gas industry has ushered in a rapid, nationwide buildup of new oil, gas, and petrochemical facilities across the supply chain. In Texas and Louisiana alone, this new infrastructure could lead to more than half-a-billion tons of added greenhouse gas emissions each year by 2030, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin. That’s equivalent to 8 percent of the United States’ current annual emissions and is roughly equal to emissions from 131 coal-fired power plants.
The report is unique in that it not only measures the projected emissions at the site of drilling, a well-studied area, but also considers the outputs from elements further downstream in the industry supply chain—pipelines, refineries, and petrochemical operations—that are overlooked more often. As the report found, new petrochemical and refinery plants popping up all along the Gulf Coast are expected to produce the largest share of new emissions, 46 percent of the total half-billion tons.
(bold emphasis mine)
Additionally, it's not all about carbon emissions. From the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP)
Beyond just greenhouse gases, the 157 oil and gas related projects planned by 2025 would also likely increase pollutants that are immediately harmful to public health. According to their permit documents, the facilities could emit every year up to 119,000 tons of volatile organic compounds, which are a component of smog; 11,100 tons of fine particles that contribute to asthma and heart attacks; 8,800 tons of sulfur dioxide, which damages the lungs; and 47,200 tons of nitrogen oxides, which feed fish killing “dead zones” in waterways.
About half (76 of the 157) of the future projects are planned for Texas or Louisiana. These new or expanded plants could produce 145 million tons of greenhouse gases annually, accounting for roughly 75 percent of the expected increases from new oil and gas-related projects across in the U.S.
But most importantly, here's the real ass kicker from The Hill
Despite leadership from so many states, the overall U.S. emissions picture is bleak if we don’t do more. As we squeeze the emissions balloon downward in some states and economic sectors, emissions are simultaneously expanding upward in others. The net effect: nationwide carbon emissions rose rapidly in 2018 — the biggest increase in eight years.
Texas is the leading culprit. The emissions increase from Texas alone has erased reductions from all states in the West and Northeast, combined.
Texas’ carbon emissions surged 20 percent higher from 2009 through 2016, an increase of 108 million tons.
(bold emphasis mine)
My question is this, how can any Texas Environmental Group really claim any "victories", when our states Carbon emissions are canceling out almost every other states actual victories, in actually reducing carbon emissions? It's absurd to me!
In my view, as Bernie might say, if our "environmental groups" actions, not just here in Texas, but cumulatively, are not effectively decreasing / reducing carbon emissions, there is no victory.
And to be sure, "legislation" is meaningless in this day and age, when corporations can just run rough shot over that legislation, pay a fine and it's business as usual. Hell, usually these corporations find a way to write off those fines or a large portion thereof, so we the tax payers, wind up subsidizing their crimes! How it that a victory?
Just, take a look at this list, from GoodJobsFirst.Org
All those companies violated our Environmental laws, but only got fined.
Now, think for a moment, XR Rebellion, SchoolStrike / ClimateStrike, Sun Rise movement, and a couple of other groups, have all come into being, SPECIFICALLY because the US environment movement has FAILED for the last 30 years to really accomplish anything towards reducing our dangerous levels of Carbon emissions.
Oh, and not to mention hardly anyone is addressing the dangerous levels of rising methane in the Arctic, which combined with rising Co2 levels, means we are on the path to extinction, a lot quicker than people may think.
Look, I don't mean to insult anyone, but I'm tired of these Environmental Groups claiming "Victories", when they are meaningless compared to the emergency we face, especially when Texas increased carbon emissions since 2009 are canceling out other state's carbon emissions reduction efforts.
Incremental change at this point in the Climate Crisis we are facing as a species, it's like using a squirt bottle to put out the brush fires in Australia.