[GWSG] Trolleys; remodelling; IRA by Bloomberg; IRA by USA Today; and by the Guardian; watch for the endgame

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Sun Aug 7 08:56:20 EDT 2022

1. Trolleys have almost disappeared, along with their overhead wires. The electric busses which are replacing them, though, come equipped with diesel-powered heaters. A hybrid trolley which can travel with or without the overhead power supply may be the answer to our urban transportation needs. San Francisco, Seattle, Dayton, and Mexico City are already using them.  https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/aug/05/trolleybuses-green-public-transit-solution

2. Presently we have close to the world’s highest energy use in US homes. How shall we cut those emissions? Decarbonize the energy supply; move to more energy efficiency in the home; shrink the home size from the current 646 sq. feet per capita by a third or more. We could cut emissions 91% by 2050. (To get to 0 net emissions we’ll have to draw down carbon.) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-022-01429-y?utm_source=nclimate_etoc&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=toc_41558_12_8&utm_content=20220806

3. The Inflation Reduction Act includes provisions which will increase fossil fuel emissions, but it will avoid 24 tons of emissions for every ton it produces. The net effect will be to take us to about a 40% reductions of emissions, within reach of the 50% reduction necessary to put us on the path to 1.5C. The remaining reductions will have to be accomplished through other actions, perhaps state and local.  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-08-04/how-the-senate-s-big-climate-bill-eliminates-4-billion-tons-of-emissions#:~:text=The%20Inflation%20Reduction%20Act%20would,generating%20station%20in%20Thompsons%2C%20Texas.

4. Another take on the IRA from USA Today: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2022/08/05/senate-inflation-reduction-act-climate-change/7284703001/

5. The Inflation Reduction Act is the most important piece of climate legislation so far, and a globally significant turn in the right direction. It is not what it should have been—that’s the Build Back Better act—but the fossil fuel industry is powerful enough to prevent that from passing the senate. They polluted the IRA, but it promises to give us a chance. The Guardian weighs in on the IRA. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/aug/05/us-climate-bill-slash-emissions-analysis-biden

6. An article in PNAS observes that we need to pay more attention to catastrophic climate scenarios such as human extinction and the collapse of civilizations. The stakes are high, and even a small chance of a great event warrants planning for “prevention and warning systems.” The group of authors finds that we have been too focused on what is most likely; good risk analyses “consider both what’s most likely and what the worst that could happen.” As it is, no one knows the likelihood of a disastrous climate endgame. If we discover the chances and plan to avoid the worst consequences, “we should all cheer up a bit.” https://phys.org/news/2022-08-chances-climate-catastrophe-scientists.html

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