Yes, we get it too. That icky sense of angst from watching climate goals slip out of reach while our elected officials sit on their hands. While a certain level of concern is healthy, focusing too heavily on doom and gloom is counterproductive to living an Earth-friendly lifestyle.
That’s why each week we highlight news stories that give us hope and serve as examples of individual action contributing to global change. This week saw two major setbacks for oil projects and proof that a good portion of climate denial tweets are produce by bots. For some reason it’s comforting to know that fewer humans than it seems are participating in climate denial.
By Clifford Krauss, The New York Times, February 24, 2020
- An oil-sands mining project that would have cleared 24,000 acres of boreal forest and increased Canadian oil-sands production by 5 percent fell through, citing “investor concerns over oil’s future and the political fault lines between economic and environmental policies.”
- The decision spared Prime Minister Justin Trudeau from making a decision on the project and risking fallout from environmentalist, energy interests or, more likely, both.
- The project was in its ninth year of planning. Its builder, Teck Resources, said it would have created 7,000 construction and 2,500 operational jobs for the area.
- Pembina Institute executive director Simon Dyer told The New York Times “There was never an economic pathway for this project under global demand scenarios consistent with the Paris climate agreement.”
By John Bowden and Rachel Frazin, The Hill, February 24, 2020
- Following pressure from environmental groups and lawmakers, JPMorgan Chase followed the lead of Goldman Sachs and “announced plans to stop approving loans to companies pursuing fossil fuel drilling in the Arctic Circle.”
- The bank also refreshed a $200 billion commitment to clean energy financing it made in 2017. It previously released a plan to phase out loans to companies “that get the majority of their revenue from coal by 2024.”
- Environmental groups took the statement as a small victory, but continue to urge the bank to cease funding fossil fuel projects altogether.
By Oliver Milman, The Guardian, February 21, 2020
- After an analysis of 6.5 million tweets by Brown University, The Guardian revealed “that a quarter of all tweets about climate on an average day are produced by bots.” The full study isn’t yet published.
- Per the article: “On an average day during the period studied, 25% of all tweets about the climate crisis came from bots. This proportion was higher in certain topics – bots were responsible for 38% of tweets about “fake science” and 28% of all tweets about the petroleum giant Exxon.”
- The study used a software called Botometer developed by Indiana University to determine the likelihood of a Twitter account being a bot. The study found suspected bots that regularly reject climate science with up to 52,000 followers.