Good morning and welcome to The Climate 202! Today we’re studying the Onion‘s tips on “what to say to someone who denies climate change.” One tip: “If sea levels rise, thousands of New Yorkers could relocate to your hometown.” 😂 But first:

Inflation Reduction Act consists of zero {dollars} for resilience to local weather disasters

The Inflation Reduction Act authorizes the largest infusion of federal spending but to deal with the local weather disaster — roughly $369 billion to slash greenhouse fuel emissions and bolster clear vitality.

Of that $369 billion, one may ask, how a lot is devoted to making sure that the nation’s infrastructure is constructed to resist mounting climate disasters akin to wildfires, hurricanes and floods?

Not a lot. Zero {dollars}, to be exact.

While the landmark regulation comprises historic investments in curbing planet-warming emissions, it gives no cash for making infrastructure extra resilient to disasters, at the same time as local weather change will increase the frequency and severity of maximum climate occasions throughout the nation.

“It includes absolutely nothing to ensure that buildings are built to withstand natural hazards at a time when natural hazards are expected to increase because of climate change,” stated Gabriel Maser, vice chairman of federal relations on the International Code Council, a nonprofit group that develops mannequin constructing codes. 

To be certain, the local weather regulation gives $1 billion for brand spanking new and current buildings to slash vitality use and meet the newest vitality codes. The bipartisan infrastructure regulation, which President Biden signed in November, additionally included investments in resilience.

Yet neither regulation would stop new or retrofitted buildings from being swept away in floodwaters or burning down in a wildfire — the latter of which might launch extra emissions into the environment.

“From our perspective, it’s a suboptimal strategy,” Maser stated. “It would be like putting a brand new Tesla motor in a 1990s-era Dodge Caravan pre-airbags and then providing subsidies for people to buy that.”

‘Horse buying and selling’ on the Hill

In September 2021, as congressional Democrats started crafting the local weather bundle, advocates despatched a letter to lawmakers requesting $300 million for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist the implementation, adoption and enforcement of hazard-resistant constructing codes.

“The National Institute of Building Sciences estimates that modern building codes save $11 for every $1 invested,” stated the letter, which was signed by greater than 50 organizations representing engineers, emergency responders, producers, contractors and insurers.

An earlier model of the local weather bundle offered half the requested quantity — $150 million — for hazard-resistant constructing codes. That model of the regulation, which handed the House in November, was appropriately referred to as the Build Back Better Act.

But that provision was in the end lower from the measure throughout personal negotiations this summer time between Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.), who insisted on trimming the bundle.

“It would have been better to have it in there, but I also understand that Senator Schumer had to do his horse trading,” stated W. Craig Fugate, the previous head of FEMA beneath President Barack Obama. “Once he got a deal, it was hard to add anything back in.”

Fugate, who beforehand led Florida’s emergency company throughout seven hurricanes, stated stronger constructing codes can play a vital function in serving to buildings stand up to extreme storms.

After Hurricane Charley in 2004, for example, the outcomes of stiffer laws have been on vivid show in Florida’s coastal cities. Powerful winds razed or broken hundreds of older houses, whereas newer development was unscathed.

Alice Hill, a former particular assistant to Obama and senior director for resilience coverage on the National Security Council, referred to as on Congress to prioritize hazard-resistant constructing codes, regardless of its packed agenda earlier than November’s midterm elections.

“It’s an area that isn’t particularly sexy, but it’s actually foundational to our safety,” stated Hill, a senior fellow on vitality and surroundings on the Council on Foreign Relations.

“The Inflation Reduction Act is landmark legislation that will help the country reduce emissions,” she added. “But I wouldn’t call it a resilience or adaptation bill. We will need further action by the federal government to help all of us prepare for what we’re already seeing outside our windows.”

Natalie Enclade, government director of the BuildStrong Coalition, a company that advocates for up to date constructing codes, urged the Senate to go the Resilient AMERICA Act, which might empower FEMA to assist the adoption of stronger codes by way of its Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program.

  • The legislation, which was launched by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair Peter A. DeFazio (D-Ore.), handed the House in April with bipartisan assist. But the measure has since stalled within the Senate.
  • A House Democratic aide stated DeFazio is now pushing for the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which has jurisdiction over FEMA, to carry a listening to on the invoice. The aide spoke on the situation of anonymity as a result of they weren’t licensed to remark publicly.

White House alarm rises over Europe as Putin threatens vitality provide

White House officers have grown more and more alarmed about Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s threats to cancel pure fuel shipments to Europe, because the continent stares down an vitality disaster forward of winter, The Washington Post’s Jeff Stein experiences.

After Western nations moved to place a cap on Russian oil costs to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine, Putin stated final week that he would retaliate by chopping off oil and fuel shipments.

Some White House officers assume that Putin’s risk is a minimum of partly a bluff, since Russia wants income from its vitality exports to fund the warfare in Ukraine. But aides to President Biden have in latest days renewed their efforts to spice up exports of liquefied pure fuel to Europe, aiming to see whether or not American producers can assist fill the hole, in keeping with two White House officers, who spoke on the situation of anonymity as a result of they weren’t licensed to talk on the document.

GOP drops fuel worth rhetoric from marketing campaign adverts as inflation fears fade

For months, Republicans have targeted their marketing campaign adverts on rising costs on the fuel pump, looking for to weaponize the problem forward of November’s midterm elections. But GOP officers have dropped that rhetoric as inflation considerations fade, with fuel costs down by greater than $1 a gallon since their June peak, in keeping with the U.S. Energy Information Administration, The Post’s Michael Scherer, Josh Dawsey, Isaac Arnsdorf and Jeff Stein report.

Only about 1 p.c of adverts talked about “gas prices” in early September, in keeping with information from the monitoring agency AdImpact, in comparison with 1 in about each 6 adverts that talked about these phrases in July. 

Instead, “crime” has change into a central message of Republicans, with the phrase being utilized in 29 p.c of adverts, up from about 12 p.c in July.

Air conditioning has a local weather drawback. New know-how might assist.

Climate change has created a vexing paradox: Rising international temperatures are prompting extra individuals to make use of air-conditioning items, which in flip speed up international warming. The excellent news is that researchers and start-ups are racing to create cutting-edge AC items which are higher for the planet, The Post’s Shannon Osaka experiences.

According to the International Energy Agency, the variety of AC items in buildings throughout the globe might attain 5.6 billion by 2050, an enormous bounce from the roughly 2 billion items as we speak. Current AC items suck tons of electrical energy from the grid, and their chemical refrigerants can speed up international warming.

But corporations say that the subsequent technology of AC items will emit fewer greenhouse gases and use much less vitality to function, serving to prospects lower your expenses on their utility payments. Some newer AC items use totally different refrigerants which have much less planet-warming potential, whereas others use “variable speed compressors,” which permit the items to run on totally different speeds, relying on the temperature exterior.

Still, a few of the new designs could take years to hit the market, in keeping with Ankit Kalanki, a supervisor at Third Derivative, a local weather tech accelerator co-founded by the vitality assume tank RMI. In the meantime, Kalanki beneficial three components when shopping for a brand new AC unit: the kind of refrigerant used, the effectivity ranking, and whether or not the unit has a variable velocity compressor.

The House is again in session this week. Here’s what we have got on faucet:

On Wednesday: The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will maintain a listening to on the alleged function of public relations corporations in serving to the oil and fuel trade unfold local weather disinformation and delay legislative options to international warming. The corporations Singer Associates, Story Partners and Pac/West Communications have been invited to testify however declined to attend, in keeping with the committee.

  • The House Agriculture Committee will meet to debate soil well being practices and packages that assist regenerative agriculture, which helps sequester carbon.
  • The House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties will maintain a listening to titled “The Legal Assault on Environmental Activists and the First Amendment.”
  • The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will meet to contemplate the nomination of Shailen Bhatt to be administrator of the Transportation Department’s Federal Highway Administration.

On Thursday: The House Oversight and Reform Committee will maintain a listening to on Big Oil’s contributions to local weather change, specializing in the trade’s excessive costs, document income, and commitments to cut back air pollution and deal with international warming.

  • The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will maintain a listening to on the federal authorities’s function in supporting the commercialization of fusion vitality, an environmentally pleasant energy supply.
  • The House Natural Resources Committee will mark up 4 resolutions directing Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to share sure paperwork with lawmakers, together with paperwork associated to the Interior Department‘s new five-year plan for offshore oil and fuel leasing. The resolutions have been all launched by Republicans.

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