When over 40 Cambridge students and academics occupied the elite U.K. university’s BP Institute earlier this year, they were escalating one of the newest, fastest-growing campaigns focused on dissociating higher education institutions from fossil fuels. For just over an hour, activists from the grassroots initiative Fossil Free Research held a sit-in inside the building named after one of Europe’s largest oil producers, while making speeches and staging a street theater production that called attention to links between BP and the school. “We’re drawing attention to how the fossil fuel industry continues to infiltrate prestigious academic institutions, mooch off their credibility, and even exert influence over the production of knowledge crucial to shaping climate policy,” said Ilana Cohen, a lead organizer for the international Fossil Free Research campaign, who is currently a senior at Harvard.
Hundreds of Just Stop Oil supporters marched through central London today, disrupting traffic and are currently occupying Waterloo Bridge to demand the government end the cost of living and climate crisis by stopping new oil and gas.   250 people in three separate marches departed from Euston, Paddington and Waterloo at around midday. There was a mass stop and search at Paddington resulting in two arrests as police tried to prevent Just Stop Oil supporters from marching in the road. Oxford Street, Ludgate Hill and Southampton Row were disrupted, before the groups met at Covent Garden and then went on to block Waterloo Bridge by sitting in the road. Multiple arrests are expected to follow.
Climate campaigners and people on the frontlines of the planetary emergency celebrated Tuesday after Sen. Joe Manchin requested that his fossil fuel-friendly permitting reforms be stripped out of a stopgap funding bill. "People power has won the day," said Protect Our Water Heritage Rights Coalition (POWHR) organizer Grace Tuttle. "Thank you to everyone who rallied together to stop this bill. We will keep fighting alongside you. Our letters, calls, rallies, and grassroots activism secured this victory." "We recognize that the fight is not over, and we stand with all frontline communities from the Gulf Coast to Alaska facing fossil-fueled injustices," Tuttle vowed. "Our movement to stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline is bigger and stronger than ever. We will keep fighting to end the era of fossil fuels and for the future we deserve."
The world’s governments subsidize the fossil fuel industry with a mind-blowing amount of money. Lee Camp reports on an IMF study from 2021 that found that Big Oil receives $11 million per minute in subsidies. In other words, we’re all paying for ExxonMobil, Shell, British Petroleum, and their peers to continue doing business by polluting the land, water and atmosphere. The public deserves to know that their governments are paying for corporations to risk the future of humanity.
It seems the mainstream narrative is that the IRA (Inflation Reduction Act) is a big step toward addressing the climate crisis while the side deal is a step backwards, but we may not be able to stop it. I disagree; from my perspective, the giveaways to the fossil fuel and nuclear industries in the IRA make it most likely a net negative for the environment. Renewable energy has been outcompeting fossil fuels in most places; they are much cheaper than nuclear power everywhere. Won’t giving subsidies to all three help the previously losing industries most? In any case, subsidies for buying outsize electric vehicles, and for expanding renewable energy will not reduce emissions. These projects will require mining, usually connected to environmental injustice, and much burning of fossil fuel to power the construction, transportation and installation, so in the short run they will increase emissions.
New data published today shows that producing and combusting the world’s reserves would yield over 3.5 trillion tons of greenhouse gas emissions, over seven times the remaining carbon budget for 1.5C and more than all emissions produced since the industrial revolution. The finding comes from the Global Registry of Fossil Fuels, launched today by Carbon Tracker and Global Energy Monitor. To date, climate change policy efforts have focussed on reducing demand and consumption of oil, gas and coal, but ignored the supply of those fuels. The Paris Agreement, for example, does not even mention fossil fuels, despite the fact that such fuels account for over 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
After more than two years of pressure from student climate activists at the University of Washington, the University’s Board of Regents passed a resolution to divest the school's endowment, worth more than $6B, from the fossil fuel industry. The resolution, released last Friday, would move investments of around $124 million currently funding fossil fuel projects into "climate solutions." This move would add UW to a long list of public and private universities which have committed to removing investments in fossil fuel projects. “Moves like this are necessary to restore our faith in institutions during a crisis which will define the next several generations,” says Brett Anton.
AAttendees at the opening ceremony of Gastech, the world's largest meeting of gas companies, in Milan on Monday were greeted by what Greenpeace campaigners called "climate hell"—a display of "toxic" fumes and the sounds of sirens that the organization said represented "the fate we face if we continue to burn fossil fuels." Greenpeace Italy led the direct action including more than 50 campaigners from across Europe, confronting officials there to promote gas, liquefied natural gas (LNG), and hydrogen as "greener" alternatives to oil and coal. Gastech and other efforts to push natural gas as a more sustainable energy source than other fossil fuels amount to "greenwashing," said the organizers, who also displayed a hot air balloon at the meeting emblazoned with the words: "Gas is Green...washing. End fossil fuels now."
During their American stopover, the crew of the Nomade des Mers went to the rolling plains of Virginia to meet the Living Energy Farm. An intentional community of a dozen people who have achieved an impressive level of energy and food autonomy thanks to low-tech! When we arrived in the United States, the presentation of our project often resulted in a smile accompanied by the following question: “Are you sure you’re in the right country? We have to admit, this is not the first image that comes to mind when talking about the “States”. However, even in the country of the triumphant consumerism, some people have chosen a sober and happy life.
Texas is known for fiercely promoting its oil and gas industries, but it’s also the No. 2 renewable energy producer in the U.S. after California. In fact, more than a quarter of all the wind power produced in the United States in 2021 was generated in Texas. These projects benefit from a lucrative state tax incentive program called Chapter 313. That incentive program expires on Dec. 31, 2022, and the rush of applications for wind and solar energy projects to secure incentives before the deadline is providing a rare window into a notoriously opaque industry. By reviewing the applications and ownership documents, we were able to track who actually builds and owns a large portion of the nation’s renewable energy, when and how those assets change hands, and who ultimately benefits from the tax incentives.
In 2022, I was an active anarchist in the two week occupation of McGill University. In the months prior to the occupation, I was part of the meetings that discussed the idea of pitching up tents in the Arts building. Back then, we were just 6 people at a picnic table. I witnessed the successes and failures of the occupation (and of its offshoots at Concordia and UdeM) but until now have not written anything on the subject. Earlier this month, an international call to action was launched: “End Fossil – Occupy.“ In a *Guardian* opinion piece, students are urged to “occupy our campuses to demand the end of the fossil economy.” This call seems to follow the example set by McGill, which has received somewhat broad attention.
As heatwaves, droughts and wild fires ravage the planet, pressure is building on the White House and Congress to take substantive action to address the climate crisis. More than a thousand organizations in the United States have come together as the People vs Fossil Fuels coalition with the demand that President Biden declare a climate emergency and use his executive powers to stop fossil fuel extraction and new infrastructure. Their actions have succeeded in reopening climate provisions in Congress' Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which is expected to pass this week, but the bill contains poison pills that offset the beneficial sections. Jean Su, an attorney and director of the Energy Justice Program with the Center for Biological Diversity joined Clearing the FOG to explain what the President could do, the problems with IRA and what we can do to protect our chances for a livable future.
A dramatic video hidden for 6 months by the Navy of the 34 hours showing 20,000 gallons of jet fuel spraying into a Red Hill tunnel and disappearing into a floor drain that sent thousands of gallons into the water supply of 93,000 residents surfaced on July 5 after an undisclosed Navy employee made public a video that the Navy continued to maintain did not exist. What little good will for the Navy that was left in the civilian and military community of Honolulu has disappeared as the Navy continues to lie about the Red Hill jet fuel contamination of the drinking water of 93,000.
Talk to fossil fuel execs, government ministers, and industry reps these days and they’ll all tell a similar story: Blue hydrogen is the clean fuel of the future that will help Canada and the world get to net-zero emissions. It’ll power everything from airplanes to long-haul trucks and will even heat our homes. Canadian media has called blue hydrogen, which is produced from natural gas and has its emissions captured, “a key part” of the nation’s emissions-reduction strategy and “fairly clean” — a claim that echoes an infographic from ATCO, a major Canadian energy company, that said blue hydrogen produces “nearly zero emissions.”
New large-scale fossil fuel projects have become mostly unworkable in the Pacific Northwest, with dozens canceled over the past decade due to fierce opposition from local communities. But the industry’s blitz is not yet over. Instead, rather than building new pipelines, it is seeking to expand existing infrastructure in a way that will provoke less pushback. Since 2012, an estimated 55 coal, oil, and natural gas projects have been proposed for the Pacific Northwest — encompassing Oregon and Washington, as well as British Columbia. But more than 70 percent of them have been defeated, according to a recent study from the Seattle-based Sightline Institute. “The fossil fuel industry really was trying to turn the Pacific Northwest into a coal, oil, and gas export hub,” Emily Moore, a senior researcher at Sightline Institute, told DeSmog.