The Climate Minute

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A recent report from Brown University’s Climate and Development Lab studied the legislative lobbying process on Beacon Hill in Boston. The passage of the Next Generation Climate Roadmap bill is a success, but the opposition will still work to slow the additional legislation MA needs.  The researchers provide key findings that are important for every climate activist to know.  
A new methane-gas-powered electricity generating plant in Peabody is neither needed nor consistent with Massachusetts’ legal requirement to reduce carbon pollution and provide environmental justice. We have an opportunity for Municipal Light Plants to lead the way to a clean grid, using renewable ‘peaker plant’ techniques.  Listen in as we discuss the background of the #PeabodyPeaker and how you can help stop the construction of this mistake.
Who has the most influence on the creation of climate legislation in MA? Competing interests vie for leverage through the lobbying process. Researchers at Brown University analyzed hard data on who does the lobbying and how it is done on Beacon Hill. The Next Generation Climate Roadmap bill is now law, but there is a lot more climate legislation in the pipeline. It is important for climate activists to know 'who you are up against' and how to beat them. 
Years ago, activists demanded that the state of MA install an air quality monitor system in Weymouth. Thanks to their persistence, it has finally happened. Listen in to hear details from one of those activists.
Building codes matter for climate work. The future of buildings lies in complete electrification of things now done with gas, like home heating and cooking. “Good insulation” is not enough. Recently special interests like the natural (methane) gas industry have tried to prevent improved building codes that deal with electrification. Listen in for details and say farewell to an MCAN veteran. 
Arcane questions about past decisions hides the reality of a deeper uncertainty at FERC concerning the wisdom of building the Weymouth Compressor. We talk to an expert about what is really happening between FERC, Enbridge and the stalwart activists in the Fore River Basis.
Massachusetts is close to a landmark climate bill. We talk to two experts about how the provisions of the new bill align with the MCAN vision.
Covid and Climate represent challenges that “nations” fail to meet. Nations focus on ‘globalization’ of human issues like trade, travel and information while ignoring the physical limits of the planet. We discuss new ways to think about how humanity should organize itself- with the goal of preserving itself! 
The Next Generation Roadmap bill advanced in the Massachusetts Senate, and continues to inch forward. If it becomes law, it will serve as a context and reference point to assess other bills and policies. For example, are MBTA service cuts consistent with reducing emissions by 50%?  What shall we do to retrofit the 80% of existing buildings that will still be standing in 2050?  The roadmap bill is not an end, but a beginning.
Massachusetts’ proposed “100% Clean Act” deals with both clean electricity (from wind and solar) and other forms of clean energy in transportation and buildings.  In this episode we talk to an expert about the pragmatic path to 100% clean energy in these sectors.
Massachusetts’ proposed “100% Clean Act” would eliminate carbon emissions from electricity generation, transportation and buildings.  In this episode we talk to an expert about the pragmatic path to 100% clean electricity by 2035.
The MCAN Newsletter keeps you up to date on climate issues and activities.  Check it out.
Disaster struck in Texas in February. A combination of man-made, climate-related weather extremes and man-made planning mistakes and malfeasance led to millions freezing in the dark without water. The debacle in the Lone Star state can be viewed from many perspectives and provides lessons to us all. We try to get our arms around a few of these.
The new Green Future Act proposal in the MA Legislature provides the funding for climate initiatives. What are those new initiatives? What are the benefits? We talk with an expert about how the money will be spent and what that spending will do.
Massachusetts is moving ahead with plans to build reduce carbon emissions. We talk to an expert about how to pay for this good work.  A newly introduced bill called the Green Future Act would unlock billions, and fund the real changes we need. 
Pollution from fossil fuel kills one in five globally. Does the scope of such an effect portend changes in how we govern ourselves? Are we in a dangerous place? Perhaps we are, based on how our systems must change over the next century and how the earth was different the last time CO2 was this high. 
Increasing theft of catalytic convertors highlights the value of rare materials in the production of renewable energy technologies. Getting enough of the 'right stuff' is a challenge for a just transition. Would a repairability index for hi-tech devices reduce demand and help solve the problem?
The Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station (FRRACS) has dedicated years to opposing the construction of a fracked gas compressor station in Weymouth. We check in with a veteran activist about the state-of-play in this long running controversy. There is a deadline with FERC coming up, so listen in and learn how you can take action.
"An Act creating a next-generation roadmap for Massachusetts climate policy" was vetoed by Governor Baker albeit with suggested amendments. The good news is that the bill still has a path to becoming law. We review the stakes and discuss the give and take of lawmaking. Activists pushing for progress can make all the difference.
GM plans to sell only electric vehicles by 2035. That is a big deal all by itself, but what does it mean for the grid? And are we building a world that will have eight lanes of the Mass Pike congested with electric vehicles? 
One issue in the ongoing transition to a clean energy economy will be balancing speed and justice. A possible example of this balancing act could be in the rapid construction of green infrastructure-for example ‘bullet trains’ or solar farms- on Federal "rights-of-way" on the interstate highway system. This sounds like a no-brainer because it avoids many of the usual siting issues associated with NIMBY-ism. Unfortunately, the simplicity vanishes when we consider the historical injustice of the placement of those highways back in the 1950's and '60s. We should not compound that injustice by imposing new burdens on those communities. How to resolve this conundrum? It is good to give early consideration to this future question in order to ensure both the justice and speed we need.
The current craze for sea shanties brings us the myth that  ‘oil killed whaling.’ The truth is more complex and illuminates big oil’s plans to “get into plastics.” 
President Biden made January 27, 2021 a defining moment for climate action. He signed Executive Orders that signify an enormous shift into the right direction for America. We begin to unpack some of the many aspects of the announcement.
Governor Baker vetoed a good climate bill. His four page explanation doesn’t measure up. We discuss his talking points and how the Legislature will proceed to get the bill passed.
The Inauguration of President Biden has many implications for Americans of all perspectives, but especially for climate activists. Listen in as we discuss the sights, sounds and actions taken on this historic new beginning.
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Podcast Details

Created by
The Massachusetts Climate Action Network
Podcast Status
Feb 17th, 2017
Latest Episode
Apr 14th, 2021
Release Period
2 per week
Avg. Episode Length
21 minutes

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