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$7 Trillion Went To Fossil Fuel Subsidies in 2022

Updated: Nov 17, 2023


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Unlocking The Secrets of the Octopus's Garden While Mourning Loss Of Thousands Of Emperor Penguin Chicks: Five years ago, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary researchers sent a camera two miles deep off the central California cost, and made a surprising discovery, NOAA marine biologist Andrew DeVogelaere told CBS: "thousands of pearly-colored octopus, all upside down, with their legs up in the air and moving around." Dubbed the "Octopus's Garden," in the years since researchers have sought to understand the behavior, and in a new study, DeVogelaere and co-authors explain why. "They were pushing away potential predators and turning over their eggs" to keep the water flow and oxygen levels consistent, as well as dramatically speed up the eggs' development. The Octopus's Garden is on top of a volcanic vent, warming the surrounding water and as a result, the eggs hatch in just 21 months, as opposed to the four years it takes for other deep-sea octopus eggs to mature. Sadly, warmth in the ocean is hurting, not helping, other marine life, as record melt of sea ice in Antarctica last year appears to have resulted in the complete loss of a generation of Emperor penguin chicks at multiple breeding grounds. Thousands of chicks who had not yet grown their insulating layer of feathers almost certainly died in the frigid waters when the sea ice beneath them broke up earlier than usual, a devastating event that portends a harrowing future for the iconic species beloved for their starring role in the children's film "Happy Feet." Half a world north, an effort is underway to protect the ocean waters and marine life around Baja, California from industrial fishing and unregulated tourism. “I’m supporting this with all I have because humanity needs it,” Cristina Mittermeier, a photographer, activist and marine biologist, told TIME. “Without stories, the ocean dies in silence.” (Penguins: AP, LA Times $, BBC, Science,, The Guardian, New York Times $,USA Today, Daily Beast, Inside Climate News; Octopus's Garden: CBS; Baja: TIME)

Public Pays $13 Mil A Minute In Fossil Fuel Subsidies Despite Climate Damages Costing Twice Utility Company Profits: A new study published in Science yesterday calculated that if nearly 15,000 public companies had to pay for the carbon pollution they emit, it would reduce their profits by 44%. For utility companies, damages from pollution are twice their profits, and the authors told the AP the damages, though not calculated in the study itself, would run into the hundreds of billions for US companies, and into the trillions globally. Nevertheless, governments continue to subsidize fossil fuels, with the International Monetary Fund releasing an analysis tallying up $7 trillion in subsidies for the industry in 2022, meaning that even as unprecedented heat waves and simultaneous extreme weather events blow holes in household and public budgets alike, the industry responsible is receiving $13 million from the public every minute. (Subsidies: Bloomberg $, The Guardian, FT $ Damages: AP, Bloomberg $)

Can Tiny Forests Deliver Outsized Climate Benefits? Let's Hope! Good things may come in small packages, but is the same true for forests and climate? A new Tiny Forest craze is spreading, following what's become known as the Miyawaki Method (after its creator Dr. Akira Miyawaki) of densely planting three to five species per square meter, and layering low, medium, and tall plant species to create a miniature forest bursting with life. Neglected spaces like highway shoulders and junkyards can be planted and cultivated into tiny forests, delivering local benefits to people like lower temperatures and cleaner air, and habitat for animals that can take refuge in the miniature ecosystem. And crucially for the climate, these tiny forests mature ten times faster, reaching in just a couple decades the state of carbon-absorbing maturity that a normal forest needs a century to achieve. All that said, tiny forests are no replacement for the real thing, as they require consistent upkeep from locals and expect a significant mortality rate over the long term as the forest matures. “A Miyawaki forest may be like a drop of rain falling into the ocean,” Dr. Kazue Fujiwara told the New York Times, “but if Miyawaki forests regenerated urban deserts and degraded areas around the world it will create a river. Doing nothing is the most pointless thing.” (New York Times $)

Climate News

(ENVIRONMENTAL) INJUSTICES: Maui fires renew centuries-old tensions over water rights. The streams are sacred to Hawaiians (AP), Asylum seekers in Greece ‘facing two great injustices of our time’ (The Guardian), Tropical storm Hilary and Maui fires show climate change is worsening homelessness (TIME)

GOP DEBATE: Presidential debate shows how GOP candidates are struggling to address concerns about climate change (AP), Republican activist says party ‘deserves to lose’ if it fails to address climate crisis (The Guardian), GOP debate: Is climate change real? Only one candidate raised their hand. (LA Times $), GOP stance on climate change in first Republican debate was a ‘disaster for the party’s brand’ (MSNBC), Sorry, Ramaswamy. The EPA administrator just shut down your whole climate change is a hoax thing (The Root), GOP candidates refuse to say climate change is caused by humans; Vivek Ramaswamy calls it a “hoax” (Democracy Now), Republican candidates spark outrage with sweeping climate crisis denial at debate (The Independent), ‘He’s an insider’: Ramaswamy’s deep ties to rightwing kingpins revealed (The Guardian), Climate change is still a huge electoral problem for Republicans (Slate), Climate change made it in the GOP debate. Some young Republicans say that's a win (NPR)

UPSETTING OFFSETTING: Carbon credit speculators could lose billions as offsets deemed ‘worthless’ (The Guardian), Carbon offsets to reduce deforestation are significantly overestimating their impact, a new study finds (Inside Climate News), A leading corporate strategy for battling climate change is ‘hot air,’ study finds The Hill), ‘Worthless’ forest carbon offsets risk exacerbating climate change (The Conversation, Julia P G Jones, Neal Hockley op-ed)

FOSSIL FUELED ENERGY CRISIS: How Moldova's climate plans are entangled with separatists, Russian troops (E&E $)

9:37 TO THE PETROCHEMICAL DYSTOPIA: Petroleum asphalt remains in Yellowstone River, even after cleanup from train derailment (AP)

CLIMATE LITIGATION: Montana climate case could launch ripple effect in Mass., other states, advocates say (Boston Globe $), Win for Montana youth fuels another climate battle in Hawaii (E&E $), These veteran female activists are fighting a pivotal climate case with science (Nature), Environmental group suffers setback in legal fight to close California’s last nuclear power plant (AP), Campaigners threaten EU with legal action over climate policy (Reuters)

CLIMATE DIPLOMACY: Countries launch fund to protect nature, U.N. calls for more money (Reuters), World must stop new unabated coal-fired power - U.S. climate envoy Kerry (Reuters), EU interest in UK wanes as commissioner goes green (FT $), EU’s new Green Deal chief to reach out to industry and voters (FT $), China, Australia raise climate change, security at Pacific leaders summit (Reuters), Special envoy Kerry says 1.5C target still ‘doable’ but will be ‘very difficult’ (The Independent)

(DEBUNKING) DENIAL: 'Delay and denial': Kerry attacks opponents of climate science (E&E $), More deaths from climate policies than climate change? Scientists say Ramaswamy’s claim is baseless (PolitiFact), Carbon dioxide helps plants grow. That doesn’t mean more of it is good for the planet (AP), Post about climate change being a land grab is parody (USA Today), Vivek Ramaswamy says ‘hoax’ agenda kills more people than climate change (Washington Post $)

GOP vs. ESG: Republican anti-ESG push complicates faith-based impact investing (National Catholic Reporter)

INFLATION REDUCTION ACT: Neighbors don’t want to be ‘test dummies’ for Biden’s carbon removal hubs (Bloomberg $), Republicans take aim at the ‘next Solyndra.’ Will voters care? (E&E $)

SEASONS TURN: Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte turns 20, whether you like it or not (AP), Extreme weather’s latest victim: the annual fun of fall foliage (Washington Post $), How climate change will hit holidaymaking (Economist), Where will the tourists go? Europe’s winning and losing destinations due to the climate crisis (El Pais)

NEAT: A first look from NASA's new air pollution satellite (

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