Climate 411

Pinterest sets the bar in the fight against climate disinformation

This post was co-authored by Michael Khoo of Friends of the Earth

Climate disinformation on digital platforms is a serious threat to the public support needed to solve the climate crisis. It has been so effective at delaying climate action, it was called out for the first time by the UN’s climate report and highlighted by President Obama. But we aren’t doing nearly enough to stop it.

We see a small number of outlets creating the vast majority of climate disinformation, amplified by the platform algorithms that force conspiratorial lies onto mainstream audiences. We have seen major events like the fossil fuel infrastructure failure in Texas’ 2021 winter storm be twisted into false attacks on renewable energy. As Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen showed in her release of 10,000 documents, companies like Facebook know these problems exist, and are doing precious little to stop it.

That’s why we’re excited that this month both Pinterest and Twitter (newly at the helm of Elon Musk) unveiled strong new climate misinformation policies. EDF and FOE, co-chairs of the Climate Disinformation Coalition, worked with both companies over the last year to help develop these policies. Pinterest’s policy has a strong definition of climate disinformation and sets the gold standard in the industry. Twitter’s policy addresses the very real problem of the monetization of climate disinformation through advertising. Both are living proof that all social media companies can and should do much more to stop the spread of climate change disinformation.

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Also posted in News / Read 1 Response

Snowstorm of Misinformation: A Consumer’s Guide to Shoveling Out of EV Falsehoods


My Tesla Model Y charging at a public charging station the morning after the recent snowstorm in Virginia.

EV misinformation has reared its head again, but this time it seems to be stuck spinning its wheels in the snow. You may have seen a recent Washington Post editorial that expressed some concern about electric vehicle (EV) performance in cold conditions and falsely claimed that vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICE) are better. Prompted by a false anti-EV meme that’s been circulating on the internet (about a worried Tesla driver stuck in Virginia’s recent 48-mile snowy traffic jam), the editorial is sadly based on the author’s longtime bias against EVs–rather than on EV facts or science.

Don’t be fooled by skepticism towards unfamiliar tech. Electric vehicles not only keep pace with gas-guzzling cars in the snow–in some ways, they’re even better.

So, here are some key points for consumers to consider when you’re knee-deep in this type of EV misinformation this winter season (from a car guy who grew up dealing with snowy winters in New England, but now lives in Virginia, and drives an EV… even in the snow):

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Also posted in Cars and Pollution, News, Policy, Science / Comments are closed

Eleven facts about clean vehicles to counter gas guzzling lobbyists

The average American household spends about $175 a month on gasoline. That means billions of dollars to oil companies, refiners, and others — and a huge incentive for them to block policies that move America to clean, zero-emissions electric vehicles.

We’re already seeing a coordinated push to stop our leaders from boosting American clean cars, trucks and buses — even though these policies will create jobs and a more just and equitable economy, clean the air, and are popular with the public.

EDF experts have assembled these facts to counter the lobbyists who want to make sure Americans keep paying at the pump.

1. Moving to clean electric vehicles will help America win the race for good jobs today and tomorrow. 

The question isn’t electric vehicles versus gas-powered vehicles — the global industry is already moving to EVs, and spending at least $257 billion this decade to make the switch. The issue is whether American workers will get these jobs. We can build these vehicles in places like Hamtramck, MI and Spartanburg, SC or have them shipped to us from Hamburg and Shanghai. Switching to zero-emissions electric trucks, buses, and cars will create jobs today and help us compete with Europe and China in this rapidly expanding market. Read More »

Also posted in Cars and Pollution, Energy, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, News, Policy / Comments are closed

Public records confirm EPA’s “censored science” proposal was an end-run around Congress

Earth as seen from a NOAA weather satellite. Photo: NASA

The Trump administration is reportedly expanding its dangerous plan — originally proposed by former Administrator Scott Pruitt — to limit the scientific evidence that the agency can consider when establishing public health protections.

According to a story in the New York Times today, the new proposal will be even more damaging than Pruitt’s version – which was flatly illegal and would have left Americans more exposed to dangerous contaminants in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the products we use.

The original proposal was based on failed congressional legislation whose sponsor “pitch[ed]” the idea to former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. But newly released public documents show that the origins of the “censored science” proposal are more cynical than we knew.

EDF sued to obtain the public records after EPA violated the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by not releasing them, with Earthjustice representing us in the litigation.

The new public records reveal just how explicitly Trump’s EPA is attempting to defy Congress by implementing its “censored science” policy through administrative rulemaking. It turns out that – from the beginning – EPA’s overt goal was to implement the same damaging ideas that the Senate refused to pass. Read More »

Also posted in Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Health, News, Policy, Pruitt, Science / Comments are closed

Bad news and good news on cutting climate pollution

Climate change is an urgent threat and we must overcome significant hurdles to address it — beginning with the reckless polices of the Trump administration.

Some countries are on track to meet their commitments under the Paris agreement, some are falling behind, and many will not start in earnest until compliance rules are agreed to at the UN climate conference in Poland.

The climate action story so far is a mix of positive and negative trends. As has been well-covered in the media, the US is trying to pull out of the Paris Agreement and global emissions rose in 2018. Those hard facts cannot be dismissed. But there are also larger market and technology trends which, combined with the actions of responsible governments, are creating some positive indications, too. Which side wins out will depend on the action of political leaders, investors, engineers, voters, and activists.

The positive examples below are not simply individual bits of good news, but signs of a world economy in the midst of transition: Read More »

Also posted in Clean Air Act, Economics, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, News, Paris Agreement / Comments are closed

Seis aportes del nuevo informe sobre el clima

Co-escrito por Ilissa Ocko.

Los efectos tangibles del cambio climático provocado por el hombre son cada vez más visibles. Un estudio reciente, encontró por ejemplo, que la temporada de huracanes 2017 fue más intensa como resultado de nuestro clima cambiante. Limitar los niveles de calentamiento global es esencial para frenar los impactos futuros del cambio climático, pero ¿en qué medida un calentamiento adicional de 0,5 ° C cambia nuestro mundo

El informe especial emitido anoche por el Panel Intergubernamental sobre el Cambio Climático (IPCC), considera los impactos del calentamiento global de 1.5 ° C por encima de los niveles preindustriales, en contraste con los 2 ° C, y cómo puede alcanzarse este objetivo de calentamiento inferior. El informe fue escrito por cientos de científicos provenientes de 40 países diferentes y basado en investigaciones de miles de estudios científicos

Aquí hay 6 puntos clave del nuevo informe del IPCC:

  1. Cuando se trata de calentamiento, 1.5 ° C es mucho más seguro que 2 ° C … pero aún más riesgoso que el presente.

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Also posted in Basic Science of Global Warming, Science / Comments are closed