Climate Class 2 Outline

  1. Class 2 – Monday, February 28, 2022


– Overview of the Effort to Respond to Climate Change; How Bad will Climate Change Get
– Overview of climate movement at the state, national and international level
– Executive Orders (, Build Back Better, COP26
– Advocacy Planning


Readings: Fight the Fire Chapter 2, The Science, 19-25; Emissions 35 -45; Wind and Solar Power – 53 – 60 – read home page – then 6 pages of


Letter to Biden, People vs. Fossil Fuels – Pressure on Biden Builds: Members of Congress & Build Back Fossil Free Coalition Push for Action on Fossil Fuels Ahead of COP26 | Indigenous Environmental Network (

It takes Roots statement (COP26) –

3:40 explain first half of the class will be assigned readings, topics – second half more advocacy training
3:45 Russia – war for oil / gas – talking points
3:55 Status of climate fight – IPCC report cut emissions, not just renewables, where emissions come from –
4;10 – responses

4:20 Overview of climate movement –– Break Free From Fossil Fuels / Climate President – COP 26 – science warning (will do more later)

4:35 Break

4:40 advocacy form

4:50 review groups to look at – campaigns I am working on

5:05 review work assignments
5:30 adjourn

5 to 10 minutes – Discuss Russia – war for oil / gas

The strategy to split from Russian energy — in the works before the invasion of Ukraine and expected to be announced by the European Commission next week — would give Europe a freer political hand against Russia than it has had in the past. About 40 percent of the European Union’s natural gas currently comes from Russia.  It would take years and come with a hefty bill for European taxpayers. And it comes with the crucial backing of Germany, a nation so entangled with Russia that one of its former chancellors, Gerhard Schröder, is the chairman of Rosneft, Russia’s biggest oil company.

Europe’s attachment to Russian gas remains a significant liability, playing a role in the apparently joint U.S.-E.U. decision Thursday to hold off from excluding Russia from a global banking network known as SWIFT. The move could have dealt a major blow to Russia’s financial system, but it would have also raised the risk of a total Russian cutoff of energy to Europe. For now, policymakers aren’t willing to take that step.

Following Vladimir Putin’s decision to deploy troops into parts of Ukraine, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced the country will be putting the operating licence for Nord Stream 2 on ice. Nord Stream 2 is a recently-completed undersea pipeline which was set to deliver a regular supply of natural gas from Russia to Germany. Bypassing Ukraine potentially deprives the former Soviet republic of around $1bn in transit fees which Russia currently pays to send gas through its territory. The US, UK and several other European countries has viewed the pipeline as a geopolitical tool which increases Moscow’s leverage over Europe, particularly Germany.

15 minutes – Status of climate fight

The world’s leading climate scientists on Monday warned human-induced climate change is causing dangerous and widespread disruption in nature, with people and ecosystems least able to cope being the hardest hit. The highly anticipated report from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, approved by 195 member states, makes clear that minor, reactive or incremental changes are no longer sufficient to tackle the climate emergency.

It says the world faces unavoidable climate hazards in the next two decades with global heating of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels — the warming level ascribed as the aspirational target in the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement. Even temporarily exceeding this critical threshold, the report says, would result in additional severe impacts and the authors warn there are large gaps between ongoing efforts to adapt and the action required to address the growing risks.

In 2019, storms, floods and other extreme weather events displaced more than 13 million people across Asia and Africa. Rising heat and drought are killing crops and trees, putting millions worldwide at increased risk of hunger and malnutrition, while mosquitoes carrying diseases like malaria and dengue are spreading into new areas. Roughly half the world’s population currently faces severe water scarcity at least part of the year.

Preparing for future threats, like dwindling freshwater supplies or irreversible ecosystem damage, will require “transformational” changes that involve rethinking how people build homes, grow food, produce energy and protect nature.

“One of the most striking conclusions in our report is that we’re seeing adverse impacts that are much more widespread and much more negative than expected,”

A first instalment, by the IPCC’s working group 1, published last August, on the physical science of climate change, said the climate crisis was “unequivocally” caused by human actions, resulting in changes that were “unprecedented”, with some becoming “irreversible”.

This second part, by working group 2, deals with the impacts of climate breakdown, sets out areas where the world is most vulnerable, and details how we can try to adapt and protect against some of the impacts. A third section, due in April, will cover ways to cut greenhouse gas emissions, and the final part, in October, will summarise these lessons for governments meeting in Egypt for the UN Cop27 climate summit.

 We need to cut emissions, it is not enough to build renewables

– letter from academics about how bad it is going to get

– problems in the US – power of fossil fuel companies

There are four greenhouse gases warming the Earth – carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, nitrous oxide and F-gases

What is impeding the action on climate change?

– political power and wealth of the fossil fuel industry
– nimby

– technological challenges


Hanson: It’s not rocket science. As long as fossil fuels are cheap, they will be burned and emissions will be high. Fossil fuel use will decline only if the price is made to include costs of pollution and climate change to society. The simplest and most effective way to do this is by collecting a rising carbon fee from fossil fuel companies at domestic mines and ports of entry.


Global emissions in 2018 in billion tons of CO2e 15


Burning Fossil Fuels 40 billion tons

Manufacturing electricity 15

Transport 10

Heating industrial materials 5

Natural gas leaks 4

Industrial byproducts 3


Heating buildings 3


Agriculture 7 billion tons

Cattle and sheep 3

Fertilizers 3

Rice 1

Other 8 billion tons

Deforestation 5

Landfills and Sewage 1.5

F-gases 1.5

TOTAL 55 billion ton


Will we exceed a temperature rise of 1.5 Celsius?

290 billion more tons possibly (33%)

450 billion more tons 50-50

710 billion more tons Probably (67%)


Remember, at the moment global emissions of CO2 and other long-lasting gases are 45.5 billion tons a year. At that rate, maybe we will exceed 1.5 Celsius in five years. There is a 50-50 chance we will exceed 1.5 in ten years. Probably we will exceed it in fifteen years.

Top 10 CO2-emitting countries in the world (Total CO2 in Mt) – EU JRC 2020

  1. China — 11680.42
  2. United States — 4535.30
  3. India — 2411.73
  4. Russia — 1674.23
  5. Japan — 1061.77
  6. Iran — 690.24
  7. Germany — 636.88
  8. South Korea — 621.47
  9. Saudi Arabia — 588.81
  10. Indonesia — 568.27

Top 15 Countries with the Highest CO2 Emissions per Capita (t) – EU JRC 2020

  1. Palau — 55.29
  2. Qatar — 35.64
  3. Trinidad and Tobago — 21.97
  4. Bahrain — 21.60
  5. Kuwait — 20.91
  6. United Arab Emirates — 20.70
  7. Brunei Darussalam — 17.95
  8. Saudi Arabia — 16.96
  9. Oman — 16.9
  10. Australia — 15.22
  11. Canada — 14.43
  12. Kazakhstan — 14.22
  13. United States — 13.68
  14. Turkmenistan — 13.37
  15. Luxembourg — 13.24

Here are the places with the highest shares of primary energy from renewable sources as of 2019, along with the change in this amount in percentage points since 1965.

  1. Iceland: 79.08% (+55.25)
  2. Norway: 66.18% (-0.32)     – hydro
  3. Brazil: 45.02% (+18.70)       – biofuels and waste
  4. Sweden: 42.24% (+8.7)
  5. New Zealand: 35.40% (-2.48)
  6. Austria: 33.70% (+9.76)
  7. Switzerland: 30.64% (-6.93)
  8. Ecuador: 30.39% (+22.36)
  9. Denmark: 30.16% (+30.12)
  10. Canada: 27.64% (+3.66)
  11. Peru: 27.33% (+14.31)
  12. Finland: 26.15% (+3.30)
  13. Venezuela: 25.39% (+23.40)
  14. Colombia: 24.99% (+13.83)
  15. Portugal: 24.45% (+0.76)
  16. Chile: 22.85% (+7.66)
  17. Croatia: 21.54% (+10.94)
  18. Turkey: 18.47% (+11.52)
  19. Latvia: 18.18% (+10.36)
  20. Germany: 17.48% (+15.97)
  21. Spain: 16.97% (+0.59)
  22. Europe: 16.49% (+9.63)



42  United States: 8.71% (+4.66)

43 Australia: 8.57% (+3.09)

44  Slovakia: 8.34% (+2.54)

45  Africa: 7.99% (+2.46)

46India: 7.78% (-0.86)

Wind turbines and solar arrays are two of the key building blocks of 100% renewables – because they are cheap. The third is building new grids (reliability,)

100% renewable electricity systems also require some form of storage for electricity.

Large scale grids also need other forms of renewable energy beyond just wind and solar. These include concentrated solar, wave, tidal and geothermal power. All of these are much more expensive than wind and solar energy. Producing them for sale into the market does not make sense. But the grid will not balance without them. So these forms of power all require large subsidies

There is another way to leave behind the rule of the market in order to make renewables work. We simply pass a law in each country saying that, with a few exceptions, it is illegal to burn fossil fuels to make energy for sale.

There is an important exception to this generalization about scale. Rooftop solar is particularly well suited to running domestic air conditioners.

the majority of renewable energy jobs are in factories.

Scholar Warning Letter – A warning on climate and the risk of societal collapse | Letters | The Guardian

As scientists and scholars from around the world, we call on policymakers to engage with the risk of disruption and even collapse of societies. After five years failing to reduce emissions in line with the Paris climate accord, we must now face the consequences. While bold and fair efforts to cut emissions and naturally drawdown carbon are essential, researchers in many areas consider societal collapse a credible scenario this century.  Different views exist on the location, extent, timing, permanence and cause of disruptions, but the way modern societies exploit people and nature is a common concern.

Only if policymakers begin to discuss this threat of societal collapse might we begin to reduce its likelihood, speed, severity, harm to the most vulnerable – and to nature.

15 – 20 minutes

Overview of climate movement – mainly in the US
– national – old time green groups – Sierra Club, NRDC, Audobon – Greenpeace, Union of Concerned Scientists

– the young people (, Sunshine, Fridays for a Future
– the direct action folks (XR, grassroots pipeline people, Beyond Extreme Energy)
– EJ and indigenous environmental groups (DAPL, line 3), Climate Justice Alliance, Friends of Earth

The concept of climate justice / Environmental Justice


  1. The government of Maldives hold underwater summit on climate change.

GND / Thrive – mainstream

Build Back Fossil Free – Climate President



  1. Declare a national climate emergency under the National Emergencies Act
  1. Keep fossil fuels in the ground
  1. Stop fossil fuel exports and infrastructure approvals
  1. Shift financial flows from fossil fuels to climate solutions
  1. Use the Clean Air Act to set a science-based national pollution cap for greenhouse pollutants. Then, use all Clean Air Act programs to drive emissions towards zero economy-wide
  1. Power the electricity sector with 100% clean and renewable energy by 2030 and promote energy democracy
  1. Launch a just transition to protect our communities, workers, and economy
  1. Advance Climate Justice: Direct federal agencies to assess and mitigate environmental harms to disproportionately impacted Indigenous Peoples, People and Communities of Color, and low-wealth communities
  1. Make polluters pay: Investigate and prosecute fossil fuel polluters for the damages they have caused. Commit to veto all legislation that grants legal immunity for polluters, undermines existing environmental laws, or advances false solutions
  1. Rejoin the Paris Agreement and lead with science-based commitments that ensure that the United States, as the world’s largest cumulative historical emitter, contributes its fair share and advances climate justice


Cut emmissions, climate reparations (vs. loans)

We can’t tolerate another COP to go by with those who view the climate crisis as an economic opportunity rather than a climate emergency, all the while shoving false solutions down our communities’ throats. Instead of paying attention to what we have been saying for decades and even centuries to honor the sacredness of Mother Earth and all her creatures, more care is going into protecting the bottom line of the fossil fuel industry than humanity itself. Net-zero emissions does not equal zero emissions; if we want to safeguard a healthy and thriving existence for future generations we must keep fossil fuels in the ground.

Ozawa Bineshi Albert, Co-Executive Director, Climate Justice Alliance

This COP26 has become known as the net zero COP touting net zero pledges based upon offset-based carbon accounting tricks and illusory geoengineering techno-fixes like carbon capture and storage, solar radiation technologies and hydrogen energy.  Net Zero emissions targets are based upon the assumption that fossil fuel emissions can be compensated for by carbon offsetting and carbon removal. Net zero opens the door to nature-based solutions giving way to a financialization of nature process that separates, quantifies and privatizes the cycles and functions of Mother Earth turning nature into “units” to be sold in financial and speculative markets.The co-opting of the term “just transition” commodifies the natural laws of Mother Earth and Father Sky and violating the Original Instructions of Indigenous Traditional Knowledge. We need real reductions, real solutions with global action towards an immediate just transition to keep fossil fuels in the ground.

Tom BK Goldtooth, Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network



Second half

10 minutes 


– fill out the form
– review the groups

Review files – sample LTE, news releases,

Talk about March 21 organizing meeting with Sunshine; March 25 Fridays for the Future; Earth Day April 22 (Albany state Capitol)

10 minutes

Climate campaigns I am working on

– divestment – NYC, NYS, Teachers
– CLCPA – Off Fossil Fuels
– Community Choice Aggregration
– EcoAction – ecosocialist Green New Deal, Build Back Fossil Free, Climate President
– SHARE – geothermal, 100% renewable capitol, Port of Albany
– Climate Can’t Wait
– bitcoin
– Earth Day to May Day

– Climate president – Build Back Fossil Free 

March 25 – Fridays For Future

From Today

The Vermont Climate Action Plan is being transformed into legislation in this session of the legislature.  Please take a moment to contact your representative and senators and let them know where you stand.

S.148 has passed through the Natural Resources and Energy committee.  The bill is a climate justice bill and we need to make sure it is adequately funded.  Brian Campion is a member of this committee.

H.175 is a bill that sets clean heat standards.  There is a bit of controversy

about this bill so you should research it a bit.

We need to encourage more work on clean transportation and expansive work on weatherization of homes and buildings.

Encourage your Representative and our Senators to take this work with extra vigor giving that the issues are urgent and acute.

You can find your Representative at  Our Senators are Brian Campion and Dick Sears.  You can find Brian at