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Weekly Headlines 7/2/21

Here's what happening in the Climate world this week.

ExxonMobile Lobbyists Caught Red Handed Admitting to Companies Anti-Climate Agenda (Unearthed, Heated, New York Times, The Guardian, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal)

  • An Unearthed undercover reporter duped two ExxonMobile lobbyists into admitting their companies continued attempt to downplay the climate crisis.

  • They unknowingly exposed their companies efforts to remove climate measures from Biden’s infrastructure plan, while claiming that all their lobbying is, in fact, legal.

  • “Did we aggressively fight against some of the science? Yes.” - Watch the videos here.

International Panel of Lawyers Defines Ecocide, Hoping to Criminalize it in the ICC (InsideClimate News, NBC, Washington Post, The Guardian)

  • A group of lawyers convened by the Stop Ecocide Foundation has defined ecocide in a criminal sense for the first time.

  • One of the 123 member nations (which do not include the US, China, India or Russia) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) will need to formally request its inclusion in the crimes that the court can investigate.

  • If proposed, this ratification would likely take years, but most advocates agree this is a step in the right direction to hold polluters accountable.

The Pacific Northwest gets Burned by one of Worst Heat Waves in Recent Memory (Climate Signals, AP, Axios, NBC, Washington Post, Heated)

  • The Pacific Northwest is bracing itself for a likely historic heat wave, which is set to see both extreme heat and length.

  • Current weather patterns have resulted in a high pressure ‘heat dome’ trapping warm air in the region while simultaneously forcing the relieving cool temperatures of the Jet Stream further North.

  • Climate Change is now known to be responsible for these longer and more extreme weather patterns, including the polar vortex that ravaged Texas’ power grid earlier this year.

St. Croix Oil Refinery which Literally Rained Oil on Local Community Shut Down Indefinitely after EPA Ordered its Emergency Shutdown (AP, Reuters, CNN, VirginIslandsDailyNews, The Hill)

  • Just months after reopening, the Limetree Bay oil refinery will close indefinitely after receiving an emergency shutdown order from the EPA in February.

  • Limetree Bay Energy stated that they do not have enough capital to restart operations and will need to lay off 271 workers.

  • St. Croix citizens reported negative health impacts, citing dangerous airborne chemicals. There still remains work to do in cleaning up the impacted area.

One Sixth of the United States Population Under Extreme Heat Advisories this Week (Washington Post, BBC)

  • US Citizens across the country are feeling the heat, with temperatures soaring well into the 100’s.

  • 55 million people in the US live in areas where there have been government issued extreme heat advisories in the past week.

  • This is expected to continue becoming much more commonplace as climate change makes local weather patterns less predictable.

The Chamber of Commerce Exposed over its History of Climate Denial (Climate and Development Lab - Brown University, InsideClimate News, Gizmodo)

  • A recent report by Brown University’s Climate and Development Lab analysed years worth of public Chamber of Commerce documents to unveil its past climate denials.

  • The study throws the Chamber of Commerce’s newly created Climate Change Task Force into a new light, with many now skeptical of the task force’s true purpose.

Biden Administration Defends Line 3 pipeline, Urges Court Brief Removal (New York Times, StarTribune)

  • The Biden administration has defended the Army Corps of Engineers in their decision to administer Trump era water permits that allow the construction of Line 3 to continue.

  • It is possible that President Biden may still withdraw federal permits, but the backing is a blow to activists.

  • The pipeline is over 60% completed.

Canada Breaks Record Heat at 121 Degrees Fahrenheit amid PNW Heat Waves (Gizmodo, The Guardian, CNN, The Washington Post, NPR)

  • A village in Western Canada peaked at 121 degrees on Tuesday, breaking the record temperature for Canada.

  • Residents of Lytton, British Columbia were soon afterward ordered to evacuate as heat and drought fueled wildfires engulfed the nation.

  • Lytton was not the only area impacted, as fires and ‘unexpected’ deaths continued to rise throughout the territory over the course of the week.

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