'Gobsmackingly bananas' global warming rallies activists against US LNG exports

LNG tanker loads up
LNG tanker loads upPhoto by Dylan McLeod on Unsplash

Rising temperatures have climate activists and journalists calling on Joe Biden to curb planned expansions of liquified natural gas exports in the United States.

In a  Los Angeles Times opinion article, Bill McKibben and Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr.  urged President Joe Biden’s administration to block “a massive fossil fuel buildout, with a vast and growing array of export terminals and pipelines” planned for the Louisiana coast, most of it for liquified natural gas.

“September was… ‘gobsmackingly bananas.’ It broke all temperature records for the month and by a record margin. The Earth busted through — at least temporarily — the 1.5-degree Celsius…red line that the nations of the world drew with the Paris accords,” wrote Mkibben and Yearwood.

“Just one proposed new project — the CP2 LNG terminal in Cameron Parish, which may get a green light from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as early as this month — will be responsible for 20 times more greenhouse gas emissions annually than the controversial Willow oil drilling project in Alaska that the Biden administration approved earlier this year, much to the dismay of the young environmentalists.”

Yearwood is a 54-year-old Louisiana resident and president of a nationwide political action group called the Hip Hop Caucus. McKibben founded 350.org, a site for “energy justice” in the “global movement for climate action.” In 2021, he wrote, “We Love You, Alberta–Just Not Your Tar Sands” for The New Yorker.

Damian Carrington also raised alarms in an October 5 article for The Guardian in the UK. However, the environment editor admitted the temperature spike was actually due to earth cycles.

“Conditions have now rebounded to an El Niño event, which releases ocean heat and drives up temperatures. It’s all but certain that 2023 will be the hottest on record and 2024 may even exceed that, as the heating impact of El Niño is felt most in the year after it begins,” wrote Carrington, adding,

“‘September was, in my professional opinion as a climate scientist, absolutely gobsmackingly bananas,’ said Zeke Hausfather, at the Berkeley Earth climate data project.”

The Guardian was one of the founding publications behind Covering Climate Now (CCNow), an initiative to promote and coordinate worldwide media coverage of climate change which has since claimed 500 outlets with an audience of two billion people.

In the recent article “Subsidizing Ourselves to Death,” CCNow lamented the $7 trillion of subsidies for “climate-wrecking fossil fuel production” worldwide last year.

However, the organization falsely stated, “LNG is as carbon intensive as coal.” According to the US Energy Information Administration, natural gas emits almost 50% less CO2 than coal per thermal unit of energy produced.

CCNow even suggested it’s more important to discourage fossil fuels than it is to ensure alternatives replace them.

“It’s indisputably good news that solar, wind, batteries and other climate-friendly energy sources have been plummeting in cost and gaining market share, because this can reduce demand for fossil fuels,” CCNow explained.

“But reducing the supply of fossil fuels is the true measure of successful climate policy, because global temperatures will keep rising until the world stops burning those fossil fuels.”

The United Arab Emirates is expanding its production capacity by 7.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent, even as Sultan Al Jaber, who heads UAE’s state-owned oil company while also presiding over next month’s COP28 summit, insists he favors a net-zero future.

CCNow, which has more than 500 media organizations in its membership, with a combined audience of two billion people, says this “contradiction” is “at the heart of the climate fight” and one “that our reporting needs to spotlight and explain to audiences.”

“Journalists do not have to be in Louisiana to report this story” of “carbon bombs” under construction, CCNow said, because they are happening all over the world. The organization 

“As journalists prepare to cover the COP28 summit starting November 30 and elections in the US and elsewhere next year, it’s essential we understand — and help our audiences understand — that fossil fuels have to go, soon, if a livable planet is to be preserved,” CCNow explained.

“Questions to explore in your reporting include: How much is your country’s government spending to subsidize fossil fuels? And what is your country doing — or failing to do — to stop burning the fossil fuels that are dangerously overheating the planet?”

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