LTE Under Consideration: The Year 2022 and Climate

The year 2022 was a remarkable year for the climate.

  • The U.S. emissions went up by 1.3%
  • It was the 6th warmest year according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It should have been cooler being a Le Nina year.
  • According to Dr. Hansen, 2022 was 0.04 degree Celsius warmer than 2021 likely because more energy is coming in than going out.
  • The 10-warmest years on record have occurred since year 2010.
  • The US had 18 one billion plus dollar climate disasters.

We had news to celebrate 2022. Inflation Reduction Act was the largest ever climate bill that was passed by the U.S. Congress. Volunteers of Citizens Climate Lobby have work to do by reaching out to the state and city governments and ensure that allocated federal dollars are invested in clean energy sources to bring the emissions down.

This will improve our health and quality of life.

Kalpana Sutaria

Project Manager, City of Austin and Member, Citizens Climate Lobby Austin Chapter

Submitted to the San Antonio Express News

January 2023

A milestone on the road to replace all U.S. fossil fuel power generation

Re: May 3 article, “Texas renewables generate record power in early 2022.”

Renewables generated more power so far this year in Texas than gas-powered turbines, or any other power source? What excellent news! It comes along about the same time it was reported that on May 4 for a short duration starting at 2:50 p.m., 99.87% of California’s entire power load was provided by renewables. 

We still have a very long journey to replacing all U.S. fossil fuel power generation with renewables, but we have certainly put to rest the notion that we can’t achieve this goal quickly, which is essential if we are to halt earth’s warming. Just imagine what we can achieve once we actually make an effort – like, for example, by instituting a carbon fee and dividend policy. Carbon fee and dividend not only will accelerate the conversion to renewables, but will result in a net return of money to a significant majority of U.S. households.  

Mark Warren, Austin

Austin American-Statesman

May 14, 2022

More fossil fuel plants will lead to more climate-related disasters

Re: July 7 article, “Abbott orders utility commission to shore up Texas power grid, targets renewable energy.”

Current headlines are full of reports of climate-related disasters — fires in California, 120-plus degree heat in Canada, and on and on.

Yet, Gov. Abbott calls for more natural gas and coal power plants, which will only make climate problems worse.

Past Republican governors, Bush and Perry, led the way for Texas’ becoming a leader in wind energy.

Clean energy is not just a Democratic thing. It’s a human thing.

Philip Russell

Austin American-Statesman

July 9, 2021

Texas Fights an Energy Battle That’s Already Lost

Re: Jan. 29 article, “Gov. Greg Abbott says Texas is prepared to sue Biden administration over environmental regulations.”

On Jan. 28, the LBJ Future Forum hosted a panel of respected speakers on “Austin’s Energy Innovation Future.” The message: Texas will thrive with clean energy companies and new industries that are already here and growing. Market signals from Washington and from corporate headquarters everywhere are reassuring investors that clean energy and emissions-reducing technologies are good bets.

That same day Gov. Abbott announced Texas will sue the Biden administration to protect oil and gas every chance it gets. Such pledges to protect fossil fuels send confusing signals about the welcome that clean technology companies will get in Texas.

Corporate decision makers know the future is away from fossil fuels. So instead of continuing to fight a battle that’s already lost, wouldn’t Texans be better served by a state government that is building a glide path for oil workers to a clean energy future?

Cynthia Lesky

Austin American-Statesman

February 7, 2021