No More Gaslighting?
Gaslighting was deemed word of the year by Miriam Webster. This week we’ll be discussing the term’s connection to climate, how an indigenous tribe is using geothermal energy for food security, projections for solar (which is expected to surpass coal), and much more.
Word of The Year Has Fossil Fuel Origins
😊 The Good News - Merriam-Webster named “gaslighting” the word of the year last month, and it’s connected to the fossil fuel industry in ways you might not think of. The term “gaslighting” comes from a 1938 play called Gas Light where a husband tries to convince his wife that she has lost her mind in order to steal her inheritance. He does so by making gas lamps in the house flicker and insisting they aren’t. Fossil fuel companies have done the same thing by denying the existence of climate change in order to continue extracting and processing fossil fuels.
🥾 Follow This Path - Ever since The Chicks released the song “Gaslighter” in 2020, I’ve been associating it with the fossil fuel industry because the lyrics work as a metaphor for fossil fuel disinformation. I’m quite happy that the word has gained enough popularity to be named word of the year. I hope that means more people will wake up to how our world has been collectively gaslit, and take a stand against fossil fuels and climate change.
Solar To Overpower Coal By 2025
😊 The Good News - The world is expected to generate more energy from solar than coal in three years, according to a recent report by the International Energy Agency. The report goes as far as to say that the world is set to add as much renewable energy capacity in the next five years as it has in the last twenty. This jump in renewables can be attributed to national climate policies and lower costs.
🥾 Follow This Path - This is some much-needed good news after the UK’s approval for the first new coal mine in decades, and I, for one, am very excited to see coal become more and more obsolete. One major reason why solar will soon overpower coal is because of people like you (yes, you). Without constant pressure from the public, governments aren’t as likely to pass the policies that are allowing this growth in renewables, so thank you, and keep up the pressure.
Indigenous Reservation Growing Food Underground
😊 The Good News - The Pine Ridge Reservation of the Oglala Sioux Tribe in South Dakota is growing food in an unusual yet ingenious way. The reservation has built eight underground greenhouses that are powered by geothermal energy to alleviate food insecurity due to the growing impact of climate change. The produce grown at these greenhouses is sent to schools and families in the area, and the tribe hopes to expand its program in the coming years.
🥾 Follow This Path - Many reservations in the U.S. are considered food deserts, and the U.S. government is to blame for that. It is a shame that the government has not done more to help with this issue, but I’m glad to see that the Pine Ridge Reservation seems to have found a solution. I hope other food desert communities learn from and work together with the Oglala Sioux Tribe because access to healthy, affordable food is a human right.
Alberta Ahead of Schedule For Renewable Energy
😊 The Good News - The Canadian Province of Alberta is set to meet its renewable energy goal ahead of schedule. In 2016, the Alberta government set a goal to have 30% of all the energy in the province be generated by renewables by 2030, and they are expected to reach that goal as early as 2024.
🥾 Follow This Path - This is quite exciting considering 59% of all energy in Alberta came from coal in 2016, and now coal is expected to be entirely phased out within the next year. Alberta is proof that renewable energy can thrive, even in places dominated by the fossil fuel industry, with the right policies and incentives. I hope Alberta continues to push for renewables after meeting its goal and other areas adopt similar policies.
English Nature-Based Farming Program Is A Go
😊 The Good News - A subsidy program aimed at rewarding landowners in England for protecting and restoring the environment has recently been approved following the controversy. The program will provide payments to landowners that improve soil health, rewild their land, and reduce fertilizer and pesticide use. More environmental work was supposed to be covered by the program when it was first introduced, but opponents had it removed from the final program.
🥾 Follow This Path - I firmly believe that governments should be subsidizing things that are good for our planet because it incentivizes people to take action. That is why I’m excited that the UK is taking a necessary step towards protecting nature, and I hope the subsidy program is so successful that the environmental work that was removed is brought back to the program.
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