Good News from Ken #1

Good News:

  1. France has banned flights on routes that can be done by train in less than 2 1/2 hours.
  2. A California company is offering Oregon farmers free test runs of its electric tractors.
  3. In a world-first, the supreme court of Brazil has declared that the Paris Agreement is a human rights treaty that must take precedence over national laws.

The case that led to this ruling, PSB et al. v. Brazil (on Climate Fund), was filed by four political parties (the Workers’ Party, Socialism, and Liberty Party, Brazilian Socialist Party, and Sustainability Network) as a response to the government failing to distribute money from the national Climate Fund (Fundo Clima) since 2019.

The Brazilian government believed that the Climate Fund was not constitutionally protected and should the court interfere, it would violate the country’s separation of powers.

However, in the end, the Supreme Federal Court ruled, “Treaties on environmental law are a type of human rights treaty and, for that reason, enjoy supranational status. There is, therefore, no legally valid option to simply omit to combat climate change.”

Going forward, this means that any laws made by the Brazilian government that goes against the Paris Agreement will be invalid. Violating the Paris Agreement, and therefore the supreme court’s ruling would be seen as a violation of the country’s constitution and human rights.                                   —The Optimist Daily 7/14/22


From an interview with Paul Hawken—

One of the 100 solutions presented in Drawdown stands out: Nuclear energy. Reversing global warming with nuclear energy seems like solving one problem while creating the next?

We are not advocates. We are measuring what exists. The fact is that today nuclear energy generates 11 percent of electricity worldwide and that share is growing. Our job is to model the impact when we use certain technologies or when we make certain choices. We are not a pressure group. We are not putting our beliefs into the world. Then our objectivity is gone. If you ask my personal opinion? Well, I think that nuclear energy is absolutely the most idiotic way ever developed in the world to boil water. It’s absurd.

Solar energy only comes in at the eighth place in the Drawdown list while most people see solar as the ultimate response to global warming?

We know that the combustion of fossil fuels has been the biggest cause of CO2 in the atmosphere. So the usual response is: We need to replace oil, gas and coal with renewable, low-carbon sources of energy. The mantra has been that we could solve the problem if we implement solar and wind, replace combustion engine cars with electric vehicles, eat less meat and don’t cut trees. Our data don’t support that perspective. There are many other—and better—solutions to reduce the amount of energy we need. That said: It is also a fact that everybody has been wrong about solar for 20 years. The most optimistic projections for solar have always been too low.

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