Coal Ash Wednesday: 419 parts per million


Breaking all the wrong records in the climate change fight:

Scientific instruments atop the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii showed that levels of carbon dioxide in the air averaged 419 parts per million in May, the annual peak, according to two separate analyses from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Those readings are about half a percent higher than the previous high of 417 parts per million, set in May 2020. Carbon dioxide is the most important greenhouse gas driving global warming and researchers have estimated that there hasn’t been this much of it in the atmosphere for millions of years.

I think it was 11 years ago when I attended a climate change summit hosted by NC WARN, featuring former NASA scientist James Hansen. At that time, atmospheric carbon was about 378 parts per million, and Hansen was adamant that we must keep it from passing the 400 mark. That was a tipping point that would very likely trigger the dissolving and subsequent release of methane hydrates in the permafrost and ocean floor. That is no longer a theory, it is happening right now:

Wednesday News: One-trick elephant


GOP BUDGET PACKAGE INCLUDES MASSIVE TAX CUTS FOR CORPORATIONS: North Carolina's top Republican lawmakers say they'll include tax cuts in a budget they plan to pass later this summer. Leaders in the House and the Senate released a statement Tuesday saying that, while they don't yet have a budget deal, they've agreed to include no more than $25.7 billion in the spending plan for the two-year period that starts in July. That would amount to a 3.45% increase in spending. It's significantly less than the $27.3 billion Gov. Roy Cooper proposed in his own budget plan. The legislative proposal also doesn't include Medicaid expansion, a top priority for the governor. Their announcement didn't provide details of the tax cuts, but Rep. Jason Saine, R-Lincoln, a House budget writer, said it will likely be similar to a package backed last month by the Senate that cuts both corporate and personal income tax rates.

Tuesday News: Tip of the iceberg?


NC CHARTER SCHOOL UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR FRAUD: One of North Carolina’s oldest charter schools is closing amid a criminal investigation into whether state funding was fraudulently received. “In March of 2021, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation opened an investigation into allegations that Bridges Academy charter school fraudulently obtained excess funding from the state of North Carolina,” Anjanette Grube, a SBI spokeswoman, said in an email Monday. “The investigation remains ongoing. No additional information is available at this time.” Charter schools are taxpayer funded schools that are exempt from some of the rules that traditional public schools must follow. There are 200 charter schools open statewide this year.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

They don't want proper oversight, they want partisan oversight. Even if it ends up costing taxpayers millions.

NC GOP unveils "election integrity" committee to attack voting rights


Soon to be renamed "Buck's Clusterf**k":

The committee will be chaired by Buck Newton, a former state senator from Wilson who ran unsuccessfully for attorney general in 2016. Other members include GOP officials, lawyers and political consultants from across the state.

During a panel at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, Whatley said the absence of voter fraud in North Carolina last fall was due to the NCGOP’s disproportionate spending on legal resources — the party spent three-quarters of its annual operating budget on legal expenditures, he said — to scrutinize the electoral process.

And a big chunk of those legal expenditures went to arguing in the (US) Supreme Court that a deadline extension on receipt of mail-in ballots, made necessary by Louis DeJoy's relentless attacks on the US Postal Service, was unnecessary and an invitation to voting fraud. Or something along those lines. But guess what? Republican voters were strongly represented in those late mail-in ballots:

Monday News: Thirteen thousand, one hundred fifty one


POSITIVE TESTS FOR CORONAVIRUS IN NC ARE DOWN TO 2.5%: At least 1,004,669 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 13,151 have died since March 2020, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported 680 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, up from 481 cases on Thursday. At least 613 people were hospitalized with the coronavirus as of Friday, the same count as the day before. As of Wednesday, the latest day for which data is available, 2.5% of coronavirus tests were reported positive. Roughly 54% of adults in North Carolina have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine and about 50% are fully vaccinated, according to the state health department.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


STATE SENATE SHOWS QUALITY DOESN'T COUNT: Senate Republican leader Phil Berger, after Thursday’s vote said “the headline in this debate, was Governor Cooper has no plan. Shouldn't that be something folks are concerned about? That he has no plan to deal with the issue of natural gas in the state of North Carolina?” There it is. Delli-Gatti’s fate wasn’t about whether she’s able to do the job. She is eminently qualified – having worked for the EPA as a congressional liaison, the Environmental Defense Fund ad director of Southeast Climate and Energy and she is an Air Force veteran. She has both the experience and skills to do a good job for North Carolina. She’d been on the job with hardly a complaint since February. Nobody believes she is not qualified. This is a Sen. Berger political power play and his obedient caucus dutifully agrees.


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