A Republican Climate Plan? | Crooked Media
Jon, Jon & Tommy's first ever book is here - Order Democracy or Else NOW! Jon, Jon & Tommy's first ever book is here - Order Democracy or Else NOW!
June 10, 2022
A Republican Climate Plan?

In This Episode

Today on Hot Take, Amy and Mary discuss the recent Republican “climate plan”, the Democratic primaries, heatwaves, a special fossil fuel f@$#boi, and more.

 

Follow us on twitter @RealHotTake and signup for our newsletter at hottakepod.com

 

TRANSCRIPT

 

Amy Westervelt: Hey, hot cakes. Welcome to Hot Take. I’m Amy WESTERVELT.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: And I’m Mary Giannis Hagler. Amy, I’m not sure how you do it. But this news cycle just keeps getting crazier where it sits. And I wish you fucking journalists would slow it down. We’re still trying to process the buffalo shooting when the news of the school shooting in Texas broke. And now there’s been even more mass shootings, including a big one in Philadelphia this past weekend. And the COVID numbers are off the charts like I don’t know how you’re doing it as a parent. Honestly, it’s pretty depressing.

 

Amy Westervelt: I have to say that the school shooting really got me like, I don’t know, just all of it. The of course, the fact that little kids were, you know, terrorized in that way. But then the way that the cops were fighting against the parents, the mom who kind of broke away from them and ran in and got her kids, spoke this week. And she made a point of speaking to reporters in the agricultural field where she was doing farm work because she was like, I want to I want people to know, like, these are the families that were impacted by this. Like, we’re out here working hard and we’re trying to, like, keep our kids safe and like all we have is each other kind of thing. And yeah, I just and then the fact that there were multiple other mass shootings so quickly after that, it’s just gross that like the ridiculous solutions proposed. I don’t know. I just feel like it’s really it’s just really gross. Like, I know that I think Ted Cruz was talking about fewer doors. I saw one lady talking about like colorful ballistic blankets you could put up in kindergarten class.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Right. There’s also been, you know, calls for bringing prayer back to the schools. And like all of these things that are just like solving everything but the problem and it’s like and it happens after every single mass shooting where the problem is recast as the solution. Right? Which, you know, as we work in climate, I can’t help but see how that echoes the arguments against climate action and how the fossil fuel industry tries to position itself as the solution to climate change, even though it’s so very obviously the cause and. Right. Same thing with guns, right? Like the NRA wants itself to be the solution and getting more guns to police and to the right people is the answer to the gun problem, which is just like it’s hard to even fight back against it because it’s so absurd. But that’s exactly why we have to fight back against it.

 

Amy Westervelt: Yeah. And so many of these, like pundits and politicians who are funded by, you know, the industries that are actually the at the center of these problems, spinning up these ridiculous ideas and acting like I don’t know how it could possibly solve this problem. You know, it’s just it’s. There’s a very clear solution. It’s not actually that complicated. It is complicated to figure out, like, how we implement those solutions. But the actual solutions themselves are pretty fucking obvious.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Yeah, but I will say it’s a little bit more encouraging now because it feels like, you know, the media and our our elected officials are getting better at not taking the bait, not where they need to be. Obviously, I still still see people fall for the okeydoke all the time. It used to be said that like right after a police, right after shooting is not the time to talk about politics. And like you hear that less. That’s true. And same thing with like extreme weather events. Now is not the time to talk about politics or climate change. Like we need to focus on the people hurt from this extreme weather. We can’t. It’s not a good time to talk about climate change. It’s like it’s so interesting how those two, like, mirror each other. But yeah, I hear that less.

 

Amy Westervelt: Yeah, that’s true. I did also really see more journalists pushing back on, you know, ridiculous talking points in a way that I found pretty encouraging, like, you know, just being like, yeah, but wouldn’t that, you know, how would you how exactly would you have one door at a school that has 20 entrances? Ted Cruz.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: And also. Have you heard of fire?

 

Amy Westervelt: Yeah, yeah, exactly.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Are you familiar with? But of course he has. He’s he’s only a part of the reason why they say these extremely absurd things is a distraction tactic. And they know that people on the left can’t help but dunk on a dumb take to make them so. Because it’s so important for people on the left to feel smart. Right. And so we go crazy for like, oh, you said something stupid. We’re all going to dunk on him. We’re all going to argue with it or whatever and prove we’re so much smarter than you. But like they never believed the thing that they threw out at you. That was never a serious argument.

 

Amy Westervelt: That’s right. Ted Cruz is a lot of things, but dumb is actually not one, unfortunately. Yeah. Yeah, exactly.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: And with that, let’s take a look at how the media has been covering climate this week. It’s time to talk about climate.

 

Amy Westervelt: So, Mary. Guess what time it is again?

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Oh. Please don’t tell me it’s election time.

 

Amy Westervelt: Yeah, it’s painful. It’s honestly, I’m just like, I can’t take it right now. I don’t have the energy.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: I want to get off this ride.

 

Amy Westervelt: I know. I know. I’m finding it so difficult to even tune in to, you know, what primaries are happening and what states are doing what and where things are important and where to be paying attention. Because there’s just so many crises happening all the time. But we know that, you know, local and state politics are extremely important when it comes to climate change. So with that, I want to talk about the Democratic primaries that have been happening. California is is happening this week. We saw primaries in Texas, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Oregon. And one thing that I noticed that I found somewhat disturbing was this thing, again, of big kind of Democratic super PACs spending a lot of money to try to push progressives out of the race early, particularly climate progressives. So, yeah.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: So like the DNC is doing that or like other?

 

Amy Westervelt: It’s more like these political consultants and political organizations that don’t want to see, you know, anyone talking about banning fracking in Pennsylvania, for example, or in the case of one of the North Carolina races, there was a pro-Israel super PAC that spent a lot of money against a muslim candidate. So that was interesting. That was Nita Allam. She’s kind of the one that that people have really looked at as like the second coming of the squad. She’s very pro green, New Deal. She was the first Muslim American woman to be elected to office in North Carolina. I was reading before, before we started recording this article about her in one of the local papers there. And it was like it was really it was honestly just kind of insulting towards her. Like the tone was very like, as she likes to point out constantly, she’s the first Muslim-American woman elected to office in North Carolina. And I was like, wow, okay. Not subtle. Not subtle at all. Yes. So the sort of establishment candidate beat her in the other North Carolina race, there was Erica Smith who had the support of the Sunrise Movement. She also signed the No Fossil Fuel Pledge and was supporting what she was calling a rural New Deal, which is basically a green New Deal, but with a focus on frontline communities in rural North Carolina, which I thought was really, really smart. But yeah, there was nearly $3 million spent to defeat her, more than three and a half million spent to defeat Anita Alam, both in North Carolina. And then we get to Pennsylvania, which, again, you know, I think the Democrats have lived in fear of anyone saying you can’t frack in Pennsylvania. For the last ten years. So quite a bit of money. Again, another three plus million dollars was spent trying to knock out Somer Lee. She was the Green New Deal candidate and is the only one in, I think, any of the Pennsylvania races who has said kind of unequivocally that she wants to get rid of fracking in the state. She describes herself as a climate justice progressive. And she actually won despite all of the campaigning against her.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Good for her.

 

Amy Westervelt: Yes. The many millions of dollars spent on on ads against her.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Oh, quick question, though. So like all of these groups that are running against the progressives, any idea on how much fossil fuel money they’re taking?

 

Amy Westervelt: Because their PACs, political action committees, they don’t have to disclose where their money comes from.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: I forgot about that whole thing.

 

Amy Westervelt: But. Yeah. Yeah. The candidates that they’re supporting, none of them have taken the no fossil fuel money pledge. So that tells you something.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: That does. That does. That gives me an idea.

 

Amy Westervelt: Yes. Yeah. And, you know, Pennsylvania, I think, is always a big one to to look at from a climate perspective. John Fetterman has his spot as the Democratic candidate for Senate there pretty handily. He’s a long time labor guy, you know, really big on rights for working families and protecting union jobs and all of that stuff. He’s also like a large human. He’s six, eight plus and like some.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: I have a lot of questions about that actually. Like for what?

 

Amy Westervelt: He’s a big guy. I know, I know.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: That’s a foot and a half taller than me, Amy.

 

Amy Westervelt: That’s crazy. Yeah. Well, I don’t know. He’s an interesting character because he was actually really involved in trying to get union groups and the labor movement in general behind the Waxman-Markey bill way back when, which was a cap and trade bill. The idea was to sort of have a cap on emissions and a price on carbon that died in this like crazy, storied way. People like to reference it a lot. That was like his first foray into the climate space. He continued to work with labor. He was mayor for a time. He’s currently Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor, and now he is the Democratic candidate for Senate. And his take on fracking is a bit more nuanced, I guess. So he has said that he does want to eventually transition away from natural gas drilling in the state, but he wants to do it in a phased way. He wants to have a clear plan for transitioning workers, which it’s hard to argue with that. The problem is that I think the gas industry does a very good job of of really sort of fudging the numbers on the jobs that it actually provides and the economic benefit that it provides. So I personally would love to see a plan from Fetterman of like what that transition would look like instead of kind of being like, well, show me a transition.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Right? Like, why isn’t the yeah, why isn’t the onus on him to present a plan as opposed to saying, I won’t budge on this until a plan is presented?

 

Amy Westervelt: Exactly.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: It’s kind of what makes me uncomfortable about it, quite honestly.

 

Amy Westervelt: Yeah. Especially since he was someone who, you know, was very vocal about the idea that an energy transition could equal jobs. I mean, back in like 2009, he was saying that. So I’m kind of like, well, hopefully as his campaign gets underway, he will actually roll out a plan for what that transition looks like. Because I do think that like someone who has credibility with unions who could say, here’s the union plan for getting off of gas drilling in Pennsylvania would be amazing.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Right.

 

Amy Westervelt: So, you know, hopefully he’ll be that guy. We’ll see.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Yeah, I hope so. I hope it doesn’t turn into like, you know, I’m socially liberal, but, you know, fossil fuel conservative.

 

Amy Westervelt: Right. Right. Exactly. The other race I just want to mention is in Oregon. So there again, there was a pretty significant amount of money spent trying to defeat Jamie McLeod Skinner, who is super progressive. You know, she lists addressing the climate crisis as number one of her top three priorities, along with supporting working families and protecting democracy. She actually won her primary, too. So an unsuccessful bid to push out progressives in both Pennsylvania and Oregon, but successful in North Carolina anyway. Okay. So well, I was just saying that, like, I’m not like we’re not bringing this up to like rile people up about factions in the Democratic Party. It’s just that, like, if your strategy for trying to retain power or get people out to vote is like if you’re mad about stuff, get out there and vote. But then your own party is working against you. That rallying cry starts to really falter. You know? And especially for climate voters, because it tends to be like further left progressives that are bringing real climate policy to the table.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Yeah.

 

Amy Westervelt: So this is like an issue that Democrats are going to have to figure out. What’s happened with the climate policy in New York is a good example of this, too. So this is like another thing that was happening this past week where the Build Public Renewables Act, which would have been the first bill to pass since New York put through its 2019 bill, which set this goal of generating 100% of the state’s power from zero emission sources by 2040, which is pretty ambitious. They hadn’t actually done anything to try to meet that goal since 2019. So they’re kind of they’re overdue some policy that will back it up. And they had this policy that everybody loved. It flew through the Senate, it went to the Assembly. It needed 76 votes to pass and they had 83 confirmed yeses. And the speaker of the assembly, who’s a Democrat, his name is Carl Heastie, chose not to bring it to a vote. And so advocates were like, What the fuck? We did everything right. This is what I keep hearing from a lot of the, like, younger sunrise kids, too, is like, we did what you told us we had to do.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Right?

 

Amy Westervelt: And now you’re moving the goalposts again.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: I think their strategy for trying to win back the South is very strange and doesn’t make a lot of sense, like not wanting to run a progressive in a place where you haven’t really won in a long time. Like it doesn’t make sense to try to go with a milquetoast candidate in an area where you’ve really never run before.

 

Amy Westervelt: Versus like a reactionary Republican. Popular.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Right.

 

Amy Westervelt: It doesn’t make sense.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: You need to get somebody who’s going to get people excited. Right? So like, if you haven’t won in the South in a long time, why send us your most boring, nonthreatening run of the mill ain’t-gone-fight-for-shit candidate? Like that doesn’t make any sort of sense. I feel this so much more strongly now that I’m back in the South. It’s like people have real problems. You know, and you’re going to send in somebody who doesn’t seem like they fought for anything in their lives, who’s just like so middle of the road, wants to fund and defund the police type of person. It’s like, why? Why would I get out of bed for you when I know who’s running on the Republican side and they’re out for fucking blood? And here you are talking about some mealy mouth ass. You’re not going to lure people back who like have been. They live with these reactionary fools like they, we live with the fascists. You know what mean? Like if I’m going to look at a candidate, I need a fighter.

 

Amy Westervelt: Yeah, that’s right. Even more reason why I’m like, if you can’t even show us that you can pass climate policy in fucking New York. Which is like. Deep blue stronghold. You totally control the government. You have a bill that is wildly popular. Like, how are we supposed to believe that you’re ever going to do anything about this issue? I just feel like.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: But you know what we got to do, Amy? We got to just vote harder.

 

Amy Westervelt: Vote harder. vote harder

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Really? Like how hard did you press the button or do the thing?

 

Amy Westervelt: Yeah. I mean, this is the thing that like, and this kind of came up in our conversation with Adam Serwer were last week too, in this way of like well, you know, Republicans, when they lose, they, you know, retrench and they come back fighting even harder and they they’re in it for the long haul and all of that, which is true. But I think what that ignores is this kind of situation where Democrats can do all that fighting when all the battles turn out, voters organize at the grassroots, get involved in local politics and win, and then have their own party block their policy goals. That’s the piece that I just feel like. It’s not a winning strategy. Yeah, I understand that. Like, you know, people will disagree on on some of the specifics around policy. But in a situation like this, like what we’re seeing in New York at that point, when you have a bill that has, you know, 83 yeses, it flew through the Senate, it has broad public support. Yeah, just get on the fuckin train, man. Like you lost your squabble. Get in line. And I feel like that’s what’s always told to progressives, like, oh, you guys are babies, like, you know, who just want to take your ball and go home when you lose a fight. It never goes the other way towards centrist like they do that shit all the time.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: All the time. I was wondering something early on. I’m interested in your opinion. I mean, do you think the school strikes are ever going to come back?

 

Amy Westervelt: That’s a good question. I hope so. I feel like I feel like there was this kind of one two punch of the pandemic, plus the utter failure of the Biden administration on climate policy that has really done a number on the youth climate movement. I also think that a lot of the folks that were leading that are a little bit older now. You know, and they’re having to like figure out college and jobs and, you know, these things that do often get in the way of activism. And I think that I do feel like the fossil fuel industry and certain political factions have been kind of doing whatever they can to distract people from organizing. I don’t know. I feel like there’s been an attempt to sort of give the youth climate leaders enough power to distract them from organizing. None of which is a slam on on youth climate leaders like. It’s immensely unfair that that, you know.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: That they even have to do this at all.

 

Amy Westervelt: So much. Yeah, so much responsibility is being placed on them that they have to even think about what it says to the world, if they like, you know, go to some fancy party or hang out with celebrities or spend a lot of time on Instagram. Like that’s what they all should be doing, you know?

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Yeah.

 

Amy Westervelt: But I do think that there’s been a concerted effort to get their eyes off the prize. Yeah, I say that because I’ve seen a lot of internal memos where the oil companies were really freaking out about the youth climate movement and really on the back foot, like scrambling to try to, you know, come off as authentic in in being part of the climate solution and really trying to find ways to, you know, woo the youth climate movement. And when that was unsuccessful, they pivoted to looking for ways to undermine it. And I think in some ways that that effort has been successful. So we’ll see. Yeah, I hope it comes back.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Yeah, I, I mean, we’ll get some more of this later, but I watched a lot of TV lately and I finished watching the Youth Week of Documentary and there was all this footage from the climate strikes before the pandemic. And I just like it was just really jarring to, again, see how powerful that was and how much momentum was really building throughout 2019. And then it was just like they the pandemic just popped the balloon.

 

Amy Westervelt: Yes, it really did. It really, really did. And David Wallace was pointed this out to us, too, that there was the youth climate movement, but there was also like real momentum among politicians and internationally. And, you know, it just it felt like things were actually finally starting to move in the right direction. And then there was this giant obstacle put in place. And I think people I think that climate folks are still not great at talking about how to solve for climate and poverty at the same time. And we really need to get better at that because that is a very effective tool in the fossil fuel messaging toolbox, which is like, Oh, how dare you even talk about this when people are, you know, paying $6 a gallon at the pump or when people are struggling with, you know, losing their jobs during the pandemic. And the reality is that actually there is a way to solve for climate that makes people’s lives more stable financially because they’re less dependent on commodity markets. But that story is not getting told as effectively as as the other one.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: For sure. Yeah. Put that maybe. Let’s take a break and dig into the Republican climate plan when we get back.

 

Amy Westervelt: Yes.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: [AD]

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: So I’m hearing a rumor that there’s a Republican climate plan, and that’s allegedly not an oxymoron.

 

Amy Westervelt: Yes. Yes, there is. And this time it’s not planting a billion trees. That was their last foray into a climate plan. They have this task force report that contains six pillars unlock America’s resources, beat China and Russia.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: That’s it.

 

Amy Westervelt: No, no, I just it’s hard to get through this list. Let America build build resilient communities, American innovation and conservation with a purpose. These are the pillars of the Republican climate plan.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Huh?

 

Amy Westervelt: And it will probably not surprise you that there’s a bunch of old ass ideas and they’re like the all of the above energy solution.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Okay, so let me guess. Unlock America’s resources means more natural gas.

 

Amy Westervelt: That’s right. That’s exactly what it means.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Right and it also means more carbon capture and storage that enables fossil fuel plants to continue to to exist. Right. So it’s basically like the human centipede, a fossil fuel.

 

Amy Westervelt: That’s that is correct. Yes. And of course, streamline permitting to reduce the obstacles to building clean energy and traditional energy infrastructure like pipelines. So basically, they’re going to they’re going to see that they’re streamlining the permitting process for like solar, but they’re actually going to use it to build more pipelines and LNG terminals and things like that. There is a nod to wind and solar in here as well as small modular nuclear reactors and hydrogen. But yeah, it’s pretty heavily focused on just enabling the status quo.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: So this is exactly like what we were talking about earlier with the gun policy, right? Like, let’s fix everything but the problem. Let’s, like, create infrastructure so that we can enable the problem to last in perpetuity.

 

Amy Westervelt: That’s right. That’s right. There’s also this very troubling kind of like jingoistic thing happening here with this beat, China and Russia. Yeah. What is this? There’s been kind of a resurgence of this Cold War rhetoric around, you know, Russia being. Oh, yes. You don’t want to get your fossil fuels from Russia. So we need to get them from the U.S. and we don’t want China dominating the economy. So we want to be this top global exporter of gas. You know, we are now the world’s largest exporter of gas. So this is not going to shore up U.S. supply, although it’s always talked about that way, like, oh, this is great for national security. And also this will stabilize prices because we’ll have more supply. That is not how gas prices get set. They get set by global commodity markets because the U.S. is an exporter.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Quick question, how tired are you of saying that?

 

Amy Westervelt: I’m so tired of it. I’m so tired of it. So, yeah, no big surprise that the Republicans are putting forward the Cold War version of climate plan.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Right.

 

Amy Westervelt: But I did think that Kate ARONOFF who also wrote a great piece about the New York climate bill that we’ll link to in the show notes. This episode is an homage to Kate Aronoff’s reporting.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: I mean she’s pretty great.

 

Amy Westervelt: She is great. She wrote this piece about the Republican climate plan and she posed a really interesting question in it, which is why would the Republicans even feel like they have to pretend to have a climate plan right now? And I don’t have an answer to that question. I’m not sure why, because I don’t even see the fucking fossil fuel guys pretending to care about climate right now. They’ve gone full, full on back to it is an elite luxury to care about climate change.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: I mean, I’ll throw theory out there. I don’t give a fuck. I’m crazy.

 

Amy Westervelt: I want to hear.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: I think that they feel like they need to pretend to have a climate plan because they recognize the rising wave of eco fascism. And if they want those folks to at least vote, then like part of the eco fascists, like the guy in Buffalo will tell you, not a Republican, not a Democrat. I’m an eco fascist. I believe nobody’s doing anything about this problem. And therefore I’m taking this into my own hands. And I think that that’s like for the Republicans, they need to at least acknowledge it if they want those votes in a short term.

 

Amy Westervelt: That’s a convincing answer. Yeah, I think that like that’s the only thing that that makes any sense to me right now in terms of like why would they feel like they need to talk about this? There’s a. A tiny bit of a resurgence of like this kind of old school Republican conservationist vibe in the party now to which they definitely want to.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Which is just a vibe. Right. Not a platform, just a vibe.

 

Amy Westervelt: Which you see with this Conservation with a purpose pillar. You know, it’s like, Oh, we’re going to do conservation the way Teddy Roosevelt did it.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Mm hmm.

 

Amy Westervelt: Yeah. Between those two things, they probably are, in fact, pandering to the eco fascists. That’s, great.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: That’s just pure hunch, folks. I didn’t research anything. That’s just my gut feeling.

 

Amy Westervelt: I think it makes sense though, because you’re starting to see that shit show up on like Fox News. And Alex Jones Infowars stuff. The sort of right wing universe is starting to talk that way. So it does make sense that they feel like, oh, these fringy right wing people actually want to hear about something related to the environment. Meanwhile, the climate crisis is continuing apace.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Yeah.

 

Amy Westervelt: We are once again expecting, you know, record heat waves and wildfires and hurricanes this summer. And a new report finds that the U.S. grid is absolutely not up to the task of dealing, you’ll think, with all of these things.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Well, that’s a little freaky. Especially with all of this fossil fuel infrastructure we’ve been opening up. Yeah, it’s a scary time. I mean, we talk all the time about like, you know, feeling like a sitting duck on the Gulf Coast every hurricane season. Yeah. And it’s like there’s still temporary trailers and blue tarps all over everybody’s roofs. And, you know, there’s going to be power outages because there is like a power outage for a rainstorm here.

 

Amy Westervelt: Right. And then there’s so many domino effects from that, you know, then people’s food spoil.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Exactly.

 

Amy Westervelt: They can’t like, you know, they can’t get to work or they can’t get to school or it’s this whole compounding crises thing that happens every time.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Exactly. I was reading more about, like the state that people are in over in Lake Charles that got really decimated in the 2020 hurricane season two years ago. And like there’s recently been some bureaucratic lift in all of this. Like Lake Charles is finally going to get some money to get some relief. But in reading about that, I was reminded that Rand Paul is part of the reason it took so long because Congress passes so few standalone bills, let alone relief bills. And, you know, the Louisiana commission tried over and over to try to push something through to get relief to Lake Charles, even though, you know, they’re not the best on climate. But whatever, Rand Paul personally shot one of them down. So just like I wanted to remind folks that somebody is running against Rand Paul and also Rand Paul’s neighbor beat his ass that one time. And I like to think about that.

 

Amy Westervelt: It’s true. I feel like you can really tell someone by whether or not their neighbors hate them enough to beat their asses. And.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: He hopped the fence.

 

Amy Westervelt: That’s a resounding yes.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: He hopped the fence. That was one of the most beautiful moments.

 

Amy Westervelt: My favorite part about that was that like he appeared on TV a lot with that fucking black eye. It’s like, why wouldn’t you just hide for a while after that? Speaking of random acts of violence, warmer temperatures do also increase violence. Do there’s always an increase in violent crime and domestic abuse and police brutality. When temperatures increase, people get meaner and fight more when it’s hotter, which is wild. There was a new study a little bit earlier this year that found that relative to cooler days, overall crime rate increases 1.72% for over 75 temperatures and then 1.9% for over 90 degrees. So so that’s like meaningful, right? That happened over 75. There’s a marked increase.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: 75. I feel like that’s a beautiful day. Like people need to quit trippin.

 

Amy Westervelt: I know. Me, too. Me too. There’s there’s a couple more studies that warn that a hotter world will be a more violent one. There’s there’s been kind of a whole stream of these coming recently. And we are in the midst of a real violence where in the U.S. people were talking about murder rates increasing. And there were some interesting coverage in a few different places about how this is not really a crime wave so much as it is a a violence wave and a violent crisis.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: And you got to think about all the violence that’s not included in that, too, right? Like state violence, the police violence, prison violence from guards and also in between inmates. And just like just in general, it makes so much sense, right? Like I know I’m more. I have a shorter fuze when I’m hot and irritated.

 

Amy Westervelt: I’m cranky.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Right.

 

Amy Westervelt: That’s right.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: So, like, I’m more likely to be argumentative. And how many people? It doesn’t take a lot for that to become violent.

 

Amy Westervelt: No.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: It’s also when you tend to see more, you know, public uprisings. Um.

 

Amy Westervelt: Right.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: The French Revolution was on a famously very, very hot day like that. Same thing with the summer of 2020. Like, people are more likely to want to go out and and protest, which can be an amazing and beautiful thing, an exercise of democracy. It can also be when, you know boogaloo boys want to show up.

 

Amy Westervelt: Shit pops off.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Right, right.

 

Amy Westervelt: Yeah, Exactly. Another study found that warmer temperatures are contributing to sleep deprivation, which I was like, Oh, my God. Then you think about that. Layered on to the tendency to be grumpier and more violent, people are sleeping less and the probability of shorter nights of sleep are steeply increasing as temperatures increase. Which that just I don’t know, that one bummed me out actually, because I’m like, there’s so many other health problems that come with not being able to sleep. Yeah, I don’t know. I think we’ve all had that experience of, like, trying to go to sleep in a room that’s too hot. It sucks.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Right? And then it’s also like in the case of fires in particular.

 

Amy Westervelt: Yeah.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: You can’t really sleep because you don’t know if you’re going to wake up in the middle of an inferno.

 

Amy Westervelt: That’s right. And, you know, we’re already starting to see some smaller localized impacts of this. So in Baltimore and Philly last week, multiple public school districts were were closing early because they didn’t want to risk their air conditioning units going out. So then that puts a whole pressure on people, right? You have working families that from one day to the next have to pick their kid up 2 hours early because it’s too hot. And then that has follow on impacts, too. So I just I feel like all of these things just have these cascading impacts that were not ready for it. Scientists are saying, like, as extreme weather gets worse, the grid won’t hold up. But we’re already seeing the grid fail in these ways.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Yeah.

 

Amy Westervelt: So yeah.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Yeah. I mean, I also would just like to remind folks that a lot of these prisons don’t have air conditioning at all.

 

Amy Westervelt: Oh, God, that’s awful. Yeah. Even in, like, really hot places where.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: In Texas.

 

Amy Westervelt: Oh, my God, that’s awful.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: I know. I know, it’s it’s scary times. Hey, Amy. What do you call a sad strawberry?

 

Amy Westervelt: Hmm? Uh. I don’t know. What?

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: A blueberry.

 

Uh oh. I was trying to think of all the different forms that a strawberry could take, but a blueberry.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: I know.

 

Amy Westervelt: Womp wahhh. All right. We’re going to get to some pop culture, some surprise news stories. And ripping on one of our favorite fossil fuel fuck boys right after this break.

 

[AD]

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Okay. So, Amy, I’ve been watching a shit ton of TV because I have had COVID. I’m very salty about having had COVID. I there was this big event in Baton Rouge last weekend, the Climate Justice and Joy event. And I was so I was been looking forward to going to it for months.

 

Amy Westervelt: It sounded so awesome. I got a press release about that and I was like, Ooh, I hope Mary is going that.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Yeah, I was planning to go and then I got COVID all this time, no COVID and then finally has something I actually was looking forward to doing COVID. So anyway, yeah, I laid on my couch and I watched a shit ton of TV and because I’m me, I saw a lot of climate and a lot of this stuff. So the first show I wanted to talk to you about is called Physical. It’s on Apple TV. You’re going to need some trigger warnings before you watch the show. If you struggle with eating disorders, this might be a little bit difficult to watch. If you struggle with diet culture or body image or like toxic body positivity, you might have a hard time watching this. But if you like watching terrible people do terrible things. You’ll like this show. And that’s why I like it.

 

Amy Westervelt: I’m kind of into that genre or content so.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Oh, yeah. Oh, oh, yeah, yeah. The the main character is this like she becomes an aerobics teacher, but she’s married to an extremely needy man who thinks he’s like the star of everything. And so he runs for office. And the way climate comes into this way, I would argue climate comes into it, is that his whole platform is about saving the coastline there there in San Diego. And they’re this is the eighties. The other candidate wants to develop the coastline. Right. Like he wants to put shopping malls everywhere in like development, development, development. And their thing is like we want to preserve the coastline. And he’s like a recovering hippie who’s saying, you know, the seventies are over. And basically, what do I do with myself? How do I make myself useful? How familiar does that sound, Amy?

 

Amy Westervelt: That sounds very familiar.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Yeah.

 

Amy Westervelt: Interesting.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: But it was just so interesting because it was like, here were these, like recovering white hippies being like, where do I go to be unproblematic? And it actually is true that a lot of people like that went into the environmental movement to try to be unproblematic.

 

Amy Westervelt: To try to avoid having to think or talk about race.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Oh, that’s what I mean.

 

Amy Westervelt: I do feel like that’s what you see in sort of like the Republican conservation stuff too is it’s like, you know, I don’t know, just like reintroducing this idea of like nature as this thing to keep beautiful for us to enjoy and you know, just like not engaging with any of the, the sort of justice side of of environmental issues.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Yeah. And I mean, in in this show, he does like try to marry the two of them, but you can kind of see the, the class part of it slipping away and it becoming more especially through his wife because she’s like into the glamor. Right. And so like by the end of it, he’s like, oh, no, no, I’m about smart development. It’s like, ah ha there it goes.

 

Amy Westervelt: Amazing.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: There it goes.

 

Amy Westervelt: Amazing.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: So.

 

Amy Westervelt: Well, that’s cool. It sounds like some some like someone in the writers room knows about these issues,.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Right.

 

Amy Westervelt: Enough to to write that stuff. So that’s cool.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: And it’s not hit you’re hit you over the head type of content. The other place I saw Climate show up, I binged all of Ziwe’s episodes from this season and she has a whole episode on climate and why I love seeing late night shows take this on is kind of interesting to watch them take on climate while TV news really doesn’t do it at all.

 

Amy Westervelt: God. Yeah. Wow.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: So like, if you want to see climate talked about in any sort of like analytical way, you need to be watching late, late comedy shows like.

 

Amy Westervelt: That’s true. Like John Oliver’s.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Even like The Daily Show. I think Seth Meyers has been doing some stuff with it too. And it’s like, that’s such a that’s such an indictment on the news media that late night comedy is doing more journalism and in particular are less afraid of talking about climate change on their show.

 

Amy Westervelt: And they’re doing it in really like smart and nuanced ways.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Rise, actually, right? Yeah. So I, I will say that like I think Z was episode did a really good job of making it clear there’s not an individual or like mocking greenwashing. Mm hmm. That’s really what she did. Like she mocked the oil companies really well, and, like, sort of, like, pretended to be one or whatever, but is still kind of punched down when it came to, like, making fun of Ilana Glazer for, you know, causing climate change, which. Yeah. Like, she’s she’s rich or whatever. But it wasn’t for like, although it wasn’t for the right reasons. Right? Like, if you’re going to make someone feel uncomfortable as a rich and famous person for their carbon footprint should be about like their private jet and not about, like, whether or not they fracked.

 

Amy Westervelt: Right.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Or making them apologize to a kid for climate change like that. Just felt like it was leaning further in the direction of individual responsibility than it needed to.

 

Amy Westervelt: Mm hmm. Hmm. Mm hmm. Yeah, that makes sense. I feel like a lot of Glazer has, like, gotten super, super into climate stuff in the last few years. Yeah. She has her showing up all over that.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Yeah. Yeah. She has a whole special. A whole comedy special about climate change, which is on my list to watch before the end of my COVID, which hopefully is like right now. I’m so sick of Covid. Oh, my God.

 

Amy Westervelt: I hope so. I hope so. All right. Well, cool. I’m excited to talk about that soon. While you were laying in bed with COVID bingeing T.V.. I was doing my favorite activity, which is digging through archives and hanging out in a library like a nerd.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Okay. I thought you were going to say eating mayonnaise out of the jar like a bear.

 

Amy Westervelt: No, no, that’s my second favorite activity.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Oh, God. Disgusting. Disgusting.

 

Amy Westervelt: Anyway, yeah, I went to the ExxonMobil archive in Austin, which is one of several archives that I like to go to, to poke around on things that oil companies were doing way back when or PR people were doing. And in the case of the Exxon archive, this is like where those Exxon new documents came from. So all the the sort of documents that show that, you know, Exxon scientists were doing climate research in the seventies and were letting the executives know that this was going to be a problem and and all of that stuff. I have been very obsessed with the mobile part of the archives because Mobil Oil was, you know, one of the other kind of offshoots of Standard Oil. Standard Oil was the Rockefellers oil empire got broken up in an antitrust suit into several smaller companies, of which Exxon was one and Mobil was another.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Aw and they came back together.

 

Amy Westervelt: Yeah. But Mobil really had a big hand in developing a lot of the communications and PR strategies for the whole industry. The way that they kind of did things really kind of from the fifties through the eighties was pretty much a blueprint for how the rest of the industry did things from then on. So I have a kind of a low key obsession with with their history. And I found this thing that I was like, Oh my God, just a really good example of like how much effort and money these companies have spent to really entrench themselves in society. So we’ve talked before about this push to create social license and, you know, make communities feel like they’re really dependent on the oil companies and like the oil companies are good neighbors and all of that kind of stuff. So I found this campaign that Mobil had run in the mid 1950s where they had developed a bike safety curricula for schools like elementary schools. And I was like, at first I saw this and I was like, Wait, did they do this sell like, you know, oil for bicycles. Or was there some product that they sold that this had to do with? And no, as I read more into the, you know, the campaign goals and strategy and whatever their whole point was to ingrain Mobile’s brand in the minds of kids and then like in the hopes that not only would they eventually grow up to be adults who preferred Mobil, but also that they would encourage their parents to fill up with Mobil Gas.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: That’s so creepy. So mobile was creeping on kids?

 

Amy Westervelt: Oh yeah, in the fifties. I mean, they were doing it before then too. I’m sure the thing that I have really that always really kind of strikes me with this stuff is I’m like, Wow, this is a really comprehensive campaign. Like, they created a filmstrip, they created all these graphics and handouts and everything. They created a whole curriculum. They built a relationship with all these different schools. They decided that they wanted to like do it with third graders and fifth graders so that they could really figure out, like, what’s the ideal age group to get kids at that they’re going to really remember our brand.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Right?

 

Amy Westervelt: And then they did this like intense amount of of like surveying and follow up to see how well it worked. So like that’s a very sophisticated marketing campaign and this is like decades before the environmental movement even existed, let alone was trying to, you know, communicate anything to people.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Yeah, I feel like this was. So if they were doing this in the fifties, isn’t that like the period when all the ad men. This is. What I gather from watching madmen when they realize you could market to children and they’ll just bug their parents to death.

 

Amy Westervelt: Yep. Exactly

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: So they were just like, you know, doing the trend.

 

Amy Westervelt: Yeah. And like I said, like, had such an enormous jump on, you know, anything that questioned whether or not, you know, fossil fuel was was a great thing to build our entire economy around. You know?

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Yeah. I love it when you go to archives because you always come back with story time.

 

Amy Westervelt: I know, I always find such random, like, weird things in there.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Well, I’ll tell you, I didn’t spend my entire COVID break just watching TV. I did do some reading, too. So do you want to hear about why your kids aren’t doomed? According to Ezra Klein in The New York Times.

 

Amy Westervelt: I saw mentions of that floating around, and I know Kate Marvel had a good quote in there, but I didn’t read it yet. So tell me about it.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Okay. So this is an op ed from Ezra Klein and he’s making the argument. He’s talked to a lot of people in the climate sphere. From what I can tell, all of them are white about why you know, why children born today are not doomed. He says that he gets two main questions. One is, is it moral to have children given the climate crisis they’ll face? And also, is it moral to have kids considering how much they’re going to contribute to climate change and what he’s coming down to in the first half of it to answer that first question is life has been a lot harder than it is right now for generations in the future. And because renewables are, you know, advancing at such a high rate, that’s really good news. And like the future is probably going to get a lot better than we currently see it right now. So.

 

Amy Westervelt: Okay.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Okay. There’s one thing and then the other thing to answer. The next question is kind of like saying that, well, he doesn’t really come to a good place on like whether or not it’s moral to have kids, considering how much your kids are going to contribute to the climate change. Except, you know, I would argue that’s not a given that your children are going to have a much bigger impact on the climate, especially if you’re in this like rich global north population that that Ezra clearly is writing for in this essay, there are things within your power you can do to control your carbon footprint. Like your kid might not fly, your kid might have solar panels, and you have the power to make those sorts of decisions.

 

Amy Westervelt: This is fascinating to me because I have to I just have to like bitch for a minute about the fact that I literally wrote that story 15 years ago. Yeah. Like, we’ve been having this fucking conversation for more than a decade.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Yeah.

 

Amy Westervelt: And and at the time when I. When I wrote about it, I, I wanted to interview a bunch of people because I suspected that people being worried about their kids impact on the climate was less of a driver, which turned out to be true for the vast majority of people. I think that like when you really started to see climate become a genuine part of the math for people on having kids is when it became like, is it moral to do my kids to a tougher future than the life that I’ve had? I think that feels more like in line with how people actually make decisions about family planning, you know. There’s this this story just like we’ll never die. I don’t know, it just keeps coming around like every couple of years this. And I personally kind of reject the idea that we need to discuss the morality of having children. I just feel like that like plays into weird population arguments in a way that’s not helpful. And I also feel like people’s reproductive choices are very individualized. And like every person’s decision on that front is comprised of multiple factors, including things that they don’t have control over. That’s another thing. I’m like, not everybody has like perfect choice here, you know, like, do they have a, you know, do they want to be a single parent? Do they have a partner? Are they having fertility issues? Can they afford kids?

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: He talks to a lot of people that, you know, we know and love. There’s Kate Marvel is in here, David Wallace-Wells and Leah Stokes.

 

Amy Westervelt: All white people I think it’s worth pointing out.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Yes, yeah. That kind of I no disrespect to those folks. He definitely should have talked to them. And, you know, we love and respect them. But as far as I can tell, he didn’t talk to any any people of color in here.

 

Amy Westervelt: That’s really problematic in a story about climate and reproduction. I’m sorry. I just feel like the people that that are most often told that they should limit how many kids they have are people of color. And weirdly, people in less developed countries who have a much lower carbon footprint are.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Not being acknowledged here or not being acknowledged enough, I don’t think is that people in the global north can still be on the front lines. Right. Like this. This article is clearly written like if you’re rich and white and live not on the front lines of climate change like me, here’s how I see having children for you. But that’s not said explicitly. It’s not just like this big chasm between, you know, rich white folks in California and like poor folks in Bangladesh. Like, there’s so much room in between those two. And the other thing that’s not super grappled with here is that, yeah, renewable energy is advancing at a rate that wasn’t expected, you know, five years ago. But so is climate change is advancing at a rate that wasn’t expected five years ago. Hurricane Ida was several decades early for a hurricane to behave like that, that shock the living shit out of people who work on climate change. So do these rain bombs and dust storms and like the wildfires, are far more advanced than people expected them to be. And I’m not saying this as an argument that like anyone, should not have children, but if we’re going to talk about it, then let’s talk about it.

 

Amy Westervelt: Right. Plus, let’s not forget we’re having this conversation at a time when reproductive choice is being legally limited.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Exactly. I mean. I get that this conversation has been going on for a while. I think it’s like it’s a debate that’s never going to end because it’s not something that can be decided uniformly. Like you were saying, like reproductive.

 

Amy Westervelt: There is no one size fits all answer.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Exactly. I mean, I do think it’s interesting that men are getting asked this because I used to not hear this from men. And as a client, I don’t think of as a climate journalist. So it’s interesting that he’s being asked in particular. And I think that this conversation might be hitting a pitch that it didn’t hit before. So even though it’s been going on for a long time, it hasn’t everybody hasn’t had it. Everybody hasn’t heard it.

 

Amy Westervelt: Well, that’s true. And I very much think that just in the last I would say like 3 to 5 years, I it’s become very, very real that people are genuinely concerned about what sort of world they might be bringing kids into, in a way that I just was not hearing from people. Ten, 12, 15 years. Right. I think people, you know, were just not that viscerally concerned. And they are now and I mean, I hear people regularly this is this is also why I feel like it’s it’s kind of bizarre to see on TV people having conversations about whether or not to have kids and not ever touching on the climate thing. Because I don’t I don’t see that in real life at all anymore. I almost never hear someone talking about, you know, their decision to have or not have kids or have, you know, how many kids. And this not without mentioning that. And I mean, I’m I know partly that’s because of who I am and what I work on and all that stuff too. But I just hear it so much more.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: I overhear conversations about climate change everywhere. Everywhere I go sit at a coffee shop and I hear it at the table next to me. I get in a Lyft and I hear my drivers talking about it like. And that’s not just because I well, I mean, it has something to do with the fact that I live in New Orleans. But at the same time, it’s just like it would come up in New York. It’s like it’s a it’s a normal topic of conversation now. And when you’re making a decision like having children, of course, like you’re going to at least mentioned it in passing, right?

 

Amy Westervelt: I mean honestly, you could say that that is what’s showing up in the great replacement therapy stuff. People are starting to think about resource scarcity in these very human ways. You know. And that plays into reproductive decisions and lots of other things too. The idea that, oh, like, are we going to have enough water? Is there going to be enough land? Are there going to be too many people to feed all of that stuff? So yeah, I don’t mean to poo poo Ezra Klein’s attempt to to wade into this issue. I think it’s good to have these conversations in public. I do think that it’s a little weird to only have that conversation in particular among a group of like highly educated, well-off white people. That’s a bit of a fail. But, you know, I think it’s good people are talking about it now. It’s time for a little segment. We like to call Billionaire Burn. Usually we call it billionaire burn. Today, we’re going to call it fossil fuck boy, a millionaire murn.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: I mean Fossil fuel fuck boy makes more sense but millionaire murn is just funny.

 

Amy Westervelt: It is funny. Okay, so this guy might be my favorite person to hate in the fossil fuel industry. You know. His name is Mike Summers. He is the CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, which is the fossil fuel industry’s largest trade group. It’s basically their lobbying group. Yeah. All this, their brain. He’s really funny about being like, we’re not lobbyists. That is 100% what they are.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Yeah. What does he think they do?

 

Amy Westervelt: He thinks that they just are advocates for the industry, Mary.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: That’s what lobbying is, doll.

 

Amy Westervelt: Exactly. Exactly.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Okay, girl.

 

Amy Westervelt: Mike Summers really, really trades on the fact that people don’t know what words mean and that and and then he can just kind of, like, spin things.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Honestly, given what, you know, Twitter has become. It was a smart bet.

 

Amy Westervelt: Honestly. Yeah, you’re right. It’s true. It’s. It’s been working for him.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Yeah.

 

Amy Westervelt: He has been for the past several months, making the rounds pretty regularly of all of the different cable news shows. You know, he’s been on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, CBS, talking about gas prices. And I have a few problems with this, starting with why the fuck is any journalist asking the head of the Fossil Fuel Industries lobbying group to explain why gas prices are high right now? Just why.

 

CLIP: There are a lot of factors at play as to why energy prices are surging. But certainly one of the key factors is that the Biden administration has made an effort to reduce production in the United States. One of their first acts, for example, was cutting off the Keystone XL pipeline. One of their second acts was cutting off, leasing and permitting on federal lands. And then they cut off access to Anwar in Alaska. I think you have to remember that most oil refiners here in the United States have already cut off the amount of Russia that oil that we’re getting from Russia. In fact, we’re barely getting any Russian crude oil right now. The most important thing that we can do right now is really focus on increasing supply here in the United States, and that means adopting a regulatory framework that advances American energy leadership.

 

CLIP: And Mike, what exactly would that look like? I mean, how could the US make up a loss of Russian oil domestically? Carter Evans touched on this in his piece, but how quickly could that be done?

 

CLIP: Well, we have to remember at the beginning of the Biden administration, they did a couple of big things that really dampened the amount of oil and gas that we were producing in United States. You know, first they cut off the Keystone XL pipeline. Then they put a moratorium on leasing and permitting on federal lands and on offshore waters. And then they cut off supply from the Alaska Natural National Wildlife Refuge. So really, the first week of this Biden administration was very harmful to the domestic production of oil and natural gas.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Because they want an unbiased opinion. You know, it’s kind of like why they always have a police officer tell you what happened during the police shooting.

 

Amy Westervelt: Yes. Yes. I’m just like, oh, I can’t believe. That we’re still doing this. This is not like a you know dispassionate, objective source. People, this guy’s job that he gets paid a couple million dollars a year to do is to convince the public and politicians to pass policy that’s friendly to the fossil fuel industry. So, like, he’s not going to go on there and be like, well, it’s high because we don’t really want to increase production. We’d much rather pay dividends to our shareholders. Yeah, well, he’s going to say which he has been. It’s all because of Biden’s climate policy.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Exactly. Okay. So I’ll tell you, my struggle with Mike Summers, one of my favorite pastimes is cyberbullying fossil fuel companies, including the API. And I have a policy against trolling individuals. And unless they’re an individual with so much power and such a huge following that it doesn’t feel like a personal attack on a person. Right? So like every once in a while, I’ll dunk on Eli. Every once in a while, I’ll dunk on like President Biden. Mike has not that same a big following and not he’s not like a billionaire and he’s not the president of the United States. He’s not quite as powerful. He’s really fucking powerful. And he has the most. Punchable face on earth.

 

Amy Westervelt: He really does. That fucking smile all the time.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: None of the other oil CEOs are on Twitter for me to even get to. I want to troll him as an individual so bad. But I also have a policy. I wear. I don’t talk on individual.

 

Amy Westervelt: He’s also hard to dunk on because he’s he really is like the perfect talking head the lobbyist guy. Like he has no real personality. There’s nothing like immediately offensive about him. And he’s very good at using a bunch of words to say absolutely nothing.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: I feel like I could do it better, though. I feel like I could do it better.

 

Amy Westervelt: And he also knows that he can very easily make a journalist look like, you know, some elite out of touch asshole by bringing it back to the pain at the pump for the average American.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Right. Even though he’s a millionaire, even though he’s.

 

Amy Westervelt: A millionaire and his industry is absolutely responsible, you know, it’s very easy to make it look like, oh, you elite liberals who care about climate and not about the cost of gas for real Americans or the cost of groceries that are going up because of these gas prices and, you know, all of that stuff. And it’s just like, I don’t know, especially with something like this where it’s been going on for a while now. Right. The gas price hike and all of the stuff that’s happened with Russia, Ukraine and all the conversation about how it’s all because of climate policy. Like, I feel like there’s been enough time for journalists who are not on the climate beat or not on the energy beat to like learn the basics of how gas brazing works and be able to push back on this dude. But they’re just not doing it.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: How would that make sense for any other topic? Right. Like, I feel like journalists, whenever they want to talk about climate change, they or TV journalists, especially at these big networks, they really bone up on the science to be able to go toe to toe. And that’s a recent development. But this is actually what I’d rather see people spend their time learning. Yeah, like this is actually more useful than knowing what the climate models say exactly.

 

Amy Westervelt: Like actually knowing industry talking points, which have not changed in like a fucking hundred years. Like it’s not that hard to like learn them, know them and that’s it. They don’t change them, you know, and like the basics of energy economics, because those are the arguments that they always make. It’s always jobs, the economy and how dependent you are on, you know, cheap fossil fuels for making your life good. And then, you know, talking about supply and demand of this product as though they are just hapless victims of the market, just like we all are. Bullshit. That is not true. You know? Never mind that. Like, Summers could only ever point to, like, three climate policies. One of them has been chucked already. And in the meantime, the Biden administration has put forward several very pro fossil fuel policies. And I don’t understand why, especially TV journalists aren’t pushing back on and saying, well, yeah, but aren’t the, you know, pipeline permits are flowing now you’ve got these Department of Energy permits, you’ve got the US EU energy deal. What more do you need?

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: It’s almost like they haven’t quite gotten the memo that like you can’t take them at their word. You have to question what they say.

 

Amy Westervelt: Yeah, it’s irritating because I feel like there’s very much this idea that like, Oh, you can’t trust an activist. They’re they have an agenda. But the fucking guy who runs the lobbying organization for the fossil fuel industry, he’s fine as like objective expert on energy pricing. What that’s crazy.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Like these are companies that straight up have had people executed. It’s like just going to be like, right, why would they lie? Right. Well, and especially about this stuff, I feel like there’s this this.

 

Amy Westervelt: Tendency to be like, well, he can’t make things up about how energy markets work. Yeah, he fucking can. And he is. He is absolutely lying to your face. With a grin on and you’re just taking it.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: All the time. All the time. Honestly, I think this is what’s been irritating me for the past few months is that like, I don’t understand why anybody would put anything past the fossil fuel industry. Right. And that is to say, I don’t know why you put anything past the right wing. Right? Right. So, like, if they will kill the planet, of course they’ll kill your reproductive rights. Of course they’ll put guns in your schools. Of course they’ll kill your children if they are killing your children through climate change, of course they’ll do that. So, like stop putting things past these people.

 

Amy Westervelt: That’s right. That’s right. I saw someone the other day talking about it in the context of reproductive rights in particular, and saying that like like no one is going to give those rights back to you. You you have. To realize that, like, everything is working as intended, they’ll.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Lie to you about the Iraq war. Why wouldn’t they lie to you about climate change or vice versa? Like it’s a lie to you about climate change? Why wouldn’t they lie to you about the Iraq war? It’s what they do. They gaslights. Hmm.

 

Amy Westervelt: Yeah. So I guess. I guess. Really? Like Mike Summers is tied with media outlets that continue to give him a platform in this week’s burn. Yeah.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Yeah,.

 

Amy Westervelt: It’s. It takes two to tango. Stop having lobbyists on as objective experts.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Yeah, please. I’m begging you. We’re begging you. Keep fucking that chicken.

 

Amy Westervelt: Gets me every time, even when I know it’s coming. That’s it for this week, folks. And keep fuckin that chicken.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Hot take is a Crooked Media production.

 

Amy Westervelt: It’s produced by Ray Peng and mixed and edited by Juels Bradley. Our music is by Vasilis Fotopoulis. Thimali Kodakara is our consulting producer and our executive producers are Mary Annaïse Heglar, Michael Martinez and me Amy Westervelt.

 

Mary Annaïse Heglar: Special thanks to Sandy Girard, Ari Schwartz, Kyle Seglin, and Charlotte Landes for production support and to Amelia Montooth for digital support.

 

Amy Westervelt: You can follow the show on Twitter at Real Hot. Take sign up for our newsletter at Hot Take Pod dot com and subscribe to Crooked Media’s video channel at YouTube.com slash Crooked Media.

 

Jon Lovett: Hey, everybody, it’s Jon Lovett.

 

Tre’vell Anderson: And Tre’vell Anderson.

 

Jon Lovett: And we are so excited to team up to let you know what Crooked is up to this Pride Month, we’re bringing you incredibly queer content across the entire Crooked network. That includes What A Day, Lovett or Leave It, Keep It, Strict Scrutiny and more.

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Plus, we’re fundraising for Trans Lifeline, Equality Florida and Trans Education Network Of Texas, all of whom are working tirelessly to support the queer and trans communities nationally and locally.

 

Jon Lovett: To get the scoop on all of it, head to Crooked.com/pride.