Get out the private jets, it’s climate conference time! Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Foreign Secretary David Cameron, and King Charles III each took their own private jets—as did many other
hypocrites world leaders—to attend the Cop28 climate conference in Dubai, where it is apparently an “open secret,” per Politico, that “the top temperature goal is mostly gone.”
“This government’s approach to tackling climate change, as we have set out repeatedly, is not about banning or reducing people from flying,” said a Sunak spokesman. “It is through investing in new technologies of the future, as evidenced by the flight just yesterday using sustainable aviation fuel.”
Innovation is well and good, but the whole world-leaders-coming-in-on-private-planes thing looks a bit bad when the topic at hand is reversing climate change—and when the news is so dismal. “A short trip on a private jet will produce more carbon than the average person emits all year,” noted one Green Party critic.
Methane agreement scorned: That’s not the only bit of controversy that’s come from this year’s Cop28 summit. NBC reports that roughly “50 oil and gas companies worldwide have pledged to shore up leaky methane systems by 2030,” which “could rapidly reduce emissions of the potent gas and forestall some climate change effects.” Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the conference’s president and the one who announced this agreement, is the United Arab Emirates’ climate envoy and the CEO of ADNOC, an oil and gas company.
“Every piece of equipment, every component, can leak methane along the supply chain,” scientist Arvind Ravikumar explained to NBC. He said roughly 10 percent of leaks in the supply chain create more than 50 percent of total methane emissions.
By asking oil and gas companies to fix something that’s in their self-interest to fix anyway, the conference attracted criticism from climate activists. “Methane emissions and gas flaring are symptoms of a more than century-long legacy of wasteful, destructive practices that are routine in the oil and gas industry as it pursues massive profits without regard for the consequences,” they wrote in response. “The only safe and effective way to ‘clean up’ fossil fuel pollution is to phase out fossil fuels.”
Kamala Harris promises to throw money at the problem: Our own vice president just pledged $3 billion of U.S. taxpayers’ hard-earned money to the Green Climate Fund. But Congress still has to approve this, and given the spending battles that have led to looming government shutdowns and an ousted speaker, it’s unclear whether this money is Harris’ to spend.
Middle East update: Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen fired at several commercial ships over the weekend, prompting a U.S. Navy destroyer to shoot down three drones, including one that was headed for the U.S.S. Carney warship. “The strikes marked an escalation in a series of maritime attacks in the Mideast linked to the Israel-Hamas war, as multiple vessels found themselves in the crosshairs of a single Houthi assault for the first time in the conflict,” reports the Associated Press.
“A Houthi military spokesman, Yahya Sarea, said in a statement on Sunday that the militia had targeted two Israeli ships in the area of the Bab al-Mandeb strait off southern Yemen, but did not mention the American naval vessel,” per The New York Times. The Houthi militants have said they will keep firing at Israeli ships in the Red and Arabian Seas until the Israeli war in the Gaza Strip is stopped.
Meanwhile in Gaza, the ceasefire has expired and Israel seems to be eyeing an expansion of its military campaign into the south. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) called for mass evacuations from Khan Younis, warning civilians that it is likely to strike there. With an estimated three-quarters of the population of the Gaza Strip displaced, it’s unclear where evacuees ought to take refuge.
Scenes from New York:
Functional school system we’ve got here!
A 7th grade girl, bullied and beaten on video at NYC's Mark Twain gifted and talented middle school, is now escorted by a staffer acting as a bodyguard during school, and her parents pick her up every day to accompany her out of the building. The DOE offered the victim a "safety… https://t.co/P5Y0GsO8UW
— Susan Edelman (@SusanBEdelman) December 3, 2023
- DO YOU LOVE ROUNDUP? Then possibly consider donating to Reason‘s Webathon (and writing my name in that sweet, sweet comment section so my superiors know not to fire me next time I say something too spicy). Who knows, maybe you can win a trip to the shooting range with me next year if enough interest is expressed! (Just kidding, New York City doesn’t have those, because the city pols hate fun and freedom.)
- Today, the Supreme Court “will weigh whether members of the Sackler family, who owned the company, should be shielded from current and future lawsuits connected with Purdue in exchange for paying about $5.5 billion to address the addiction crisis,” reports Axios.
- “A growing number of Chinese have entered the United States this year through the Darién Gap, exceeded only by Venezuelans, Ecuadoreans and Haitians,” The New York Times reports.
- Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor died on Friday.
- “Buy now, pay later” schemes receive heightened scrutiny.
- Deranged behavior—and vandalism—outside a Jewish-owned restaurant in Philadelphia.
- Socialized medicine kills: “Canadian woman is diagnosed with cancer, told she has 2 years to live at most, that she is not a candidate for surgery but would she like medical help committing suicide? She declines, comes to the United States, spends a lot of money, and is treated within weeks,” writes Alex Tabarrok at Marginal Revolution.
- The expansion of grief leave, with no government mandates necessary.
- A thread that will possibly leave you optimistic about the future of humanity.
Oh boy do I have a good one for you. https://t.co/N7uaylLuaw
— Ajit Pai (@AjitPai) December 3, 2023
- Check out the trailer for the show Zach Weissmueller and I are launching. It’s called Just Asking Questions and we’re thrilled to release new episodes to our YouTube every Thursday and to our podcast feed every Friday:
— Zach Weissmueller (@TheAbridgedZach) December 2, 2023
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