Cartoon mocks Duke’s capture of state government, calls for informed public debate and action to avert climate tipping point – and nine-foot sea level rise by 2050
NC WARN is spending donations from its members to take straight to the statewide public the message that climate chaos is a hyper-urgent harm that demands a new kind of civic leadership, public debate and engagement.
The ad is titled “Will ANYONE Stand up to Duke Energy?” It calls on the public to press gubernatorial candidates Pat McCrory and Roy Cooper to speak out against the regulatory and legislative coddling of the corporate giant on issues including global warming, coal ash and rate hikes.
State environmental and utility regulators have increasingly protected Duke Energy interests above those of the public. Cooper has declined to use his authority as attorney general to contest Duke’s capture of state government, its stifling of solar competition or its huge expansion of climate-wrecking shale gas.
With ads running online and in daily and weekly papers, the first phase of the campaign will cost in the six figure range. See the print ad here.
Devastation of human and animal populations worldwide continues to accelerate alongside heat records, extreme weather, and flooding of coastal areas and entire islands. Leading scientists believe a tipping point toward runaway changes could come by 2020.
Last month, scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warned the insurance industry that if global carbon emissions aren’t cut drastically, the world could see a 9-10 foot sea level rise by 2050.
But our state remains stuck in a severe drought in public debate about the urgency of both the climate crisis itself and Charlotte-based Duke Energy’s prominent role in rapidly making it worse.
We continue calling for the news media to hold Duke accountable for its persistent claims to be reducing carbon emissions while pretending methane leakage from its expanding use of fracked gas doesn’t matter. Scientists from Cornell University and elsewhere now argue that methane is 100 times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat, and that its leakage across the natural gas industry has quickly become the leading greenhouse gas problem in the US.
As Cornell’s Dr. Robert Howarth stated at Chapel Hill’s Friday Center in March, reducing methane emissions is essential if humanity is to avoid the tipping point toward runaway climate change. That means Duke Energy’s massive expansion of fracked gas must be re-routed toward renewables, energy-saving programs and energy storage.
Weather extremes and sea level rise could create widespread chaos within two dozen years unless North Carolina’s academics and journalists join other civic leaders and the general public in demanding that Duke Energy executives do all possible to help turn the tide.