Elon Musk is being targeted by the conservative political action committee, Citizens for the Republic. The group's so-called Sunlight Project is behind an incendiary lobbying campaign and website called, "Stop Elon Musk from Failing Again," with a mission of divesting the Tesla/SpaceX/SolarCity boss from federal clean energy subsidies.
Musk himself has tweeted about the recent rash of attacks.
Can anyone uncover who is really writing these fake pieces? Can't be skankhunt42. His work is better than this. https://t.co/Qs69AFMGE5— Elon Musk (@Elon Musk)1479831018.0
"The Musk empire appears to be nothing more than a collection of failing startups and plummeting stock options," Citizens for the Republic said in a statement to the Washington Examiner. "Even the once-touted SolarCity had to be bought out by Tesla" to survive.
"Following the victory of President-elect Donald Trump and a majority of Republicans in the House and Senate, government corruption and spending abuse at all levels must end," the group added in reference to Musk's subsidies.
The "Stop Elon" website is a giant hit piece on Musk's several companies and his endeavors. Its
about page states:
"Elon Musk has defrauded the American Taxpayer out of over $4.9 Billion in the form of subsidies, grants, and other favors. We are challenging not just Elon, but the entire culture of corporations making billions of dollars off of the American people for almost zero return to the consumer. CEO's like Musk are taking advantage of Americans, and it is our intention to end their free ride."
The $4.9 billion figure stems from a debunked Los Angeles Times story. While Musk said that government subsidies are "helpful" they are also "not necessary" for his company to run. He pointed out that $4.9 billion is from "adding up everything that's ever happened and including things that will take the next 20 years."
Musk suggested that the Times report was planted after the International Monetary Fund's staggering report that the fossil fuel industry receives more than $5 trillion in subsidies a year. During a talk in May, the sustainable transport/clean energy advocate urged a revolt against Big Energy for allegedly feeding negative stories about his work to the press.
"We need to appeal to the people—educate people to sort of revolt against this and to fight the propaganda of the fossil fuel industry which is unrelenting and enormous," Musk said.
Elon Musk: We Must Revolt Against the Unrelenting Propaganda of the Fossil Fuel Industry https://t.co/eGrR4QXjtT @BusinessGreen @CSRwire— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1462571118.0
On its website, the misleadingly titled Sunlight Project considers the solar industry "Big Energy," calling it a pet project of "the Obama Administration and those who claim to care about the environment." It accuses Washington of funneling millions in tax credits to solar companies "despite posting losses year after year." (Actually, the solar industry has reported record-breaking growth in recent years).
Several new reports have determined that the anti-solar/anti-Musk campaign has dubious ties with conservative interests and Big Energy lobbyists.
Electrek writer Fred Lambert reported that Citizens for the Republic, which was first launched by Ronald Reagan in the 1970s and later dismantled, is now spearheaded by none other than conservative radio host and climate change denier Laura Ingraham. Ingraham, a top Donald Trump surrogate, happens to be in the running for press secretary under the Trump administration.
Right-wing group led by Trump propagandist launches campaign against Elon Musk, Tesla and SpaceX… https://t.co/mocmYI3Xxp— Electrek.Co (@Electrek.Co)1479819611.0
The Drive's Liane Yvkoff also reported that Citizens for the Republic's board members Craig Shirley and Diane Banister are partners of the right-wing public relations firm Shirley and Banister Public Affairs, that has represented the National Rifle Association, commentator Ann Coulter and the Tea Party Patriots. Posts on "Stop Elon Musk From Failing" are authored by someone called "stopelon," the same user name on Alt Left Watch, which also happens to be managed by the PR company.
Not only that, Yvkoff noted that Shirley has previously lobbied for Citizens for State Power that "actively fought deregulation of utilities—in the years 1999, 2000, and 2001." The Washington Post revealed that utility companies secretly funded millions to Citizens for State Power to lobby Congress for energy deregulation. Shirley served on the board of the United Seniors Association that lobbied on behalf of the Republican party for energy deregulation in 2000, according to Public Citizen.
According to Yvkoff, Citizens for State Power and Stop Elon Musk From Failing "probably isn't a personal project of Craig Shirley or Diane Banister, and is more likely to be supported by energy companies that want to end the tax credits that help Tesla and other renewable energy companies build infrastructure."
These Are the Lobbyists Behind the Site Attacking Elon Musk and Tesla: https://t.co/l6u1MTrm0P— The Drive (@The Drive)1479926037.0
However, when Bloomberg asked Banister if oil companies are contributing to the campaign, she responded, "We reached out to them [for donations], but they haven't responded.'"
The Sunlight Project produced a video that delves into their overall mission and touts the tagline, "We believe sunlight is the best disinfectant."
The clip features Shirley as well as Heartland Institute-approved Greg E. Walcher, the president of the Natural Resources Group and the former executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. In 2004, The League of Conservation Voters added Walcher to their "Dirty Dozen" list of anti-environmental candidates during his run for Congress in Colorado's 3rd District.
Walcher boasts on his resume that he "helped forge a compromise and approval that allowed new technology to access oil shale in the Piceance Basin, leading to the first practical oil shale production in 30 years."
By Jessica Corbett
Water protectors were arrested Thursday after halting construction at a Minnesota worksite for Enbridge's Line 3 project by locking themselves together inside a pipe segment.
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Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker vetoed a sweeping climate bill on Thursday that would have put the commonwealth on a path to eliminating carbon emissions by 2050.
By Ajit Niranjan
World leaders and businesses are not putting enough money into adapting to dangerous changes in the climate and must "urgently step up action," according to a report published Thursday by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).
Adaptation Has a Long Way to Go<p>The Adaptation Gap Report, now in its 5th year, finds "huge gaps" between what world leaders agreed to do under the 2015 <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/5-years-paris-climate-agreement/a-55901139" target="_blank">Paris Agreement</a> and what they need to do to keep their citizens safe from climate change.</p><p>A review by the Global Adaptation Mapping Initiative of almost 1,700 examples of climate adaptation found that a third were in the early stages of implementation — and only 3% had reached the point of reducing risks.</p><p>Disasters like storms and droughts have grown stronger than they should be because people have warmed the planet by burning fossil fuels and chopping down rainforests. The world has heated by more than 1.1 degrees Celsius since the Industrial Revolution and is on track to warm by about 3°C by the end of the century.</p><p>If world leaders <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/climate-change-performance-index-how-far-have-we-come/a-55846406" target="_blank">deliver on recent pledges</a> to bring emissions to <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/joe-bidens-climate-pledges-are-they-realistic/a-56173821" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">net-zero</a> by the middle of the century, they could almost limit warming to 2°C. The target of the Paris Agreement, however, is to reach a target well below that — ideally 1.5°C. </p><p>There are two ways, scientists say, to lessen the pain that warming will bring: mitigating climate change by cutting carbon pollution and adapting to the hotter, less stable world it brings.</p>
The Cost of Climate Adaptation<p>About three-quarters of the world's countries have national plans to adapt to climate change, according to the report, but most lack the regulations, incentives and funding to make them work.</p><p>More than a decade ago, rich countries most responsible for climate change pledged to mobilize $100 billion a year by 2020 in climate finance for poorer countries. UNEP says it is "impossible to answer" whether that goal has been met, while an OECD study published in November found that between 2013 and 2018, the target sum had not once been achieved. Even in 2018, which recorded the highest level of contributions, rich countries were still $20 billion short.</p><p>The yearly adaptation costs for developing countries alone are estimated at $70 billion. This figure is expected to at least double by the end of the decade as temperatures rise, and will hit $280-500 billion by 2050, according to the report.</p><p>But failing to adapt is even more expensive.</p><p>When powerful storms like cyclones Fani and Bulbul struck South Asia, early-warning systems allowed governments to move millions of people out of danger at short notice. Storms of similar strength that have hit East Africa, like <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/zimbabwe-after-cyclone-idai-building-climate-friendly-practices/a-54251885" target="_blank">cyclones Idai</a> and Kenneth, have proved more deadly because fewer people were evacuated before disaster struck.</p><p>The Global Commission on Adaptation estimated in 2019 that a $1.8 trillion investment in early warning systems, buildings, agriculture, mangroves and water resources could reap $7.1 trillion in benefits from economic activity and avoided costs when disasters strike.</p>
Exploring Nature-Based Solutions<p>The report also highlights how restoring nature can protect people from climate change while benefiting local communities and ecology.</p><p><a href="https://www.dw.com/en/climate-fires-risk-climate-change-bushfires-australia-california-extreme-weather-firefighters/a-54817927" target="_blank">Wildfires</a>, for instance, could be made less punishing by restoring grasslands and regularly burning the land in controlled settings. Indigenous communities from Australia to Canada have done this for millennia in a way that encourages plant growth while reducing the risk of uncontrolled wildfires. Reforestation, meanwhile, can stop soil erosion and flooding during heavy rainfall while trapping carbon and protecting wildlife.</p><p>In countries like Brazil and Malaysia, governments could better protect coastal homes from floods and storms by restoring <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/mudflats-mangroves-and-marshes-the-great-coastal-protectors/a-50628747" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">mangroves</a> — tangled trees that grow in tropical swamps. As well as anchoring sediments and absorbing the crash of waves, mangroves can store carbon, help fish populations grow and boost local economies through tourism. </p><p>While nature-based solutions are often cheaper than building hard infrastructure, their funding makes up a "tiny fraction" of adaptation finance, the report authors wrote. An analysis of four global climate funds that spent $94 billion on adaptation projects found that just $12 billion went to nature-based solutions and little of this was spent implementing projects on the ground.</p><p>But little is known about their long-term effectiveness. At higher temperatures, the effects of climate change may be so great that they overwhelm natural defenses like mangroves.</p><p>By 2050, <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/rising-sea-levels-should-we-let-the-ocean-in-a-50704953/a-50704953" target="_blank">coastal floods</a> that used to hit once a century will strike many cities every year, according to a 2019 report on oceans by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the gold standard on climate science. This could force dense cities on low-lying coasts to build higher sea walls, like in Indonesia and South Korea, or evacuate entire communities from sinking islands, like in Fiji.</p><p>It's not a case of replacing infrastructure, said Matthias Garschagen, a geographer at Ludwig Maximilian University in Germany and IPCC author, who was not involved in the UNEP report. "The case for nature-based solutions is often misinterpreted as a battle... but they're part of a toolkit that we've ignored for too long."</p>
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