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Prof. Aseem Prakash Discussing Local Environmental Politics on KNKX and KUOW

Submitted by Stephen Dunne on October 21, 2021 - 1:52pm

Prof. Aseem Prakash on KNKX site, "Do climate politics really matter at the local level? A Seattle professor thinks so."

The changing climate is a topic you’d think would be front and center in local elections – especially after the heat wave that killed hundreds of people in the Northwest this summer.

A professor of politics at the University of Washington noted a lack of attention to the issue...And when you ask them how we’re truly adapting to climate change, the candidates either pass the buck and say some other jurisdiction is ultimately responsible, Prakash says. Or they talk about pilot programs for this and that.

"At some point, all of us, we have to call out the B.S. You have to call out the B.S. and force politicians to confront the issues that affect us," he says.

"Because there's a program for everything, right? … Is it really helping?"

"Do we have data that the heat island effect in Seattle has improved over the years because there are programs? Have we evaluated how effective these programs are? No. … So then what's the point? This is what you call ‘virtue signaling.’”

Prakash says there are too many pledges and not enough action.

On KUOW Prof. Prakash comments on the "Microsoft: We’re on track to stop polluting this decade. Then we’ll undo all the climate harm we’ve ever done" commitment to de-carbonization.

"In January, Microsoft announced it had paid for the removal of 1.4 million tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, or about 11% of the pollution the company and its supply chain emit annually. Microsoft called it the world’s largest corporate procurement of carbon removal.

Almost all of Microsoft’s carbon removals to date have come from projects to enhance or expand forests. While forests provide many benefits to people and nature, their carbon storage is far from secure.

'You don't know for how long the carbon will be sequestered,' University of Washington Center for Environmental Politics director Aseem Prakash said. 'What if there's a forest fire? What if there's a pest attack?'"

But Prof. Prakash does praise Microsoft for its transparency, "

'I'm actually impressed,' Prakash said of Microsoft’s carbon crackdown. 'I didn't expect them to be so thorough and so transparent.'

Prakash, though, faulted Microsoft’s very profitable cloud division for continuing to sell its services to the oil and gas industry despite the company’s aggressive stance on the planet-heating emissions that come from burning such fuels...."

The KNKX article link.

The KUOW article link.