Where Are Carbon Emissions Coming From Amid Lockdown? ; Coronavirus Is Rewriting Our Imaginations ; and More Picks 5/5

Less Air Pollution Means Thousands Fewer Die (Mili) 

From the Al-Monitor: “European countries under coronavirus lockdown have seen 11,000 fewer deaths in April compared to the same period last year due to a sharp drop in fossil fuel pollution, according to research released Friday. Measures to halt the spread of coronavirus have slowed the region’s economies to a crawl, with coal-generated power falling by nearly 40 percent, and oil consumption by a third.”

The World Is on Lockdown, so Where Are All the Carbon Emissions Coming From? (Chris)

The author writes, “Even with the global economy at a near-standstill, the best analysis suggests that the world is still on track to release 95 percent of the carbon dioxide emitted in a typical year, continuing to heat up the planet and driving climate change even as we’re stuck at home. A 5.5-percent drop in carbon dioxide emissions would still be the largest yearly change on record, beating out the financial crisis of 2008 and World War II. But it’s worth wondering: Where do all of those emissions come from? … ‘I think the main issue is that people focus way, way too much on people’s personal footprints, and whether they fly or not, without really dealing with the structural things that really cause carbon dioxide levels to go up,’ said Gavin Schmidt, a climatologist and the director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City.”

The World Is Still Producing More Oil Than It Needs. Why? (Dana)

The author writes, “There’s now so much extra petroleum on the market that the world is running out of places to put it.”

California Lawsuit Alleges Two Companies Inflated Gas Prices (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Democratic Attorney General Xavier Becerra said the companies took advantage of market volatility after a 2015 explosion at a gasoline refinery complex in Torrance to make about $150 million a year in illegal profits. Consumers paid roughly 1 cent per gallon more under the scheme, Becerra said.”

The Coronavirus Is Rewriting Our Imaginations (Chris)

The author writes, “Economics is a system for optimizing resources, and, if it were trying to calculate ways to optimize a sustainable civilization in balance with the biosphere, it could be a helpful tool. When it’s used to optimize profit, however, it encourages us to live within a system of destructive falsehoods. We need a new political economy by which to make our calculations. Now, acutely, we feel that need.”

After the Dinosaur-Killing Impact, Soot Followed (Dana) 

From the Smithsonian: “The famous impact 66 million years ago kicked up soot into the atmosphere that played an even bigger role in blocking sunlight than experts had realized.”

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