Exxon Did Something...Right?
An Exxon success story, AI robot bees, and an update on the IRA.
👋 Welcome back to Greenwashed! In this edition, we'll be covering an Exxon success story, giving an update on the subject of one of the first ever Greenwashed editions, and looking at an application of AI that is...unique, to say the least.
Pro-ExxonMobil Content: Has Greenwashed Sold Out Already? 🤔
If you opened this article with the hope that you'd find a heartwarming story about oil executives saving a group of kittens in a tree before resigning in protest and donating their life savings to green energy production, please brace for disappointment. 😺
In a first-of-its-kind peer reviewed study, researchers analyzed climate predictions from the 1970s that ExxonMobil scientists presented to management that outlined the potential dangers of continuing to extract and burn fossil fuels.
The predictions, as it turns out, were stunningly accurate. 📊
Exxon scientists were able to predict everything from when human-caused climate change would first be detected to the eventual carbon threshold that would represent a permanent change in the Earth's climate patterns.
Or, as former Exxon consultant Dr. Martin Hoffert put it, "We were excellent scientists". 👨🔬
There isn't much good news that will come out of this revelation, although it may sway decisions in some of the numerous lawsuits that Exxon currently faces. The real importance is that it serves as a reminder, if we still need any, that we can never trust anything that the fossil fuel industry claims.
Checking up on the IRA 🇺🇸
Long-time Greenwashed readers may remember our coverage from last summer of the Inflation Reduction Act, which was touted at the time as the most significant climate action the US government ever took. 🌎
A deeper investigation revealed that hidden in the depths of the bill were two provisions, written by coal baron Joe Manchin (D), which gave some pretty extreme concessions to the fossil fuel industry, leaving the future impact of the bill up in the air.
6 months later, how is the IRA doing? Actually, pretty good! 😃
In just the first half-year since its passing, the IRA has created over 100,000 green energy jobs across the country, with over 10,000 each in Tennessee, Georgia, Kansas, and Arizona.
Part of the strategy of moving towards a more sustainable future includes building energy sources, battery plants, and EV manufacturing facilities stateside, and the IRA directly contributed to the whopping 25% increase in manufacturing jobs that the US experienced in 2022. 📈
As you can see, much of the investment goes into Appalachian and Rust-Belt states that have been decimated since manufacturing has largely moved overseas, providing a much-needed economic boost to the areas that were once the pride of American industry.
After cycling through "fintech", "web3", and "metaverse" stages, Silicon Valley has officially latched on to its new favorite buzzword. As the rapid takeoff of OpenAI's ChatGPT shook the world in late 2022, "artificial intelligence" and "machine learning" have become the new trend in the venture capital world. 💰
One such company that recently came out of stealth is Israel-based BloomX, who is aiming to use machine learning models to create the most efficient patterns for artificial pollination. 💐
Despite its overly sci-fi sounding pitch, the problem they're aiming to tackle is extremely serious. Over 80% of the world's crops require pollination, and the rapidly dwindling wild bee population is a problem that no one seems to have an answer for.
So far, machine learning models have been largely successful at their prompted tasks when given large amounts of data. Hopefully, BloomX can successfully leverage that fact to help out in the fight against the oncoming food crisis. 🌾
Thanks for reading! If you've been inspired to help out in the fight against the climate crisis, you don't need to build out an AI robot bee army! You can start by offsetting your emissions or by subscribing to stay up-to-date on all of the need-to-know climate problems and solutions.