Return of the Hummer, GMC Announces, Recycling Bins Provided to Pittsburg Residents, New Jersey Bans Plastic Bags, Humans Can Easily Cut off 30% of CO2 Emissions Released in Atmosphere

by | Feb 9, 2021 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

GMC announces the return of the Hummer! But this time, it’s all-electric! plus Pittsburgh provides 32-gallon recycling bins to all its residents. New Jersey Becomes the Ninth U.S. state to ban plastic bags, and scientists tell us how humans could easily sequester up to 30% of all CO2 emissions released into the atmosphere since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.



The GMC Hummer brand once stood out as a symbol of gross excess. The flagship Hummer H1 went on sale to the general public in 1992. It weighed about four tons and had fuel economy of about 10 mpg—so bad you could imagine the fumes causing birds to fall out of the sky. Audacity was the point with Hummer, and that is still the case. In case you hadn’t heard, General Motors revealed the first vehicle in a revival of the brand, a truck that is big, powerful and, maybe most audacious, all-electric. The vehicle is scheduled to go on sale in late 2021, with a price tag of almost $113,000 with a battery range of 350 miles. It is the first of what will be a line of Hummer EVs.

Few buyers will be able to afford the new Hummer, but marketing it could be an important part of challenging the idea that EVs are small sedans driven mostly by people who live on the coasts. In addition, General Motors is positioning the Hummer as a challenger to Tesla’s Cybertruck, which also is scheduled to go on sale in late 2021. Automakers have little choice but to shift their emphasis to EVs if they want to sell products in the European Union, China and other places where emissions rules are getting much more stringent. The nonprofit Resources for the Future recently released a report with results of a survey on Americans’ attitudes about EVs. The survey shows that 40 percent of respondents would consider buying an EV. So that’s a good thing.

DEEPER DIVE: Inside Climate News, GMC



A few weeks ago, The Climate Daily reported on the unveiling of a plan in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to build a new bike infrastructure, called the Neighborway, designed to promote sustainable transportation across the city. Today, we have more news on the city’s push for a more sustainable future.

Reported by WESA, Pittsburgh’s National Public Radio station, residents will receive new 32-gallon recycling bins from the city. Pittsburgh’s recycling supervisor said the free bins offer residents an equal opportunity to recycle, moving the residents away from using single-use plastic bags. In a report by The Recycling Project, the city-issued bins will result in an annual increase in curbside recyclables by over 1,800 tons.

Pittsburgh officials are also exploring the idea of a city-operated composting site and researching potential facilities. The city’s recycling supervisor again said the city is still exploring composting locations, but sites won’t be named until next year. Here at The Climate Daily, it’s exciting to watch the city’s progression towards a more sustainable future, and we will be sure to keep you up-to-date on any developments moving forward.  

DEEPER DIVE: WESA Pittsburgh Broadcasting Station, The Recycling Project



The governor of New Jersey, Phil Murphy finally signed a new law banning businesses from handing out single-use plastic bags, polystyrene food containers, plastic straws and even paper bags. The measure is seen as the strictest stance against single-use plastics in the nation. In a statement, the governor spoke of the millions of discarded Plastic bags that stream annually into New Jersey landfills, rivers, and oceans. He hopes addressing the problem of plastic pollution head-on will help mitigate climate change and strengthen the environment for future generations.

The new regulations prohibit food service businesses from giving customers single-use plastic bags and polystyrene food containers. The bans apply to a variety of businesses, including restaurants, convenience stores, food trucks, movie theaters and grocery stores larger than 2,500 square feet.

The new rules for plastic and paper bags, along with polystyrene containers, become effective in May 2022. That’s when grocery stores would be prohibited from giving even paper bags to customers. Beginning in November 2021, the new law also restricts food-service businesses from handing out plastic straws, unless specifically requested by a customer. New Jersey joins eight other states in banning plastic bags. They are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New York, Oregon and Vermont.

 DEEPER DIVE: Green New Deal News, PennLive News



Here on the Climate Daily, we’ve reported on rewilding natural lands as a conservation effort to mitigate the climate crisis and protect biodiversity. While replanting degraded landscapes has been a well-documented restoration effort, new research published in the journal Nature says these efforts would prevent roughly 60% of expected species extinction and sequester 30% of the total carbon dioxide emissions released into the atmosphere since the industrial revolution.

 Reported by The Guardian, restoring natural landscapes through RE-WILDING conservation efforts is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to combat the climate crisis, while boosting biodiversity among the most vulnerable wildlife populations.

 Scientists from Australia, Brazil, and across Europe also identified environmental hotspots around the world where rewilding would be most effective, from coastal wetlands to tropical rainforests. The lead author of the research said the scientists working on the study were surprised by how much of a difference restoration can make in terms of species extinction and CO2 emissions. Another sign of hope for us here at The Climate Daily that effective climate change mitigation efforts are on the horizon.

DEEPER DIVE: Nature, The Guardian