Hey climate heroes! Welcome to The Climate Roundup, where we round up the change, er the news about climate and the environment. As part of the Gen E community, we thank you for making climate action part of everyday life. (Reading this newsletter counts!)
HAPPY NEW YEAR!! 🥳
In Pop Culture:
You might know Raffi from such childrens hits as Bananaphone (a banger) or Baby Beluga, but as this profile in The Guardian points out, he’s also a committed climate activist, having “written songs about Big Oil, youth climate marches, and Greta Thunberg.” Raffi is touring Canada in February, might be time to toss on a parka and go tailgating.
GETTING DOWN TO CLIMATE BUSINESS:
💰 It’s time for you to cash in on those sweet, sweet IRA bucks. Per the Washington Post, “On Jan. 1, middle-income households will be able to access over a half-dozen tax credits for electric stoves, cars, rooftop solar and more.” I’m hoping the “more” means some new pairs of sneakers. Hey – walking is very eco-friendly!
🌱 The ancient farming practice of planting cover crops is making a comeback so farmers can rejuvenate their fields in the off season. This practice helps reduce the need for fertilizer, which is a fossil fuel product that leeches into waterways, as well as improving the structural integrity of the soil and helping sequester carbon. Sounds like a win-win! I guess it’s safe to judge a farm by its cover.
🌨️️ The New York Times explored the role of climate change in this month’s deadly storm that killed dozens in Buffalo and led to the ongoing Southwest Airlines debacle. It’s difficult to know exactly how climate change impacts cold weather events like this, but one prominent theory is that warmer temperatures in the arctic weakens the jet stream, allowing cold temperatures from the north to seep down towards us. Hmm, have they tried wedging a towel around the Arctic? That’s what I do when cold air seeps into my apartment.
👩🔬️ Speaking of attributing weather effects to climate change, The Guardian has a nice profile on one scientist who does exactly that for a living. It’s a really interesting look into research that you probably don’t imagine when you think of climate scientists. Friederike Otto studies not only weather patterns, but also human activity and social strengths and weaknesses that contribute to the human toll of these weather events. Not to mention, it features a picture of her very cool scarf.
🐻️ California made huge strides on environmental action this year, yet they’re still approving new oil and gas projects and relying too heavily on carbon capture from existing pollution sources to achieve carbon neutrality. It’s important for California to step up its efforts, because as the world’s 4th largest economy, it informs and inspires policy all over the world. Kind of like how New York inspires fashion, or Chicago inspires heartburn.
🔟️ Let’s welcome this new year with some lessons from the old: 10 Climate Lessons from 2022. A pretty good roundup for the year, in my opinion, although no mention of the important work done by climate newsletter writers.
44%: PERCENTAGE OF BRITONS WHO SUPPORT A NET ZERO REFERENDUM (FINANCIAL TIMES)
500K: TONS OF PLASTIC MIXED IN WITH PAPER RECYCLING SENT TO INDIA (BLOOMBERG)
Let’s Hear It For The Tech Toys
The NYT released its annual Good Tech Awards, and it has a section on climate tech. And yet…. STILL no jetpacks! Come on! Where are the jetpacks?!
Thanks for reading! – Nicole