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!)
In Pop Culture:
Everyone is talking about Taylor Swift dating Travis Kelce, but now Olivia Wilde is drawing some heat for saying she wishes Taylor Swift would date a climate scientist so global warming would get that kind of publicity. But really, who wants to listen to a breakup album about climate change?? Stick to dating tight ends, Taylor!
GETTING DOWN TO CLIMATE BUSINESS:
💨 California just passed 2 new bills that will require corporations to disclose their emissions and how climate risks will impact their business. The former bill, the Climate Corporate Data Accountability Act, is particularly notable because it doesn’t just require companies to disclose the emissions used to make their product, but also what are called “Scope 3″ emissions, which include emissions from things like employee transport and flights, building and store operations, and even emissions from their customers. This will provide a more full accounting of emissions. Similar legislation is in the works at the federal level, and this California legislation could build momentum for that. According to SEC chair Gary Gensler, “If those companies were reporting to California, then it would be in essence less costly because they’d already be producing that information.” It’s kinda like adding another item to your order so you can get free shipping.
🛻 The Department of Justice is suing eBay for selling coal rolling kits that enable trucks and SUVs to emit plumes of black gas from their tailpipes. The process works by pumping more diesel into an engine than it can handle, and is often used by people who hate environmentalism. If the DOJ wins, eBay could be responsible for up to $2 billion in fines for the sale of almost 350,000 devices. eBay claims they’ve been blocking sales of nearly all of these devices for years, and some just happened to slip through the cracks. According to the prosecutor, “eBay has the power, the authority, and the resources to stop the sale of these illegal, harmful products on its website. It has chosen not to.” I am so excited for this lawsuit, I’m gonna show up to court with my face painted like it’s a hockey game. Go DOJ!!!
🏃 Severe heat and extreme weather events caused by climate change are putting the running world in jeopardy. Heat has impacted marathons in Minnesota, where the event was cancelled, and New York, which saw record heat-related medical issues among participants. Extreme flooding in New York has also interfered with races. Event organizers will increasingly need to take climate extremes into consideration when planning their events, otherwise they could be a health and safety hazard. Boy it’s too bad about climate change, that’s TOTALLY the reason I’ve never run a marathon.
🌧️ The World Meteorological Association says that climate change is causing global water cycles to become “increasingly erratic.” Droughts, melting ice caps, shifting weather patterns, and increasing urbanization are all changing regular water cycle patterns. This is bad news for all of us who depend on water regularity, but also for 4th graders whose science homework is about to get a lot more complicated.
⚖️ The Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to the “social cost of carbon,” which helps evaluate the externalities of carbon pollution on things like human health, disaster damage, and national security. President Biden issued an early executive order in 2021 directing agencies to recalculate the social cost of carbon, and ever since, Republican state attorneys general have attempted to block it. What’s interesting about this climate victory is that there wasn’t any explanation for it – the court declined to hear the case altogether and did not give a reason. I hated hearing “because I said so” when I was a kid, but if it’s in the spirit of defending climate policy, cool!
🎧 More and more, young voices are a major factor in the climate movement. And those voices are getting more organized and powerful thanks to NPR’s Student Podcast Challenge. They collected 4 of the best submissions, which you can listen to right here. As an adult with a climate podcast, I have to say… I’m not threatened. I’m not threatened at all.
250K: NUMBER OF PEOPLE AFFECTED BY THE AMAZONIAN DROUGHT, WHICH CONTINUES TO WORSEN (AP NEWS)
5300: MORE THAN THIS MANY COMPANIES WOULD BE REQUIRED TO MAKE CLIMATE DISCLOSURES UNDER CALIFORNIA’S NEW RULE (BLOOMBERG)
Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Green
Saltsea Chronicles is a video game that takes place in a world impacted by climate crises. Now, the company that makes the game is examining its own carbon footprint. It’s a really interesting look into how corporate policies shape emissions and provides some clues into how the gaming industry can do better.