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:
Actor and humanitarian Angelina Jolie shared photos of her trip to Pakistan following their devastating floods, the effects of which were amplified by climate change. If you’d like to chip in for the people of Pakistan, here’s a list of organizations who could use your help.
GETTING DOWN TO CLIMATE BUSINESS:
💰 We told you the Inflation Reduction Act was good, but it might be even better than we thought. A new research note from investment bank Credit Suisse “will have a profound effect across industries in the next decade and beyond.” Robinson Meyer covers the nuts and bolts, but basically, because there’s no cap on the tax credits, the US could be spending more than double what the IRA promised, and that public spending will catalyze private spending. He also predicts that huge amounts of people are going to start working in climate-related industries, and those of us who have been working in the climate arena for a long time “should have some excitement and even humility about this deluge of new talent.” No problem for me, I’m like, the most humble person ever. I’m probably the best at it, tbh.
💸 Let’s hope the US economy does boom, because the UN is demanding money for poor countries dealing with climate chaos. The big talking point in climate resilience and adaptation these days is “loss and damage,” or the need for the largest and most polluting countries to compensate countries who’ve contributed the least to climate change but are facing the worst outcomes (a recent example is Pakistan’s disastrous floods). This was tentatively agreed on at previous climate summits, but “rich countries’ unkept promise to provide $100 billion a year in climate change financing starting in 2020 is a recurring sticking point in international talks on the climate emergency.” I’m gonna have to side with developing countries here. I get REALLY annoyed when people owe me $100 billion and keep dodging me.
😤 One challenge in decarbonizing is retrofitting existing buildings and neighborhoods to have more climate-friendly technology. NPR points out that steam loops, which might have heated your apartment if you live in an older building or on the East coast, could be a big solution. Since the steam loops heat homes and apartments by boiling water, steam loops “become the easy way to decarbonize huge swaths of building space in urban cores.” Not to mention, everyone will get to hear the beautiful music made by radiators warming up in the fall.
🎮 A new service called AfterClimate is helping video game developers decarbonize the gaming industry. Finally, we’re getting those gas guzzlers out of Mario Kart. I don’t even know why Toad needs to drive an Escalade.
📚 As a writer, you know I love a story about the importance of the words we choose. Wired explains the switch from “carbon emissions” to “carbon pollution” and why we need to be intentional with our climate lexicon. In this case, “pollution” signals specific negative consequences that can be avoided, where “emissions” is a more neutral term that seems like it’s part of a natural process. See? Language is beautiful and elegant, and we should all try to uh… talk more good-er.
🧴️ If you’re like me, you spend all of September and October trying to time your outdoor activities right for peak fall leaves. But the math is getting more complicated. The University of Vermont released this report on climate’s impact on fall colors. Looks like I’m gonna have to start factoring drought and warmer evening temperatures into the equation. Jeez, I might need to hire an intern.
99: THE AGE OF THIS WWII REFUGEE WHO IS NOW DEVOTED TO FIGHTING CLIMATE CHANGE (TODAY)
193: THE NUMBER OF COUNTRIES WHO AGREED TO A LONG-TERM PLAN TO REDUCE AVIATION EMISSIONS (BBC)
But What About ME?
I enjoyed this Twitter thread on the importance of individual action in fighting climate change. I especially liked this part: “Too often individual behavior change is equated with what we do as consumers. But this unnecessarily constrains what people can do to help speed up climate mitigation. We can act in many other roles, including as citizens, investors, participants in organizations, community members.” Or maybe…. as micro-philanthropists using Gen E? Just throwing it out there!
Thanks for reading! – Nicole