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:
The upcoming Disney+ series, The Spiderwick Chronicles, won’t feature any single-use plastic on screen. Director and producer Kat Coiro has made a point in her previous works, like Marry Me and She Hulk, to show characters using reusable containers. Which is surprising, because normally the only thing Hollywood reuses is its movie ideas.
GETTING DOWN TO CLIMATE BUSINESS:
🇪🇬 ️The COP27 climate summit starts today in Egypt, and one of the most divisive issues is going to be climate reparations. Climate reparations would see richer countries, who have benefited the most from high emissions, giving money to developing countries who have done the least to contribute to warming, but typically suffer most from its effects. This is also an important move to combat further warming – by giving developing countries money, we can help them adopt more expensive climate-friendly technology so they don’t need to industrialize using fossil fuels. The main argument against climate reparations is that “Many policymakers fear that accepting liability could trigger a wave of lawsuits by countries on the frontlines of the climate emergency.” Ooh, if they’re worried about a wave of lawsuits, they’re going to be really bummed when they find out about the literal waves of water that are going to come along with sea level rise.
🏆 While COP27 figures out how to help people in developing countries, the Biden administration has their work cut out for them trying to help Americans who will suffer most from climate change. The Interior Department announced that Five Native American tribes have won a contest that allocates funding to relocate away from rivers and coastlines that put their communities at risk. On the one hand, that’s great news for these tribes and provides a case study for adaptation in other communities. On the other hand, “the Interior Department held a contest for who gets to live” does feel a little too Hunger Games-y for my taste.
☁️️ Some experts expect that COP27’s climate discussions will be overshadowed by the war in Ukraine, inflation, and rising international political tensions. The special envoy from Barbados said, “There’s a lot of high and low expectations around this Egypt COP, a lot of mix of ambition and fatalism.” Coincidentally, a mix of ambition and fatalism is also what led to that awful Morbius movie.
🔌 On Thursday, the White House announced its “game changers” initiative for research and development projects, with a focus on more efficient building heating and cooling, aviation, and industrial products/fuels. It also includes a particular focus on improvements to the grid, with the White House saying, “The grid of the future must be able to sense and adapt to changing electricity demand and external factors in real time, all while we decarbonize and expand the grid’s total capacity,” Oof, seems like a lot to do all at once. I can’t even get peas and carrots to come out of the oven at the same time (do you put peas in the oven? I have no idea what I’m doing).
🍴 You know that “compostable” plastic you sometimes see replacing single-use bags and sporks and stuff? Well, it turns out, it’s not actually that compostable. Instead, use refillable options, opt for paper over plastic whenever you can, and bring your own cutlery and to-go containers. If you want to get really crazy, you can even start composting at home, all for the low low price of… five hundred dollars??? Well. Christmas is coming up. Maybe your relatives can pool all your gifts into one composter.
🧠 We’ve told you before that climate anxiety is on the rise, particularly among young people, but now, some experts are saying that might actually be a good thing. Research indicates that greater awareness about climate change makes people more likely to act. And some young people are addressing their climate anxiety by spreading the word about all the good climate initiatives that are happening and all the change that’s being made. I think that is so awesome, as long as they’re not coming for my job here.
200+: THE NUMBER OF GOVERNMENTS INVITED TO ATTEND COP27 IN EGYPT THIS YEAR (BBC)
41: THE NUMBER OF SCIENTIFIC CLIMATE INDICATORS IN CALIFORNIA’S CLIMATE CRISIS IMPACT REPORT (CNN)
Keeping Gardens Looking Like Eden
If you’ve got a green thumb, or simply appreciate the kind of highly-manicured garden you’d see in Europe or the UK, you might be interested in this article about how gardeners are planning to keep them viable in a changing climate. If you have a garden of your own, places like the Theodore Payne Foundation can help teach you how to do the same for your garden. But if you’re like me, climate change won’t change your ability to kill every single houseplant you try to nurture.
Thanks for reading! – Nicole