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:
Jane Fonda returns to the newsletter this week, this time campaigning for a treaty that protects marine creatures who are hunted for food. The proposed treaty sticks to a common environmental theme of 30 by 30, seeking to turn 30% of the world’s oceans into marine sanctuaries by 2030. Finally, a 30 under 30 list that doesn’t make me feel bad about myself.
GETTING DOWN TO CLIMATE BUSINESS:
🌆️ A new report from Moody’s Analytics revealed which American cities are the most vulnerable to climate change, and the areas that will be hardest-hit will unsurprisingly be on the coasts. San Francisco, New York City and Long Island, Phoenix, and Cape Coral, Florida are all among the most endangered cities. However, cities in the inland north will be much better off. It’s like I’ve always said: the next metropolitan hotspot is Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
🌸️ Speaking of which, parts of the United States, like New York, Washington DC, and central Texas, are seeing their earliest spring conditions on record. These weather changes have arrived at least 20 days earlier than usual for swathes of the Southeast and East, after many of these areas experienced their warmest Januaries on record. This early spring could cause cascading ecological problems, like insects missing feeding on early-blooming plants and food dying off before migrating birds arrive. Not to mention, it’s been a really tough winter for New Yorkers who love stepping knee-deep into a puddle of dirty slush.
ℹ️️ Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project* is launching an information campaign about the benefits of the Inflation Reduction Act, along with a Power Up Training program, with the goal of building a consumer base around clean energy and educating Americans about clean job creation. Gore hopes to tie the federal legislation to more kitchen-table issues for families around the country. In his words, most Americans are “doing their jobs and taking care of their families, their homes … they’re not following this step by step.” If there’s one thing people doing their jobs love, it’s doing a voluntary training session on the weekends.
*As a little bonus, the Climate Reality Project is one of the organizations you can support through Gen E!
🌱 A Lebanese seed bank could help make our food system more resilient to climate change. Modern crops have been genetically engineered for mass consumption and industrial agriculture, but they’re quite vulnerable to climate change impacts like extreme weather and pests. But Lebanon’s International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas has stores of tens of thousands of seeds, many of which are the same genetic strain our earliest farming ancestors used, which are more resilient and drought-resistant. No need to reinvent the wheel, or the seed.
🏠 We often talk about climate migration as a future problem, but in reality, the American climate migration has already started. Last year, more than 3 million Americans lost their homes to a climate disaster, and that number will only grow in the future. The problem is twofold: climate change is obviously causing more extreme weather events, but Americans have spent years building homes in more vulnerable locations, despite full awareness of that vulnerability. It’s a complex problem that intersects with housing shortages and policy, insurance issues, and cost of living spikes. Just once, I wish there was a climate change problem that was easy and NOT complex. I’m exhausted!
🚂 As news about the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio continues to break, it’s important to remember that this disaster “was a direct result of the country’s reliance on fossil fuels and plastic.” The chemicals on the train, including vinyl chloride, are used to make PVC, one of the most commonly-used types of plastic. This piece is a scathing indictment of the plastics industry and the rhetoric that props it up, which culminated in a train derailment that will have repercussions for years to come. It’s the best kind of diss track: one that’s incredibly well-researched and provides sources.
2M: GALLONS OF WATER FROM OHIO’S TRAIN DERAILMENT SITE BEING SENT TO TEXAS (CNN)
$25M: AIRBNB FOUNDER JOE GEBBIA DONATED THIS MUCH TO OUR FRIENDS AT THE OCEAN CLEANUP (FORBES)
If you’re interested in AI, you might want to check out these AI-generated images of climate change. Clearly, the technology isn’t super advanced yet. But as it improves, visualizing climate change could be a useful tool in getting people to understand and act on it.
Thanks for reading! – Nicole