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 first episode of Getting Warmer with Kal Penn is out on Bloomberg, and he’s talking plastic recycling (or rather, the lack thereof). As it so happens, I’m bingeing old episodes of House right now, so as far as I can tell, we don’t recycle enough because of… Lupus?
GETTING DOWN TO CLIMATE BUSINESS:
🏰 Although some have argued that the Inflation Reduction Act doesn’t do enough and leaves too many loopholes to adequately fight climate change, it’s already forcing other nations to step up their game. Incentivizing clean tech in the United States draws investment decisions away from Europe, and now, to stay competitive, Europe has to make investors want to go there, instead. Man, if you’re trying to get people to go to Europe, just send ’em a postcard of the Eiffel Tower.
💸 That being said, the United States isn’t doing enough to chip in to the loss & damages fund agreed on at COP27. John Kerry certainly seems to be flying to a lot of meetings and talking about it a lot, but the money isn’t making it into the international piggy bank. So I guess America better get off its high horse. Don’t worry, I have a short horse saddled up in the barn out back.
💰️ That being said, what’s better than cash later? Cash now, of course. New research shows that giving cash right before extreme weather strikes could be more effective for vulnerable places in the short term. Because while it will take years to decarbonize the world’s energy supply, we could build flood walls around a vulnerable town in a week or so. You get those HGTV people on it, 3 days.
🌡️ By now we’re all familiar with the 1.5 degree climate goal (and the fact that by now, we’re gonna blow past it). But this new piece in The Atlantic reminds us that 1.5 degrees wasn’t a scientific target — it was a moral one. Which isn’t necessarily great – the consequences of being at 1.4 degrees. But it’s also a reason not to give up. 1.5 is better than 1.6, but 1.6 is better than 1.7. The point is, don’t worry about the numbers, just worry about what you can do. Here’s a tip — it’s easier not to think about the numbers when you remember they’re in Celsius. I mean, what even is that?
🪨️ A new startup is attempting to pull carbon from the atmosphere and mineralize it in concrete. Its early results are modest (so far they’ve only pulled enough carbon from the atmosphere to cancel out driving about 75 miles), but ultimately, it worked. If they can get it to scale, that’s one more tool in our toolkit. All that concrete is good news for the climate fight, and great news for fans of brutalist architecture.
🧂 A combination of climate change and the rapidly-growing population in Utah might dry up the Great Salt Lake in the next 5 years. You might not be too sad about the loss of a bunch of saltwater, but if all that water goes away it might kick up some major dust storms. Well, if I learned anything from John Steinbeck, this might be the perfect opportunity for one of us to write the next great American novel.
2X: THE CONOCOPHILLIPS WILLOW PROJECT IN ALASKA WILL PRODUCE THIS MUCH MORE EMISSIONS THAN THE IRA CUTS (OUTSIDE)
50%: THIS PERCENTAGE OF THE AEROSOLS LANDING ON SOME PARTS OF THE OCEAN COME FROM PLASTIC SOURCES (YALE)
Back That Astroturf Up
We’ve got a new Climate Town video hot off the presses for you, and this one is about astroturfing (it’s called that when you make a FAKE GRASSroots organization). Don’t worry, this one isn’t 30 minutes like that last one: it’s a brisk 25 minutes.
Thanks for reading! – Nicole