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:
Billie Eilish will headline Prince William’s Earthshot Prize award ceremony, where she’ll appear with other celebs like Daniel Dae Kim, Annie Lennox, Ellie Goulding, and Rami Malek. Billie and Rami have both appeared in this newsletter before, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll get a plus-one.
GETTING DOWN TO CLIMATE BUSINESS:
🏘️️ A new study from the University of Vermont found that more and more Americans are moving to areas especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change, including Florida, Nevada, and Arizona. The researchers concluded that the strong uptick in climate disasters like hurricanes, wildfires, and drought has not impacted people’s decision-making when it comes to where to live. And in fact, “many people – particularly retirees in Florida – are attracted to the warm climate, beaches and other quality-of-life factors that outweigh the seemingly remote risk of a life-threatening hurricane.” Call me crazy, but a “life-threatening hurricane” sure seems like a big “quality-of-life factor.”
🪨 For the first time in more than 30 years, Britain has approved a new coal mine. England Woodhouse Colliery will extract “coking coal,” which is used in steel (so it doesn’t even help the millions of Britons who can’t afford to heat their homes). It’s devastating for Britain’s climate efforts, despite its promises to be “net zero in its operations.” Okay… net zero… what? Because if you’re pulling literally tons of coal out of the ground, it’s not going to be net zero carbon. Net zero ethics, maybe?
💸 US Climate Envoy John Kerry anticipates that this will be a “very tricky” year for raising the money to fight climate change. Specifically, he’s referring to the Loss & Damage provision agreed upon at COP27, which would compensate vulnerable countries for climate damage caused by larger, wealthier countries. While he acknowledged that the US must put up a large share of that funding, he expressed concern about contributions from China and large Wall Street and international development banks. If he’s worried about raising money, he could just take a page from the election season playbook, and send me ten thousand fundraising emails every day.
✈️️ More climate activists disrupted traffic at airports, this time in Berlin and Munich. The protestors called for governments to stop subsidizing air travel and instead provide increased funding for trains. As long as it’s not going to rail oligarchs like Sir Topham Hatt.
🤝 If you’ve never taken the time to meet your neighbors, you might want to start borrowing cups of sugar. Community mutual-aid is increasingly important during recoveries from climate disasters. In September, Tufts published a study that found, “Communities where neighbors check in with each other and have someone to call during a crisis are better prepared to face climate emergencies.” Not to mention – you’ll get invited to a lot more neighborhood barbecues. You could half your potato salad budget!
🇸🇨 Seychelles is taking huge strides to protect its seagrass ecosystems, with the goal of protecting half of its seagrasses and mangroves by next year, and all of them by 2030. Seagrasses capture carbon 35 times quicker than rainforests and hold onto it for far longer than terrestrial plants. To help protect these essential ecosystems, Seychelles has become one of the first countries to accurately map its seagrass ecosystems nationwide. I haven’t been this excited to see a map since the first time I played Settlers of Catan.
30%: BEEF SLAUGHTER INCREASED BY THIS MUCH IN TEXAS BECAUSE DROUGHT CONDITIONS CAN’T SUPPORT CALVING (USA TODAY)
30%: COUNTRIES HAVE PLEDGE TO PROTECT THIS MUCH OF THEIR LAND & WATER BY 2030, A CONCEPT CALLED 30 BY 30 (NPR)
Picture This: Plastic Pollution
I hate ocean plastic, but I love these photos by Mandy Parker, created by compositing together hundreds of pictures of floating plastic debris in a black ocean. At first, I felt bad because I kind of want prints of these. But then, I read that “The series aims to stimulate an emotional response in the viewer by combining a contradiction between initial aesthetic attraction and social awareness.” Nice! I love it when I appreciate art right.
Thanks for reading! – Nicole