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!)
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In Pop Culture:
Entourage‘s Adrian Grenier founded Earth Speed Media, “a think tank and content-production firm that focuses on sustainability, social responsibility and environmental stewardship,” and you can read more about it in this new profile. Makes sense that a guy from Entourage would fight for the planet. Those guys love Turtles.
GETTING DOWN TO CLIMATE BUSINESS:
🌊 Scientists in California are working on technology that would suck carbon dioxide out of the ocean, which would make it better able to absorb carbon dioxide from the air. Water is capable of holding much more CO2 than air can, but as the water becomes more carbonized, it gets more acidic, which is bad for sea life. Plus, greater saturation of water with CO2 means that the ocean can absorb less of the planet-warming gas from the atmosphere. The new tech, called SeaChange, would send an electrical current through seawater pumped onto a barge, setting off a chain of chemical reactions that would trap the CO2 in a solid mineral. The de-carbonated water is then returned to the ocean. They’re hoping to get facilities up and running by 2025, so enjoy your sparkling seawater while you still can!
🕺 TikTok has begun removing climate misinformation from the platform, a directive issued in last month’s updates to its community guidelines. The tech giant will still allow conversations about climate change, such as policy decisions and solutions, as long as those discussions don’t “[undermine] well-established scientific consensus.” Furthermore, “any user searching for climate information will be directed to ‘authoritative information’ that TikTok had decided on in partnership with the United Nations.” Wow! It’s nice to see an app taking climate seriously before a billionaire buys it as a vanity project and ruins it.
🌳️ The government is creating a new rule to help protect forests from the impacts of climate change, like fires, insects, and drought. They conducted an inventory of mature and old-growth forests on federal land and identified roughly 175,000 square miles of protectable area. There’s already mounting opposition from the logging industry, who argue that the real fire danger comes from areas of the forest where highly-combustible undergrowth has gotten out of control. Great news for the logging companies: we can get rid of the undergrowth AND stop them from cutting down our old-growth forests. Multitasking!
🌡️️ A new data analysis shows that European countries, particularly in the South, are experiencing greater heat stress as a result of climate change. The continent experienced a record number of days with “strong” or “very strong” heat stress, when temperatures are 100 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit. This heat stress results in health problems like rashes, heat stroke, and even death. The problem is compounded by the fact that many buildings in Europe are older and air conditioning is less prevalent. This is, of course, the opposite of Arizona, where all the new buildings feel like a freezer when you go inside.
🏝️️ The small island nation of Dominica is on a quest to become the first climate-resilient nation in the world. The country is one of the most vulnerable on Earth in terms of extreme weather events and storms worsened by climate change, and experienced a high death toll during Hurricane Maria. Currently, they’re focusing on early warning systems across the island, which includes some traditional methods like the use of conch shells, and community building to encourage residents to help each other prepare for disasters. However, these methods won’t be enough, and some experts warn that we will exceed the adaptation limits of island nations like Dominica by 2100. In order to preserve these communities in the long-term, we need to drastically cut carbon emissions. Man, it always seems to come back to that, huh?
✊ Since it’s Earth Month, you might see marches or protests in your city and wonder, “Does this even do anything?” Well according to new analysis, protests are actually pretty effective (and there’s good evidence that even the protests that some argue go too far have an important contribution to the movement). Of course, protesting is not enough on its own, but it’s one of many effective levers we can pull to make change. So put on some sunscreen and get out there!
67%: PERCENTAGE OF AMERICANS WHO BELIEVE CLIMATE CHANGE MUST BE ADDRESSED IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS (CBS)
$526M: THE BIDEN ADMIN RECOMMENDS AN INVESTMENT OF THIS SIZE TO MAKE COMMUNITIES RESILIENT TO CLIMATE IMPACTS (NOAA)
Love playing tabletop games? Want to help the climate? Well, you’re in luck, because there’s a new board game that challenges players to decarbonize New York City, and it’s so accurate, government leaders, energy departments, and researchers have used it to instruct their teams about climate policy. It honestly looks so good that I might break my long-standing policy of not playing any game where it takes longer than 30 seconds to explain the rules.