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:
If you’re jealous you didn’t get to go to Coachella, try joining the UN. Representatives from Kenya, Sudan, Guatemala, and the Netherlands travelled to the California music festival on a mission to fight climate-induced hunger. According to Rolling Stone, “Arcade Fire’s Paul Beaubrun, singer-songwriter Ali Sethi, Grammy-nominated producer Nabeyin, and Nigerian DJ Sydney Love also joined the UN at Coachella in support of the joint initiative.”
GETTING DOWN TO CLIMATE BUSINESS:
🌡️ Spain is in the middle of a terrible heat wave, with record-breaking April temperatures coming in at over 100ºF. In some locations, the previous records were around 40ºF lower than the 2023 temperatures, which is, uh… not great. European countries sometimes struggle to adapt to heat waves due to a lack of widespread air conditioning, but Spain is using a few techniques to help mitigate heat exposure. Schools are changing their hours, Madrid’s subway trains are running more frequently, and swimming pools are opening a month earlier than usual. But thanks to climate change, this Spring is going to be either caliente or picante (I can never remember which one is temperature hot and which one is spicy hot).
🧀 Someone should probably have told Ron Johnson about that Spanish heat wave before he started talking this week. During a Senate Budget Committee hearing, the Wisconsin senator argued that in most cases, climate change is “beneficial” and “you’re concerned if you’re in the really hot region of Africa, but in terms of the United States, and most of Europe, we’re in pretty good shape.” Aside from the fact you should care about people in Africa, this ignores the climate disasters that have already occurred to people in America, and will continue to worsen if we don’t curb our emissions. You can watch the video here, but I should provide a trigger warning for extreme stupidity.
🥫️ Those of us afraid to open our credit card statements have probably noticed the cost of everything going up, and it’s not just your imagination. Now, recent research has revealed that the climate crisis has increased the cost of food. Extreme weather and brutally high temperatures create supply chain issues, food shortages, and labor disruptions which all make it more expensive to get food on your plate. When I said I wish I could have expensive luxury food at home, this is not what I meant.
🌞 A pervasive “anti-China fervor” in congress could be bad news for solar. US lawmakers are pushing American firms to abandon suppliers in China as a way to punish their geopolitical rival, which could cause (say it with me) supply chain disruptions for people and places looking to purchase solar panels. It’s not all bad — creating jobs at home is an important part of the clean-energy transition. However, suddenly having to cancel projects that rely on these Chinese products means a bunch of other people are going to lose their jobs. It’s a little like the Trolley Problem, but this time the Trolley is electric and it’s not clear where its power is sourced from.
⛵️ I’ve told you before about the potential for wind-powered cargo ships to replace the incredibly dirty and polluting ones we use now, but this time,️ there’s an article in The New Yorker about it, which makes it fancier.
🩰 Climate protestors in Washington DC are going after art again. This time, they’re drawing attention to the climate crisis by smearing paint on the case around Edgar Degas’s “Little Dancer Aged Fourteen.” Don’t worry, as with all these climate protests, the art itself was undamaged. It’s a good thing they didn’t get paint all over it, otherwise they’d have to change the name to Dirty Dancing.
100X: AFRICA’S CATASTROPHIC DROUGHT WAS MADE THIS MANY TIMES MORE LIKELY BY CLIMATE CHANGE (CNN)
2HRS: PLASTIC PARTICLES WERE FOUND IN MICE BRAINS JUST THIS LONG AFTER THEY ATE (SCIENCE ALERT)
Don’t Throw It Out
YouTubing friends of this newsletter, Climate Town, have a new video out all about food waste. Something to watch while you’re giving your milk a sniff! (this will make sense after you watch the video).