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:
Welsh actor Alexander Vlahos, best known for his work in Outlander, Versailles, and Merlin, is set to play an ornithologist in Hearts of Salt, a new climate change movie set in Sicily and Tunisia. Not to confused with my Blondie biopic, Heart of Glass.
GETTING DOWN TO CLIMATE BUSINESS:
⚖️ A new report shows a huge spike in “climate washing” lawsuits over the past two years. These lawsuits, which are defined as “cases that challenge companies, and occasionally governments, over misinformation or misleading green claims,” have targeted groups such as energy companies, oil & gas firms, market watchdogs, and others. Hopefully these lawsuits will lead to more honesty in corporate sustainability claims. I mean, if you can’t trust advertising, who can you trust?
🌞 Amidst the ongoing heat wave in the South, the Texas grid has been pushed to its limits, setting a new record for energy use in the state. According to ERCOT, the organization that operates Texas’ grid, “power use reached 80,828 megawatts at 6 p.m. central time on Tuesday … This topped a previous record of 80,148 megawatts.” What’s helping those air conditioners stay on? Renewable energy! Significant expansion in solar generation in recent years has enabled the grid to stay operational in the face of heat wave stress. Sounds like sunny days ahead!
🌆 One of the most worrisome effects of climate change is the impacts of mass climate migration away from areas that have been impacted most strongly by extreme weather. While it’s essential to keep as many people in their home communities as possible, “there may be some upsides for climate migrants. Subsistence farmers who make the difficult choice to move to cities may find “better work, health care and schools” than they had in their villages. International studies of post-disaster migration also indicate that people who were unlikely to move before disaster hit actually experienced better outcomes in cities after they moved — some of them underestimated the wages available to them in cities, and others didn’t realize other benefits were available to them. One of the biggest changes is that women who move to cities and have greater access to education and reproductive care tend to have fewer children. Less time with a baby in diapers and Baby Shark blasting through the speakers? That really IS a quality of life improvement.
☁️ The EU has called for global talks regarding geoengineering. Specifically, the European Commission believes geoengineering interventions such as injecting the atmosphere with aerosolized sulfur pose “unacceptable” risks. European Union climate policy chief Frans Timmermans said, “This should be discussed in the right forum, at the highest international level… Nobody should be conducting experiments alone with our shared planet.” In other words, say it, don’t spray it.
☔ A new study indicates that warming temperatures are turning mountain snowfall into rain, which poses a host of problems. Rather than holding onto its mass as snowpack, water deposited as rain runs down the mountain immediately, causing issues like flooding, landslides, and erosion. Not to mention, it’s bad news for the Winter X Games. You ever try to build a halfpipe out of water?
🐓 Now, the most devastating climate change news yet: climate change is leading to a Sriracha shortage. Drought conditions in Mexico have resulted in shortages of the chili peppers used to make Sriracha, which has sent prices for bottles of the spicy stuff skyrocketing. Okay, I didn’t like climate change before, but now? It’s personal.
83%: PERCENTAGE OF PALM OIL REFINING NOW OPERATING UNDER NO DEFORESTATION COMMITMENTS (BBC)
59M: NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN U.S. AT RISK OF BEING EXPOSED TO EXTREME HEAT THIS WEEK (WAPO)
Red, White, and… Green??
The 4th of July is this week, and if you’re in America, I hope you’re celebrating poolside! While you’re setting up the BBQ, here are some tips to make your 4th a little more sustainable.