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:
Mission Impossible star Hayley Atwell is one of 100 UK celebrities supporting the Green Rider contract, which aims to improve sustainability in the film industry by limiting extravagant on-set perks for stars. But here’s the question – is it part of the Green Rider contract if you ask for a bowl of green M&Ms?
GETTING DOWN TO CLIMATE BUSINESS:
🤝 This week was the first Republican primary debate, and their responses to a question about climate change did not inspire a lot of faith. From shifting the blame to China to calling climate change an outright hoax to answering a different question altogether, the GOP contenders made it clear that solving the climate crisis is simply not a priority for them. However, there is still reason to be hopeful: the shameful answers came in response to a question by a young Republican who wanted the candidates to “assuage young people’s concerns about climate change.” Historically, commitment to climate issues has fallen along partisan lines. Seeing a younger generation of Republicans raise climate as a significant concern means that we could eventually see meaningful bipartisan action on climate policy. And in the meantime, we can do something more enjoyable than watching the GOP debates, like running wind sprints, or getting audited.
🇨🇦 New research shows that the hot, dry conditions that led to the Canadian wildfires were made twice as likely by climate change. According to the researchers, Eastern Canada now has a 4-5% chance in any given year of experiencing these kinds of fire-rich conditions. They also said that “climate fluctuations were the dominant factor behind the amount of land in eastern Canada burned by wildfires between 1850 and 1990.” Many of these fires were due to natural fluctuations in climate, but now that human activity has made climate change more severe, we can expect to see more fires up north. Bad news, unless you like your Canadian bacon pre-cooked.
⚖️ Climate activists in the EU have formally asked for a revision to European Commission climate policy on the grounds that it does not meet the EU’s “fair share” of the burden to combat climate change. While the current law aims to reduce the EU’s net emissions by 55% from 1990 levels, the activists are pushing to raise that to 65%. If the Commission doesn’t respond to the formal request in 16 weeks, the activists could pursue legal action. You don’t want that. If you think legal briefs are complicated, just try reading them in German.
🌀 Climate-related disasters like the Maui wildfires and California floods from Hurricane Hillary are shining a light on the homelessness crisis and reminding us that climate change compounds other social and policy issues. The homeless have less access to news sources that can prepare them for impending extreme weather, which can lead to greater mortality, injuries, and loss of personal property. These severe weather events can also lead to PTSD and worsen existing mental health conditions. Some of this can be mitigated with education: making sure people know when extreme weather is headed their way and where to seek shelter. It’s probably a good idea for EVERYONE to know where to shelter in extreme weather events. The last thing you want is to try to outrun a sudden hurricane on a Bird scooter.
💧 There is one silver lining of Hurricane Hillary: following extreme rain, Lake Mead’s water level is the highest it’s been all year. And while the resulting water level is less than a foot higher than it was before the storm, every inch buys a little more time to get our water usage in order and stop the lake from dropping to dangerous levels. I’ve already started conserving water by being a little bit dehydrated for the past decade.
🌿 Climate change could make poison ivy bigger and itchier. Well, at least when it’s 100 degrees, I won’t feel like going on a nature hike anyway.
$7T: THE AMOUNT OF WORLDWIDE SUBSIDIES FOR FOSSIL FUEL COMPANIES IN 2022 (IMF)
4/5: EMPEROR PENGUIN COLONIES THAT EXPERIENCED “TOTAL BREEDING FAILURE” DUE TO RECEDING SEA ICE (CNN)
Everybody’s Working For The Weekend
Looking to be a little more sustainable at work? Here are 20 tips from tech companies that you can use, whether you work in tech, a traditional field, or you just spend a LOT of time staring at your computer at home (it me).