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:
You can sign up for an online webinar series hosted by the NY Times featuring a number of speakers, including Marie Kondo. This makes perfect sense to me, since global warming absolutely does NOT spark joy.
GETTING DOWN TO CLIMATE BUSINESS:
☑️ It’s back-to-school season, and we’ve already got our first report card. This one comes from the UN, and it assesses our climate progress since the Paris Agreement. It’s a bit of a mixed bag. Thanks to the Paris Agreement, many of the worst extremes of climate change are far less likely than they seemed in 2010. However, countries are far from meeting the goals set forth in the agreement, “which would most likely require a much faster expansion of energy sources like wind, solar or nuclear power and a sharp decrease in pollution from fossil fuels.” So this report card kind of feels like getting a “See me after class.”
🎾️ A US Open tennis match in New York was delayed by 49 minutes by climate protesters, who glued their bare feet to the concrete floor of the stadium. And surprisingly, Coco Gauff, who won the match, was quite gracious about it, telling reporters, “I always speak about preaching about what you feel and what you believe in. It was done in a peaceful way, so I can’t get too mad at it.” As someone walking around New York this week and sweating through my clothes, I can confirm it’s hard to get mad at anyone trying to cool this place down a little bit.
🛢️ Speaking of protesting, climate scientist Rose Abramoff chained herself to an oil drill operating as part of the Mountain Valley Pipeline in West Virginia, stating that “we cannot build this pipeline and meet our climate goals.” The Mountain Valley Pipeline was a key concession made to get the Inflation Reduction Act passed, and it was opposed by… well… nearly everyone who isn’t an oil magnate or Joe Manchin. Abramoff and one fellow protestor were arrested and charged with trespassing, obstruction of justice and interfering with property rights, and while she was chained to the drill, authorities threatened her with felony charges. That’s gonna backfire: college students are absolutely going to flock to a class taught by a convicted felon. If she gets an oil-drop tattoo? That class will fill up in the first minute.
🌡️ It’s getting harder and harder to deny the realities of climate change, but I gotta hand it to the deniers and skeptics of the world: they keep coming up with creative new ways to spread disinformation. Now, influencers are claiming that actually, temperatures are only rising because we’re measuring them in the wrong place. Influencers and public figures are now claiming we shouldn’t be measuring ground temperature, but rather, air temperature, which is typically lower. They also claim that media outlets were confused about the data they were reporting from the European Space Agency. The BBC “quickly refuted Oliver’s argument, noting that its weather reports used air temperatures measured by meteorologists in line with international standards,” but hundreds of thousands of people have likely already seen these arguments. Perhaps I can settle this for us: my feet are on the ground, and my head is in the air, and both are sweating. It’s hot, guys.
🐮 Tyson beef is promoting its new “Climate-Smart Beef” program, but it seems like a load of bull. Tyson and the USDA are not releasing their calculations about what makes this beef “climate-smart” to the public, and historically, the meat industry has received enormous subsidies from the government to keep producing in emissions-heavy ways. Further, no one involved wanted to agree to an interview about their methods. When it comes to Climate-Smart Beef, you should remain… unmoooooooved.
🍴 A small tweak to delivery apps could prevent a bunch of single-use plastics from entering the world. Researchers estimate that simply changing the default settings to “no cutlery” could eliminate “3.26 million tonnes of plastic waste each year”… and that’s JUST from China. The good news is, New York already passed a law making no cutlery the default setting! Which is good, because my drawer full of takeout forks I feel bad throwing away is AT CAPACITY.
48%: PERCENTAGE OF GLOBAL POPULATION THAT EXPERIENCED TEMPERATURES SIGNIFICANTLY BOOSTED BY GLOBAL WARMING (AXIOS)
417.1: ATMOSPHERIC CONCENTRATION OF CO2, IN PARTS PER MILLION, A 2.4 PPM INCREASE SINCE 2021 (NOAA)
The JOG Blog
One of the few silver linings of being a television writer on strike is that, in the absence of their regular jobs, a lot of my colleagues have done really interesting side projects. My coworker Jason O. Gilbert started a political humor Substack, and this piece he wrote about Ron DeSantis’ continued climate denial is his best work yet.