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:
Chevron is being sued for spreading climate denial, and they’ve got an interesting defense strategy. They’re claiming that because pop culture icons like Captain Planet, Calvin and Hobbes, and Batman mentioned climate change, it’s not Big Oil’s fault that people kept using oil. Yeah, when you think about it, this whole thing is really cartoons’ fault.
GETTING DOWN TO CLIMATE BUSINESS:
️🧥 The biggest climate news of the week is also the biggest philanthropy news: the founder of beloved outdoor brand Patagonia is giving the company away to a trust that will use its profits to fight climate change. Yvon Chouinard, the outdoors-lover who founded the company and is now relinquishing it, said, “Hopefully this will influence a new form of capitalism that doesn’t end up with a few rich people and a bunch of poor people … We are going to give away the maximum amount of money to people who are actively working on saving this planet.” It’s an awesome story, and as long as Patagonia is giving stuff away, maybe they could throw a couple hoodies my direction.
⏱️ Hopefully others will follow in Patagonia’s footsteps, because a new United in Science report says that governments and businesses are not changing fast enough, and we’re entering an “uncharted territory of destruction.” Wait a second… was THAT what that Tom Holland movie was about??
️🔥 Plastic waste is building up at recycling plants, and it’s causing fires. Experts believe this is “due to a buildup of a combination of combustible materials like paper and plastic, sparks from discarded lithium-ion batteries and increasing temperatures as the climate warms.” The most common culprit is polyethylene terephthalate plastic, better known as PET, a clear, strong plastic typically used to make single-use beverage bottles. Many people believe these bottles are recyclable, but they’re actually quite difficult to recycle, particularly bottles with shrink wrap or green dye. So if you care about plastic waste, Don’t Do The Dew.
🕴️ The U.S. House Natural Resource Committee’s oversight panel held a hearing about the role of oil & gas PR firms in causing climate change. Their report showed these PR firms were guilty of “engineering astroturf ‘citizen’ groups to advocate for industry interests and defeat legislative proposals, and using unscrupulous tactics to sabotage genuine policy solutions and attack community advocates,” and that 60% of fossil fuel ads touted a green claim. Although to be fair, oil companies favorite color is green. That’s the color of money.
🍳 The Inflation Reduction Act just gave every American thousands of dollars to swap out their fossil fuel appliances with more climate-friendly versions. Finally an opportunity to replace my gas-powered piano.
82%: THE NUMBER OF WORKERS WHO WANT TO HELP THEIR COMPANY ACT MORE SUSTAINABLY AS PART OF THEIR JOBS (SALESFORCE)
5: THE NUMBER OF YEARS WITHIN WHICH THE UN WANTS EVERY COUNTRY TO HAVE A CLIMATE ALERT SYSTEM (SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN)
Right, Wrong, And Everything In Between
This week, the New York Times’ resident ethicist responded to a question from a reader about whether they should take a job working for an oil company. I didn’t love the NYT response so I won’t link to it here, but I did like The Atlantic’s response to the response, which touches on the broader ethical dilemmas of living as a climate-conscious person in a polluting society. (Although the tl;dr version for the prospective lawyer is: there are lots of job opportunities in the world that don’t involve defending the world’s worst polluters).
Thanks for reading! – Nicole