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:
Rainn Wilson joined the Boston Globe to discuss how his Baháʼí faith focuses on community, which informs his climate activism. Which is weird, because he wasn’t on Community at all. That was a different show.
GETTING DOWN TO CLIMATE BUSINESS:
⛏️ The Biden administration announced its new American Climate Corps, a jobs program that could put 20,000 people to work on climate projects. The American Climate Corps was modeled after the New Deal’s Civilian Conservation Corps, which was wildly successful in employing people in restoration efforts and supporting our national parks. Youth climate advocacy group The Sunrise Movement has long advocated for a program like this, and while they’ve been vocal critics of some of Biden’s more problematic climate policies, this is a significant effort to build trust among young climate-motivated voters. It helps that “most positions will not require previous experience.” This is in contrast to every other entry-level job out there, which require a master’s degree and 5 years experience, for some reason.
🧒 It’s a good thing that Biden is appealing to young voters, because climate change is a top issue when they vote. Recent polling shows that “60% of those ages 18 to 29 believe climate change should be a priority, even at the risk of slowing economic growth. A larger group, 64%, believe climate change is a major threat, and 72% responded that climate change is affecting their local community.” Historically, getting young people to turn out for elections has been a challenge, but there are encouraging signs that climate issues have motivated this generation to get more involved in politics at a local level. According to NPR, “Strategists identify statehouse, public utility, mayoral, gubernatorial and House races as those where climate platforms and climate voters could have a bigger influence.” That’s right, you could have much more influence in your local community than in Washington. Not to mention, the commute’s a lot easier.
🔥 This week, New York celebrated Climate Week, with the international Climate Ambition Summit taking place at UN headquarters. The meeting was intended to “build momentum” in advance of December’s COP28 conference in Dubai. And United Nations Secretary General António Guterres got that ball rolling by announcing that “Humanity has opened the gates to hell.” He also took another bold step, choosing to “restrict the speaker list to countries he deemed to have clear and effective climate plans, and those prepared to send a high-level leader to speak.” Man, you can just forbid people who aren’t serious about climate change from talking? Is there a way I can do that in my Twitter mentions?
✊ Speaking of Climate Week, people were out in force at a major climate protest. On Monday, the NYPD arrested 114 people who blocked the entrance to a Federal Reserve building. The protesters were demanding that the Biden administration end its approvals of new fossil fuel drilling projects and a rapid phase-out of current production. Commenting on the protesters, US Climate Envoy John Kerry said, “I think their point of view is really important and can hopefully help move the needle,” and also that Biden has “accomplished more than any president in history” on climate change. That’s fair, but you gotta admit, it would be pretty weird if like, Millard Filmore had a great climate change platform.
💸 As of August, the United States already set a new record for billion-dollar disasters. These days, a billion-dollar disaster happens roughly once every 3 weeks. In 2023, we’ve already hit 23 of those disasters, mostly involving severe weather events, but also including other climate-related disasters, like the devastating fire in Maui. One important thing to note is that heat waves, which can also be extremely costly and deadly, are not included in NOAA’s disaster totals. They’re difficult to track because different regions have different heat thresholds, and “the economic and other impacts are harder to directly link to such events.” The same thing goes for wildfire smoke. You can’t put a price on clean air, but I guess you can’t put a price on dirty air, either.
⚖️ In the latest climate lawsuit news, the state of California is suing the 5 major oil companies for misleading the public about the climate impacts of their products. But hey, it’s not like California is known for crazy droughts and wildfires or anything like tha– Oh…
39M: THE NUMBER OF HOMES ESTIMATED TO HAVE UNDER-PRICED INSURANCE GIVEN THEIR CLIMATE RISK (AP)
50X: CLIMATE CHANGE MADE LIBYA’S DEVASTATING FLOODS THIS MANY TIMES MORE LIKELY (CNN)
I Want To Ride My Bicycle
E-bikes are going to be an important part of the climate revolution, but you may have been intimidated by their price point or put-off by their clunky aesthetics. If so, the Propella 7S might be for you.