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:
The New York – Ghana joint concert series, the Global Citizen Festival, just announced its lineups. According to their press release, the simultaneous concerts “will call on world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly to step up and invest $600-million in the future of women and girls, close the annual $10-billion climate financing shortfall, deliver $500-million to help African farmers respond to the global food crisis, and provide urgent relief from crushing debts to end extreme poverty. Performers will include Metallica, Charlie Puth, the Jonas Brothers, MÅNESKIN, Mariah Carey, Usher, SZA, Stormzy, Gyakie, H.E.R., Sarkodie, Stonebwoy and Tems, and more. Even I know some of those names!
GETTING DOWN TO CLIMATE BUSINESS:
🐻 California is making some big climate policy moves. They just approved a record $54 billion in spending and passed huge restrictions on oil and gas. They also mandated that the state stop adding CO2 to the atmosphere by 2045. I believe the Beach Boys put it best when they sang, “I wish they all could be California laws.” (Or something like that, I haven’t listened to the song recently).
💰 If you’re a regular Climate Roundup reader, you’ll remember that last week, the White House published its first ever estimate of disaster costs associated with climate change (and how much we can save if we mitigate it). But now, experts are saying that those estimates are too low According to a new analysis, “Each additional ton of carbon dioxide that cars, power plants and other sources add to the atmosphere costs society $185 — more than triple the federal government’s current figure.” So climate change will destroy ecosystems, devastate our food system, and submerge coastal cities. But hey, at least it’ll also cost us money!
🌍 As climate change inevitably forces people to move to more habitable living conditions, experts are figuring out where people are likely to migrate to so we can plan for these huge demographic changes. Since most land mass is in the northern hemisphere, that’s where people are going to go. TIME magazine suggests “decoupling the political map from geography. However unrealistic it sounds, we need to look at the world afresh and develop new plans based on geology, geography, and ecology.” Sounds to me like we get to create a bunch of new countries! I would like to humbly propose one called GenE-vania.
🐘 Humans aren’t the only ones migrating. Zimbabwe is moving 2,500 wild animals to rescue them from drought. I’m glad we’re getting those animals to water, and I’m really glad we finally get to see what happens if Mad Max did Operation Dumbo Drop.
🏠 One way you can combat climate change where you already live is to get a white roof. White roofs not only keep your homes and workplaces cooler, they also reflect heat back into the atmosphere, contributing to a broader fight against rising temperatures. How much more white can these roofs get? The answer is none. None more white.
🌞 California is proposing a unique plan to get more energy AND conserve water by placing solar panels over aqueducts. When water travels through the aqueducts now, a lot of it gets lost through evaporation. And solar panels can disrupt the sensitive desert ecosystem when sprawled across the landscape. This proposal could solve both those problems. The state is currently installing 8500 feet of solar panels, which “will generate an estimated 5 megawatts combined — enough to power around 1,000 homes, theoretically,” as part of their trial run. Please do not try your own trial run on the aqueducts. It’s slippery up there.
100KM: THE SIZE OF THE LAKE CREATED BY EXTREME MONSOON FLOODING IN PAKISTAN (CNN)
$5M: THE AMOUNT OF MONEY LIVENATION IS SPENDING ON REUSABLE CUPS FOR MUSIC FESTIVALS (TECHCRUNCH)
More California Than The Red Hot Chili Peppers
A couple stories out of Los Angeles (but hopefully useful anywhere) about some environmental solutions that will also make cities more liveable.
First, the Los Angeles Parks foundation is working on putting “micro forests” throughout the city to increase biodiversity, sequester a little carbon, and eventually increase tree canopy coverage (really important for cooling the city on hot days, but also, just nice to look at!).
And secondly of all, a new startup is 3D printing tiny houses out of recycled plastic bottles, which Angelenos can use as Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). 3D printing will make the houses cheaper for homeowners to afford, standardized designs will expedite the approval process, and these new units will add desperately-needed housing stock to the city’s supply.
If you’re interested in increasing access to either of these programs in your city, check out the links and take them to your city council!
Thanks for reading! – Nicole