India Feels the Heat, Scientists Become Activists, and California Achieves a Renewable Milestone
Hello Climate Conscious fans,
Welcome to the latest edition of The Current Climate newsletter!
In case you’re new to the publication, our goal with this monthly newsletter is to not only highlight the amazing work of our writers, but also to bring you important climate- and environment-related current events from around the world that you may have missed.
We hope that this newsletter serves as an additional resource to ensure the climate crisis remains at the forefront of our minds, rather than an afterthought.
Introducing Our Newest Editor!
We’d like to formally welcome our newest editor to Climate Conscious, Eszter Brhlik! She’s excited to join our team and shared the following about her background and passions:
“I’m a sustainability enthusiast and asker of critical questions. If you asked me to describe myself in 5 words, I’d say I’m conscious, balanced, caring, goal-oriented, and adventurous: I’m an ENTJ-A personality. I’m from Hungary, but I live and work in Vienna, Austria as a writer, business development intern, and co-organizer of an amazing writing course. I love nature, yoga, and during winters, I’m happy to head to the mountains to ride my snowboard. I’m a coffee addict, and I love dancing to EDM, retro music or reggaeton in clubs. I’m mostly writing about sustainability, feminism, and sex-education.”
Top Stories from Climate Conscious
From each prior month, we highlight some of the top stories from the publication based on the number of views/reads, editors’ picks, and relevance to current events.
Eszter Brhlik writes, “Believing that technology is the cure to most of our issues, and there is nothing else for us to do, is as harmful in the debate on climate action as believing God will eventually save us.”
Eszter discusses the promise of technological utopianism and the risk of relying on such an ideology to save us from climate catastrophe. Even if scaling up technologies is feasible, she says that they’ll still have to overcome several other barriers including bureaucracy, lack of adequate infrastructure, and social resistance. Rather than just focus on technological innovations and hope those are the solution to climate change, Eszter says we should follow the advice of scientists to focus our efforts in six key areas: energy, short-lived climate pollutants, nature, food, economy, and human population.
Read about how we can slow down climate change in each of these six areas by checking out Eszter’s article here: Why Technological Progress Won’t Save Us From a Climate Disaster
Christyl Rivers, Phd. writes, “It’s time, now, to invite every breathing person to grab a white hat. Be a hero. Although it is true that you were lied to about your carbon footprint being solely your fault, you still can affect your carbon footprint even while you demand better leadership. Do little things. Big things.”
Christyl starts off her article discussing how it’s often said that people don’t like making sacrifices and aren’t willing to change their lifestyles, but these lifestyles have costs associated with them. Thus, we’re always sacrificing one thing for another. Rather than accumulating more stuff to feed these lifestyles, she recommends we do the opposite — give. Because “to give of the self is to save ourselves.” This not only will make us happier according to Christyl, but is also important for addressing the climate crisis by taking action in a collective manner and building a stronger connection to the planet.
Check out the full article here: Cleaning Up Earth Without Sacrifice
Anthony Signorelli writes, “Towns are pitted against other towns, neighbors against neighbors, cities against Wall Street. They are fighting over a dying resource. Wall Street is going to win again.”
That dying resource is water. Freshwater that is. Anthony discusses how the Colorado River that 40 million people rely on for their water needs is drying up due to climate change and other factors. As the Colorado River and reservoirs like Lake Mead become depleted, Wall Street is swooping in to “buy land along the river that comes with water rights.” He talks about the potential consequences of the Colorado River drying up including mass migrations of people in search of reliable water sources or having to procure freshwater from long distances such as from the Great Lakes.
Read about Wall Street’s nefarious plans to own the water we all rely on for survival in Anthony’s article here: Wall Street Owns Your Water; You Just Don’t Know It Yet
Current Climate News
Important climate-related news from the past month:
India experienced record-breaking heat waves in April that not only exposed hundreds of millions of people to dangerous temperatures, but also had a significant impact on its wheat harvest. Some regions of India were forecasted to reach as high as 120°F (49°C). This came at a time when wheat exports have already suffered due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (both countries combined accounted for a quarter of the world’s wheat exports in 2019). India was hoping to ease the shortfall left by these two countries embroiled in war as it was expecting record production levels of wheat this year. But that production is now at serious risk due to enduring the hottest March since records began and now massive heat waves in April.
One farmer from Uttar Pradesh said his wheat crop was down 60 percent already. Farmers across India are not only suffering from the direct impacts of having to work during these heat waves, but also suffer economic impacts from the loss of their crop. They are used to slow gradual rises in temperature during the spring months, and were not prepared for sudden rapid increases in temperature. This will likely have far-reaching impacts on wheat prices beyond India at a time when the prices of many consumer goods have already risen significantly due to inflation and continuing supply chain shortages.
Over 1,000 scientists from 25 different countries held protests during the first week of April after the latest IPCC report which warned that “rapid and deep cuts to greenhouse gas emissions are necessary by 2025 to avoid catastrophic climate effects.” The group, called the Scientist Rebellion, wrote a letter criticizing the current climate efforts and said their protests are meant to “highlight the urgency and injustice of the climate and ecological crisis.”
In Los Angeles, scientists chained themselves to the JP Morgan Chase building. In Washington, D.C., scientists chained themselves to the White House fence while across the ocean in Spain, scientists threw fake blood at the National Congress. In Germany, protestors glued themselves to a bridge. Scientists in Panama demonstrated at various embassies, and in Malawi scientists held a teach-in at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
It lasted just for a brief few minutes, but California achieved a major milestone last week. It ran on 100 percent renewables for the first time ever! According to the article, smaller grids like in South Australia have already achieved running on 100 percent renewables for some time, but this represents an important achievement for the much larger grid in California. Most of the energy was supplied by solar followed by wind during the 15-minute interval in the afternoon when the milestone was achieved.
As Environment California’s state director Laura Deehan put it, “Now we need to get our state running on 100% clean energy for the whole day, the whole week, and the whole year. It’s time to move to 100% clean energy, 100% of the time.” With 600 MW of solar, 200 MW of wind, and 1.3 GW of battery storage scheduled to come online in the state soon, there’s no doubt that renewables will increasingly be able to meet the state’s energy needs.
Important Publication Update
After three years of creating, building, and managing the Climate Conscious publication, our editor-in-chief, Sean Youra, is stepping down from his role. But don’t worry, the publication isn’t going anywhere! The rest of the editorial team is staying on to continue running the publication and we’ll continue to add new editors to ensure the publication runs efficiently. Speaking of, you can apply to join our team by filling out this short form here.
To read about Sean’s journey in creating the publication and what to expect for its future, check out his article: A New Future for Climate Conscious.
Thank you for reading, and we’ll see you next month!
Sarah Woodams, Editor
Raunaq Nambiar, Editor
Brad Zarnett, Editor
Luke Gloege, Ph.D., Editor
Michael Robert, Editor
Alysha Grace, Editor
Andrea Hoymann, Editor
Eszter Brhlik, Editor
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