[Jan 9-15’23] Can we cancel UN COPs now?
Past 8 years were the hottest, vocabulary update: Weather whiplash, become an electrician and oil executive to lead 2023 UN COP.
Welcome to this week’s edition of The Weekly Climate 🎉
Before I begin this newsletter I just want to give a quick “👋 hi! and welcome!” to all the new members that arrived this week. We have seen a sharp 10% increase in member this past week and very many of you appear to come from The Grumpy Optimists.
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For all my existing paying members - thank you so much! I literally couldn’t do this without you 🙏
‼️News you can’t miss
Here’s one important scary/bad (🙀), good (😻), interesting (😼) and fossil (💩) news item.
😻 New word for your climate change vocabulary: Weather whiplash
👩⚕️ Status: Climate & Science
Let’s look at how we’re doing this week!
[#weatherwhiplash] — New word of the week: Weather whiplash. This phenomenon was experienced in California in the recent weeks, when the state just before New Years was in high alert due to water shortages when suddenly the sky opened and “atmospheric rivers” caused flooding many places. This is now known as weather whiplash. The key question is whether these are getting worse due to climate change.
[#volcano] — A year and one day ago the Tonga underwater volcano erupted and researchers now fear that because of that there’s a risk that at least one year in the next five will breach the 1.5C limit. Usually volcanos are good for limiting warming because of the sulfur they spur into the atmosphere, but Tonga emitted an unprecedented high amount of water into the atmosphere and water vapour is a highly potent greenhouse gas. For reference the eruption was the most powerful eruption since 1991.
[#hottestyear] — Last year was the 5th hottest year ever revorded and the past 8 has been the warmest ever recorded. Not really surprising anymore, but just putting it out there.
📰 The 7 Grand Challenges
Clean electricity is the one do-or-die challenge we must solve.
[#electricians] — Think it’s hard getting an electrician to come fix something in your house? At least here in Denmark getting any kind of craftsman to come and fix something in your house can take months. Well in the future, electricians might be even harder to find as the effort to electrify everything is bound to create significant labor shortages in the quite near future. So on the other hand if you want to get a stable job with a likely increasing income due to rarity: Now is the time to become and electrician. This is actually not only job advice but actually imperative for the green transition as many places have rules (for good reasons) against laypersons doing the kind of installations that are needed to electrify everything.
🏘 Reduce impact of urban and rural areas
Lowering the impact of urban and rural areas.
[#gasstoves] — Gas stoves was a major news item in the US last week because of a threat to look into banning them (the formulation of this is a bit confusing) after a study from the previous week reconfirmed that living in a home with a gas stove increases the risk of childhood asthma significantly. One writer set about to measure his own gas stove’s pollution and he wrote another great followup piece on that the solution touted by the gas industry to just increase ventilation is not good enough. If you don’t have time to read all these articles Emily Atkin’s article on it provides a great overview. What I will say though is that the thing I find the most scary is the first article, that some people are literally defending gas stoves tooth and nail. They would apparently rather have their children run the risk of getting asthma than getting rid of the stove. That to me is insane.
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