THE BRIEF [Feb 21-27’22]
Irish Greenwashing Awards, what will Putin’s war mean for climate action and methane emissions 70% higher than reported.
Welcome to this week’s edition of The Weekly Climate 🎉
If you’re only getting The Brief but want to get the full version of the newsletter be sure to upgrade your plan to paid. See a recent week’s full newsletter for details. If you’re getting both: Thank you so much for deciding to upgrade to go paid 🙏. And thanks to everybody for reading my newsletter regardless of which version you read 🤗.
Hope less… 🇺🇦
No that is not a typo.
This weeks news about Russia’s pointless invasion of Ukraine really makes me hopeless about political climate action. That one of the world’s biggest polluters decides that it’s the right time for a war with a neighboring country is just unbelievable. Now is the time for the politicians of the world to stand together and help the rest of us fix this thing (war and climate crisis) and instead we get this.
One of the most powerful things that I learned studying stoicism in an attempt to learn how to deal psychologically with the world’s onslaught of bad news was how “hope” and “fear” are connected. As the great philosopher and polymath Seneca says in his 5th letter to Lucilius:
“… I find in the writings of our Hecato that the limiting of desires helps also to cure fears: "Cease to hope," he says, "and you will cease to fear." "But how," you will reply, "can things so different go side by side?" In this way, my dear Lucilius: though they do seem at variance, yet they are really united. Just as the same chain fastens the prisoner and the soldier who guards him, so hope and fear, dissimilar as they are, keep step together; fear follows hope. I am not surprised that they proceed in this way; each alike belongs to a mind that is in suspense, a mind that is fretted by looking forward to the future. But the chief cause of both these ills is that we do not adapt ourselves to the present, but send our thoughts a long way ahead. And so foresight, the noblest blessing of the human race, becomes perverted. Beasts avoid the dangers which they see, and when they have escaped them are free from care; but we men torment ourselves over that which is to come as well as over that which is past. Many of our blessings bring bane to us; for memory recalls the tortures of fear, while foresight anticipates them. The present alone can make no man wretched. Farewell.”
In other words what he says is that we should focus on the now. Not what lies ahead, not what is to come. We must not spend one second hoping that Putin’s actions have no negative influence on the world’s chance of solving the climate crisis (in fact as you’ll see in this newsletter there could be arguments in either directions) because doing so might in a moment of particular terrible news about the war paralyze us with fear. That fear might be what causes us to abandon our plans for how we’re going to impact the climate crisis. Instead we should focus on what we’re doing now. What each one of us can do right now to improve our chances that despite what is happening we can still fix the climate crisis. In fact we should do so even harder because of this.
We must hope less.
We must cease to fear.
We must carry on.
🙏🇺🇦 My thoughts are with the people of Ukraine 🇺🇦🙏
‼️News you can’t miss
🙀 Not really going to link anything here this week as I think I know what’s on everybody’s minds…
😻 Irish Greenwashing Awards are on for 2022
😼 What will Russia’s pointless war with Ukraine do to climate action?
This week’s highlights
[#billionaires] — An interesting strategy to decarbonize is to simply buy the f*ckers and shut ‘em down or more precisely replace them with renewable alternatives. That’s what one of Australia’s richest person (the co-founder of Atlassian) and together with a big consortium of other rich companies and people are trying to do right no to Australia’s dirty energy company AGL.
[#peat] — Here’s a charming cartoon explaining what peat is and how it works. And as a more somber story to the happily colored cartoon, here’s a story about Congo’s peatlands and the people protecting it.
[#russianwar] — Russia’s pointless war with Ukraine is wreaking havoc and human suffering on all scales and now threatens or at the very least reshapes the climate debate. Energy security is certainly something that is on many people’s minds here in EU. Gas and oil prices are going to the moon and this will hit low-middle income households hard. However, it might just push more people to invest in clean energy no soon. I can only speak for my own household. We had originally planned within the next few years to get a heat pump and solar roof but we just decided to accelerate that and just this we week booked the installers to replace our ugly fossil gas heater with a heat pump and are right now looking for suppliers for a solar roof (any hints, please DM :)).
That’s it for this week folks!
If you want more details or simply think my newsletter rocks remember that you can always go paid to get the full version of the Weekly Climate. But before you do, ask yourself this question: Does it provide you with 1.25$ worth of value every week? Obviously I think it does. In fact I really hope that just the time alone I save you should easily cover those 1.25$. Don’t hesitate to ping me on email@example.com or comment below with any questions, feedback or comments regarding this.
Remember if you’re feeling down, angry or sad from some of the news in this newsletter one cure is to act. And one way you can always act that also happens to be one of the most powerful things you can do is to talk about it. That also works if what you just read made you hopeful or happy btw.
If you enjoyed this newsletter don’t forget to share it with your friends, coworkers or other people you think could benefit from getting it. If you got directed here by a friend or another link on the Internet don’t forget to subscribe!
See you all next week 👋