Discover more from Talking Climate with Katharine Hayhoe
A weekful of climate solutions - thanks NPR!
A week of positive climate stories, warmest September on record, and an inspirational climate voice
Most reporting on climate change emphasizes weather disasters; and while it’s important to understand the risks climate change poses, it’s inspiring and motivating to learn more about solutions that can help pave the way to a better future. That’s why, last week, I was so glad to see that NPR is focusing on creative climate solutions from across the U.S. and around the globe. More of this, please!
In her introduction to the series, NPR’s climate solutions reporter, Julia Simon, said: “I know that things are bad right now. But what if we reframe the conversation? With climate change, it’s not like this is a meteor hurtling toward Earth and there’s nothing we can do about it. Humans are driving global warming. And that means we humans can find solutions to change our trajectory.” I couldn’t agree more.
NPR’s stories cover a wide range of topics, from cutting healthcare’s carbon footprint to “spongy” urban flooding solutions to a robot that cleans seaweed off beaches. They even curated a post of solely good news. They also cover how you can implement solutions in your own life, including induction stoves, heat pump water heaters, and electric bikes.
You can listen to all the stories from the week here. And as always, please share what you learn.
September 22 marked the beginning of fall in the Northern Hemisphere, but, for many places, the weather has not gotten that memo. Global temperatures are off the charts, leading climate scientists like my colleaguesand to describe what we’re seeing as “flabbergasting, “mind boggling” and “absolutely gobsmacking bananas.”
Much of Europe is still in the grips of record-breaking heat after experiencing the warmest September on record. Last week, the streets and subways of New York City saw flooding that was at least 10 to 20 percent worse due to climate change, according to a rapid attribution study. I made a short video explaining how global warming increases the risk of heavy downpours. And in Brazil, in the Southern Hemisphere, more than 100 Amazon river dolphins died after the water they were swimming in spiked to 39 degrees C - that's 102 degrees F.
INSPIRATION OF THE MONTH
My inspiration this month is Bill Weihl and the fantastic work he has been doing in the face of considerable challenges. I first met Bill at COP21, in Paris, when he was the sustainability director at Facebook. There, he convinced the city to allow him to project climate-friendly messages on the Eiffel Tower to support the climate negotiations that led to the Paris Agreement. Bill went on to found ClimateVoice, an organization that helps business employees speak up about climate action and catalyze change at their organizations.
Earlier this year, Bill was diagnosed with ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which is robbing him of his ability to speak. Despite this, he remains a stalwart voice on battling climate change, writing forcefully in a range of publications.
“Why on earth is my voice still louder on climate policy than that of the huge, mega-powerful, multi-billion-dollar global companies that claim to care so deeply about saving our planet?” he wondered recently.
Bill’s untiring advocacy illustrates how, even in the face of unimagined challenges, it’s still possible to find ways to envision and inspire climate action.
Mon., Oct. 16th at 12pm CET/6am ET - "What (more) can science contribute to catalysing meaningful climate action?" with PIK - Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research - in-person CLOSED, live-stream available
Tues., Oct. 17th at 17:30 CET/ 11:30am ET - "Barriers to Public Acceptance of Climate Science, Impacts, and Solutions" with Climate Change Center Berlin Brandenburg and Fakultät VII Wirtschaft und Management - in-person at TU Berlin
Thurs., Oct. 19th at 4:15pm CET - "How to Catalyze Change in a Warming World" with the University of Vienna - in-person in Vienna, Austria; more information to come
Fri., Oct. 20th at 11:45am CET - Event with Central European University - in-person in Vienna, Austria; more information to come
Sun., Oct. 29th at 4pm CDT - "Blanton Live: Conversations for Now," a panel discussion at the exhibit at the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, TX - in person