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Adaptation, the California recall, eco-grief, and wokewashing

The Clim8

09.05.21-09.11.21

Photo Credit: Paul Morigi via NPR

Humans aren’t the only ones adapting to climate change (NPR)

As our environment continues to change as a result of the climate crisis, animals are also forced to adapt to these new changes. In a study led by Sara Ryding, a researcher at Deakin University in Australia, researchers found that some warm-blooded animals have experienced changes in the size of their legs, ears, or beaks, as a result of the rising temperatures. While different species are evolving in different ways, “the researchers said they're seeing this trend in many different types of species and locations — and experiencing climate change is what they all have in common.”

Photo Credit: Matt Slocum via The Washington Post

Adaptation vs. mitigation in response to climate change (The Washington Post)

With the rapid changes in our environment, it’s important to think about how we will address our climate going forward. Though significant steps have been taken in order to combat the climate crisis, “We have not taken these steps at the scales that are required for effective intervention.” While mitigating the effects of climate change has been a more widely discussed topic, the response of adaptation has been largely ignored.

Photo Credit: David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images via CNBC

California’s climate change policies are at stake in this Tuesday’s recall election (CNBC)

The upcoming election was organized by the Republican party in an attempt to recall democrat and current governor of California, Gavin Newsom. Conservatives hope to replace him with any of the Republicans on the ballot, from far-right radio host Larry Elder to businessman John Cox. Both have underplayed the impacts of climate change and called for a roll back of many of California’s current climate change policies. Should either of these candidates win, the future of California will no doubt be up in the (polluted) air.

Photo Credit: National Centers for Environmental Information via FT

Climate change has the potential to bring about massive tsunamis (Financial Times)

Renowned earth scientist, Bill McGuire warns that melting ice sheets, one of the effects of global warming, could potentially trigger large-scale earthquakes and tsunamis throughout the world. The biggest threat to the north Atlantic region comes from Greenland’s ice cap, which will, as it thins, release pressure on the Earth’s crust, leading to increased seismic activity in the years to come.

Photo Credit: via Unsplash

New Zealand’s 2021 winter is its hottest ever (ABC)

For the past three months, the average temperature in New Zealand was 9.8 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit), about 1.3 degrees Celsius above the country’s long-term winter average, and 0.2 degrees Celsius above last year’s average, which set the record at the time. In addition to these unprecedented high temperatures, warmer winds and seas were also reported this past winter. These trends can be attributed to rising carbon dioxide concentration in the region, which has increased by 92 parts per million over the past 50 years. New Zealand has also experienced more extreme weather events recently, from intense flooding in some areas to dry spells in others.

Photo Credit: Ty O'Neil/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images via NPR

“Eco-grief” spreads amongst global population as weather disasters worsen (NPR)

As people increasingly notice the impacts of climate change through weather disasters, they begin to deal with “eco-grief”: feelings of hopelessness and dread for the realities of a future that has been drastically changed by the harmful effects of climate change. Although many people realize that these effects are not immediate, the dread of a future with frequent weather disasters has made people reconsider their want to have children. The American Psychiatric Association also conducted a study showing that over half of adults in America are anxious about climate change’s effects, partially guided by the increasing severity and frequency of weather events in recent years.

Photo Credit: Twitter via The Guardian

Wokewashing: Oil companies show support for popular social justice movements to distract from their environmental impact (The Guardian)

Big oil companies, such as ExxonMobil, BP, and Chevron have all marketed their support for marginalized communities and technological innovation while failing to address their harmful impacts on the planet. While “Big Oil” has a history of climate denial, in recent years, their push towards advertising themselves as “social justice warriors” and great providers to Americans has been a more subtle approach to convincing the public to turn a blind eye to climate science. Read more to find out how the oil industry uses impoverished communities to push for climate inaction.

Photo Credit: EPA via BBC

More than half of all fossil fuel reserves must remain untapped to limit effects of climate change (BBC)

As pushed by the Paris Agreement, the world must try and curb the effects of climate change and limit global warming to a maximum of an additional 1.5 degrees Celsius. Researchers have assessed that seriously limiting fossil fuel extraction will be vital to reaching this goal and staying within the world’s carbon budget. Already, countries, like Costa Rica and Denmark, plan to ask nations to stop granting fossil fuel exploration permits at the UNFCCC in Glasgow later this November.

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