Paul Hawken

Mapping climate risk: There are thousands of new climate organizations forming worldwide focused on a multiplicity of measures to respond, ameliorate, invent, educate, and address global warming and the climate crisis. It is a renaissance borne of proliferating global awareness. One extraordinary organization is First Street Foundation in New York. It provides zip code by zip code ESRI maps of the flood, fire, and heat risks the United States faces today and onwards until 2053. The data and maps are sobering, to say the least, and brilliant to say more. Type in your zip code and see where the future lies for your corner of the world. First Street consists of 180 lead researchers and 42 top academic institutions. The world needs a full court press on global warming and this is a crucial effort to inform and awaken those who as yet may not understand the coming impacts. Hopefully, there will be a global map. If you go to the site, read the bios of the team and advisors. It will make your day. Humanity is the solution to the climate crisis.

 Claire Krummenacher

The United States' first congestion pricing program: With the release of a new environmental assessment report this week, New York City is one step closer to becoming the first city in the U.S. to implement congestion pricing, which charges drivers to enter a city's central business district in the hope of reducing traffic and increasing public transit funding. Although the city's public transit system already has one of the highest ridership rates in the country, vehicles are still responsible for nearly a third of its emissions. In each of the seven scenarios outlined in the assessment, the total volume of vehicles entering the central business district was expected to decrease by 15-20%, and all but one scenario was predicted to raise at least $1 billion annually. The city signaling its commitment to advancing the congesting pricing pilot is promising for residents given that previous studies have linked a lower volume of vehicles to both declines in pollution levels as well as fewer incidents of premature births and low birth weights in nearby neighborhoods.

 Courtney White

The Power of Abundance: The Inflation Reduction Act recently passed by Congress contains money for various nature-based solutions, as this story explains. One initiative that caught my eye was the city of Tucson’s goal to plant one million new trees by 2030, spearheaded by Regina Romero, the city’s first-ever Latina mayor. Wait! Plant one million trees in a desert? During a prolonged drought? With more dry times ahead due to climate change? Yes! The answer: abundance thinking. There’s plenty of rainwater even in a desert for new trees if we look at nature through the lens of abundance, not scarcity. That’s the philosophy and practice of Brad Lancaster, a water harvesting expert and Tucson resident. This trailer and this short film explain his thinking, which is revolutionary.

 Juliana Birnbaum

Regenerating lives after incarceration:  Climate psychology journalist Rei Takver suggested a piece from Capital B News, a local-national nonprofit news organization that centers Black voices, that really spoke to me this week.  ‘We Need Everyone’: How Two Formerly Incarcerated Firefighters Are Building a Movement reports on a program in my home state of California helping people develop careers as professional firefighters after prison. As we move into the most intense months of the fire season here, I appreciate the crucial needs filled by this initiative, which brings more resources to combat the wildfires that have intensified as a result of climate change, while helping formerly incarcerated people re-enter the workforce.  The article also discusses the complex histories of using inmates to perform backbreaking firefighting labors, and the connection between human-caused global heating, the prison-industrial complex, and racial inequality.

 Kavya Gopal

Condors have come home: The Yurok Tribe in California has successfully released four critically endangered prey-go-neesh (California condors) in Yurok Country, where the culturally and ecologically important birds have been absent for more than a century. The Yurok Tribe initiated the condor reintroduction project in 2008 and established the Northern California Condor Restoration Program (NCCRP), which plans to reintroduce one cohort of condors every year for the next two decades. Joseph L. James, the chairman of the Yurok Tribe said in a statement, “Condor reintroduction is a real-life manifestation of our cultural commitment to restore and protect the planet for future generations. It is a historical moment in the Yurok Tribe, as we introduce our condors back home, providing that balance for us. Our prayers are answered” (shared with us by the Women’s Earth Alliance).

 Robert Denney

Monarch butterfly now listed as endangered: Last month, the migratory monarch butterfly was placed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List as an endangered species. The butterfly, which migrates between Mexico and Canada each year, has been in decline because of habitat loss, herbicide and pesticide use, and climate change stressors. However, the new listing may bring about the publicity and resources needed to bring the species back from the brink of extinction. Local groups, such as the Friends of the Monarch Trail in Wisconsin, are ramping up monarch conservation efforts by preserving land along the butterfly’s migratory route.

 Tim Treuer

Climate and megadroughts in the American West: This week, Grist launched a new limited-run news series called Parched, which is taking a look at the ongoing megadrought in the Western United States. They came out of the gates swinging with a big piece about the relationship between climate and drought, pointing out how it's not simply a matter of less water—higher temperatures mean thirstier plants and soils, and more episodic rainfall is problematic for crops and aquifers even if total annual rainfall doesn't change. With the two largest reservoirs in the country at record lows and no end in sight for warmer, dryer conditions, we are at an enormously consequential inflection point for a generational crisis for the tens of millions of people living south of Sacramento and west of Denver.

Take Action on Nexus
Nexus is becoming the world’s largest listing of climate solutions and how to get them done. This week, learn how we can stop the insect extinction crisis by protecting their habitats and transforming our food and energy systems.

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Photo and Image Credits
1st image: First Street Foundation
2nd photo: Oliver Wright via NPL

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