It’s August, so barely anything is happening in Europe while North Americans still work, but really only “pretend work” because it’s August and what’s the point? In the climate world, there’s still plenty of scary weather things happening, but I think you get the point: It’s much hotter than usual.
So, I’m going to ease back on the climate throttle a bit today and basically present a climate collage. In your service, I read a ton of stuff and some broader ideas have been rattling around in my brain, but lacking a narrative. So, here they are.
Enjoy your weekend!
Our radically changing job world
Although we may know that our world is changing at a breakneck pace due to the transition to green energy, often you can’t necessarily see the changes unless you’re really looking for them. A good part of the explosive U.S. job growth over the last two years has been green jobs. So, here’s a few jobs and kinds of projects that didn’t really exist until the last five years or so.
- Solar panel-covered canals, which cover available surfaces with power generation while reducing evaporation.
- Jones Act boat patrols, watching to make sure U.S.-flagged ships service off-shore wind farms. The Jones Act limits only U.S.-flagged ships to work on U.S. water projects and delivering cargo between U.S. ports.
- Solar energy and hops farming, it turns out the two things occupy the same space perfectly.
- Wind turbine manufacturer isn’t a new job, but since the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act last year, eleven new U.S. wind turbine factories have been announced and broken ground, worth billions of dollars of investment.
- Not a new job, but a new twist, where dozens of dock workers in New Bedford, Massachusetts went on strike to ensure jobs from the Vineyard offshore wind project stayed in the union.
- Soar manufacturing jobs are also experiencing explosive growth, since IRA tax credits are getting companies to bring jobs from South Asia to the U.S.
- Solar panel recycling is becoming a big thing, since panels wear out after 20 years and many of the minerals in panels can be reused.
Summer tourism will never be the same
Does your summer this year include big vacation plans? Maybe you’re making some changes because of the intense weather? Climate seems to be impacting our favorite tourist spots more than even, maybe so much that we’ll not want to go anymore.
- California’s Mojave Desert is on fire, and that includes the Joshua trees.
- Yosemite National Park got so much snow last winter, that parts of it are still under ten-foot high piles of snow. The freezing-roasting weather whiplash is impacting wildlife in a bad way.
- National parks in the U.S. West are baking in heat, killing hikers. The good news is visitors are staying away because of the intense heat.
- Vacationing in Southern Europe is becoming a nightmare due to fires in Greece and Sicily. Those countries’ economic reliance on tourism is endangered.
- California surfing waves are at least a foot higher due to warming, say scientists.
- Depending on your perspective, the headline “South Florida waters hit hot tub level” may or may not be what you’re looking for.
Other Things Happened
- Global coal demand hit a new record in 2022, more than half of that demand was from China.
- 80% of Kenya’s power demand was met with green energy last year. They are shooting for 100% by 2030.
- Carbon emissions from this year’s Canadian forest fires have at least doubled the previous 2014 record of 138 million tons.
- Green hydrogen is not actually, you know green, but the U.S. government is about to plunk down a giant tax subsidy for it. Here’s a great explainer.
- Temperatures over 104-degrees Fahrenheit across Iran and a shaky power grid led the country’s leadership to declare a two-day nationwide shutdown.