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Climate

9 Dramatic Photos of Tropical Storm Hilary in California​

The storm left a record amount of summer rain and a host of images rarely seen in the region.

Tropical Storm Hilary has dumped a record amount of summer rain on Los Angeles and San Diego, but, as of mid-day on Monday, those Southern Californian cities seem have avoided the worst case scenarios of the storm. Still, in its wake, the deluge left roads flooded, drivers stranded, and a host of images rarely seen in that part of the country.

A woman looking at the sea.A person and dog stand near the Pacific Ocean as Tropical Storm Hilary approaches Imperial Beach, California.Mario Tama/Getty Images

People on the beach.People walk along Imperial Beach as Hilary approaches.Mario Tama/Getty Images

Cars on a flooded street.Vehicles drive along a flooded street as Hilary approaches Palm Springs, California.Mario Tama/Getty Images

Stranded motorists.Stranded motorists attempt to push their car out of floodwaters on the Golden State Freeway in Sun Valley, California.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A tow truck driver attempting to pull a stranded car out of floodwaters.A tow truck driver attempts to pull a stranded car out of floodwaters on the Golden State Freeway in Sun Valley.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Workers attempting to unclog a drain.Workers attempt to unclog a drain on a flooded street in Rancho Mirage, California.Mario Tama/Getty Images

A partially submerged car.A partially submerged car in Cathedral City, California.Mario Tama/Getty Images

Road damage.Road damage near In-Koh-Pah, California.Caltrans San Diego/X

Dodger Stadium.Flooding around Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.Los Angeles Dodgers Aerial Photography/X

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Jacob Lambert profile image

Jacob Lambert

Jacob is Heatmap's founding multimedia editor. Before joining Heatmap, he was The Week's digital art director and an associate editor at MAD magazine.

Climate

AM Briefing: Displacement Fears

On the Biden administration’s carbon removal investments, the climate refugees of Brazil, and more

Wednesday sunrise.
Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

Current conditions: More storms and possible tornadoes are forecast to hit Texas and the Plains, where millions of people are still without power • Cyclone Remal, the first tropical storm of the season, killed at least 23 people in India and Bangladesh • Brazilian authorities are investigating up to 800 suspected cases of waterborne illness following unprecedented flooding over the past month.

THE TOP FIVE

1. Biden administration invests in carbon removal

The Department of Energy on Tuesday gave $1.2 million to companies competing for a chance to sell carbon removal credits to the federal government. These 24 semifinalists, which were each awarded $50,000, include nine direct air capture projects, seven biomass projects, five enhanced rock weathering projects, and three marine-based projects. Up to 10 of them will be offered federal contracts amounting to $30 million. “The Department of Energy hopes that by selecting 24 companies that have been vetted by government scientists, it’s sending a signal to the private sector that there are at least some projects that are legitimate,” Heatmap’s Emily Pontecorvo writes, referencing struggles in the broader carbon credits marketplace.

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Technology

Carbon Removal’s Stamp of Approval

The Department of Energy is advancing 24 companies in its purchase prize contest. What these companies are getting is more important than $50,000.

Heirloom DAC.
Heatmap Illustration/Heirloom Carbon

The Department of Energy is advancing its first-of-a-kind program to stimulate demand for carbon removal by becoming a major buyer. On Tuesday, the agency awarded $50,000 to each of 24 semifinalist companies competing to suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere on behalf of the U.S. government. It will eventually spend $30 million to buy carbon removal credits from up to 10 winners.

The nascent carbon removal industry is desperate for customers. At a conference held in New York City last week called Carbon Unbound, startup CEOs brainstormed how to convince more companies to buy carbon removal as part of their sustainability strategies. On the sidelines, attendees lamented to me that there were hardly even any potential buyers at the conference — what a missed opportunity.

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Economy

Tom Steyer Is Baffled By Warren Buffett’s Oil Bets

“In the case of fossil fuels, he doesn’t seem to recognize how quickly our ability to develop and deploy clean energy is growing — and how cheap that energy is becoming.”

Tom Steyer and Warren Buffett.
Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

If you’re looking for a relatively optimistic read on the fight against climate change, Tom Steyer’s new book is out today. Called Cheaper, Better Faster: How We’ll Win the Climate War, it dives into the billionaire’s perspective on the state of the climate crisis and the clean energy solutions helping the world decarbonize. Steyer’s perspective is informed by the many hats he wears — investor, philanthropist, long shot 2020 presidential candidate, Yale man, and co-founder of the investment firm Galvanize Climate Solutions.

I chatted with Steyer a few weeks ago about his book, his guiding investment principles, and how and why people become environmentalists. Here are three things I found noteworthy:

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