Sign In or Create an Account.

By continuing, you agree to the Terms of Service and acknowledge our Privacy Policy

Climate

This New Interactive Tool Can Help Inform Climate Policy

On Copernicus’ Climate Atlas, tourist fees, and the culture wars

This New Interactive Tool Can Help Inform Climate Policy
Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

Current conditions: A tropical storm has formed in the South Atlantic for the first time in three years • Ongoing wildfires in Chile forced residents to evacuate • It’s 51 degrees Fahrenheit and cloudy in London where a pod of dolphins was spotted in the River Thames.

THE TOP FIVE

1. Hawaii considers charging tourists to enter

Hawaii may introduce a $25 tourist fee this spring to help protect the state from wildfires. Hawaii’s Democratic governor, Josh Green, told The Wall Street Journal the fee would bring in close to $70 million annually, and that the money would pay for things like fire breaks, disaster prevention and insurance, and establishing a state fire marshal. “It’s a very small price to pay to preserve paradise,” Green said. Hawaii is still recovering from the deadly Lahaina wildfires that struck Maui last year. The tourist fee would follow a larger trend of visitors being asked to help contribute to climate resilience efforts in high-risk destinations across the world.

2. Copernicus launches new interactive climate tool

Here’s one for the climate data nerds: The European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) – a key resource for global climate data – today unveiled a cool new interactive tool. The Interactive Climate Atlas lets users explore very detailed changes in climate on a regional level, and peer into the future with climate projections based on different warming scenarios. The tool is a “gamechanger” for policymakers, the group said. It’s also just really fascinating (and/or terrifying) to play around with. It takes a little bit of getting used to, though, so good idea to read the user guide before you dive in.

Spatial precipitation changesC3S Interactive Climate Atlas

3. EU industry CEOs fret over energy shift

A bunch of European industrial business leaders are worried their firms are losing their competitive edge in the energy transition, and they want the EU to do something about it. About 70 CEOs from major European companies are petitioning the EU to introduce a “European Industrial Deal” that would reduce energy costs, boost funding for clean tech, cut red tape, and limit companies’ reporting obligations. “The group says Europe risks losing out to China and the U.S. in the race to supply the technologies needed to roll out renewables and slash industrial emissions,” reportedBloomberg. Ursula von der Leyen will join the group in Antwerp today in a bid to garner support as she launches her bid for a second term as European Commission president.

Get Heatmap AM directly in your inbox every morning:

* indicates required
  • 4. Major car part manufacturer slashing jobs

    A French company that manufactures parts for about half the world’s cars is cutting 10,000 jobs as the global shift to electric vehicles changes the automotive landscape, reportedThe Wall Street Journal. Forvia provides exhaust systems as well as interiors for carmakers including Ford, Tesla, Stellantis, and Volkswagen. The cuts, which will happen over the next five years, come as the company strives to stay competitive as new policies in the EU favor electric vehicles, and Chinese carmakers like BYD look to expand. Automotive suppliers “have made hefty investments in the shift to electric, and now they are seeing their markets being hit due to slower uptake than expected,” wrote Jennifer Mossalgue at Electrek.

    5. Culture wars target lab-grown meat

    Florida is one of a handful of states trying to ban lab-grown meat, seen by some as a potential way to help cut the greenhouse gas emissions of the meat and dairy industries. A new bill in the state legislature would make it a misdemeanor to sell or manufacture lab-grown meat (which is made from animal cells), and anyone caught doing so would be fined $1,000. “The development of lab-grown meat has been drawn into America’s culture wars, like other ventures aimed at disrupting traditional food production,” explained The New York Times. The irony is that “it likely will be years before lab-grown meat is a staple on dinner plates in America, if it happens at all.”

    THE KICKER

    “Luxury is better when it’s quiet and doesn’t smell like diesel exhaust.”Electrek’s Jo Borrás on why some ski resorts are rolling out electric equipment

    Yellow

    Jessica Hullinger

    Jessica Hullinger is a freelance writer and editor who likes to think deeply about climate science and sustainability. She previously served as Global Deputy Editor for The Week, and her writing has been featured in publications including Fast Company, Popular Science, and Fortune. Jessica is originally from Indiana but lives in London. Read More

    Read More
    Politics

    Are Pollsters Getting Climate Change Wrong?

    Why climate might be a more powerful election issue than it seems.

    A pollster on an ice floe.
    Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

    Climate change either is or isn’t the biggest issue of our time. It all depends on who you ask — and, especially, how.

    In March, as it has since 1939, Gallup asked Americans what they thought was the most important problem facing the country. Just 2% of respondents said “environment/pollution/climate change” — fewer than those who said “poor leadership” or “unifying the country” (although more than those who said “the media.”) Pew, meanwhile, asked Americans in January what the top priority for the president and Congress ought to be for this year, and “dealing with climate change” ranked third-to-last out of 20 issues — well behind “defending against terrorism,” “reducing availability of illegal drugs,” and “improving the way the political system works.”

    Keep reading...Show less
    Blue
    Politics

    AM Briefing: Earth Day Edition

    On expanding solar access, the American Climate Corps, and union news

    Biden’s Big Earth Day Agenda
    Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

    Current conditions: Torrential rains forced Mauritius to shut down its stock exchange • “Once in a century” flooding hit southern China • In the Northern Hemisphere, the Lyrid meteor shower peaks tonight.

    THE TOP FIVE

    1. Biden kicks off Earth Day with $7 billion for expanding solar access

    Today is Earth Day, but President Biden and his cabinet are celebrating all week long. Senior members of the administration have scheduled a national tour of events and announcements related to the president’s climate and environmental record. It starts with Biden’s visit to Prince William Forest Park in Triangle, Virginia, today, where he will announce $7 billion is being awarded to 60 state and local governments, tribes, and national and regional nonprofits through the Environmental Protection Agency’s Solar for All initiative, which aims to support solar in low- to moderate-income communities. The average grant size will be more than $80 million, and the funding will be used to design new programs and bolster existing ones that subsidize the cost of rooftop solar installations, community solar projects, and battery storage.

    Keep reading...Show less
    Yellow
    Sparks

    Biden’s $7 Billion Solar Bonanza

    The Solar For All program is the final piece of the $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.

    Solar panel installation.
    Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

    The great promise of solar panels — in addition to their being carbon-free — is the democratization of energy. Anyone can produce their own power, typically for less than the going utility rate. The problem is that those who stand to benefit the most from this opportunity haven’t been able to access it.

    That pattern could change, however, with Solar for All, a $7 billion program under the Environmental Protection Agency to support solar in low- to moderate-income communities. On Monday, the Biden administration announced it was awarding the funds to 60 state and local governments, tribes, and national and regional nonprofits, at an average grant size of more than $80 million.

    Keep reading...Show less
    Green