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Culture

Welcome to Heatmap

We hope to do climate coverage a little differently.

Climate change and clean energy.
Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

Let us tell you a story about a force that’s reshaping everything you care about. It’s a story of parched earth and rising tides, great power rivalries and massive infrastructure projects, the food we eat and the homes we build, ultra-fast cars and the richest man in the world. It’s the story of climate change, and it’s what we’re focused on here at Heatmap.

I started Heatmap because I wanted to read it. I was hungry to discover the details, nuances, and hard choices of climate change, because that’s where the most interesting and important parts of any story lie. I wanted stories that go beyond the basics and approach the topic as the all-encompassing epic it is.

After all, think of how many important stories had climate change or energy at their center over the past year. There’s President Biden’s climate legislation, his biggest accomplishment to date. There’s the war in Ukraine, which is being waged by a petro-state and has sent the world hurtling towards decarbonization. There’s inflation, driven by fossil fuels and energy shortages. In Silicon Valley, venture funding is pouring into climate tech at a record clip and the world’s digital public square was recently acquired by an erratic electric vehicle mogul. Meanwhile on Apple TV next week, a climate show premieres starring Edward Norton, Meryl Streep, Kit Harington, and Diane Lane.

There’s a lot to cover.

Heatmap is made up of an incredible group of journalists and media veterans who are interested in telling the same stories and diving into the same details as I am. Some of us come to Heatmap with deep climate expertise. Others come fresh to the topic from relevant backgrounds, like politics or economics or culture. (I come from The Week, where I dabbled in a bit of everything.)

All of us are grateful for you reading us today as we get started. If you enjoy what you read, I hope you’ll consider supporting our work with a subscription so we can continue to pursue this fascinating, vital story in all its detail.

Thank you,

Nico Lauricella
Founder and editor in chief

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Nico Lauricella profile image

Nico Lauricella

Nico is the founder and editor in chief of Heatmap. He was previously the editor in chief of The Week online. Read More

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Economy

American Solar Is in a Trade War With Itself

Manufacturers and installers have different opinions on tariffs.

A solar panel worker.
Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

The American solar industry is in a tizzy over tariffs. On one side are the companies that develop, finance, and install solar systems. On the other, the American (or American-located) companies that manufacture them.

China’s solar panel industry has been a combination of boon and bugaboo for American renewable energy efforts for years. On the one hand, the solar development sector has benefitted from the cheap panels they have happily put up on roofs and in fields across the country, underpinning the massive growth of solar power in the past decade.

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Electric Vehicles

A Dumbphone on Wheels

Simpler electric vehicles would not only be cheaper — they’d last longer too.

A man charging a very old car.
Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

If you haven’t heard, the dumbphone is back. Vexed by their emotionally ruinous smartphone addiction, plenty of people, including those of the tech-savvy younger generations, are turning their backs on iPhones and Androids to embrace internet-free cellphones that walked right out of the 1990s.

The impossibility of TikTok is not the dumbphone’s only winning feature. Flagship smartphones are expensive and delicate. Despite Apple’s soft cooing about the iPhone’s beautiful facade, you must shield that design behind a plastic case at all times, lest you drop your $1,200 investment and ruin it. Dumbphones, though, are rugged and cheap. They do their job without fuss or pretense. They are an appliance, and they know it.

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Electric Vehicles

AM Briefing: Biden’s Schedule for Offshore Wind Auctions

On the new auction schedule, Tesla earnings, and the Mercedes G-Class EV

Biden’s Plan to Jumpstart Offshore Wind
Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

Current conditions: A Saharan dust storm turned skies red in Greece • More heavy rain is expected in China’s flooded Guangdong province • Red Flag fire weather warnings are in place across much of New Mexico.

THE TOP FIVE

1. Key takeaways from Tesla’s quarterly earnings report

Tesla reported first quarter earnings yesterday. The electric car company’s profits fell 55%, and revenue fell 9%. But shares rose more than 10% in after-hours trading following the shareholder update and earnings call. Here are a few things we learned from the report:

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