climate action alerts

A regional resource for climate advocates
February 1, 2023
Feature Story
The Man Trying to Kill America's Offshore Wind Industry
By Michael Thomas, Ditstilled, Jan 21, 2023 | Image: Philip Marcelo

In the fall of 2019, residents on the coast of New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland started to receive letters about a new offshore wind project from what appeared to be a neighborhood group, Save Our Beach View.

The project, Skipjack Wind, promised to provide enough clean electricity to power 40,000 homes. The developer planned to invest $225 million into the local economy and hire 1,400 people to build the turbines. Read more.
Across the Region
1.31 newsletter
Vineyard Wind cable makes landfall; substation nearly 70 percent complete
By Jennette Barnes, CAI, Jan 19, 2023 | Image: Mary Kathryn Barnet

The nation’s first large-scale offshore wind farm is taking shape, both at sea and on land. On Tuesday, workers for Vineyard Wind pulled the second of two cables ashore through a conduit under Covell’s Beach in Barnstable.

“It might seem like [it’s] not the biggest deal, but it is connecting onshore with offshore for the first time in American history,” CEO Klaus Moeller said. “So we are very happy about those milestones.” Read more
Falmouth Town Meeting To Vote On Mayflower Wind
By Noelle Annonen and Elizabeth Saito, Falmouth Enterprise, Jan 27, 2023 | Image: Gene Marchand

Town Meeting voters will be asked to reverse the select board’s vote last month that denied Mayflower Wind access to town property. A petition article submitted for the April Town Meeting warrant would allow the offshore wind company to continue studying landfall sites for its electric cable.

Mayflower Wind has identified two sites in Falmouth Heights for connecting its wind farm to the electrical grid. Both are on town land. The company was in the midst of conducting feasibility studies when the select board voted to withdraw its permission to operate on public lands.
Nantucket homeowners group agrees to remove their hotly contested erosion shield
By Hadley Barndollar, Providence Journal, Jan 23, 2023 | Image: ISO New England

People don't usually think about where their electricity comes from. Most times, with the flip of a switch or press of a button, it's there — no questions asked.

Electricity goes far beyond the power lines at the front of your home. In fact, it's funneled into homes and buildings via a massive complicated system called the regional power grid. Operating New England's grid is ISO New England, the entity that aims to keep electricity supply and demand in balance 24/7, administer wholesale electricity markets and plan for the region's future power system needs. Read more
Across the Nation
Streamlining Permits for Renewable Energy
By Joseph Winters, Grist, Jan 10, 2023 | Image: Heart Energy

President Joe Biden’s White House unveiled new guidance last week on how federal agencies should evaluate greenhouse gas emissions from proposed infrastructure projects, including renewable energy systems.

The interim guidelines from the Council for Environmental Quality are intended to provide greater clarity on how climate pollution should factor into assessments carried out under the National Environmental Policy Act, one of the U.S.’s bedrock environmental laws. Read more.
Extreme weather, fueled by climate change, cost the U.S. $165 billion in 2022
By Nathan Rott, NPR, Jan 10, 2023 | Image: Win McNamee

A town-flattening hurricane in Florida. Catastrophic flooding in eastern Kentucky. Crippling heatwaves in the Northeast and West. A historic megadrought. The United States endured 18 separate disasters in 2022 whose damages exceeded $1b,with the total coming to $165b, according to a new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).Read more.
What has California's flooding (and drought) got to do with climate change?
By Tom Clynes, Environmental Defense Fund, Jan 23, 2023 | Image: Noah Berger

For the past several years, Californians have been desperate for rain to quench the state’s worst dry spell in at least 1,200 years. Scorching temperatures have shriveled crops and drained reservoirs, triggered power outages and led to wildfires that destroyed communities and burned millions of acres of forests. Read more.
Climate Justice & Transportation
Six Environmental Justice Policy Fights to Watch in 2023
By Kristoffer Tigue, Aydali Campa, Darreonna Davis, Inside Climate News, Jan 19, 2022

Unprecedented federal funding will soon flow to some of the nation’s communities hardest hit by climate change, industrial pollution and racist practices like redlining.

This money also presents what environmental justice advocates describe as the monumental task of ensuring those funds reach the communities most in need—namely, low-income families and communities of color that have historically borne the brunt of the nation’s environmental harms while benefiting least from environmental regulation. Read more.
Biden administration unveils roadmap for a greener, more equitable transportation sector
By Joseph Winters, Grist, Jan 27, 2032 | Image: Drew Angerer

Cars, trucks, planes, trains, and ships make up the U.S.'s biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions — about one-third of the nation's total. Now, the Biden administration is laying out a strategy to clean up the transportation sector while also making it more convenient and just. Read more.
Clean Energy & EVs
How Biden can meet his 100% clean electricity goal
By Maxine Joselow, Washington Post, Jan 2023
Image: Charlie Riedel

IIt’s one of President Biden’s most important and ambitious climate goals: eliminating carbon pollution from America’s power sector by 2035.

Meeting this goal will necessitate a massive transformation away from fossil fuels. It will slash planet-warming pollution from power plants, which rank as the nation’s second-biggest contributor to global warming. And it will allow Americans to power their electric cars, heat pumps and other appliances with clean electricity from renewable sources. Read more.
Decarbonization Can’t Wait
By Carrie Jung, WBUR, Jan 23, 2023
Image: Mark Harrington

You’ve likely heard the future is electric. Out with the gas furnaces and water heaters. In with the electric vehicles and induction stoves. You’ve likely also heard that we have to ditch fossil fuels for renewable energy, ASAP.

Together, these processes—electrification and clean energy development—make up the two components of decarbonization. It’s a mouthful of a word that means reducing or eliminating the carbon emissions from a given technology or sector. And we have to decarbonize just about everything—transportation, buildings, the energy grid—if we want any shot at keeping global warming to below 1.5 degrees Celsius. One look at the recent flooding in California reminds us just how critical this is. Read more
More Massachusetts districts are switching to electric school buses
By Carrie Jung, WBUR, Jan 23, 2023
Image: Mark Harrington

In a school bus lot in Beverly, bus driver Henry Birkemouse starts up an electric school bus.

A green light on the dashboard signals to the driver he can hit the accelerator. The bus resembles a traditional gas- or diesel-powered bus, yellow exterior and all, with the exception of the lettering on the hood that says "high voltage."

"It operates the same as any other bus," said Birkemouse. "It drives sort of like a golf cart." Read more.
Across the Globe
In Europe’s Clean Energy Transition, Industry Turns to Heat Pumps
By Paul Hockenos, Yale Environment 360, Jan 19, 2023 | Image: Fabian Strauch/ AP Images

The Wienerberger brickworks in Uttendorf, Austria, in the Tyrolean Alps, has always required a steady stream of 90 degree C (194 degree F) heat to dry its construction blocks. This process would have been an expensive proposition for the company after Russia cut gas exports to Europe, as it was for most of Europe’s energy-intensive construction industry. But four years ago, Wienerberger — the largest brick producer in the world — made an investment in the future that is now paying off: it replaced Uttendorf’s gas-fired boiler with an industrial-scale heat pump, which whittles the factory’s energy bill by around 425,00 euros a year. Read more.
With forests in peril, she’s on a mission to save ‘mother trees’
By Sarah Kaplan, Washington Post, Dec 27, 2022
Illustration: Stef Wong

British Columbia — Suzanne Simard walks into the forest with a churchgoer’s reverence. The soaring canopies of Douglas firs are her cathedral’s ceiling. Shifting branches of cedars, maples and hemlocks filter the sunlight like stained-glass windows. A songbird chorus echoes from the treetops, accompanied by the wind whistling through pine boughs and a woodpecker’s steady drumming. But beauty alone is not what makes this place sacred to Simard. In each colossal tree, the University of British Columbia forest ecologist sees a source of oxygen, a filter for water and a home for hundreds of different creatures. Read more.
Earth likely to cross critical climate thresholds even if emissions decline, Stanford study finds
By Josie Garthwaite, Stanford News, Jan 30, 2023
Image: Lisa Maree Williams

A new study has found that emission goals designed to achieve the world’s most ambitious climate target – 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels – may in fact be required to avoid more extreme climate change of 2 degrees Celsius.

The study, published Jan. 30 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, provides new evidence that global warming is on track to reach 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial averages in the early 2030s, regardless of how much greenhouse gas emissions rise or fall in the coming decade. Read more.
On The Global Stage, Jacinda Ardern Was a Climate Champion, But Victories Were Hard to Come by at Home
By Emma Ricketts, Inside Climate News, Jan 29, 2023 | Image: Kerry Marshall/ Getty Images

Standing before a crowd of more than 2,000 people shortly before her election as Prime Minister in 2017, Jacinda Ardern declared that climate change was her “generation’s nuclear free moment.”

Referring to New Zealand’s decision in the 1980s to eschew atomic energy and prohibit nuclear-powered vessels from its waters—a sticking point in its relations with the United States ever since—the statement set the scene for just how seriously Ardern intended to take the climate crisis while in office. Read more.
Climate Communications
How Gas Stoves Became Part of America’s Raging Culture Wars
By Victoria St Martin, Inside Climate News, Jan 22, 2023 | Image: Scott Olsen

For Emma Hines, the current dialogue about the hazards of gas stoves is reminiscent of the national conversation about cigarette smoke in the 1960s.

After the release of a series of studies warning of the potential health harms of nicotine a decade earlier, the U.S. Surgeon General’s report in 1964 gave new momentum to a subject that had been discussed among researchers — the link between cigarette smoke and diseases like lung cancer. Read more.
How artists can raise awareness of climate risks and solutions
By Yale Climate Connections, Jan 21, 2023 | Image: Alejandro Garrido Navarro

As communities work to raise public awareness about climate change risks and solutions, some are asking artists to help.

“How can we bring artists to think through that messaging in a more culturally resonant way?” asks Claudia Zarazua, the arts and cultural planning director for the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Read more.
How Did a Viral Story about Whales Go So Wrong?
By WNYC, Jan 21, 2023 | Image: WWF

Several dead whales have washed ashore in New Jersey and New York this winter. It's not that unusual - but many of the headlines and the social media firestorm around their deaths have been.

Several reports have questioned whether the whale deaths might be connected to the development of wind turbines off the coast, despite there being no evidence of that. Listen here.
"We don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
– Native American proverb
Image: Williams Lake Tribune: Metro Creative
Oceans & Climate
Climate modelers add ocean biogeochemistry and fisheries to forecasts of future upwelling
By UT Austin,, Jan 27, 2022

A handful of hyper-productive fisheries provide sustenance to a billion people and employ tens of millions. These fisheries occur on the eastern edges of the world's oceans—off the West Coast of the U.S., the Canary Islands, Peru, Chile, and Benguela. There, a process called upwelling brings cold water and nutrients to the surface, which in turn supports large numbers of larger sea creatures that humans depend on for sustenance.

A new project led by researchers at Texas A&M University is seeking to understand how changes to the climate and oceans will impact fisheries in the U.S. and around the world. Read more.
Oceans Break Record for Highest Temperatures Four Years in a Row
By Margaret Osbourne, Smithsonian Magazine, Jan 17, 2023 | Image: Mario Tama

In 2022, the world’s oceans hit their warmest temperature on record for the fourth year in a row, new research suggests. The findings, published last week in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, are a striking indication of the long-term pattern of human-caused climate change.

Sea surface temperatures have a major impact on the world’s weather, with warmer oceans linked to more extreme hurricanes, heat waves, droughts and heavy rain, writes Andrew Freedman of Axios. Read more.
EU plans restrictions on climate-wrecking fishing method
By Valentina Romano, Climate Change News, Jan 30, 2023

EU countries will be required to reduce the harmful impacts of fishing on sensitive species and their habitats, under a draft EU biodiversity plan seen by Euractiv.

The “EU Action Plan to protect and restore marine ecosystems for sustainable and resilient fisheries” is expected to be released in the first quarter of 2023 by the European Commission. Read more.
Business & Finance
‘Recession Resilient’ Climate Start-Ups Shine in Tech Downturn
By Erin Griffith, New York Times, Jan 30, 2023
Image: Anastasiia Sapon

Tech workers and investors are flocking to start-ups that aim to combat climate change.

When Arebeth Pease was laid off from the tech start-up MasterClass last year, she could have had her pick of jobs. But so many tech companies’ missions rang hollow, she said, and many were creating more problems than they were fixing. Ms. Pease, 42, was drawn instead to Span, a start-up that makes smart home electrical panels and is among a class of fast-growing companies aiming to combat climate change. Read more.
Upcoming Events
Funding Nature Based Community Resilience in Southeastern Massachusetts

Part 1: Virtual Introduction to Grant Programs
Feb. 15, 2023, 12 - 1:30 PM (webinar)

Part 2: In-Person Match-Making Workshop
Feb. 28, 2023, 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Learn more and register here!
Take Action!
Want to take action on climate change? These books can help.
By Michael Svoboda, Yale Climate Connections, Jan 27, 2023

At the beginning of a new year, commentators of all sorts invite us to look back at the year just finished and forward to the year ahead. This year, on the matter of climate change, the annual exercise has special importance.

2022 was filled with the sort of natural disasters we have come to expect but whose severity still surprises us: the devastating floods in Nigeria and Pakistan, vicious tropical cyclones like Hurricane Ian, and scorching heat waves in the United States, Europe, India, and China. Read more.
Climate Coach: Down-to-earth advice for life on our changing planet.
By Michael Coren, Yale Climate Connections, Jan 27, 2023

Welcome to the first edition of the Climate Coach newsletter. You’re here, I’m guessing, because you care about our planet and the future generations that will live on it. You may have even wondered: What can I do?

At first glance, it may seem you can’t do much about climate change. But you’re not alone. If just Climate Coach subscribers got together in one place, they would populate one medium-size city (a pretty smart one, I’d guess, with excellent transit, waste-free home delivery and great taste in newsletters). Read more.


We are a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is reduce the Cape & Islands' contributions to climate change and protect our region from its potentially devastating impacts. We depend upon the generosity of our stakeholders to conduct our work. All donations are tax deductible as allowed by law.
Follow Us!
The Climate Collaborative's Climate Action Alerts newsletter is curated and compiled by Fran Schofield with production assistance by Lauren Gottlieb. We welcome climate news from your home, school, business, town, faith community, or organization. Please submit your news, events, or article ideas to