climate action alerts

A regional resource for climate advocates
October 11, 2022
Upcoming Events
Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative's
5th annual Net Zero Conference
Join us and hear from an amazing lineup of global, national, regional
and local climate leaders and activists. Register today!

8:30am – 1:30pm (Virtual)

Those involved in climate work are intensely aware that the scale and urgency of the climate crisis demand action at all levels, among all sectors, and by all individuals. Fortunately, these are exciting times for tackling climate change as recent landmark federal and state legislation will unleash substantial resources for regional and local climate action. This moment requires all levels of government to take advantage of the emerging opportunities; while private and nonprofit sectors and individual citizens must also join this critical effort. Net Zero 2022 (NZ-22) focuses on Cape & Islands' regional and local resources and opportunities by Bringing It Home.

The multi-faceted NZ-22 program has been carefully designed to offer diverse content including live and pre-recorded presentations, and extensive virtual trade show opportunities. Our Plenary Session features renewable energy and climate leaders from around the globe and Commonwealth including: Soren Hermansen, Director of the Energy Academy, Samso Island, Denmark; Dr. David Cash, Region 1 Administrator of the US. EPA; and NECEC president and former 7-term mayor of Somerville Joe Curtatone. Subsequent sessions are organized around: 1) offshore wind impacts and opportunities; 2) buildings, energy, and equity; and 3) regional and local climate planning and action. Visit our website for continued updates on the conference agenda, presenters and more! To learn about sponsorship opportunities, contact
Climate Change Impacts & Action: Around the Globe and the Cape & Islands
First in a 3-Part Series by Eastham's Climate Action Committee

Thursday, October 13, 2022
Eastham Public Library (Event is Live)
190 Samoset Rd, Eastham, MA 02642

Join us at the Eastham Public Library for a presentation by Collaborative executive director, Rich Delaney. Hear about the impacts of climate change on vulnerable coastal areas and what towns can do to mitigate and adapt to climate change. We hope to see you there!
National News with Local Impact
2022 EPA Region 1 Climate Adaptation Plan
Richard Mylott, EPA Mediaroom, October 6, 2022

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released 20 Climate Adaptation Implementation Plans--including a plan focused on the Region 8 states and tribes in Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming --that were developed by its major offices, including national program offices and all 10 regional offices.

These Implementation Plans reaffirm the strong commitments made in EPA’s 2021 Climate Adaptation Action Plan to address the devastating impacts of climate change on communities across the nation, while advancing environmental justice and equity. They provide details on the specific actions each office will take to protect human health and the environment and to increase the resilience of the entire nation as we face increasingly harmful impacts of climate change.  Read More.
Local Climate Action
Herring River restoration project gets a hefty $22.67M boost from state
By Heather McCarron, Cape Cod Times, Sept 23, 2022 | Image: Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

WELLFLEET — More than a century ago, a dike was built across the mouth of the Herring River at Chequessett Neck, blocking it from freely emptying out into Wellfleet Harbor and hampering the inward flow of salt water with the rising and falling of the tides.

Little did they know then, as they sought to control mosquitoes and create more arable and developable land, the damage that would be done to the estuarine ecology over time. Fast forward 113 years. A project to restore the Herring River Estuary is in the works, and this week the $70 million plan got a hefty financial boost from the state.

On Sept. 19, state and local officials gathered at Chequessett Neck Road Dike to celebrate the award of a $22.6 million state grant to help fund the project — appropriately as Climate Week got under way. Read More.
Chatham, Harwich To Share In Climate Change Grant Funds
By Alan Pollock, Cape Cod Chronicle, Sept 22, 2022

CHATHAM — Chatham, Harwich and three other Cape towns will share a $205,479 state grant to assess low-lying roads threatened by sea level rise. The program, coordinated by the Cape Cod Commission, is part of a longstanding effort to respond to the effects of climate change.

“We’ve known for years there are certain areas around town that have a recurrent flooding issue,” Chatham Coastal Resources Director Ted Keon said. The town had begun the process of identifying problem areas several years ago, but when the Cape Cod Commission began its study several years ago, “we were interested to participate,” he said...

“With this grant, all 15 towns will be engaged in the low-lying roads project, which will position them to seek resources for implementation of projects that boost local and regional climate resilience,” Cape Cod Commission Deputy Director Erin Perry said in a news release.
Join The Fight To Stop Joint Base Cape Cod's Proposed Multi-Purpose Gun Range
Attend the EMC's Community Advisory Council's In-Person Meeting THIS Week!

6:00 PM
Thursday, October 13, 2022
Building 1805, West Outer Road
Camp Edwards, Joint Base Cape Cod, Bourne, MA

The Environmental Management Commission Community Advisory Council will meet this week to discuss the proposed Multi-Purpose Gun Range Project on Thursday at 6:00 PM. Led by
350CapeCod, allies such as the Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative, Association to Preserve Cape Cod, Faith Communities Environmental Network, many other organizations and thousands of Cape Cod citizens have vehemently opposed construction of this misguided project for nearly two years. If you are unfamiliar with this issue, please read the history here.

  • Attend the meeting, and deliver a one-minute comment on why you oppose the plan
  • If you cannot attend please email your comment to the EMC at:
Hurricane Ian & Extreme Weather Events
Billion Dollar Disasters
By Somini Sengupta, The New York Times, Sept 30, 2022 | Image: Johnny Milano

Climate change is costly.

Hurricanes supercharged by a warmer atmosphere are sometimes the costliest of all.

As I write this Friday, there are no detailed estimates of damage from Hurricane Ian, which came like a wrecking ball across southwestern Florida, except that they are likely to be, as my colleagues wrote Thursday evening, “staggering.”

By damage, I’m talking here about the brick-and-mortar costs, to say nothing of the immeasurable cost of human suffering. That’s almost incomprehensible. For now, it’s also impossible to know. Much of the area is impassable. Read more.
The Town that Survived Hurricane Ian
By Judith Holt, The Sandwich Enterprise, Oct 7, 2022

At the next Town Meeting in Sandwich, there will be a vote to adopt the Green Communities
Designation Program. Green Communities is a state-sponsored funding program that will bring
hundreds of thousands of dollars to Sandwich for necessary town energy projects. Plus, it will ensure that new buildings and substantial additions are constructed to better standards.

Building standards have certainly paid off for one town in Florida this week.

Babcock Ranch, in the greater Fort Meyers area, was directly on the path of hurricane Ian and,
unlike other towns, they are watching their property values rise today. Unharmed by the storm,
they had a few roof shingles come off, and some trees were down, but that is about it. There are no flood claims underway. They lost no energy. They run 100% on solar energy, and their power source is 100% intact. This town is primarily in Punta Gorda - the worst hurricane Ian hit them. So, how did Babcock Ranch avoid this disaster?  Read more.
Weather whiplash’ occurrences will increase alongside global temperatures
By Jennifer Francis and Sarah Ruiz, Woodwell Climate, Sept. 8 2022
Image: Jerry Penry, NOAA

A sudden flip in weather conditions—from a long hot and dry period to a parade of storms, for example, or from abnormally mild winter temperatures to extreme cold—can cause major disruptions to human activities, energy supplies, agriculture, and ecosystems. These shifts, dubbed “weather whiplash” events, are challenging to measure and define because of a lack of consistent definition. A new study demonstrates an approach to measuring the frequency of these events based on rapid changes in continent-wide weather regimes.

The study indicates that, while the frequency of whiplash events in recent decades has not changed substantially, future model projections indicate increases will occur as the globe continues to warm under a thicker blanket of greenhouse gasses. In particular, the researchers find whiplash will increase most during times when the Arctic is abnormally warm, and decrease when the Arctic is in a cold regime—something that will occur less often as the planet warms. Read more.
The Consumer Environment
Feeling Overwhelmed About Going All-Electric at Home? Here’s How to Get Started
By Dan Gearino, Inside Climate News, Sept. 29, 2022 | Image: Leon Neal, Getty Images

On a recent Sunday afternoon, I went to a room in the basement of a library in Upper Arlington, Ohio, for the first meeting of a group trying to go all-electric and ditch fossil fuels.

About a dozen people were there, plus the organizers: Madeline Fleisher, an environmental lawyer whom I’ve known for years, and Andy Leber, an Ohio State University psychology professor whom I was just meeting. Both are leaders of community sustainability organizations in the suburbs of Columbus. Read more.
2022 Chocolate Scorecard
By The Green America, October 5, 2022 | Image: World Wildlife Fund

We eat chocolate for comfort, celebration and
indulgence. But what’s really going into the chocolate we buy?

The Green America has surveyed the world’s biggest chocolate companies to find out! Some are rising to the challenge, but others continue to ignore consumer demand for
chocolate that’s good for people and the planet.

Previous scorecard ‘Good Eggs’ Alter Eco, Tony’s Chocolonely and Whittaker’s continue to be best in class. Read more.
Scorecard grades toilet paper brands in terms of climate change impact
By Ben Adler, Yahoo News, Sept. 15, 2022 | Image: Daniel Acker, Bloomberg via Getty Images

Americans use an estimated 36.5 billion rolls of toilet paper every year and the average consumer will go through the equivalent of 384 trees just for toilet paper in the course of a lifetime. Deforestation causes a range of environmental problems, including loss of wildlife habitats and biodiversity. It also contributes to climate change, since trees absorb and store carbon dioxide, which is the most common greenhouse gas.

The four-largest name brands in the country — Angel Soft, Charmin, Cottonelle, and Quilted Northern — all received an F. Read more.
Clean E, Renewables, EVs and more
A new analysis finds it’s been a good decade for renewable energy
By Joseph Winters, Grist-The Beacon, October 6, 2022
Image: Grist, Getty Images

According to an analysis published Thursday by the nonprofit Environment America Research & Policy Center and the research organization Frontier Group, American wind and solar power has grown dramatically since 2021. The largest increase came from solar, which now generates enough electricity to power some 15 million homes — a 15-fold increase since 2012. Wind power increased by nearly a factor of three, now providing enough power to keep 35 million homes running. Read more.
Hertz strikes a deal for more EV chargers
By Joseph Winters, The Beacon, Sept 30, 2022 | Image: Future Energy

Just a little over a year after emerging from bankruptcy, the United States’ second-largest rental car company is on a green upswing.

This week, Hertz announced a new partnership with BP — the fossil fuel giant responsible for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill — which is intended to help establish a nationwide network of charging stations for the rental-car company’s growing fleet of electric vehicles. Details on the agreement are scant, but the companies have said that BP will install chargers — some of which will be available for public use — and provide software to help Hertz manage its fleet. According to BP, the software will schedule Hertz’s EVs to charge at the time of day when electricity prices are low. Read more.
The Time is Ripe for Communities to Embrace Clean Energy on Brownfields
By Matthew Popkin, RMI, September 26, 2022
Image: Jackie Lombardi

The industrial revolution fundamentally reshaped America’s economy but left behind a legacy of brownfields — land that is potentially contaminated, and often neglected and underutilized. These kinds of sites are far more common than you may think, and include closed landfills, shuttered coal plants and mines, inactive steel mills, and abandoned factories. The US EPA estimates that there are over 450,000 brownfield sites across America. For too many communities, these brownfields are daily reminders of past productivity and the struggle to redevelop sites that may pose health and safety hazards.

However, deploying clean energy (typically solar) on brownfields to convert them into “brightfields” is an often overlooked, underdiscussed opportunity that can deliver multiple community benefits and contribute to an equitable, clean energy transition. Read more.

“What is the use of a house
if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?”

-Henry David Thoreau

Image: Heather Nicaise
Ecosystems, Science, & Ethics
Gene editing could revive a nearly lost tree. Not everyone is on board
Saving the American chestnut could restore a piece of history, resurrect a lost ecosystem and combat climate change. But critics say it would come at a cost.
By Dino Grandoni, The Washington Post, August 30, 2022
Image: Lauren Petracca, The Washington Post

Kyra LoPiccolo crouched in front of a small, white foam box under the hot summer sun. She opened the cooler and from the ice plucked a tiny vial of pollen — a potential salve for an entire species.

These trees once ruled the canopies of much of Appalachia, with billions of mature American chestnut trees that towered in leafy forests from Maine to Mississippi. But around the beginning of the 20th century, an exotic fungus nearly drove the tree out of existence. Today, they still sprout in the wild but rarely reach maturity. Outside of growers’ orchards, scientists say, the tree is “functionally extinct.” Read or listen here.
Climate Equity
Climate in the Courts
Supreme Court debates narrowing protections in Clean Water Act
By Maxine Joselow, The Washington Post, Oct 4, 2022
Image: Jonathan Ernst, Reuters

The Supreme Court on Monday wrestled over how to resolve a high-stakes case that could narrow the federal government’s authority to protect wetlands and waterways across the country, The Washington Post's Ann E. Marimow reports.

The case, Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency, centers on an Idaho couple who tried to build a home near Priest Lake, but the EPA determined that their property contained a wetland and was subject to the Clean Water Act.

During oral arguments on the first day of the court's new term, Justices Neil M. Gorsuch and Samuel A. Alito Jr. voiced the most skepticism about how broadly the government defines wetlands subject to regulation. At one point, Gorsuch asked how “any reasonable person” would know whether their land is covered. Read More.
Climate Education
Here are ways Cape Cod schools are teaching students to combat changes to ocean, beaches
By Rashik Mujeeb, Cape Cod Times, Oct 5, 2022 
Image: Steve Heaslip, Cape Cod Times

Climate change is no longer a distant problem for the next generation to tackle.

The effects of climate change on Cape Cod and the Islands are already evident, with summer drought, storm erosion threatening homes and more reports of dolphin strandings and other threatened marine life.

So how are local schools preparing today's youth for an uncertain future? From classroom studies of weather to hands-on sampling of rivers and streams, Cape schools are connecting human behavior with environmental impacts, some more obvious and immediate on the Cape than others. Read more.
‘It makes climate change real’: How carbon emissions got rebranded as ‘pollution’
California activists paved the way for defining climate change as an air pollution problem. Now it's federal law.
By Kate Yoder, Grist, Sept 29, 2022

Try to picture “carbon emissions.” See anything? Probably not, since carbon dioxide is invisible.

This simple exercise helps explain the growing popularity of once-rare phrases like “carbon pollution” and “climate pollution” in place of “carbon emissions” or the older “greenhouse gases.” Connecting climate change with something visceral and dangerous brings more immediacy to a problem that’s often seen as unfolding far away or in the future, even though it’s causing suffering now. “Climate pollution” is becoming common on the websites of green groups and atop news stories...

Positioning climate change as a pollution problem might have bigger consequences than you’d think. Consider the recent Supreme Court decision in West Virginia v. EPA at the end of June. The court’s conservative majority ruled that the EPA can’t implement sweeping regulations on carbon dioxide without the explicit approval of Congress. Read more.
Environment & Our Health
Oregon’s Medicaid is now a climate program
By Joseph Winter, Grist- The Beacon, Oct 5, 2022

Under a new agreement with the federal government, Oregon’s Medicaid program — the federally-subsidized health insurance for low-income patients — is set to expand access to clean, cool air by buying some people air conditioners and air filters. Beginning in 2024, Oregon residents who are enrolled in Medicaid, have a qualifying health condition, and live in areas where a climate-related emergency has been declared will be able to take advantage of the program.

Generators will also be covered under the new plan, helping recipients keep the lights on in the event of a power outage. Read more.
Climate Education
Bad Future, Better Future
A guide for kids, and everyone else, about climate change
By Julia Rosen, the New York Times, April 18, 2022
Illustrations by Yuliya Parshina-Kottas

The planet is going to change a lot more in your lifetime. Things could get really bad. Or, if we take action now, we could avoid the worst effects. You can help decide. So, let’s take a look at how both scenarios could unfold.

But first, how did we get here?

Take a look around your home. Your lights, refrigerator and television are all powered by electricity. For most of human history, we lived without it. But since the late 1800s, electricity has become an essential part of modern life. Americans now use 13 times as much as they did in the 1950s. Read more.
More Upcoming Events
The Effect of Climate Change on Cultural Heritage
Presentation by Cape Cod National Seashore Historian Bill Burke

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Virtual and free to the public

Lighthouses, farmsteads, cemeteries, ancient shell middens and shipwrecks–all are part of Cape Cod’s history, as well as our present. But what about the future? With the likelihood of rising sea level and more severe storms, climate change poses a real threat not just to natural resources and ecosystems, but to cultural resources as well. Cape Cod National Seashore Historian Bill Burke will discuss what the National Park Service is doing to prepare for climate change effects on prehistoric and historic resources.
For questions, contact Mary Everett-Patriquin. Phone: 508-775-1723; or Email:
BECC Webinar
Equitable Digitalization of Residential Energy Technologies

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM (Virtual)

The digitalization of residential energy—using technologies such as programmable thermostats and smart meters—has spurred a new energy efficiency investments and helped spawn the “smart home” movement. Together with home electrification, this has provided opportunities to reduce households’ energy bills. But who benefits from home energy digitalization and how can we ensure that it is equitable?

Join us for a webinar to hear about the wide terrain of residential energy digitalization from the current state of the technology to the important concerns about privacy.


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.
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The Climate Collaborative's Climate Action Alerts newsletter is curated and edited 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