climate action alerts

A regional resource for climate advocates
December 14, 2022
Featured Story
We looked at 1,200 possibilities for the planet’s future. These are our best hope.
By Chris Mooney, Naema Ahmed and John Muyskens, The Washington Post, Dec 1, 2022 | Graphic credit: ICMGLT

IT’S THE WORLD’S MOST IMPORTANT CLIMATE GOAL: limiting the Earth’s warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit). It’s the aspiration of global agreements, and to inhabitants of some small island nations, the marker of whether their homes will continue to exist.

Keeping warming this low will help save the world’s coral reefs, preserve the Arctic’s protective sea ice layer and could avoid further destabilizing Antarctica and Greenland, staving off dramatic sea level rise. Read more.
Around the Region
Windy with a chance of a solar: Top energy projects coming to the Cape and Islands in 2023
By Heather McCarron, Cape Cod Times, December 6, 2022

Brisk winds are blowing on energy-related enterprises on Cape Cod as 2023 approaches, but there's plenty of sunshine in the forecast, too, not to mention efforts aimed at preventing the public from having to wander around in the dark when storms tax the power grid.

Of the top energy projects to watch, offshore wind dominates, with no fewer than three — each at different stages of development — in the works as Massachusetts moves to become a top player in helping the nation reach its sustainable energy goals. Read more.
Climate change prep: Restoration project eyed for Weir Creek salt marsh in Dennis
Federal grant awarded to develop a plan to improve tidal flow to salt marsh
By Heather McCarron, Cape Cod Times, Dec 6, 2022 | Image: Steve Heaslip, Cape Cod Times

DENNIS — A West Dennis saltmarsh that has been nearly cut off from the ebb and flow of the tides, its marine heartbeat fading as it has steadily choked on invasive reeds and freshwater plants, may have a chance at rebirth thanks to a grant from the Southeast New England Program.
Across the Country & Commonwealth
New England’s grid is expected to be reliable this winter, but a cold snap could cause issues
By Mara Hoplamazian, NHPR, Dec 5, 2022 | Image: ISO New England

New England’s power grid will be reliable this winter under mild or moderate weather conditions, but a long cold snap could cause some issues, according to the winter outlook from the region’s electric grid operator, ISO-New England. The grid operator says they do not anticipate calling for any controlled power outages – or “rolling blackouts” – this winter.
The Texas Group Waging a National Crusade Against Climate Action
By David Gelles, Yahoo News, Dec 4, 2022
Image: Montinique Monroe | New York Times

When a lawsuit was filed to block the nation’s first major offshore wind farm off the Massachusetts coast, it appeared to be a straightforward clash between those who earn their living from the sea and others who would install turbines and underwater cables that could interfere with the harvesting of squid, fluke and other fish. The fishing companies challenging federal permits for the Vineyard Wind project were from the Bay State as well as Rhode Island and New York, and a video made by the opponents featured a bearded fisherman with a distinct New England accent. Read more.
Prince William's Earthshot Prize Finalists Announced: Meet the Changemakers Repairing Our Planet
By Stephanie Petit, Yahoo News, Dec 1, 2022 | Image: New York Times

The Prince and Princess of Wales visited Greentown Labs in Somerville where they learned how the organization is contributing to global efforts to address the climate crisis. The visit is the perfect outing for the couple ahead of Friday's Earthshot Prize Awards ceremony, which will celebrate global efforts being made around the world to protect the environment. Read more.
Food and Agriculture
DOE Announces $8 Million to Integrate Solar Energy Production with Farming
By, Dec 8, 2022
Image: Renewable Energy World

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $8 million for six solar energy research projects across six states and the District of Columbia that will provide new economic opportunities for farmers, rural communities, and the solar industry. Read more.
How this Southwest Detroit pizzeria constantly reshapes its menu to combat climate change
PizzaPlex pays close attention to menu planning to prevent food waste.
By Eleanor Catolico, Energy News Network, Dec 6, 2022 Image: Rosa Maria Zamarrón
One thing you might not notice right away about PizzaPlex, nestled inside a nondescript brown brick building along Vernor Highway in southwest Detroit and a stone’s throw away from a barbershop, is its commitment to limiting the pizzeria’s carbon footprint.
Vermont’s dairy farms recede, giving way to shrimp, saffron and new ideas
By Laura Reiley and Zoeann Murphy, The Washington Post, Dec 2, 2022

There was a time when Vermont’s landscape was dotted with weathered red barns full of dairy cows, and every country store was chockablock with local maple syrup and candies. The barns are there still, as are their fading illustrations of cows, and the sugar maples still draw leaf peepers in the fall. But.... Read more.
Consumer Behavior & Climate Solutions
Wet pet food is far worse for climate than dry food, study finds
Meat-rich wet food causes eight times more emissions, giving some dogs the same carbon footprint as a human
By Damian Carrington, The Guardian, Nov 17, 2022 | Photograph: Photoboyko/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Wet cat and dog food is far more environmentally damaging than dry pet food, according to a new study. It found that wet food results in eight times more climate-heating emissions than dry food.

The analysis found that a wet food diet for a typical dog resulted in an “ecological pawprint” for the animal that was the same as for its human owner. There are estimated to be 840 million cats and dogs in the world and, with numbers rising, the impact on the environment of feeding them is under increasing scrutiny. Read more.
You believe in climate change but drive a gas-guzzler, don’t recycle. Why?
By Ann-Christine Duhaime, The Harvard Gazette, Dec 6, 2022

Our extraordinary brains don’t solve all problems equally well. Our evolutionary history equipped us to perceive, prioritize, and find solutions for some kinds of problems more easily than for others, and there are some for which we are ill-suited novices. In all our pursuits, we are guided by an extraordinary internal mechanism that evaluates, second to second, our actions in relation to a shifting panoply of human rewards. This complex mechanism, honed by millions of years of history but flexible by nature, assigns value to our choices and guides us with electrochemical currencies that are exquisitely designed under the influence of evolutionary pressure to be fleeting. It is the understanding of that mechanism and how it intersects with our human decisions relevant to climate change that we will pursue in this exploration. Read more.
Ecorenovate Guide to Selecting Sustainable Materials
By Philip Hingston, Elemental Green, Dec 5, 2022 | Image: Jill Tiongco

Decisions, decisions, decisions! Whether it’s a renovation or new home construction, choosing the right materials is every bit as important as design. And an overall sustainable approach will help ensure your home’s longevity, health, and appeal.

The key to selecting sustainable materials is to look forward and back at the entire lifecycle of a product. Read more.
Embodied Carbon: Reduce Your Home’s Hidden Carbon Footprint
By Elemental Green, Nov 27, 2022

Operational carbon is usually what we think of when energy costs are discussed. That is, carbon emissions that come from the energy used to power our homes, cars, etc. over their lifetime. Your home’s energy efficiency comes into play here. Generally, operational carbon emissions can be modeled and predicted, so you can compare one appliance or building product against another. Often, a label will show how much energy a certain appliance is likely to draw over a lifetime of operation, or how much a well insulated house will reduce your energy needs annually. But embodied carbon takes this modeling to a whole ’nother level. Read more.
UMaine unveils the world’s first bio-based 3D-printed house
“Our home is all grown materials and we can continue to grow these materials for generations.” 
By Madeleina Aitkin,, Dec 5, 2022 | Image: Jill Tiongco Photography

The world’s first bio-based 3D-printed house has been built in Orono, Maine, by the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center (ASCC), in what could be a major step forward in combatting the affordable housing and climate crises.

BioHome3D, when mass-produced, will help provide affordable housing solutions. It’s also made of natural materials and is completely recyclable, which will help reverse climate change — normal buildings account for nearly 40% of global carbon emissions. Read more.
Clean Energy & Efficiency
Finally, Some Good Climate News: The Biggest Wins in Clean Energy in 2022
By Dan Gearino, Inside Climate News, Dec 8, 2022

You can forgive people who work on U.S. energy policy for being tired this month. They have just sprinted, and sometimes slogged, through an extraordinary year of action and progress at the federal, state and local levels.

“It’s been a big one, for sure,” said Autumn Proudlove, associate director for policy and markets at the N.C. Clean Technology Center at North Carolina State University. Not just a big one, but maybe the biggest one ever in terms of the number and scope of new laws and rules, she said. Read more.
Renewables to overtake coal and become world’s biggest source of electricity generation by 2025, IEA says
By Anmar Frangoul, CNBC, Dec 6, 2022
Image: Mischa Keijser | Image Source | Getty Images

Renewables are on course to overtake coal and become the planet’s biggest source of electricity generation by the middle of this decade, according to the International Energy Agency. The IEA’s Renewables 2022 report, published Tuesday, predicts a major shift within the world’s electricity mix at a time of significant volatility and geopolitical tension.

“The first truly global energy crisis, triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has sparked unprecedented momentum for renewables,” it said. Read more.

"An understanding of the natural world and what’s in it is a source of not only a great curiosity but great fulfillment.”

– David Attenborough
Image: Kera Think
Gen Z, Greenwashing & Climate
The ABCs of EVs
Tiny Cars, Big Opportunity
Electric minicars are taking off globally, driven by advances in battery tech and growing climate concerns. Could they become the next big thing in the US?
By David Zipper, Bloomberg News, December 13, 2022 | Photographer: Alisha Jucevic/Bloomberg

Do you know your autocycles from your quadricycles? Your golf carts from your LSVs?

Unless your interest in transportation borders on obsession, you probably don’t. But now might be a good time to learn, because there’s a new generation of electric vehicles emerging in cities around the world: small, weather-protected urban runabouts that fall along the wide spectrum between two-wheeled EVs and traditional cars. These conveyances are already widespread in East Asia, and they’re gaining popularity in Europe as well. North America could be next. Read more.
Oceans, Lakes & Climate
Harmful Oxygen Loss in Lakes Prompted by Climate Change
By Technology Networks, Dec 7 2022 | Image: Jen Wood-Unsplash
Rondaxe Lake in Herkimer County, New York, represents classic Adirondack Park waters. But over the last quarter-century, Rondaxe – like thousands of lakes in temperate zones around the world – has been losing a global-warming battle to maintain oxygen in its waters.

New research from Cornell and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute shows that a continually warming world is leading to extended, late-summer weeks of water stratification, which prompts oxygen deprivation in the water – provoking conditions called hypoxia (low oxygen) and anoxia (no oxygen) – and negative consequences for fish and other species. Read more.
NASA mission will study how hidden ocean swirls soak up heat of global warming
SWOT satellite will measure global water cycle and carbon-absorbing eddies in unprecedented detail
By Paul Voosen, Science, Dec 7, 2022

Eddies have been overlooked for too long. These turbulent swirls of water, ranging in size from a few kilometers to hundreds of kilometers across, peel off large ocean currents and mix heat and carbon dioxide into deeper ocean layers, like cream stirred into coffee. They are the most energetic feature of the ocean, critical to getting climate models right—but also largely invisible to satellites, except when they happen to sweep up a massive bloom of green phytoplankton. Read more.
Climate & Health
Climate Change Is Fueling a Public Health Crisis. Doctors Need to Address This
By Neelu Tummala, Scientific American, Nov 14, 2022

During the most recent conference of my professional organization, my colleague Amanda Dilger and I encouraged our fellow clinicians in attendance to offset the carbon cost of their travel. This was in addition to a panel in which we explained to a small crowd of surgeons that climate change is a health issue. Amanda and I are otolaryngologists, but we are also climate activists.

Before starting the panel, I was unsure about how it would be received by my fellow surgeons, as climate change had rarely been discussed at these meetings. But my colleagues who walked up to the mic after our talk asked the kinds of questions that told me they understood this environmental health issue and the need for hospitals to be more sustainable. Read more.
Understanding climate change, health, and food security: Climate change and health
By Shaheed Jameel, Observer Research Foundation, Dec 5, 2022

Climate change affects both physical and mental health, and in many different ways. Heat and extreme weather events not only lead to increased human mortality and morbidity but also longer-term food and water shortages, air pollution, and disease. Increased exposures to wildfire smoke, atmospheric dust, and airborne allergens are associated with cardiovascular and respiratory distress. Untimely rain and flooding increase the occurrence of food- and water-borne diseases and disrupt health services. All these, thus, have economic and societal impacts. Read more.
Faith in Action
Briefing on the Federal Funding Resources for Nonprofits & Houses of Worship

Interfaith Power and Light recently presented a briefing on a new opportunity for non-profits, providing insight on applying for federal funds for schools, homes, etc. from recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and the federal Inflation Reduction Act. Watch here!


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 [email protected].