climate action alerts
A regional resource for Cape & Islands climate activists
April 18, 2021
Google’s Head of Sustainability Wants You to See the Earth in a New Way
Google Earth TimeLapse is a new tool that illustrates how the planet has changed over 37 years. Kate Brandt hopes it moves us to action.
By Emily Farra, Vogue, April 15, 2021

Most of us will never travel to space or experience “the overview effect,” a feeling astronauts have reported after seeing Earth from a distance. In orbit, our home looks surprisingly tiny and fragile, surrounded by darkness; as Apollo 8 astronaut Jim Lovell put it in 1968: “The vast loneliness is awe-inspiring, and it makes you realize just what you have back there on Earth.”
Many astronauts have returned home with a renewed passion for protecting our fragile planet, and scientists have long tried to recreate the overview effect for citizens using virtual reality, isolation tanks, and videos. Seeing is believing—especially when it comes to abstract concepts, whether it’s Earth’s place in the universe or irreversible climate change.

Google Earth’s new TimeLapse feature was inspired by a desire to show us precisely what climate change looks like. Using 24 million satellite images representing quadrillions of pixels compiled over the course of 37 years (thanks in large part to NASA), TimeLapse is an interactive, 4-D experience that illustrates how certain areas of the planet have changed incredibly quickly. Watch how sea ice in Greenland has melted as the planet warms, contributing to global sea level rise; how deforestation in the Amazon has intensified in the past 20 years; how the Aral Sea has dried up to a fraction of its size since the early 2000s; how decades of bushfires have impacted Yellabinna, Australia. Read more.
News, Features, Opinion
Global/National
Covering Climate Now launches joint week & Emergency Statement

Covering Climate Now, a global journalism consortium of more than 460 news outlets with a combined audience of roughly 2 billion people,...launched (its) latest joint coverage week, themed “Living Through the Climate Emergency.” From April 12 to 22, CCNow partners — among them, some of the biggest names in news — are running human-centered climate stories, informing audiences about how the climate emergency is upending lives and what solutions there are to help all of us survive it... Follow the coverage on (its) website, coveringclimatenow.org, and check out the #ClimateEmergencyWeek hashtag on social media. Read news article here.
Energy & The Built Environment
Business & Finance
Executives Call for Deep Emission Cuts to Combat Climate Change
More than 300 corporate leaders will ask the Biden administration to nearly double the emission reduction targets set by the Obama administration.
By Lisa Friedman, The New York Times, April 13, 2021,

WASHINGTON — More than 300 businesses, including Google, McDonalds and Walmart, are pushing the Biden administration to nearly double the United States’ target for cuts to planet-warming emissions ahead of an April 22 global summit on climate change. Read more.
Overselling Sustainability Reporting
We’re confusing output with impact. 
By Kenneth P. Pucker, Harvard Business Review, May-June 2021

Over the past 20 years many forward-thinking academics, consultants, executives, and NGO leaders have promoted a theory outlining how businesses can prosper while pursuing a greener and more socially responsible agenda. These people, whom I refer to collectively as “Sustainability Inc.,” believed that if companies committed to measuring and reporting publicly on their sustainability performance, four things would happen:
Climate Action/Networks
Life Goes On After Plastic Bottles
Single use bottle ban: first-in-country ban town Concord says the Cape has nothing to fear
By Teresa Martin, Lower Cape TV, April 9, 2021

EASTHAM MA - A decade after it passed the country's first ban on single use plastic bottles, Concord says it's no big deal - and Cape towns don't have anything to worry about. Watch the video.
Cape Bottle Bans: Where We Stand
By Teresa Martin, Lower Cape TV, April 9, 2021

BARNSTABLE, MA -- By year-end 2020, 13 of Cape Cod’s 15 towns passed a municipal ban on single-use plastic bottles and seven passed a commercial ban. During this year’s spring town meetings, Bourne and Truro will vote to join the Cape’s other municipalities by passing the municipal ban, while Chatham, Dennis, Sandwich and Yarmouth will vote to adopt the commercial ban. Watch the video.
Events & Webinars
Climate Research Team Meeting

Mon, April 19
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Join this Sierra Club Massachusetts team to discuss municipal progress on clean energy/climate issues and seek opportunities to leverage municipal power for state policy change.
Protecting Our Planet
John Kerry

Wednesday, April 21
10:00 a.m.
The Washington Post in partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation presents presidential envoy for climate John Kerry, who will discuss the Biden administration’s upcoming climate talks and American leadership.
Advocating for Net Zero Stretch Code

Wednesday, April 21
1:00 p.m.
Join the Massachusetts Climate Action Network to learn what a net zero stretch code is, the definition of net zero building, and how you can participate in an upcoming May hearing with the state’s Board of Building Regulations and Standards, the entity updating the base building code.
Al Gore on Climate and the Economy

Thursday, April 22
9:00 a.m.
Former vice president Al Gore has been sounding the alarm about the global climate crisis for decades and is committed to turning awareness into action. Sponsored by The Washington Post in partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation.
Earth Day 2021: Where Do We Stand?

Friday, April 23
11:00am – 12:15pm

The Biden Administration has made climate change a higher priority than any previous administration, and is widely expected to announce new commitments at the Earth Day Summit. This panel will explore those commitments, Biden Administration policy to date, and the Summit, more broadly, through four critical lenses: justice, health, security, and investment. A Kaneb lecture of the Woodwell Climate Research Center.
Falmouth Climate Action Hour

Friday, April 23
5:00 - 6:15 PM
Grab a hot or cold beverage and join fellow climate activists for a webinar supporting ‘net zero by 2050’ goals. As Massachusetts moves forward on climate, hear from local, regional and state leaders on how Falmouth and all towns can move toward these goals.
Real Progress and Opportunity: Sharing Best Practices and Ways to Keep Going

Wednesday, April 28
7:00 to 8:15 p.m.
Join St. Barnabas Church, UU Falmouth and the Faith Communities Environmental Network for this second of a several-month series on eco-justice and the climate emergency. This gathering focuses on climate progress being made on the Cape and ways to get involved. Participants will share what they are doing individually, in their communities, and as advocates of global change. Forums are held on the last Wednesday of each month through November. All are welcome!
If you missed it

Arctic Meltdown and Why It Matters to Us All

The Eastham Climate Action Network and Eastham Public Library recently sponsored a virtual forum featuring internationally acclaimed Woodwell Climate Research Center scientist Dr. Jennifer Francis. If you missed the live event, please watch the video!

MISSED NET ZERO 2020?
Check out the session recordings below.

Watch 30+ videos and learn from experts around the region, state and country.
Join the conversation and get involved!

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We are an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to reach carbon neutrality or net zero on Cape Cod and the Islands of Massachusetts by enhancing communication, collaboration, and activism among organizations, programs, and individuals committed to mitigating the climate crisis. We depend upon the generosity of our stakeholders to conduct our work. All donations are tax deductible as allowed by law.
The Climate Action Alerts newsletter is compiled and crafted by Fran Schofield. If you've got a climate story from your home, school, workplace, town or organization, please be in touch!
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