Top Stories in Communities & Climate – Dec 25-29

By Meighen Speiser

We hope everyone had a very merry Christmas and a happy holiday season, and we hope you have a fun New Year’s celebration! 

First, we want to point you to our blog post from yesterday, “How Can Cities Shape Public Views On Climate Change?” which covers some of the latest research on the best communication strategies to influence the public on climate change. 

Below, we round up some of the topc stories over the holiday week: 

  • The movie Downsizing – starring Matt Damon – is about a climate scientist who disvovers that she can solve the crisis by shrinking people. It’s gotten some award-season buzz and stars Matt Damon. You can watch the Downsizing movie trailer, or listen to an NPR All Things Considered radio segment about the movie, ‘Downsizing’ Presents A Comic Attempt To Solve Climate Change. We think humor is a great way to introduce people to climate issues. 
  • A New Yorker feature called “The Dark Bounty of Texas Oil,” covers the history of fracking and how its inventor, George P. Mitchell, even turned a bit against before his death, saying “These damn cowboys will wreck the world in order to get an extra one per cent” of profit. Texas’ $1.6 Trillion Gross Domestic Product eclipses that of Canada & Australia and is a major driving force of America’s economy, and it’s driven by gas & oil, yet the boon has a dark side. The article is insightful, educational and well worth reading. The article also covers the Texas electrical grid and its wind power; in some places wind provides half Texas’ vast electrical needs – and whether another oil boom would be a good thing – or not. 
  • In another Texas story, InsideClimateNews covered how the wind-power movement in West Texas is so strong that beliefs about climate really do not matter. Jobs do. 
  • France just passed a law banning all hydraulic fracturing – aka fracking – as well as all fossil fuel extraction throughout the nation – although they import most of their current fossil fuels. French President Emmanuel Macron has made it clear he wants to lead the world in renewable energy the Guardian reports. Several other nations, including Germany, Bulgaria, Scotland, and the Czech Republic, have also temporarily banned fracking or instituted temporary moratoriums, according to previously published information
  • Urban planner Brent Toderian’s tweet got a lot of attention: He gave an example that Madrid reduced 6 lanes of traffic to 2 a few years back, increasing space for pedestrians and cyclists. It includes a before and after shot of Madrid, and he asked what Christmas gift would you give to your city to make it better every day? We retweeted, asking what climate gift you could gift your city? 
  • Twitter star Liam Gallagher joined forces with Climate Coalition to create a public service ad, “The very hot snowman.”

That’s all for now. See you next week, and Happy 2018!

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