Climate Week En Review, March 20, 2020

20141118 chelsea 122 Chelsea Henderson | March 20, 2020 |


Dear Readers:

I'm going to do something different for this week's edition.

The world feels heavy right now, and understandably, there is not much in the way of climate content. Here at republicEn.org, we have canceled upcoming events and are quickly plotting how to continue to bring our message to the audiences who want and need it. We have some exciting prospects, ideas we have wanted to pursue but which we didn't have time to execute because we are a small, decentralized team (who has always WFH so I'm here to reassure you that you CAN ABSOLUTELY stay in your pajamas all day, despite what the internet suggests about getting up and dressed like you're reporting to the office). So stay tuned for more creative ways to stay connected with us. Spoiler alert: Wouldn't an EcoRight Podcast be the bomb? If we had one, who would you want us to feature as guests?

How you doing? Perhaps you took Wen's poll already. If you haven't, here is the link. We really want to know how you, our community, is feeling, processing, acting in light of the coronavirus and measures being recommended to limit the spread. I will share that on a personal level, I'm struggling. I look at my teenage boys, a high school sophomore and senior, and I'm so proud of how they are handling our self-isolation. But the older one is probably done with high school forever. He even said to me the other day, "it's weird to think I might have already had my last day of high school but I didn't know it at the time." Proms and graduation ceremonies and end-of-the-year fun may seem frivolous during these uncertain times, but I can't help but be sad for what's he and his peers are missing out on. But I'm also feeling incredibly grateful for our abundance, the fact that we could make some extra grocery runs, that I already work from home and have steady work during this time.

COVID-19 as it related to climate change: While oil prices plunge, Congress works to assemble a series of stimulus packages—and carbon emission/clean energy is part of the discussion. Some news items that have circulated between us:

There's an unlikely beneficiary of coronavirus: the planet (CNN) "Satellite images released by NASA and the European Space Agency show a dramatic reduction in nitrogen dioxide emissions -- those released by vehicles, power plants and industrial facilities -- in major Chinese cities between January and February. The visible cloud of toxic gas hanging over industrial powerhouses almost disappeared," according to the report. "From February 3 to March 1, CO2 emissions were down by at least 25% because of the measures to contain the coronavirus, according to the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), an air pollution research organization.As the world's biggest polluter, China contributes 30% of the world's CO2 emissions annually, so the impact of this kind of drop is huge, even over a short period. CREA estimates it is equivalent to 200 million tons of carbon dioxide -- more than half the entire annual emissions output of the UK."

In the below Twitter thread, Dr. Katharine Hayhoe answers the question: what does COVID-19 have to do with climate change?

Wherever you are reading from—and I'm serious about what I said earlier, it doesn't matter if you work in your pajamas if you're tele-working, these are tough times and everyone should be comfortable—thank you for spending this time with us and feel free to reach out! We are here for you and we want to hear your voice.

Here's a photo of some Hellebore from my garden. Keep looking for the beauty around us!


Sending socially distant elbow bumps.


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