Hottest Days Humanity has Ever Experienced
For four days in July, fossil fuel burning brought temperatures across the world to levels human beings have never experienced.
350 Chicago Needs Volunteers!
Time to step up! Come join us and help us save the future. Specifically, 350 Chicago is looking for help on our Fundraising Committee. If you’re interested, please email email@example.com. We also need help on our Outreach Committee. Like talking to and meeting new people? Help us grow our organization, so we can have more effect to make the changes we all need to see. If you’re interested in the Outreach Committee, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
350 Chicago Receives Grant from Ben and Jerry’s
Recently, 350 Chicago received a $23,000 annual grant for two years from Ben and Jerry’s for general operating expenses. We thank Ben and Jerry’s! We will put this money toward the fight immediately. But 350 Chicago has ambitions. We aim to ramp up our efforts to make sure Chicago and Illinois are doing all they can to stop this climate crisis. We can’t do it without money. Please consider donating. There is no more vital cause.
MIT Finds Way to Make Building Foundations Giant Batteries
Researchers at MIT have mixed together carbon black and concrete to create a conductive nano-composite that could building foundations giant batteries. The material could provide electric power to a home for an entire day, which would be an elegant solution to the intermittency issues of home solar panels and utility-scale wind farms. This material might also be used to create roads that could potentially charge car batteries as they drive on the road. Read more.
Marilee Feldman to Speak on Climate Anxiety for 2nd event in 350 Chicago Monthly Speaker Series
Please join us for the next event in our Speaker’s Series! How do we cope with the daily news of our failing climate, the setback after setback of world leaders’ and corporations’ and banks’ inaction? Find out how on August 24th. See below for the details. Please spread the word!
Hottest Days Humanity has Ever Experienced
by Rich Foss, 8/6/23
In July, 2023, human-induced climate change produced levels of heat human beings have never experienced. And this is happening after only 1.1 degrees Celsius of warming. What will we have to endure when we reach 2 degrees of warming over pre-industrial levels? In fact, the geological record and ice core samples tell us the Earth has not seen these temperatures in at least 125,000 years.
The warming planet and changing climate patterns are also disrupting major ocean currents, which affect the nature and stability of climate in regions across the earth. It’s not just the air temperatures: 40% of our oceans are experiencing unprecedented heat waves as well, that will bleach coral and kill marine life. "When I look at this jet stream the word insane comes to mind," tweeted the chief meteorologist of a local Florida news station, Jeff Berardelli. "This configuration, likely enhanced by climate heating, is fueling a record heat dome so extreme that even experts are astonished.”
Scientists who study these effects on ocean currents believed these impacts were 20 to 50 years off, but they’re happening now. Human greed and ignorance has brought us to this point. What will it take for the banks, the fossil fuel companies and the leaders of the world to finally take the necssary actions to save the life on this planet?
John Kerry Concludes Climate Discussions with China; More Meetings to Come
by Madeline Puffenbarger, 8/6/23
John Kerry, President Biden’s envoy for climate change, concluded a four-day visit on July 19th with China to re-engage discussions regarding the global climate crisis. China and the U.S. are the two largest carbon emitters globally (as well as the two largest economies), producing approximately 40% of global emissions in total. Finding a path forward with cooperation from both sides is essential to achieve global net zero targets before it is too late. The meeting unfortunately did not bring forth any new climate agreements or announcements, despite “productive” conversations between Kerry and senior Chinese officials. The United States and China have not held discussions on the topic since last August, when talks cooled after Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan. The effects of climate change were unavoidable during the meetings, with both countries experiencing record level heat waves. Kerry urged climate officials to separate the climate crisis from the other challenges between the two countries, given that the existential crisis impacts all life on the planet.
In recent years, China has made strides in renewable energy production, with the country currently on course to hit its wind and solar target in 2025, five years earlier than expected. According to The Guardian, as of the first quarter of this year, China’s solar capacity has reached nearly 230 gigawatts, which is more than that of the rest of the world’s capacity combined. While these strides in renewable energy production are crucial, China remains the top greenhouse gas emitter globally (roughly 30%) and without an acceleration of carbon neutrality, the rest of the planet could suffer the consequences. China continues to challenge this request to accelerate its net zero plan, insisting that they still require new coal plants and fossil fuels in order to feed their growing economy. According to the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, new permits for coal power plants in China skyrocketed in 2022, reaching the highest level since 2015. China has pledged to reduce coal consumption in the latter half of the decade (2026-2030), hit peak carbon pollution by 2030, and reach carbon neutrality by 2060. Given the large portion of emissions coming from China, the U.S. and international community have called on China to accelerate its path to the 2030 carbon peak target. Specifically, the U.S. is prompting China to reduce the amount of coal plants under development, as well as create a plan to cut methane emissions.
This summit represented an important first step, with both countries committing to regular conversations in the weeks to come. In future meetings, common goals to discuss further include “boosting renewable power to displace coal on the electricity grid, addressing greenhouse gasses like methane, developing enhanced national climate plans that nations are expected to submit in 2025 and ensuring success at this year’s U.N. climate talks in Dubai”, according to Kerry and Politico.
Chicago, US Unprepared for Coming Climate Migrants
by Josh Horwitz, 8/7/23
Tensions ran high on July 27, 2023 at the Broadway Armory in Edgewater, as the community debated the city’s decision to use the armory as a migrant center due to the current migrant crisis. The armory is a large public facility run by the Parks District which provides recreation space for youth and a senior center. Those protesting against using the armory, primarily from the senior community, came prepared with yellow signs, shirts, and stickers that read “DON’T DISPLACE US” and “SAVE THE ARMORY.” A roughly equal group in support of the move spoke passionately about the need to house their new neighbors and pointed out that hundreds of migrants are still sleeping on the floors of police stations; a situation made worse amid the swirling accusations of sexual misconduct by CPD officers.
However, the current migrant situation is only the beginning of what’s to come. Climate change extreme weather events are already amplifying migration patterns worldwide. As the IPCC reports, climate change is causing increased migration globally, and even in the US itself, “unpredictable and chaotic” climate migration is already displacing people in California, Florida, Louisiana, and North Carolina, and other places. While these issues play out globally, the current migrant crisis in Chicago highlights how unprepared both State and Federal leadership is for these kinds of population moves. The current crisis is made worse due to a shocking lack of leadership from Texas Governor Greg Abbott who has decided to bus migrants to Chicago without any plan in place to house them, using families as political pawns. The issue is amplified by the overloaded federal immigration court system, which results in migrants waiting 6 months or more for work permits and longer for green cards. This ties the hands of city and state governments who then have to find shelter for the migrants while the federal government prevents them from working, and making it that much more difficult for migrants to integrate and contribute to their new communities.
Meanwhile, the City of Chicago is working on finding temporary solutions for the over 11,500 migrants who have arrived at the city over the past year. At the armory, the debate between the two groups was futile; the city had already decided to house migrants in the facility regardless of the community response. Meanwhile, similar decisions are being made all over the city, and some residents are threatening legal action. Chicago may only be currently planning to use its shelters -- such as the Broadway Armory – for six months, but this city and others will need to think about more permanent solutions for migrants as climate change intensifies.