Prepare For The Storm No. 5

Flood resilience with native plants, fight the noise, hitting Capitalists in the money belt, and more

Prepare For The Storm No. 5
Photo by Joshua J. Cotten / Unsplash

Good morning friends! Welcome to 2024! We hope you had a wonderful Holiday and New Year! This is a special edition of our newsletter to get the year started off right! Investment funds are divesting from fossil fuels, the Paris Climate Accords are having an impact, learn about how New Jersey is tackling flood resilience, and much much more in this week's Prepare For The Storm newsletter!

Funds divesting from fossil fuels

This is how you win the fight against climate change in a capitalistic society. You boycott companies and hit them in the money belt. That's the only way it works with them.

‘Huge’: 16,000+ Institutions Holding $41 Trillion in Assets Have Now Divested From Fossil Fuels
The milestone, one campaigner said, should “give hope to folks that we are making an impact.”
More than 1,600 institutions like universities, pension funds, and governments that hold more than $40.6 trillion in assets have now divested from fossil fuels, the Global Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement announced Friday.


Notable victories in 2023 included PMT, the largest private pension in the Netherlands; New York University, the National Academy of Medicine, and the Church of England.

Keep fighting friends, we can bring them to heel.

Restoring natural habitat to build flood resiliency

I live in an area of New Jersey that can see some crazy river flooding. We had a high-intensity localized storm in December 2023 that dropped 5" of rain over 12 hours. The rivers swelled and flooded the usual areas and disrupted a lot of traffic. We (the public) will experience more of this as our climate shifts and we need to continue to fight against climate change and prepare ourselves. We need to become more climate resilient.

Rutgers just released a great report about how to become more flood resilient and I like what I read because they're tipping their hats that water levels will be rising.

The 94-page report, published last month, describes how local officials can build flood resiliency through measures such as rain gardens, permeable pavement, living shorelines and bioswales — open channels planted with a variety of vegetation that is designed to absorb floodwaters. The report was jointly written with the School of Design at South Dakota State University.

As someone who is a self-proclaimed "water nerd" and has worked on countless flood and stormwater mitigation projects, the Rutgers report is spot on. While it focuses on New Jersey, understanding flood transition areas and landscape linkages can help make us flood and climate resilient irrespective of location.

Mother Earth Is Falling Silent...and We Aren't Listening

A wonderful article by Weathered writer Y.L. Wolfe on how the world is falling silent from diversity loss.

Mother Earth Is Falling Silent...and We Aren’t Listening
Climate change isn’t the only crisis we’re facing
She notes that many juvenile songbirds are unable to mimic their parents’ calls because the noise of human activity is drowning them out or inhibiting the ability to clearly communicate. Whales and fish – two very noisy species by scientific standards – are facing extinction and leaving vast empty (silent) spaces under our seas that scientists call “a lost aquatic geography of sound.”
Further, the symphonies of natural habitats are becoming increasingly homogenized because of species loss, as well as the introduction of non-native species. Suddenly, habitats across continents are beginning to sound the same.
And though many people believe these issues have no effect on human life, the aforementioned U.N. report reminds us of our interconnectedness. The loss of diversity on this planet means, “…human well-being will be compromised.”

I treasure the Spring when I hear the migrating songbirds return. I love to hear their morning symphony as they sing their hearts out to attract a mate. I love to hear the foxes yip in the middle of the night and listen to the screech of a red-tailed hawk. I don't know if I could live in a world where the only thing we hear is noise.

Pizza and chicken wings are destroying our groundwater

Why? Because they need a lot of water. The chickens need to eat before we eat them and that requires water. The cheese we eat comes from cow milk which needs food to eat to make the milk. That requires water.

Water is needed for everything and as our dietary desires have changed so has the need for water.

The toll on aquifers, which supply 90 percent of America’s water systems, has been devastating. A Times investigation this year revealed that many of those aquifers are being severely overtaxed by agriculture and industry, and that the federal government has left oversight to the states, where tangles of rules are failing to protect those aquifers.

I'm not one to say we all need to become vegetarians but we can become better educated food consumers.

We've come a long way since the Paris Climate Accords

It can be quite disheartening to hear about the gloom and doom of climate change but there are a lot of good people fighting the good fight, all our readers included. This study shows just how far we've come.

Feel hopeless about the climate? This study shows how far we’ve come
From solar power to electric mobility, this study offers five reasons to be hopeful about the climate.

The following 5 items are driving the change:

  1. Climate change discourse has become mainstream
  2. Most countries are aiming for net-zero - and temperature rise predictions are lower
  3. Investors and businesses feel pressure to act on climate
  4. Renewables are now cheaper than fossil fuels
  5. Electrification of buildings and transport is progressing rapidly

Every bit helps, whether it's taking reusable bags to the grocery store or installing a heat pump. Together we can win this fight and build a better world for ourselves and our children.

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