3 Bits periodically provides three bite-sized items of interest about climate news.
1. Vacuum Thyself
While nature’s way is the preferred method for carbon removal, it will likely not be enough, on its own, to get us to net zero. Among the technology solutions being explored is what is being termed as ‘direct air capture’ of carbon. Essentially, carbon is sucked out of the air, captured, and trapped underground. While direct air capture is still in its infancy, the Swiss company Climeworks has a plant running in Iceland and there are plants being developed in the US. Critics worry that these initiatives my take the pressure off large carbon polluters to reduce their emissions; however, as we move towards 2050, the pressure for all forms of reduction will be heightened, not lessened. (Source: NPR)
2. One Planet, One Party
To state the obvious, the environment is a universal issue. And yet, there is mistrust and a degree of skepticism when Republicans step forward to embrace issues such as climate change. Congressman John Curtis (R-Utah) is one of the voices trying to rally Republicans and find common ground with Democrats on this issue. He founded the Conservative Climate Caucus in Washington and now counts 75 House Republicans as members. While the jury is still out on whether the Caucus will live up to its promises of building relationships with environmentalists across the aisle and bring meaningful change, it is certainly a step in the right direction and an important recognition by many Republicans that environmental issues are real, challenging, and will take all nonpartisan hands on deck to address. (Source: Deseret)
3. City of Naturely Love
What’s a good way to get people away from their screens, get them directly involved in nature while collecting important local ecological data? For Philadelphia and surrounding counties it’s the City Nature Challenge. This friendly competition has participants documenting plants and animals each spring and uploading their findings to iNaturalist, a global database. This year Philadelphia logged about 2000 unique species and ranked #8 worldwide – Boston, Cape Town, and Hong Kong and four other cities submitted higher numbers. Philadelphia had its inaugural City Nature Challenge in 2019. Results for the 2022 competition will be available on or about May 9, 2022. Good stuff, Philly! (Source: whyy.org)