Newsdesk – March 9

Image Credit: Daniel Reinhardt / AP

On March 15, the Climate Kids Are Coming. They are coming in massive and growing numbers, and they are not in the mood to negotiate. On March 15, tens of thousands of high-school and middle-school students in more than 30 countries plan to skip school to demand that politicians treat the global climate crisis as the emergency it is.  As Greta Thunberg, 16, has gained prominence partly from her blistering callouts of global elites, the 29-year-old Ocasio-Cortez torched the right-wing trolls who laughably derided her as “stupid” after she introduced the congressional resolution to create a Green New Deal. The grassroots movements now taking charge of the climate fight consist overwhelmingly of teenagers and twentysomethings-people. These young fighters are decidedly not your parents’ environmentalists, “realistic,” and all too accepting of failure. They are angry about the increasingly dire future that awaits them and clear-eyed about who’s to blame and how to fix it – The Nation

  • Why this climate change data is on flip-flops, leggings, and cars – VOX
  • Europe’s renewable energy policy is built on burning American trees – VOX
  • This new neighborhood in Amsterdam is made of floating houses – FAST COMPANY
  • Ranchers struggle to adapt to climate change – JOURNAL-ADVOCATE
  • The Good News About a Green New Deal – The New Yorker
  • Meet the women deciding not to have kids because of climate change – Fast Company 
  • Italy could be forced to import olive oil because of extreme weather – CNN
Members of the beach team (Scott Braddock, Meghan Spoth, Kelly Hogan (in orange), and Elizabeth Rush from left to right) sample a raised beach deposit while the N.B. Palmer waits protectively offshore for their return. Photo credit: James Kirkham

These women are changing the landscape of Antarctic research. Polar science used to be dominated by men. An expedition to Thwaites Glacier is helping change that. The two young researchers, Meghan Spoth and Victoria Fitzgerald from the University of Maine and Alabama, have come to the Amundsen Sea, a rarely explored corner of the Antarctic continent, to better understand the rate at which the Thwaites Glacier disintegrated in the past so they might make more accurate estimates of how fast sea levels will rise in the coming century. Much of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet rests on land that lays up to two kilometers below sea level, making the system inherently unstable. “Thwaites Glacier is probably the most important part of the Antarctic contribution to global sea-level rise this century, says Rebecca Totten Minzoni, assistant professor of Geological Sciences at the University of Alabama. It is not just a problem for our science community it is problem for the global community,” she adds. If Thwaites goes, it could take the whole of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet with it. Sea levels could rise as much as twelve feet, drowning not only significant portions of our coastal cities, but also rural areas where property taxes are low and innovative infrastructure solutions are difficult to fund – National Geographic

A home in the trees: Phillip Flagg has been living in this small platform atop an oak tree since October. (Christine Grillo/CityLab)

To Fight a Pipeline, Live in a Tree. For the past year, environmental protesters have led an “aerial blockade” of tree-sitters along a proposed natural gas pipeline. A 300-­plus­‐mile underground pipeline supposed to transport natural gas extracted by “fracking” from the Appalachian regions of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and New York further south to export to energy markets in the U.S. and overseas. In rural Elliston, in the Virginia highlands, Phillip Flagg has not set foot on the ground since October 12 this year. He has been living in a chestnut oak tree 50 feet above the ground for almost five months now. Below him there’s small group of about a dozen anonymous young people who take care of Flagg’s basic human needs. Flagg’s home is a four-by-eight sheet of plywood that is attached to the oak’s boughs. In his months in the treetops, he has so far endured single-digit temperatures, snowstorms, ice, rain, and even a hurricane. He’s protected only by tarps and a rain fly. “I do activism, but I wouldn’t call myself an activist. We’re actively creating a different world while simultaneously fighting the dominant culture” – CityLab

Marcela Mulholland. Photograph by Charlotte Kesl/The Guardian

Adults failed to take climate action. The young activists are stepping up. Despite being barely two years old, the Sunrise Movement (an American youth-led political action on climate change) outpaced established environmental groups in the push to radically reshape the political landscape around climate change. One of their member, Marcela Mulholland, 21, from Fort Lauderdale, Florida took the fall semester off from school to volunteer full time with The Sunrise, working on the midterm elections in Orlando, Florida. She was knocking on a lot of doors, talking to people about the candidates that they endorse because they had either signed the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge or had climate policy. Jeremy Ornstein, 18, Watertown, Massachusetts is helping to put on a tour for the Green New Deal to every city and town across America, especially places that represent real political leadership or really devastating climate impact or economic inequality. The young people have always played the role of moral clarity and being willing to be idealists about what the world should be like. Some are calling climate change this generation’s civil rights movement – The Guardian