Good morning y’all! It’s the first newsletter of 2021, and the first issue back after a two-week holiday hiatus. I hope you were able to take some time to decompress and reflect. I don’t know about you, but I really needed the break.
I think the near-constant isolation and uncertainty of 2020 was more stressful than I realized. Because as soon as I allowed myself to unplug for a little while, I really, really unplugged. Over the last two weeks, I barely checked Twitter and checked e-mail even less. I could probably count on my fingers the number of times I opened my computer. It was awesome. I loved it. I’m ready to be back.
That being said, two weeks of being unplugged means that uh, some shit has piled up that I’m digging my way out of! So today’s newsletter is just a couple brief but relevant updates.
I’ll be back with a full story tomorrow—which, by the way, just so happens to be Election Day in Georgia. The outcome of the two U.S. Senate run-off elections there will determine whether President-elect Joe Biden has a shot in hell at implementing his ambitious climate policy agenda. So if you’re looking for something productive to do today, why not make sure your friends who live there have a plan to vote? The planet’s future is on the ballot, after all.
Updates from the break:
We got the WAP we needed. Those $600 checks may have gotten most of the media attention, but they’re not the sexiest thing in the coronavirus stimulus bill Congress passed late last month. That honor goes to the bill’s extension of WAP—which is in fact not the Cardi B song about genitalia, but the Weatherization Assistance Program, a longstanding U.S. Department of Energy conservation program for low-income families.
Back in August, I wrote a newsletter arguing that the next pandemic relief bill should include WAP. “If Congress were to consider an expansion of the historically effective and bipartisan program in a future coronavirus relief package,” I wrote, “it could potentially aid low-income families struggling during the pandemic, while helping to chip away at the climate crisis.”
You can read more about the WAP extension, and the other climate and energy measures included in the new stimulus bill, here in Utility Dive.
We got “first-time climate dudes” in the New York Times. One of the few times I went on Twitter over the break was to share this news:The fact that this entire quote—and thus the entire idea of first-time climate dudes—made it into The New York Times is the best Christmas present I have gotten in years google.com/amp/s/www.nyti…
The Times article I’m quoted in is about the controversy over a paper called Deep Adaptation, which I have never read and do not plan to. If you would like to know why, read my article on first-time climate dudes from April.
We got honored by Greenpeace’s investigative news outlet. Unearthed named HEATED in its list of “the best environmental journalism of 2020,” and we are extremely grateful! “This year, Emily Atkin’s newsletter ‘Heated’ has become an invaluable resource for journalists covering the climate crisis,” they wrote. “Atkin combines her acerbic wit with a forensic understanding of her subject. You should sign up.”
Since you’re already signed up, you should check out some of the other journalists and news outlets on the list—and sign up for Unearthed’s newsletter, which gives a great daily round-up of hard-hitting, investigative climate stories. (The box to enter your e-mail is on the bottom left of the page).
Catch of the day:
Fish is hungry for WAP (Walks and Playtime).
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Stay hydrated, eat plants, break a sweat, and have a great day!