Joseph Winters
Joseph Winters
@divestharvard | @harvardpolitics | @grist editorial intern | earth and planetary sciences harvard ‘20 | he/him | views my ownSource
Massachusetts, USA
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Tackling climate change seemed expensive. Then COVID happened.

Tackling climate change seemed expensive. Then COVID happened.

Climate deniers and opponents of aggressive climate action have long argued that governments can’t afford comprehensive measures to confront the climate crisis. The Green New Deal, for example, has been ridiculed as a “crazy, expensive mess” by the Republican Policy Committee. But then COVID-19 challenged preconceived notions about the limits of government spending. Since August, world governments have pledged more than $12 trillion in stimulus spending to dig their way out of the coronavirus-caused economic downturn — a truly mind-boggling amount of cash that represents three times the...

October 20, 2020
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Climate change is giving ‘Christmastown, USA’ an identity crisis

Climate change is giving ‘Christmastown, USA’ an identity crisis

It’s been a helluva year — so rather than just reflecting on all that went down in 2020, we’re going back a bit further and seeking comfort via nostalgia. But while revisiting “simpler times” may feel like temporary escapes from current disasters like climate change, a pandemic, and attempted coups, they also remind us of how we got here. Welcome to Grist’s .When I was 9 years old, a reporter from Good Morning America visited Leavenworth, Washington, and declared it “the ultimate Christmas town.” It was 2007, and he was doing a spot on my hometown’s most popular winter event, the Christmas...

Dec 14
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Oregon’s air quality is so far beyond ‘hazardous’ that no one knows what it means for health

Oregon’s air quality is so far beyond ‘hazardous’ that no one knows what it means for health

As wildfires rage across much of California and the Pacific Northwest, smoke continues to clog the air and tinge the sky with apocalyptic reds and oranges. In some parts of Oregon this week, the air got so smoky that it the scale used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to measure hazardous air quality.The EPA’s (AQI) measures five types of air pollution on a scale of one to 500. “Healthy” air gets a rating between 0 and 50. Things start getting dangerous in the mid-100s, especially for sensitive groups like those with a heart or lung condition. And an AQI reading of 301 or greater...

September 11, 2020
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This ‘solution’ to the plastic crisis is really just another way to burn fossil fuels

This ‘solution’ to the plastic crisis is really just another way to burn fossil fuels

Amid an escalating plastic pollution crisis that threatens “,” the fossil fuel and plastics industries say they have a not-so-surprising solution: recycling.To be more precise, they’re advocating for “chemical” or “advanced” recycling. The American Chemistry Council, an industry lobbying group whose members include ExxonMobil, Dow, and DuPont, has promoted state-level legislation to expand it nationwide. Policymakers have taken note, and bills easing regulations on chemical recycling facilities have already been and introduced in at least five more.But environmental activists say the word...

August 3, 2020
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This DNC council sees Biden’s climate plan, and raises him — by $14 trillion

This DNC council sees Biden’s climate plan, and raises him — by $14 trillion

Bernie may be out of the primaries, but his $16 trillion climate plan lives on.Last week, a Democratic National Committee (DNC) council that the federal government spend a whopping $10 to 16 trillion addressing the climate crisis over the next 10 years. The group — officially called the DNC Council on the Environment and the Climate Crisis — is chaired by Michelle Deatrick, who was a surrogate for the Sanders campaign during the Democratic primaries.To be clear, the group isn’t aligned with the DNC’s famously moderate leadership. The climate council was in response to widespread frustration...

June 9, 2020
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Renewable energy is taking off — but not in bank boardrooms

Renewable energy is taking off — but not in bank boardrooms

When it comes to investing in a sustainable future, do we really have to pick between fossil fuels and renewable energy?Well, yes. But many of the world’s top banking executives and directors haven’t gotten the memo. At least, that’s what from Bloomberg suggests: Entanglements with major emitters are surprisingly prevalent in the boardrooms of 20 major U.S. and European banks. And even if those banks have publicly announced significant climate commitments, they are also “the most active financiers” for nonrenewable energy projects. The biggest banks, the authors noted, have backed big oil...

June 8, 2020
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