October 4, 2023
It’s Climate Solutions Week at NPR. Each story in this newsletter explores climate change from various angles around the world, following the innovators who are working toward solutions.

Spotlighting climate solutions

by Julia Simon, climate solutions reporter
Climate change is here, and it’s real. As NPR’s climate solutions reporter, I know how crucial addressing climate change is right now. When I talk with people about the climate, I often hear hopelessness. But what if we reframe the conversation?


NPR is dedicating this entire week to stories and conversations about the search for climate solutions. This week of stories isn’t just about covering the climate — it’s meant to highlight innovators around the world who are dedicated to finding solutions and to remind people that they can always do something about climate change.


So far, we’ve walked through topics from how doctors are trying to lower their hospitals’ massive carbon footprints to an app that cuts down on food waste. We’ve heard from teachers and electricians working in their own industries to develop climate solutions.

Robert Ormerod for NPR
Some people slip into fatalism in the face of the climate crisis. Not only is that not helpful, but it’s a luxury that front-line communities fighting for their lives can’t afford. Humans are driving global warming, and that means humans can find solutions to change our trajectory. But also remember that solutions are not all on individuals — a lot comes down to companies and governments.


We already have many solutions. Now is not the time to back away from the challenge.


Stay tuned for more climate solutions coverage this week, including an alternative method to capturing fresh water called fog harvesting, replacing the American lawn with a more climate-friendly alternative, a hotline to save heirlooms threatened by climate disasters and more.

Podcast picks

Robert Ormerod for NPR
🎧 Toxic, smelly seaweed is washing up on many beaches, and it’s destroying ecosystems, economies and even our health. Short Wave talked to Paddy Estridge of Seaweed Generation, who had the idea to make an aquatic robot that can help sweep up the algae — and fight climate change in the process.

🎧 Our everyday actions emit greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. But sustainability experts say there are ways we can make these daily tasks more climate-friendly. Life Kit offers some small steps that can help reduce our carbon footprint.

🎧 Young people of colour have historically served as activists for their communities. On the latest episode of Code Switch, you’ll hear from a classroom in South Baltimore, where for the past decade students have been on the vanguard of environmental justice activism.

🎧 Climate solutions are happening all around the country. From bringing more water to drought-stricken communities to looking for reliable energy systems, check out these innovative climate solutions podcasts from around the NPR Network.

Plus later this week: Throughline will share a history of environmental justice, Planet Money is analyzing how Uruguay’s green-energy initiative took off and became a model for other countries, and Up First explores a climate solution that’s spreading from Paris to Cleveland.

Support Independent Journalism
and NPR’s Climate Solutions Week

In the face of the climate crisis, inaction is a privilege humanity can’t afford. Reporting teams across the NPR Network have been searching for solutions and the innovators behind them. Your donation to the NPR Network is crucial to this process: your dollars power our reporting, including on topics like climate solutions. And your gift ensures we’re freely available to the millions of people who want to be informed about what we find.
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Stories you might have missed

Zoe Kurland/Marfa Public Radio
🌵 A team of scientists has given a whole new meaning to the term “green energy” in a part of Texas that’s known in part for oil and gas. They’ve discovered a low-cost way of generating hydrogen gas inspired by the prickly pear cactus, a plant that’s native to the region. [via Marfa Public Radio]

🥑 It’s not all bad news. From a Girl Scout troop tackling water conservation to a new variety of avocados, we pulled together some of the wild and wonderful moments of success and progress when it comes to climate solutions.

💧In the Himalayan foothills, water is getting harder to come by. Villagers in one region of northern India are learning how to recharge the groundwater-fed springs they depend on.

🌎 There’s a growing movement to address the intertwined crises of mental health and the climate emergency. Climate Cafe LA, a free, virtual support group, aims to provide an informal and confidential space for people to connect with each other about the painful emotions that come with living with climate change. [via LAist]

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This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi.
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