Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Grist's 23 Predictions for 2023

The week between Christmas and New Year, Week #52 of the year, has long held the tradition of being dedicated in media and magazines to that transitioning to the new year. All of the achievements, accomplishments, awards, and kudos that have happened locally, nationally, even globally are celebrated. As are the tragic losses we've had the past year. (Oh, Betty White, we miss you!) Additionally, it starts gearing up to the preparations and predications of what all may happen in the new year.

Given that, I have fallen in love with Grist's 23 Predictions for 2023 and now is the perfect time to share it.

For those of you who don't know about Grift, it's a nonprofit, environmentally-oriented media organizatiton whose goal is to strive for a better, more just and climate conscious world since 1999. They focus on climate change solutions and innovation, with the goal to bring down emissions by 2030.

Their 23 Predictions for 2023 article is a combination of innovation and forecasts for the upcoming year by 23 climate and environmental justice specialists. The key areas they looked at: 

With the US passing its climate legislation ("Inflation Reduction Act") in August, $369 billion will go toward cutting emissions and helping at-risk climate-vulnerable communities. Additionally, November's COP27 made some historic moves toward global climate justice. 

Here's an overview of the 23 predictions by category--you can always learn more at Grist's 23 Predictions for 2023 by clicking the "Read More" buttons under each expert and their prediction.

This past year had 47% of the United States facing one of the worst droughts in over 1,000 years. Water security is paramount!

1). "Western states must find common ground managing the Colorado River"
Sarah Porter, director of the Kyl Center for Water Policy at Arizona State University

2). "Nature-based solutions and Indigenous input will make 2023 a turning point"
Felicia Marcus, attorney, founding member of Water Policy Group, and visiting fellow at Stanford University’s Water in the West program

3). "Data-driven technology will shape how we use water"
Newsha Ajami, hydrologist and chief development officer for research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Earth and Environmental Sciences Area

Through healthy ecosystems (especially marine, forest and wetland which hold carbon dioxide) aid against the blow of climate change. We need to use nature to help us fight the destruction we have caused.

4). "2023 will bring more environmental threats — and more money for solutions"
Tarik Benmarhnia, environmental epidemiologist at Scripps Institute of Oceanography

5). "Wetlands (finally) get the attention they deserve"
Eric W. Sanderson, senior ecologist at Wildlife Conservation Society

6). "Reforestation will uplift frontline communities"
Michael French, forester and director of operations at Green Forests Work

Politics & Policy 
Life after the midterm elections in November placed a lot of environmentally-friendly governors and other legislators as the winners of their race. The year ahead will see where we are with those promises of eco-justice and initiatives. 

7). "A new EPA office could mean additional protections for vulnerable communities"
Catherine Coleman Flowers, founder of the Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice; vice chair of the White House EJ Advisory Council

8). "The midterm results will drive progress at the state and local levels"
Leah Stokes, political scientist and professor of environmental politics at the University of California, Santa Barbara

9). "Bipartisanship and pragmatism will shape climate policies"
Quill Robinson, vice president of governmental affairs at American Conservation Coalition

10). "Activists will pressure the U.S. to ‘walk the talk’ after COP27"
Adrien Salazar, policy director at Grassroots Global Justice Alliance

11). "SCOTUS will complicate, but not thwart, national EJ initiatives"
Emily Hammond, energy and environmental law professor at George Washington University Law School

Mitigation & Adaptation 
Over time, climate disasters (like wildfires, heatwaves, and hurricanes) have been intensifying. 2022 had many record breaking floods, record breaking heat days, record number of wildfires in the past ten years, and catastrophic hurricanes. This trend has been happening in 90% of the United States over the last ten years, so these climate disaster reports are not "new news." Where we go from here will be important.

12). "People will hold governments accountable"
Njoki Mwarumba, assistant professor of emergency management and disaster preparedness at the University of Nebraska

13). "Communities will drive a bottom-up transformation in renewables"
Arturo Massol-DeyĆ”, executive director of Casa Pueblo

14). "We need to be open to the possibility of relocation"
Auroop R. Ganguly, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Northeastern University

15). "We must make bold moves towards resilience"
Maxwell Alejandro Frost, representative-elect for Florida’s 10th congressional district and the first member of Gen Z elected to Congress

Part of the money from the Inflation Reduction Act is slated toward innovation in clean and green energy. It supports tax credits and incentives. Likewise, it supports creating circular "cradle to grave" to maximize resources.

16). "The IRA will supercharge a circular, domestic EV supply chain"
Alexis Georgeson, vice president of government relations and communications at Redwood Materials

17). "Tribes will lead the next phase of the EV transition"
Robert Blake, executive director of Native Sun Community Power Development

18). "American homes will electrify faster than ever"
Sam Calisch, head of special projects at Rewiring America

19). "The mining required for clean energy will create new EJ battles"
Jade Begay, climate justice campaign director at NDN Collective

After seeing companies and business models that have successfully prioritized sustainability, it has shifted what is possible in the business world....while other companies have backed away. What lessons can we take away from 2022's successes to promote greater sustainability in the business world?

20). "Underrepresented founders will get the funding they deserve"
Destana Herring, associate at Regeneration.VC

21). "Brands will find new ways to generate revenue from their used products"
Nellie Cohen, director of circular business models at sustainability consultancy Anthesis

22). "Investors will zoom in on climate and impact"
Alyssa Stankiewicz, associate director of sustainability research at Morningstar

23). "Companies will need to show they are taking the climate crisis seriously"
Corley Kenna, head of communications and policy at Patagonia

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