CULTURE

“Bromates”: Passionately pushing solar

A message about climate change and renewable energy underpins a new bro-mantic comedy hitting theaters next month.

In “Bromates,” directed by Court Crandall (“Old School”) and starring Josh Brener (“Silicon Valley”) and Lil Rel Howery (“Get Out”), a pair of lifelong friends – Sid, a salesman solar panel enthusiast, and Jonesie, an eccentric and reckless womanizer, get dumped by their resident girlfriends on the same day and decide to move in together. Through their misadventures that ultimately lead to a strange encounter with rapper Snoop Dogg (played by himself), Sid enthusiastically tells everyone he meets – even the women he tries to flirt with – about the benefits of solar energy, both for the environment and for energy. savings.

Get a first look at the film in this exclusive clip:

The inclusion of the solar factoids was very intentional. The film is the brainchild of Chris Kemper, CEO of solar company Palmetto, who co-wrote the screenplay with Crandall. Kemper compared “Bromates” to “Don’t Look Up” as another example of an entertaining, comedic film with an underlying environmental message.

“You can take these narratives and make them more mainstream, however subtle they are, it doesn’t have to be in your face,” Kemper said. “So it’s more of a dialogue. Like, after a movie, you tell friends about it, that kind of stuff.

The film will be released in US theaters on October 7.

SOLUTIONS

99.992% reduction in Ethereum’s carbon footprint

The Ethereum blockchain underwent a major software update this week that experts have likened to turning a gas-powered vehicle into an electric vehicle while the car is in motion. A report by the Crypto Carbon Ratings Institute revealed that the update reduced the electricity consumption of the blockchain – which supports the second largest cryptocurrency, Ether – by 99.988% and its carbon footprint by 99.992%.

On Thursday, the long-awaited Ethereum “merger,” as it is known, shifted the foundations of blockchain without disrupting investment after nearly two years in the making. The merger changed the way transactions are validated on this cryptocurrency model, which, unlike traditional monetary systems, is not backed by a centralized institution.

The fundamentals of the merger are complicated, but here’s the gist of what happened: The Ethereum blockchain previously relied on a “proof-of-work” security method, where power-hungry cryptocurrency mining computers solve complex equations to validate transactions in exchange for more cryptocurrency, to a “proof of stake” method, where major investors validate transactions, staking a portion of their investment as a kind of collateral to keep them honest in their validations.

Switching to “proof of stake” has long been considered the most important way to reduce the carbon footprint of the crypto industry. A White House report released this month estimated that crypto activity in the United States results in approximately 25 to 50 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, which is similar to the amount emitted by fuel. diesel used in the country’s railways.

“Proof of work is wasteful by design,” said Scott Faber, senior vice president of government affairs at the Environmental Task Force. “And the merge shows that a code change from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake is possible.”

Now that Ethereum has made this change, the pressure is on for Bitcoin to follow suit. Bitcoin accounts for about two-thirds of the electricity used by the crypto industry globally, according to the White House report. Environmental Working Group, Greenpeace and other organizations have launched a campaign urging leaders in technology and finance who have large investments in Bitcoin and presumably have influence within the Bitcoin community to push blockchain to proof of stake.

But if Bitcoin doesn’t make the switch, Faber said the government should step in and create energy efficiency standards for the crypto industry. The Biden administration appears willing to do so based on its recommendations in this month’s report.

“This is an important moment that should make the Bitcoin community realize that the financial future of this asset depends on changing this code,” Faber said. “Smart people are not going to invest in financial security that will generate more and more climate pollution.”

CULTURE

Listening to young people on the climate

Young people have been at the center of climate advocacy in recent years as a population that will be alive in 2050 and beyond, when the worst effects of climate change will begin to be felt unless drastic action is taken now. . Inspired by young activists, a public radio climate podcast donated its microphones to local eighth graders.

Two reporters from Higher Ground, a WSHU podcast, spent the spring with an afterschool science education program in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Many of those students had learned about climate change in school and understood what was happening to the planet as a whole, said co-host JD Allen, a reporter for WSHU. While students knew about Greta Thunberg and other activists who blamed politicians and corporations for their inaction, Allen said, many were unaware of how climate change was playing out in their own backyards.

Allen and his co-host, Sabrina Garone, taught children how to use recording equipment and encouraged them to learn about the effects of climate change in their neighborhood. The five-episode podcast, funded by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center and Sesame Workshop, offers a glimpse into the minds of teenagers as they search for these effects and wonder why they happen. The students not only found problems, Allen said, they started thinking about solutions.

“They pulled me out of the water. They really really did it,” he said. He remembers a young student who started the unit wondering why a shady tree in his front yard had been cut, and a few weeks later the student was coming up with ideas on how to plant trees across Bridgeport to increase shade and reduce the effects of extreme heat.

“If we listen to young people and their ideas, and present them to policy makers,” Allen said, “I hope podcast listeners will ask themselves, ‘Well, what ideas can come from young people in my community? ‘ ”

SCIENCE

Climate Change Proponents and “False Social Reality”

While about two-thirds of Americans support climate policies, most people across the country believe the climate-conscious percentage is just over a third of the population.

The researchers drew these conclusions from a survey of more than 6,000 Americans and published their findings last month in the journal Nature Communications. Americans of all ages, education levels, and political groups have vastly understated the concerns of the general public about climate change and support for climate policies in what the researchers call a shared sense of a “false social reality”.

“While there are twice as many supporters as opponents, people perceive it to be the opposite,” said study author Gregg Sparkman, an assistant professor at Boston College. “And so a lot of Americans feel alone in their concern about climate change or might feel alone in thinking they want to act on the issue, but others don’t have to.”

Sparkman said he was surprised at the size of this discrepancy. “People weren’t just a little aloof, but they were so aloof that to completely reverse the perception of a supermajority of Americans into a minority was astounding to us.”

There’s more research to be done to pinpoint exactly why Americans are so far apart in their perception of support for climate policy, Sparkman said, but that disconnect may cause people to hold back or soften their views on climate policy. ‘they believe other people don’t. don’t care about climate change. “If I’m worried about climate change, but don’t think other people are, if I have that thought, I’m likely to think maybe I’m overreacting, maybe it’s not isn’t that bad,” Sparkman said.

He hopes the climate policies of the Cut Inflation Act as well as continued public opinion polls on Americans’ views on climate change will help break down this false social reality.

“These signals will hopefully come together and help dispel this kind of myth that Americans don’t care about climate change,” Sparkman said. “I hope this can create some sort of better narrative that illustrates that the United States is a nation of people who would like ambitious climate policies.”

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