‘Bromates’: Passionate Solar Push

A message about climate change and renewable energy underlies a new bro-mantic comedy coming to 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, an enthusiastic solar panel salesman, and Jonesie, an eccentric, crazy girl—are dumped by their live-in boyfriends on the same day and decide to live with each other. Through their misadventures that eventually lead to a strange encounter with rapper Snoop Dogg (played by himself), Sid happily tells everyone he knows—even the girls he tries to flirt-about the benefits of solar energy, for the environment and for energy saving.

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

The inclusion of solar factoids is very intentional. The film is the brainchild of Chris Kemper, CEO of solar company Palmetto, who co-wrote the script with Crandall. Kemper compared “Bromates” to “Don’t Look” as another example of a fun, comedy movie with an underlying message about nature.

“You can take these narratives and make them more mainstream, however subtle, without having to be in your face,” Kemper said. “So it’s a dialogue. Like, after a movie, you talk to friends about it, that stuff.

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


Ethereum’s 99.992 Percent Carbon Footprint Reduction

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

On Thursday, the long-awaited Ethereum “merger,” as it is known, moved to the foundation of the blockchain without disrupting investments after almost two years of preparation. The integration changes the way transactions are validated in this cryptocurrency model, which unlike traditional money systems is not supported by a centralized institution.

The basics of the integration are complicated, but here’s the gist of what’s going on: the Ethereum blockchain used to rely on a “proof of work” security method, where energy-intensive mining computers solved the complex equation to validate transactions in exchange for more cryptocurrency, in a “proof of stake” method, where significant investors validate transactions, placing a portion of their investment as a kind of collateral to keep them faithful to their validations.

The move to “proof of stake” has long been seen as the most important way to reduce the carbon footprint of the crypto industry. A White House report this month estimated that crypto activity in the United States leads to approximately 25 to 50 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, similar to the amount released from diesel fuel used by railroads. in the country.

“Proof of work is waste by design,” said Scott Faber, senior vice president of government affairs at the Environmental Working Group. “And the merger shows that a code change from proof of work to proof of stake is possible.”

Now that Ethereum has made this transition, the pressure is on for Bitcoin to follow suit. Bitcoin accounts for about two-thirds of the electricity used by the crypto industry worldwide, according to a White House report. The Environmental Working Group, Greenpeace and other organizations have launched a campaign that encourages technology and financial leaders with large investments in Bitcoin and likely to be active within the Bitcoin community to move the blockchain to the proof of stake.

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

“This is an important moment that should cause the Bitcoin community to realize that the financial future of this asset depends on making this code change,” said Faber. “Sane people do not invest in a financial security that produces more and more climate pollution.”


Listening to Young People About Climate

Young people have been at the forefront of climate advocacy in the past few years as the population that will survive in 2050 and beyond, when the worst effects of climate change will begin to emerge unless action is taken. the strong action today. Inspired by young activists, a public radio climate podcast gave their microphones to local eighth graders.

Two reporters from Higher Ground, a podcast from WSHU, spent the spring at an after-school science education program in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Many of these students learn about climate change at school and understand what’s happening around the planet, said co-host JD Allen, a WSHU reporter. While students are familiar with Greta Thunberg and other activists who point the blame at politicians and corporations for their inaction, Allen said, many don’t know how climate change affects themselves. grounds.

Allen and his co-host, Sabrina Garone, taught the kids how to use recording equipment and encouraged them to look for the effects of climate change in their neighborhoods. The five-part podcast, funded by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center and Sesame Workshop, offers a glimpse into the minds of teenagers as they explore these effects and ponder why they occur. The students not only saw problems, Allen said, but they started brainstorming solutions.

“They blew me out of the water. They really did,” he said. He recalls a young student who began the unit wondering why a shade tree in his front yard had been cut down, and just a few weeks later, the student was generating ideas about how to plant trees across in Bridgeport to increase shade and reduce the effects of extreme heat.

“When we listen to young people and their ideas, and we present them to policymakers,” Allen said, “I hope that podcast listeners will ask themselves, ‘Well, what ideas what can come from the youth of my community?’ “


Climate Change Supporters and ‘False Social Reality’

While about two-thirds of Americans support climate policies, most people in the country think that the climate-conscious percentage represents only one-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 are increasingly underestimating the broader population’s concern about climate change and support for climate policies in what researchers call a shared sense of a “false social reality.”

“While supporters outnumber opponents two to one, people see it as the other way around,” said study author Gregg Sparkman, an assistant professor at Boston College. . “And so many Americans feel alone in their concern about climate change or may feel alone in thinking that they want to act on the issue but other people don’t have to.”

Sparkman said he was surprised by how big the gap was. “The people are not just a little, but they are not so much as to completely reverse the view of an overwhelming majority of Americans to a minority that shocks us.”

There is more research to be done to determine why Americans are so disconnected in their views about support for climate policy, Sparkman said, but this disconnect may cause people to hold back or soften. on their views on climate policy when they believe other people don’t. Ignore climate change. “If I’m worried about climate change, but I don’t think others are, if I have that mindset then I tend to think maybe I’m overreacting, maybe it’s not a big deal,” Sparkman said. .

He hopes the climate policies of the Inflation Reduction Act along with continued public opinion polling of Americans’ views on climate change will help break this false social reality.

“It’s these signals that we hope will come together and help dispel this kind of myth that Americans aren’t worried about climate change,” Sparkman said. “Hopefully, this will create some kind of better narrative that portrays the United States as a nation of people who want ambitious climate policies.”

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