news·4 min read

Daily Skimm: Climate Crisis, VP's Powers, and H.E.R.

Firefighters confront blazes during a forest fire that broke at the suburb of Pallini, east of Athens, Greece, on Wednesday July 20, 2022.
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Jul 21, 2022


The Story

The climate crisis is heating up in the US and Europe.

We’ve...been outside. 

So let’s talk about it: More than 100 million Americans were under heat warnings yesterday — about one-third of the US population. Wildfires are raging from Texas to California to Alaska. But that’s not all: France, Portugal, and Spain have also been trying to contain wildfires. Thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes. The UK this week experienced its hottest temp ever. And more than 1,100 Europeans have died from the heat. As Spain’s PM put it, “climate change kills.”

Speaking of which…

Yesterday, President Biden announced executive actions to fight the climate crisis. That includes plans to move more than $2 billion in funding to help communities gear up for extreme weather events — like heat waves, wildfires, floods, and hurricanes. By providing funding, Biden also hopes to lower the cost of AC and create community cooling centers for low-income families. And by expanding offshore wind areas, he says the US will create more clean, affordable energy jobs.


Many Americans grew up hearing the words ‘climate change’ — and the UN’s warnings can sometimes be hard to visualize. But people don’t need to imagine it anymore — many are already experiencing its effects...and suffering. 

PS: If you're dealing with a heat wave, check out our tips for staying safe.

And Also...This

What apparently needed to be spelled out...

The VP can’t decide elections. Yesterday, a group of 16 senators unveiled what could be the first bipartisan legislation aimed at stopping a repeat of Jan 6, 2021. That includes a bill that would review an 1887 law and clarify that the vice president’s job when certifying an election is “solely ministerial.” And that they have no power to “adjudicate disputes over electors.” The announcement comes in response to former President Trump pressuring then-VP Mike Pence to overturn the 2020 election (see: this and this). And comes just in time for...

  • The final countdown: Today is the last scheduled Jan 6 hearing — and it’s going prime time at 8 pm ET. It’s expected to focus on what former President Trump was doing in the 187 minutes while rioters stormed the Capitol.

Where there are new political tributes…

The UK. Yesterday, the Conservative Party narrowed down the country’s next prime minister to Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss. Sunak — a former finance minister — resigned from PM Boris Johnson’s government earlier this month saying their approaches are “fundamentally too different." He also doesn’t support tax cuts until inflation’s simmered down. Meanwhile, Truss — the current foreign secretary — is all for slashing taxes. Next week, the two will face off in a televised debate followed by hustings. That’s where they’ll debate policies and answer questions from the audience. The winner will be announced on September 5. Meanwhile, Johnson ended his final PM question session by saying “hasta la vista, baby.” No, literally.

Sri Lanka. Yesterday, Parliament promoted former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to president. Wickremesinghe — who's already acting president — will replace the one who fled the country after months of protests. But Wickremesinghe’s first day on the job included little office merch and plenty of protests. Now, he’s tasked with getting a handle on the country’s mounting debt and inflation, while trying to keep his new job.

...Oh and speaking of world leaders, Italian PM Mario Draghi offered his resignation (again) after his coalition gov failed. Meaning Italy could have elections sooner than expected.

Where there's pushback...

Argentina. Its capital, Buenos Aires, is reportedly one of the first cities to ban gender-inclusive language in schools. Last month, the city's govt banned teachers from using any gender-neutral words (like todxs and bienvenid@s) during class and when speaking to parents. Although Argentina has made efforts to support the LGBTQ+ community, the city’s education minister says the gender-inclusive language goes against Spanish grammar — where the default gender is masculine — and can lead to poor reading skills. Activists and orgs are suing to overturn the ruling. The gender-inclusive language changes have faced an uphill battle in other parts of the world too like Mexico, Peru, Brazil, and France.

Who’s playing Belle in ABC’s “Beauty and the Beast”……

Ladies and gentlemen, H.E.R.

Why we're excited as Sh!t...

Issa Rae.

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