As noted last week, it’s hard to find the balance between COVID-19 reporting and climate change. That hasn’t changed, but we will continue to share relevant EcoRight news in the spirit that we have to maintain some normalcy or we will go crazy.

????P.S. My stress release has been taking vegetable scraps and growing them into a garden. (Wen is so proud.) Here’s a peek at my first baby celery to sprout. (Tomatoes in the background were purchased that size and yes, I’m trying to grow an avocado from a seed because why not?)????

??Spotlight on Spokespeople: Our volunteers are keeping busy by doing what they do best: crafting strong messaging about conservative climate action and spreading the word (in a socially distant way, of course). When John Sweeney came to me last weekend with an idea for an op-ed, I was really struck that I hadn’t seen anyone else making the case he makes in What the patchwork of COVID-19 responses can teach us about climate action (The Hill). “State and local government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have been routinely frustrated by a lack of reciprocal measures in neighboring jurisdictions. One city may take drastic measures — closing restaurants, theaters and non-essential businesses — but if neighboring municipalities proceed with business as usual, these shutdown and shelter-in-place efforts are largely undermined,” he writes. “In the lexicon of clean energy circles, this phenomenon is referred to as “leakage.” For instance, one state or country may spend billions of dollars to reduce greenhouse gas emissions — maybe even trillions if something like the Green New Deal were to ever pass — but if neighboring states take no action then the net effect of these actions is effectively zero.”

??And then the dynamic duo of long-time, active volunteers Cindy Burbank, who officially joined our Spokesperson team at the start of 2020, and Larry Howe, both who are active with the CCL Conservative Caucus, teamed up to produce GOP: stop playing with small ball climate solutions. “We are lifelong conservative voters,” they write. “Global climate change is an accumulating problem that only gets worse the longer we take to address it. We’d like to see the GOP really step up to the plate, with a bold small-government approach that takes responsibility and spurs the marketplace into action, while preserving freedom for households and businesses in how best to respond.” Together they pose some tough questions, looking to push the GOP caucus to move more aggressively—not less—on climate.

??This week’s must read: Coronavirus and climate change could stretch FEMA beyond its limits (Bloomberg Green): “While the disaster-response agency is better known for its work in the aftermath of storms than disease outbreaks, it is the part of the federal government often charged with procuring supplies quickly,” the article reads while exploring whether FEMA can “handle both a once-in-a-lifetime public health crisis and the upcoming spring flood season. The National Weather Service warned this week that flooding could affect 128 million Americans this year.”

“FEMA is stretched,” said James Kendra, who directs the Disaster Research Center at the University of Delaware. “All the other hazards we have in the U.S. will not go away and will only complicate the task of responding to the coronavirus.”

??This week’s must read, 2.0: Coronavirus holds key lessons on how to fight climate change (Yale Environment 360) “The coronavirus pandemic and the slower-moving dangers of climate change parallel one another in important ways, and experts say the aggressive, if belated, response to the outbreak could hold lessons for those urging climate action,” the article reads. “In the case of the virus, the danger is the number of infected people overwhelming health care systems; with climate change, it is that emissions growth will overwhelm our ability to manage consequences such as droughts, floods, wildfires, and other extreme events.”

A national security perspective: In the essay Winning the COVID-19 battle may aid the war against climate change, posted by Nicholas Cropper at the American Security Project (ASP), he notes: “The most important long-term lesson for fighting climate change learned from the COVID-19 outbreak is that tackling a global crisis requires a psychological shift. Global issues rarely resonate with Americans, unless they are personally affected. The number of infections in the U.S. was in the thousands before people changed their routines. Even now, as more than 50,000 Americans are infected and more than 700 are dead, people are still going about their daily lives. To effectively turn climate change into a salient issue, people must understand how the crisis directly affects their lives. The American psyche must be retrained to treat climate change like the coronavirus; individual actions can keep yourself and loved ones safe, or put them at risk.”

(Fun fact: ASP’s Chief Operating Officer Andrew Holland, whom I knew from the Hill—he staffed former Senator Chuck Hagel when I was working for Senator John Warner—is the one who facilitated my meeting Alex Bozmoski… six years later, look where we are now all because of Andrew’s keen connection skills. Thanks, Andrew! We owe you one!)

Survey says: A survey commissioned by our friend at the Alliance for Market Solutions (AMS) found that 61 percent of Republican voters in Florida want the country to adopt a “balanced” approach to fighting climate change that considers both environmental and economic impacts, compared with 29 percent who said climate change is not real. “The poll clearly shows that voters of both parties want to see their elected officials address climate change,” Alex Flint, AMS’s executive director, told E&E News. “Florida is key not just to Florida politicians, but also because it is a presidential swing state that could determine the presidential election outcome in November.”

Anyone have a favorite recipe to share? The boys and I are looking to change up our kitchen routine! Send along your favorite pantry hacks (what am I going to do with all these dried beans…) and baked treats!

Hope you’re well!