Currently — May 2nd, 2023: Windy weather and climate-fueled inflation

The weather, currently.

If you're in the Midwest, you probably noticed it was VERY windy on Monday. That's not super unusual this time of the year, and it makes sense when you think about what wind actually is: Air moving from an area of higher pressure to an area of lower pressure. Those pressure centers can be more pronounced during Springtime — when places further north are still literally frozen (It was 32°F in Duluth, Minn. this morning!) and some places are already in full-out summer mode (Like Houston, which has been in the 80's for weeks).

Still, our friends at the National Weather Service in Des Moines have a great thread today on wind. And Iowans know their wind — they are the only state in the US that gets more than 50% of its electricity from wind power!

—Eric Holthaus

What you need to know, currently.

There’s fresh evidence this week that the climate crisis is urgently affecting day-to-day life and exacerbating inflation by raising grocery costs, electricity, and heating bills.

Droughts, fires, floods, heat waves, and other extreme weather events all contribute to global supply-chain problems, labor injustices, and production shortages, raising the costs of living. Just last year, the United States racked up over $2 billion in costs due to 20 climate-related severe weather events. Now, all sorts of products and services are more expensive than they were the previous year, from eggs to energy.

Extreme weather events harm the growth of various crops, including cotton (hence higher clothing prices). Farmers in Egypt, for example, are forced to persist amid extreme heat and freezes, which devastate their fruit and vegetable harvests.

And as the world continues to warm, things could get worse. According to a report by the International Labor Organization, heatwaves alone are estimated to lower working hours worldwide by 2 percent by 2030—equal to losing 80 million full-time jobs and $2,400 billion globally.

However, as always, there is hope.

We can move towards cleaner sources of energy, mitigating pollution, and start implementing more low-cost renewables for our energy grids. Also, stronger climate policies involving forest conservation, for example, will lower food prices, reduce climate population, and support communities, particularly low-income ones that bear the brunt of the crisis.

—Aarohi Sheth

What you can do, currently.

We're trying out new, more descriptive email subject lines today! Let us know if you like them — and anything else that's on your mind!

As we said yesterday, Currently is shifting our efforts to become entirely member-driven and member-supported. We're doing this to boost our organization's prospects for growth and sustainability, and to align more with our founding ethos of becoming an independent weather service for the climate emergency.

Paid members will have a truly premium weather experience. Here's some of what we have planned:

  • Text directly with Eric, our founder, who will personally answer your weather questions and give you a customized forecast on demand.
  • Our first weather app, which will put your daily weather in the context of climate change, no matter where you are, anywhere in the world.
  • Reader-ownership — an experiment in direct democracy so that Currently can remain accountable to our most important stakeholders, you, the readers.

We have SO MANY more exciting features planned, but we can't do this without your direct support. Your paid membership makes Currently possible.