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  • Heatmap News

    It’s Getting Hot in Houston. Thousands Are Without Power.

    By Jessica Hullinger,

    24 days ago
    Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

    Current conditions: Schools are closed in Delhi due to intense heat • A freak storm dropped fist-sized hail stones on a city in northern Poland • Forecasters are expecting more tornadoes in the Midwest today.


    1. Houston power outages persist as temperatures soar

    Many households remain without power in Houston after the severe storms that tore through the area last Thursday. About 150,000 people were still waiting for the lights to come back on as of Monday night, and the weather is getting hot, with temperatures lingering around 90 degrees Fahrenheit and the heat index nearing 100F. Anyone without access to power and air conditioning is suffering. The city has opened dozens of cooling centers to help provide relief. The region’s power provider, CenterPoint Energy, said it expects restoration efforts to continue into Wednesday. X/NWSHouston

    2. Tesla shareholder group targets Musk pay package

    A group of Tesla shareholders including New York City Comptroller Brad Lander, SOC Investment Group, Amalgamated Bank, and others, have written to company investors urging them to vote against CEO Elon Musk’s $56 billion pay package next month, The Wall Street Journal reported . “Even as Tesla’s performance is floundering, the board has yet to ensure that Tesla has a full-time CEO who is adequately focused on the long-term sustainable success of our company,” the shareholder group wrote. Shareholders will vote at the company’s annual meeting on June 13 on whether to re-ratify Musk’s 2018 pay package, which a judge voided in January. The letter also says shareholders should not vote to re-elect board members Kimbal Musk (Elon’s brother) and James Murdoch (Elon’s friend), suggesting they are too closely tied to the CEO.

    3. Battery fire at California energy storage site finally extinguished

    A fire at a battery storage site in San Diego County appears to have been extinguished after burning on and off for multiple days and nights, reported Heatmap’s Matthew Zeitlin. “There is no visible smoke or active fire at the scene,” Cal Fire, the state fire protection agency, said in an update yesterday. The fire started sometime Wednesday at the Gateway Energy Storage facility, a 250 megawatt battery electric storage system in Otay Mesa, which is immediately adjacent both to the eastern border of San Diego and to the northern border of Mexico and near the Richard J. Donovan state prison facility. Fires have been a recurring problem for the battery electric storage industry, which may be one reason why, according to Heatmap polling , it is the form of carbon-free power least popular with the general public.

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  • 4. Pope calls climate change a ‘road to death’

    Pope Francis has called climate change “a road to death” in an interview with CBS Evening News . “Unfortunately, we have gotten to a point of no return,” he said. “It’s sad, but that’s what it is. Global warming is a serious problem.” The pope has been very outspoken about the climate crisis, urging governments to stop using fossil fuels and pitching the state of the environment as a moral issue. Last week the Vatican hosted a climate conference that focused on building resilience as the crisis intensifies. It culminated in the signing of a protocol that urges wealthy nations to finance adaptation and protection for the world’s poorest, and calls for an end to fossil fuel subsidies, among other priorities.

    5. Light-duty EVs overtake rail on U.S. electricity usage

    Here’s an interesting little statistic for you: In 2023, light-duty electric vehicles consumed more electricity than the nation’s railways, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Annual railway electricity usage has hovered around 7,000 Gigawatt hours (GWh) since 2003, making it the largest electricity end-use category in the transportation sector. But that changed last year when EVs took the top spot, using 7,596 GWh. The EIA notes this is nearly five times the amount of electricity EVs consumed in 2018. The numbers underscore two trends: the limited expansion of U.S. rail, and the explosive growth of EV sales. EIA


    “I just watch their jaws drop and the surprise of ‘Where did this come from? This is an hour outside of Boise?’” –Chris Geroro, a fly fisher in southeastern Oregon, describes the beauty of the Owyhee River watershed , one of the country’s largest areas of pristine wilderness that is also prime for green development.

    Read more: This Is How You Die of Extreme Heat

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