Also: How Jonathan Gold saw Los Angeles, and the international security risks of rapid urbanization.
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What We’re Following
Come rain or come shine: “They could have warned us. They could have taken steps to minimize or avoid the damage. In fact, they had a responsibility to do both, but they didn’t, and that’s why we are taking them to court.” With that announcement from Solicitor Andre Davis, Baltimore joined a growing movement of cities suing Big Oil over their contributions to climate change. It’s following in the footsteps of 12 other cities, including New York and San Francisco—but it’s naming significantly more companies and offenses in the case for climate reparations.
With a 60-mile waterfront, Charm City is especially vulnerable to rising seas. Intense weather and recent flooding in nearby Ellicott City underscore the heightened risk posed to both infrastructure and property as climate disasters hit harder. As the city argues, the cost of denying climate change is all too real. Now the question is: Who will pay for it?
CityLab’s Sarah Holder has the story: Baltimore Is Suing Big Oil
More on CityLab
Diesel on the Bus
As transit agencies around the country switch to electric buses to reduce their carbon footprint, a devil’s advocate might ask, “but what about the emissions from electricity?” It turns out it’s cleaner to charge a bus battery than to run a diesel or natural gas bus, no matter where you live.
The map above from the Union of Concerned Scientists shows how many miles per gallon it would take a diesel bus to match the emissions used to charge a bus battery (the differences stem from the different sources of energy used in regions’ electrical grids). The average diesel bus gets about 4.8 miles per gallon, and electric buses can sometimes get two or three times the mileage for equivalent exhaust. CityLab context: Five tech breakthroughs that could make you love the bus
What We’re Reading
How Donald Trump’s war on immigrants is playing out in New York (Marshall Project)
It’s called “vomit fraud” and it could make your Uber trip really expensive (Miami Herald)
How to tell if climate change will destroy your apartment (Medium)
The problem with turning urban problems into video games (Curbed)