September 10, 2020
Covid-19 may only be the beginning in a new era of global pandemics, warns a new study led by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the United States' foremost leading expert on infectious diseases. It's the latest research to make such a conclusion as scientists increasingly believe climate change and the ways humans use land exacerbate the conditions that make such diseases more common, our reporting found.
Iowa Farmers Are Feeling the Effects of Climate Change. That Could Make Things Harder for Joni Ernst
The candidates for the Iowa Senate race share some similarities. Both are "farm kids." Both support biofuels. But on climate change, they're far, far apart. Could that affect the vote? This story is part of our Senate 2020 series, which focuses on the climate records of candidates in 11 key races in the November elections that will determine the future of U.S. climate policy.
A prominent green group is planning to drop a massive amount of money on November's elections to defeat President Trump and other Republicans. A super PAC affiliated with the League of Conservation Voters and related groups is aiming to spend more than $100 million on the elections, breaking the organization's previous record of $85 million in 2018.
Oil giant BP has taken its first major step into the offshore wind industry with the purchase of a $1.1 billion stake in two U.S. offshore wind projects being developed by Norwegian state oil company Equinor. The oil companies will also team up to develop more wind farms off the U.S. coast after agreeing a strategic partnership to help corner the fast-growing market for offshore wind.
Fifteen states are suing the Trump administration over its plan for opening up nearly 1.6 million acres of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil and gas development—the latest legal challenge to say the plan threatens habitats and could worsen climate change. Two other lawsuits over the drilling plan, on behalf of indigenous and environmental groups, have already been announced.
September 9, 2020
The presidential election is not the only race this November that will decide the future of climate policy. About a dozen Senate races will be key for determining whether the next president can carry out his agenda. Six races are considered true toss ups, with candidates on both sides going after moderate voters.
After years of being in lock step with the Trump administration's fossil fuel agenda, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell now admits humans are causing global warming. But the longtime GOP powerbroker still has no plan to address it. Can a retired fighter pilot who views climate change as a national security threat unseat him?
Despite Covid-related lockdowns, concentrations of greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere hit a record high of 414.38 parts per million this year, with global temperatures having reached 1.1 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, a new United Nations report says. It shows how close the world already is to failing to meet international goals meant to prevent the worst of the climate crisis by 2100.
Over Labor Day weekend, the fire storms that plagued California and Colorado in August blew up into an unprecedented siege of wildfires across half a dozen western states. Fire scientists and incident commanders warn that a series of almost unheard of events over the weekend—including mass helicopter evacuations—may become commonplace as the West warms.
The Trump administration may have pulled the United States out of the Paris climate accord, but most states and many rural areas in America have developed their own plans for reducing carbon emissions and moving away from fossil fuels as they maneuver to address the threat of climate change. They want stimulus funds aimed at the Covid-19 recovery to help.
Trillions of dollars are on the table, as governments around the globe seek to dig out from the economic crater caused by the coronavirus. Mayors of some of the world's biggest cities want that money to also combat climate change. "Mayors are in a position to really define what a recovery from Covid-19 looks like," said David Miller, a former mayor of Toronto.
More than a billion people face being displaced within 30 years as the climate crisis and rapid population growth drive an increase in migration, with "huge impacts" for both the developing and developed worlds, a new analysis warns. The report found 19 countries facing significant ecological threats, including water and food shortages and greater exposure to natural disasters.
A lucrative cottage industry to install illegal devices that bypass or eliminate emission controls in vehicles has cropped up in recent years, despite being in violation of the Clean Air Act. Shops advertise that "delete kits" will improve mileage and extend the lifespan of expensive car parts, and federal regulators estimate more than 500,000 diesel pickup trucks have had the kits installed since 2009.
September 8, 2020
New wildfires ravaged California during a scorching Labor Day weekend that saw a dramatic airlift of more than 200 people trapped by flames and ended with the state's largest utility turning off power to 172,000 customers to try to prevent its power lines and other equipment from sparking more fires. Unsafe conditions have complicated ongoing rescue operations as of Tuesday morning.
The Trump administration wants to allow logging across more than 6,000 acres of the Tongass National Forest in Alaska, a move that critics say will exacerbate climate change and harm wildlife habitats. The land sale, proposed by the Forest Service on Friday, would include a large swath of "old growth" forest that's considered a vital carbon sink.
Video: As Covid-19 Hinders City Efforts to Protect Residents From the Heat, Community Groups Step In
Increasingly frequent extreme heat is compounding threats in areas already disproportionately impacted by Covid-19 and socioeconomic inequalities. In this Brooklyn neighborhood, where hundreds of trees were removed in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and public spaces often used to keep residents cool are closed because of the pandemic, this community-led effort hopes to provide relief from the heat.
Scorching temperatures continued to bake Southern California on Sunday, with a record of 121 degrees Fahrenheit set in Los Angeles County and at least one death, a 41-year-old hiker, suspected to be related to the heat. A high-pressure system and an offshore flow that prevented the sea breeze from cooling the shore helped lock the region in the extreme heat.
In lieu of federal action on climate change, Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu and a team of local activists and stakeholders have greatly expanded the city's plan to fight climate change. Called the Boston Green New Deal and Just Recovery plan, the measure takes social justice and public health into account in the city's approach to climate action.
Americans support far more aggressive government regulation to fight the effects of climate change than elected officials have been willing to pursue so far, new research shows, including outright bans on building in flood- or fire-prone areas. The findings suggest that the public's appetite for government action to prepare for global warming is shifting as natural disasters worsen.
In their upcoming book, "All We Can Save," Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine K. Wilkinson compiled essays, poetry and other works by women to highlight and celebrate women leaders and historical figures in the climate movement, including Eunice Newton Foote, who connected CO2 levels to global warming as early as 1856.
Environmental factors such as air pollution and heat waves, exacerbated by climate change, contribute to around 13 percent of all deaths in Europe, according to a new European Environment Agency report. A total of 630,000 deaths in the European Union's 27 countries plus Britain were attributable to environmental factors in 2012, the latest year for which data are available, the report said.
September 4, 2020
Seizing the mantle of a progressive movement linked to his decades-long efforts to combat climate change, Sen. Ed Markey's mix of ground game and digital operations led to a decisive defense of his U.S. Senate seat Tuesday against Rep. Joe Kennedy, MassLive Media reports. Markey won with a nearly 11-point advantage, at 55.4 percent to Kennedy's 44.5 percent.
Six young Portuguese activists launched a European human rights case on Thursday against 33 countries in the latest legal effort to force governments to step up their fight against climate change. The claim asks the European Court of Human Rights to hold the countries, European Union members among them, accountable for not doing more to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
With the November election around the corner and major corporations pledging to reduce their emissions, Michael Vandenbergh's research on the growing marketplace response to global warming in lieu of strong government action is now more important than ever. "I'm only hoping that the private sector can buy us a little time," Vandenbergh said.
An advocacy group on Thursday sued the Environmental Protection Agency over its decision not to regulate a chemical commonly used in rocket fuel that has been linked to fetal and infant brain damage. The agency announced in June that it would not regulate perchlorate even though it estimates that up to 620,000 people could be drinking water contaminated with a concerning amount of the chemical.
Smithfield Foods, the world's biggest pork producer, has pledged to cut emissions from its own operations to zero, but fell short of making more ambitious targets for its supply chain, Bloomberg reports. Accounting for third-party operations has been an ongoing struggle for the meat industry, which faces growing pressure from investors and retailers to reduce its massive carbon footprint.
Massive and mysterious holes, some reaching a hundred feet in width and depth, have been appearing across the Siberian tundra since 2013, leaving many researchers scratching their heads. Now, scientists believe the holes are linked to explosions caused by buildups of methane gas, which are likely a result of warming temperatures in the region.
September 3, 2020
The city of Hoboken, New Jersey, has filed a lawsuit against ExxonMobil and other major oil and gas companies, accusing the companies of defrauding the public about the dangers of global warming and the role their products play in exacerbating it. The city is the 20th municipality, state or private organization to sue the fossil fuel industry over climate change since 2017.
The Arctic has experienced the worst fire season on record for the second year in a row, with giant wildfires sending over one third more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than last year, Bloomberg reports. Fires raging across the Arctic Circle emitted 244 million tons of carbon dioxide for the first six months of the year, compared to 181 million tons for all of 2019.
Vice President Mike Pence's fight to block climate action began long before he became President Donald Trump's stalwart second-in-command. The former Indiana governor came into Trump's orbit with a reputation as a culture warrior against "the left," and he has described his defense of the fossil fueled-economy as part of that ideological battle. We take a deeper look at his climate record.