August 28, 2020

August 27, 2020

FEMA Spends More Preparing for Terrorism Than Hurricanes

Even though scientists have warned that climate change is fueling increasingly extreme weather, the Federal Emergency Management Agency—which is tasked with coordinating disaster responses—is spending far more money on counter-terrorism efforts than on ones for natural disasters, Bloomberg reports.

August 26, 2020

Disasters Are Driving a Mental Health Crisis

Half of Houston-area residents have wrestled with powerful or severe emotional distress since Hurricane Harvey deluged the city in 2017, a new survey found, the latest example that climate change-fueled natural disasters are driving a mental health crisis across the nation. Health experts worry the psychological toll—as disasters become more intense and frequent—could be unprecedented.

Senate Democrats Map Out Climate Change Strategy

Senate Democrats on Tuesday released a massive climate plan that they're billing as a roadmap for what they'll do if they can take back the majority after this year's election. The report, at more than 200 pages, includes increasing federal spending on climate action to 2 percent of gross domestic product each year and calls for significant investments to boost low-income communities of color.

Cash-Strapped Caribbean Faces Difficult Recovery After Deadly Storm Laura

Caribbean islands already reeling from the economic impact of Covid-19 started recovering on Tuesday from the damage wrought by Tropical Storm Laura, which left at least 24 dead and damaged thousands of homes and electricity infrastructure. Laura, now a Category 3 hurricane, caused the most damage in Haiti, which is particularly vulnerable to flooding and landslides during heavy rains.

August 25, 2020

Paying for Extreme Weather: Wildfire, Hurricanes, Floods and Droughts Quadrupled in Cost Since 1980

The costs related to natural disasters, growing increasingly intense and frequent because of climate change, have quadrupled since 1980, a new report says. In the U.S. alone, natural disasters, including fires, tropical storms, floods, droughts and crop freezes, have cost the country an estimated $1.77 trillion in those 40 years, with expenses expected to grow steeper as the planet warms.

Climate Is Taking On a Growing Role for Voters, Research Suggests

The number of Americans who feel passionately about climate change is rising sharply, and the issue appears likely to play a more important role in this year's election than ever before, a new survey shows. Furthermore, support for action to curb climate change has not diminished despite the turmoil caused by overlapping economic and health crises worldwide, it found.

Laura Strengthens to Hurricane Status as It Heads for the Gulf Coast

The tropical storm Laura has strengthened to a hurricane and is expected to grow stronger before making landfall in upper Texas and on the southwest coasts of Louisiana later this week, according to new forecasts. The update comes just a day after Marco—another named storm swirling through the Gulf—was downgraded to a Tropical Depression that is expected to disappear Tuesday.

The Largest Solar Array of Its Kind In the US Now Sits Atop a Former Pittsburgh Steel Mill

The largest solar array of its kind—stretching about a quarter mile in length—has been installed and is now operating atop a former Pittsburgh steel mill that houses several tech companies, NPR affiliate WESA reports. The $5 million project, which was built by bridge workers, is an example of the city's efforts to transition to a greener economy while paying homage to its past.

Climate Activists Gain Seats on Harvard Oversight Board

Bucking tradition, a group of climate activists has won three seats in an election to an important governing body at Harvard University, the Board of Overseers, the university announced Friday. The slate of candidates ran on a platform that included calls for the university to drop fossil fuel investments from its portfolio, part of a broader decades-long divestment movement on college campuses.

August 24, 2020

Marco Fizzles As It Nears Gulf Coast; Laura Still To Become Hurricane

Two storms heading for the Louisiana coast will not make history as the first simultaneous hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, but coastal residents are still preparing for heavy rains and storm surge. Marco has weakened to a tropical storm, but Laura is forecast to become a hurricane and make landfall near the Louisiana-Texas border by late Wednesday or early Thursday. 

August 21, 2020

As California Fires Rage, Pandemic Leaves State Hundreds of Firefighters Short

As California battles both wildfires and the pandemic, resources have been "stretched totally thin," according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire). Nearly 150 firefighters from Cal Fire are currently in quarantine because of Covid-19 infection or exposure, while Cal Fire's total number of inmate crews, who help contain fires, have been nearly halved, from 99 to 45 crews.

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