August 11, 2020

The US Needs to Address Its Climate Migration Problem

Rising seas, storm surges and coastal flooding are displacing communities from Alaska to Louisiana to Maryland, and it's time for Congress to get serious about helping them find higher ground, a new report from the Government Accountability Office says. That includes identifying and providing assistance "for communities that express affirmative interest in relocation as a resilience strategy."

Delta Air Lines Bought an Oil Refinery. It Didn’t Go as Planned.

Delta Air Lines, widely considered by analysts as one of the best-run airlines in the country, is facing criticism for its decision in 2012 to purchase an oil refinery meant to offset fuel costs. The refinery, which has hardly been a money maker, is now a liability for the airline as the pandemic continues to pummel both the aviation and oil industries, The New York Times reports.

Mauritius Must Brace for 'Worst Case Scenario' After Oil Spill, Prime Minister Says

A Japanese ship that ran aground on a reef off Mauritius two weeks ago has now stopped leaking oil into the Indian Ocean but the island nation must still prepare for "a worst case scenario", Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth said late on Monday. Conservationists said they were starting to find dead fish as well as seabirds covered in oil, increasing fears of an ecological catastrophe.

August 10, 2020

Leaking Oil Ship That Ran Ground Off Mauritius Could Cause Ecological Disaster

A ship that ran aground off Mauritius leaking tons of oil into the ocean is cracking up, the country's prime minister has said, threatening an even greater ecological and economic disaster for the island nation. Already more than 1,000 tons of fuel has spilled from the ship, threatening coral reefs, white-sand beaches and pristine lagoons that lure tourists from around the world.

Colorado Wildfire Spurs Some Evacuations as It Spreads Rapidly North Of Grand Junction

Hot and dry conditions on Sunday exacerbated the challenges faced by crews trying to control the very active Pine Gulch fire burning north of Grand Junction, Colorado Public Radio reports. The fire, which is burning in Mesa and Garfield counties, grew about 2,000 acres overnight Saturday to a total of about 37 square miles. The spread prompted fire officials to encourage some residents to evacuate.

Why Climate Change Is About to Make Your Bad Commute Worse

As economies reopen, traffic has largely returned to pre-pandemic levels in the nation's large cities, with traffic actually getting worse in many states, the Washington Post reports. Experts now warn that climate change will exacerbate gridlock as increasingly frequent extreme weather events push the country's transportation infrastructure to its limit.

Big Oil Floods Trump Campaign With Millions of Dollars

Since President Trump took office, his favorite Super Pac, America First Action, has raked in millions of dollars from a fossil fuel industry that has enjoyed three plus years of environmental deregulation, The Guardian reports. In June, Trump's campaign took in $10 million from a fundraiser hosted by oil pipeline billionaire Kelcy Warren.

August 7, 2020

Covid-19 Lockdown Will Have 'Negligible' Impact on Climate Crisis, Study Warns

The pandemic lockdowns have led to a sharp drop in worldwide carbon emissions, but it will have "negligible" impact on the climate crisis, a new study warns. The analysis shows the lockdowns cutting warming by just 0.001 degrees Celsius by 2030. But it also suggests government stimulus plans geared toward transitioning to cleaner energy sources could keep warming below international climate targets.

World's Three Hottest Julys on Record Happened in the Last Five Years, Spurring Record Melting

Last month was the world's third-hottest July on record, new data show, the latest milestone in a global warming trend that has seen the three hottest Julys on record within the last five years. The heat has spurred record melting in the Arctic, where sea ice last month hit the lowest level for July since records began 40 years ago, according to the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service.

Why Sprawl Could Be The Next Big Climate Change Battle

"They want to eliminate single-family zoning, bringing who knows into your suburbs," President Trump said on a July campaign call, signaling his latest political attacks will focus on controversies surrounding suburbs and single-family homes. For years, cities across the country have grappled with how zoning rules have deeply codified racial inequity and exacerbated climate change.

Democrats Push White House to Release Documents on Projects Expedited Due to Coronavirus

More than 50 Democratic lawmakers are asking the Trump administration to turn over documents after the White House directed agencies to create a shortlist of construction projects that could be fast tracked to boost the economy during the coronavirus pandemic. In June, President Trump used his emergency authorities to allow companies to skirt environmental regulations with little public notice.

Italian Valley Evacuated as Cathedral-Sized Glacier Slips

A melting glacier as large as a cathedral is at risk of breaking apart due to a heatwave, forcing the evacuation of part of an Italian alpine valley. The alarm was raised on Wednesday afternoon when experts in helicopters realised that the Planpincieux glacier, at an altitude of about 2,800 metres in the Ferret Valley in the Mont Blanc massif, was slipping dangerously.

August 6, 2020

Harris and Ocasio-Cortez Team up on a Climate ‘Equity’ Bill, Leaving Activists Hoping for Unity

When California Sen. Kamala Harris and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez introduced climate "equity" legislation on Thursday, activists saw it as a hopeful sign of Democratic unity less than three months before a hugely consequential election with both the White House and the Senate up for grabs. The bill aims to ensure environmental regulations consider impacts on low-income communities.

Court Cancels Shutdown of Dakota Access Pipeline

A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday reversed a lower court's determination that the Dakota Access Pipeline should be temporarily shut down, saying the ruling wasn't necessary. A district court ordered the pipeline to be shut down last month while the Army Corps of Engineers works to prepare an environmental impact statement for a rule relaxation that allowed it to cross the Missouri River.

US Could Avoid 4.5 Million Early Deaths by Fighting Climate Change, Study Finds

The U.S. stands to avoid 4.5 million premature deaths if it works to keep global temperatures from rising by more than 2 degree Celsius, according to new research from Duke University. The findings, which also associated reduced hospitalizations and emergency room visits with curbing global warming, comes as President Trump prepares to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord in November.

Solving America’s Big Green Mortgage Dilemma

For years, the mortgage industry has expected that incentives to make homes more energy efficient would provide jobs while lowering borrowing rates. But as lenders redouble their efforts to measure the carbon impact of their loans, they're finding that residential mortgages are often one of the biggest line items in their books, Bloomberg reports, putting stress on the effort to make homes greener.

Forecasters Predicting 'Extremely Active' Hurricane Season

Forecasters are predicting an "extremely active" hurricane season this year, with an estimated 24 named storms for 2020, or an increase of about 190 percent of the average season. According to expert meteorologists at Colorado State University, recent Hurricanes Hanna and Isaias are only the beginning of what is expected to be a long storm season ahead.

August 5, 2020

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