Health
Update: Joshua Tree Petition Granted For One Year While Officials Conduct Study

Update: Joshua Tree Petition Granted For One Year While Officials Conduct Study

by Amy Lupica, ODP Contributing Writer On Tuesday, the California Fish and Game Commission voted to accept a petition that will grant the Joshua tree, the famous twisty-limbed yucca plant native to the Mojave desert, endangered species status for one year while the state conducts a study. The plant is now considered a “candidate species” […]

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Wildfire Smoke Increases COVID-19 Risk for Frontline Communities

Wildfire Smoke Increases COVID-19 Risk for Frontline Communities

by Razi Beresin-Scher and Miro Korenha According to recent reporting from The Hill, atmospheric smoke is exacerbating the toll of the COVID-19 virus in Oregon and California. Smoke inhalation weakens the immune systems of those suffering from asthma and other underlying respiratory conditions, compromising their ability to recover from the virus.  Researchers at the Harvard […]

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Study Estimates Number of AC Units Needed Will Triple in Next Thirty Years

Study Estimates Number of AC Units Needed Will Triple in Next Thirty Years

Increasing populations, incomes, urbanization, and temperatures could “triple the number of AC units installed worldwide by midcentury, pushing the total toward 6 billion,” as James Temple reported for the MIT Technology Review. This could create one of the “largest sources of rising electricity demand around the world.”

Why This Matters: This is the paradox of climate change. As the world warms, cooling will be even more necessary.

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Wildfire Smoke is Becoming a Public Health Threat

Wildfire Smoke is Becoming a Public Health Threat

As wildfires rage across the Western United States each summer and fall, the immediate headlines of these disasters focus on the destruction and displacement they cause. However, as we’ve seen this summer, states like California and Colorado have been engulfed by wildfire smoke that’s subsequently spread across the rest of the country. Yet we know […]

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We Need to Focus on Mental Health After Natural Disasters

We Need to Focus on Mental Health After Natural Disasters

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it a national mental health crisis. A CDC survey found that 40% of respondents are struggling with mental health, as CNN explained, “both related to the coronavirus pandemic itself and the measures put in place to contain it, including physical distancing and stay-at-home orders.” And now, according to the […]

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EPA and FL Set To Begin Experimental Mosquito Program To Fight — Mosquitos

EPA and FL Set To Begin Experimental Mosquito Program To Fight — Mosquitos

The office that approves pesticides at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the trial release of 750 million genetically modified mosquitos in the Florida Keys and Texas.  Now the state and the county housing the Florida Keys have approved a pilot project for 2021 and 2022 as a way to defeat the spread of mosquitos that carry Zika and other diseases, while one county in Texas already approved its use in 2021.

Why This Matters:  Trust in government matters when it comes to approving an experiment like this one.  The problem here is that environmental organizations and local citizens groups do not have confidence that the EPA has their best interest at heart.

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