Governor Proposes $536 Million To Fight 2021 California Wildfire Season

Governor Proposes $536 Million To Fight 2021 California Wildfire Season

As California’s wildfire season approaches, Governor Gavin Newsom is proposing $536 million in emergency and other funding to combat and prevent fires this year. The plan invests in additional firefighters, fuel breaks around vulnerable communities, and wildfire response capacity.  

Why This Matters: California’s 2020 fire season burned a record-breaking 4.2 million acres and experts say that severe drought may make this season even more destructive.

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Farmers in Northern Plains Brace For Drought

Farmers in Northern Plains Brace For Drought

by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer As summer approaches, the Northern Plains of the United States and the Canadian Prairies, which are the world’s key growing regions for canola and spring wheat, are experiencing a record-breaking drought.  Now, farmers fear that these parched fields won’t yield enough crop to satisfy unusually high demand. This fear […]

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Due To Extended Drought, This Year’s Fire Season Could Be Worse Than Last

Due To Extended Drought, This Year’s Fire Season Could Be Worse Than Last

Last year’s wildfire season was exceptionally bad — more than 4.2 million acres burned in California alone in 2020. Experts suspect that this year could also bring severe wildfires, given that 40% of the West is being classified as being in “extreme” to “exceptional” drought. 

Why this Matters:  The West has had seasons of drought throughout its history, but with climate change and a boom in population growth, an increase in water demand could make the West even drier as we confront the reality of climate change.

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Climate Change A Major Factor for Central American Migrants Fleeing to US click button

Climate Change A Major Factor for Central American Migrants Fleeing to US

The mainstream media often cites Hurricanes Eta (a devastating Category 4 hurricane that caused heavy damage in early November 2020) and Iota (it underwent explosive intensification and became a rare Category 5 hurricane in mid-November) as a major factor driving the migration to the U.S. Southwestern border. 

Why This Matters:  Hurricanes like Eta and Iota will only become more commonplace as the globe continues to warm.  But the migration driving climate stressors go beyond severe coastal storms to drought, desertification, sea-level rise and heavy flooding.

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Government Forecast Finds Nearly Two-Thirds of U.S. Experiencing Drought

Government Forecast Finds Nearly Two-Thirds of U.S. Experiencing Drought

A new government climate forecast found that nearly two-thirds of the continental U.S. is in a moderate to exceptional drought that is expected to grow more severe over the coming months. 74 million people will likely experience the most significant spring drought since 2013.

Why This Matters: Experts say these conditions may be here to stay. In January, water experts announced that the entire American west is experiencing a “forever drought” that exacerbates wildfires, biodiversity loss, water scarcity, and more.

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Florida and Georgia Asking the Supreme Court to Draw a Line on Water

Florida and Georgia Asking the Supreme Court to Draw a Line on Water

Florida and Georgia faced off again in the Supreme Court on Monday, asking the Justices to settle their long-running dispute over water.  The problem is that there is not enough to go around in three rivers the emanate in Georgia but flow through Florida to the Gulf of Mexico. 

Why This Matters:  The states failed to reach a water compact more than a decade ago — now they have nowhere else to go but the Supreme Court, which has “original jurisdiction” over a dispute between two states.

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