This year will be remembered for searing images of the Amazon burning at an unprecedented rate (there were so many fires you could see them from space), with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro alternating between downplaying the severity of them and then sending in Brazilian military troops to fight the tens of thousands of fires burning there. As we reported, world leaders and environmental organizations — even the Pope — pushed Brazil to take action — and the worst part was most of the fires were started by people who wanted to clear land for agriculture and other development. But fires were bad all over the planet — from the Arctic tundra in Greenland, Alaska, and Siberia, to Australia, and of course, California.Continue Reading 511 words
The Houston Chronicle published an eye-opening story about how extreme weather events are leaving many small businesses in ruins. The paper reported that, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, nearly 40 percent of small businesses never reopen following a natural disaster, and another 25 percent fail within months.
Why This Matters: Big companies can recover from extreme weather events, but small businesses with slim profit margins will struggle to stay afloat. Red states along the Gulf of Mexico may be ground zero of this phenomenon, along with California. Helping small businesses recover is another climate impact we will need to deal with in the years to come given the increase in the frequency of extreme weather events.Continue Reading 424 words
By Stephen H. Hagerty, Mayor of Evanston, Illinois Our nation is facing a heightened risk from natural and man-made disasters. Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires, active shooters. We see it practically every time we turn on the television, pick up a newspaper, or glance at social media. Due to a changing climate, so-called 100-year flooding […]Continue Reading 737 words
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Chris Kilham, is an ethnobotanist and a former Explorer-in-Residence at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has visited the Amazon 35 times, working in Brazil, Peru, Ecuador and French Guiana to support the forests, rivers, people, wildlife, foods, and medicines that are part of the Amazon’s rich ecosystem. We asked him about the impact of […]Continue Reading 525 words
After threats of trade retaliation from the EU, ridicule at the G7, and even pressure from the Pope, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has made the unexpected move of deploying troops to help fight the devastating fires raging in the Amazon rainforest. As CNN explained, “Brazil’s space research center (INPE) said this week that the country has […]Continue Reading 487 words
Extreme temperatures in Alaska are causing an outbreak of explosive wildfires throughout the state, with Fairbanks, Anchorage experiencing its warmest March to date, as reported recently by Our Daily Planet. Just in the week of July 3rd, more than 600,000 acres of lands burned – doubling the year-to-date burn total which now sits at 1.28 million acres. By the end of the year, it is estimated that 2 million to 3 million acres will have been engulfed in flames. Fires are not only getting more frequent, but increasingly bigger and harder to contain. In Anchorage, the Hess Creek fire is now the largest fire in the U.S. at over 149,000 acres.Continue Reading 507 words
This week the tragic fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral was juxtaposed with the House Resources Committee field hearing on the damage oil and gas drilling is doing to our own priceless American cultural heritage in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. At Notre Dame, the stories of the heroism shown by Father Jean-Marc Fournier who guided […]Continue Reading 332 words
This summer Australia shattered its heat records, with temperatures nationwide 3.8°F, above the 1961-90 average, according to Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BOM). In a summary put out by the Bureau, they summed it up this way, “Mean and maximum temperature for the season broke previous records by large margins; both almost one degree above the record set in 2012–13.”Continue Reading 450 words
President Trump issued an Executive Order late last year directing the Secretaries of Agriculture and Interior to increase logging on lands under their agencies’ control by 31% above levels of timber harvest in 2017. The Washington Post reported that the President had been itching to sign this Order — he wanted to do it during his trip to California in mid-November, an inside source told The Post, but it wasn’t ready for his signature. The order only became public earlier this week.Continue Reading 407 words