2020 Breaks Another Record: Most Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters

2020 Breaks Another Record: Most Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters

We know it was the hottest year on record (tied for the top spot with 2016), that the 2010’s were the hottest decade on record, and that the last 6 years have been the hottest ever.  Now this grim total:  in 2020 there were 22 weather and climate disasters.

Why This Matters:  Climate change is getting more and more expensive each year.

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Races to Watch: Ernst’s Climate Change Doubts Could Put Greenfield Over the Top

Races to Watch: Ernst’s Climate Change Doubts Could Put Greenfield Over the Top

Senator Joni Ernst won her way into the Senate in 2014 on a conservative platform and a boast about the ability to cut through the red tape in Washington (she would make the pigs in Washington squeal).  But now her ties to big oil and gas in D.C. are putting her at odds with Iowa farmers who make biofuels. 

Why This Matters:  While it is not her top issue, the Democratic, Theresa Greenfield, does not shy away from climate change.

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Climate Change Is Causing a Stinking Mess in the South — Mold

Climate Change Is Causing a Stinking Mess in the South — Mold

The amount of rainfall and the number of severe storms that have hit the Southeastern U.S. are causing a lingering, stinking problem —  mold. The State’s Sammy Fretwell reports that researchers who studied the explosion of mold that occurred in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina 15 years ago now see the same thing happening throughout South Carolina after five years of excessive rain and numerous hurricanes.

Why This Matters:  Mold caused by one storm is awful, but when it is caused by repeated storms and lingering moisture under floors and in walls, there is no easy fix.

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COVID Pandemic Stalls NYC Resilience Funding Bill — Minorities Stand to Lose The Most

COVID Pandemic Stalls NYC Resilience Funding Bill — Minorities Stand to Lose The Most

Eight years ago Superstorm Sandy killed 44 people in New York City, cost the City approximately $19 billion in damages and lost economic activity according to city officials, and left more than 69,000 residences damaged.  Inside Climate News’ Kristoffer Tigue reported that earlier this year the New York state legislature was poised to pass a $3b bill called the “Restore Mother Nature Bond Act,” which would have allowed the state to issued bonds to help fund projects specifically geared toward reducing New York’s flood risk.  

Why This Matters:  Advocates argue that this delay in climate adaptation funding will hurt New York City’s low-income communities of color, which already bear a disproportionate burden of climate impacts.

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Venice Floods Again — What to Do When You Can’t Move to Higher Ground?

Venice Floods Again — What to Do When You Can’t Move to Higher Ground?

The historic city of Venice (a UNESCO world heritage site) flooded for the third time in a week, with Piazza St. Mark closed to tourists again on Sunday, and in Pisa and Florence torrential rains threaten to flood there too as the President of the region warned of a “flood wave” on the Arno that threads through both cities. 

Why This Matters:  Venice is a world treasure — it’s a city that floods with millions of tourists each year and is home to about 50,000 residents who depend on them. Its future is very much in doubt given the repeated and devastating floods — its residents are beginning to believe they are fighting a losing battle.

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Investigation By Associated Press Reveals More Than 1600 Risky Dams in the U.S.

Investigation By Associated Press Reveals More Than 1600 Risky Dams in the U.S.

The results of a two-year investigation by the Associated Press (AP) were published this week and the findings were shocking — nearly 1,700 dams located in 44 states and Puerto Rico were rated as “high-hazard” dams that are in poor or unsatisfactory condition.  Experts believe the actual number of risky dams is even higher — […]

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