“Godzilla” Saharan Dust Cloud Reaches U.S. Shores, Decreasing Air Quality in the South

“Godzilla” Saharan Dust Cloud Reaches U.S. Shores, Decreasing Air Quality in the South

Satellite images show a thick dust plume that is more than 5000 miles long, which originates in the African Saraha Desert, has reached South Florida and is expected to have noticeable negative impacts on air quality across the Gulf states this weekend. 

Why This Matters:  A dust cloud this long is rare but it can be quite serious for people with lung conditions.  Many Caribbean islands have experienced dangerous air quality and forecasters are giving the same warnings now in Florida and other southern states.

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In Puerto Rico, Battling Coronavirus and Climate Change

In Puerto Rico, Battling Coronavirus and Climate Change

There are five confirmed cases of coronavirus in Puerto Rico so far, but the residents of the island are taking big steps to try to prevent the further spread of the disease, such as a strictly-enforced curfew from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. and the closure of ‘non-essential’ businesses like shopping malls or recreation centers.

Why This Matters: Puerto Rico is now home to 3.5 million Americans and it is “one of the world’s most storm-vulnerable regions,” according to the Associated Press.

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The VA Has Not Updated Its Climate Assessments and Plans In Five Years

The VA Has Not Updated Its Climate Assessments and Plans In Five Years

While the Defense Department has had to provide annual reports to Congress on the expected impacts of climate change on military installations and operations, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) had not done a similar assessment since 2014

Why This Matters:  There are many facilities providing vital services to veterans that have been already or will be detrimentally impacted by climate change. Veterans already experience inexcusably long wait times for services and health care in some regions of the country — those should not be longer on account of climate change impacts that should have been anticipated by the agency.

 

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Dorian Heading Toward Puerto Rico, Expected to Become a Hurricane

Dorian Heading Toward Puerto Rico, Expected to Become a Hurricane

Tropical Storm Dorian, a “compact” storm that is expected to be upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane by the time it passes the Dominican Republic and to impact Puerto Rico by tonight or early tomorrow, according to CNN.  CNN also reported that a team of over 200 people from nearly 30 different fire departments in South Florida were deployed to the Caribbean and Puerto Rico on Monday, according to CNN affiliate WPLG-TV. 

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One Republican Lawmaker Blocks $19 billion in Disaster Aid

One Republican Lawmaker Blocks $19 billion in Disaster Aid

Representative Chip Roy, a Republican from Texas, blocked the $19.1 billion federal disaster package, which had passed the Senate last week and was zipping through the House by unanimous consent without a recorded vote because many members had already left D.C. for the district work week.

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As President Trump Perpetuates Falsehoods About Disaster Aid, the Fed Prepares For Climate

As President Trump Perpetuates Falsehoods About Disaster Aid, the Fed Prepares For Climate

Last night the President went to Panama City, Florida ostensibly to deliver disaster aid to a part of the state that was nearly wiped off the map thanks to Hurricane Michael last fall.  He also toured Tyndall Air Force Base that was completely destroyed by the hurricane.  Both areas are struggling to rebuild while federal disaster relief funds remain tied up in Congress due to the President’s refusal to agree to additional disaster relief for Puerto Rico in the same disaster relief package. 

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