The billionaire estimated that climate change could be as deadly as the pandemic by 2060 — only to increase casualties fivefold by 2100. “Within the next 40 years, increases in global temperatures are projected to raise global mortality rates by the same amount — 14 deaths per 100,000,” he wrote. “By the end of the century, if emissions growth stays high, climate change could be responsible for 73 extra deaths per 100,000 people.”
The additional pressure of the pandemic has focused new attention on why disasters are so damaging in the United States: Underfunded emergency and public health agencies, weak home construction standards that make evacuation so frequently necessary, and racial and income disparities that put some communities at greater risk. But the growing toll of disasters might also generate the pressure required to address those problems, experts say.
“You can’t go outside and if you do, you gotta limit your exposure,” he continued, “and try to finish quickly, so you can get back into someplace that’s air conditioned. I just feel like the heat and humidity is just closing in on me, you know, like I’m being put into a sweat box or something.”
Twin emergencies on two coasts this week - Hurricane Isaias and the Apple Fire - offer a preview of life in a warming world and the steady danger of overlapping disasters
The recent typhoon in the Philippines illustrates the challenges ahead. Strong winds and severe flooding forced many to break quarantine and flee to cramped evacuation centers, where social-distancing protocols are virtually impossible to maintain. Distancing rules have complicated the rescue of some 200,000 people who are at risk from flooding or landslides. The number of people in need of aid- already significant during lockdown- has increased substantially. And already resource-constrained hospitals are expected to be overwhelmed further by a surge of patients with infectious diseases that are likely to proliferate as climate change progresses, such as dengue and leptospirosis.
During the first wave of Covid, the hot spots were in New York, Detroit and New Orleans. That lines up exactly with front-line communities exposed to climate change. It’s never normal to surround people with toxic air pollution and cause them all sorts of respiratory problems, but before Covid that was the normal drumbeat of injustice. I think Covid has helped break that normalization.
China's covid-19 stimulus plan isn't as green as it looks. Jobs and social stability are likely to become Beijing's higher policy priorities.
The current batch of darker, grimmer disaster-skewing blockbusters are less about saving the world and more about living with its inevitable demise.
In recent years, smoke from huge Northern California wildfires has sometimes choked the Bay Area, creating unhealthy air quality. With fire season underway this year, how will smoke affect people who have or are recovering from COVID-19, or those with chronic lung diseases? “It’s concerning because we don’t need yet another problem to contend with,” said Dr. Vinayak Jha, a pulmonologist in San Francisco affiliated with Sutter Health’s California Pacific Medical Center.
The pandemic shows us above all, I think, that twenty-first-century survival depends on an ability to handle chaos: that our political leaders, and our other institutions, have to devote themselves as never before to humane competence. And, as this summer’s racial reckoning should remind us, the pain that’s coming needs to be distributed far more fairly. We’re fast running out of margin. The capacity of political systems to respond to extreme stress can’t be predicted as numerically as the response of physical systems to extra carbon, but it will be measured, as with covid-19, in deaths. Just on a much larger scale.
One of the first and most pressing tasks for the next administration will be to restore science to its rightful place and restore a culture of scientific integrity to institutions across the federal government. These are among the reasons why the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund has joined dozens of other organizations to promote pro-science measures for the next presidential term, written guides for federal scientists to understand existing scientific integrity protections, and supported expanding safeguards for federal scientists under the bipartisan Scientific Integrity Act.
Traffic was shut down in northern Italy. Most industrial activity was shut down. Businesses and schools were closed. Because it was a warm spring, there was less home heating than usual. “And so the big question is why didn't we have a larger effect?” said the senior scientist at the European Institute on Economics & the Environment. “And the answer, we find, is agriculture.”
Though Miami faces a COVID-19 budget shortfall that will force City Hall to make tough budgetary decisions, it cannot allow for its bold promise of an equitable and climate-resilient Miami to fall victim to austerity politics. As rising sea levels, increased flooding and intensifying storms threaten Miami’s viability, the decision to terminate the Office of Resilience and Sustainability is not only myopic - it divests from the future of young people living in Miami.
The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee warns that food insecurity is "likely to get worse before it gets better" because of risks including a second wave of coronavirus cases, as well as potential disruption and delays to the food supply system as a result of a "disorderly Brexit". The committee analysed the government's response to the disruption to food supplies caused by COVID-19.
COVID-19 has set back the solar industry significantly. SEIA estimates that 65,000 solar jobs already have been lost due to COVID-19, wiping out five years of job growth. Implementing SolarAPP can help local governments spur solar job growth by attracting solar companies to work in their permitting-friendly jurisdictions and encouraging them to expand into new and untapped markets. To date, installers have entirely avoided some jurisdictions with onerous permitting, reinforcing the unequal distribution of solar industry effort; only five states account for two-thirds of all cumulative residential solar installations.