Tag Archives: Water

Rallies Across Africa Demand Global Action, Climate Justice Ahead of UN Summit

“The urgency of the climate crisis cannot be understated, particularly here in Africa, which is the region most vulnerable to climate impacts,” said one campaigner.

By Brett Wilkins  Published 9-23-2022 by Common Dreams

Ugandan climate activists demonstrate in Kampala on September 23, 2022. (Photo: Hilda F. Nakabuye/Twitter)

Thousands of African activists and members of communities on the frontlines of the worsening climate emergency turned out Friday to call on world leaders—who will gather in Egypt in November for the United Nations Climate Summit—to urgently address a crisis that disproportionately impacts their lives.

Demonstrators took to the streets, public spaces, and even waterways in countries across a continent that’s responsible for just 4% of global greenhouse emissions to demand climate justice and an end to fossil fuel exploration and extraction ahead of the U.N.’s COP27 conference, scheduled to start November 6 in Sharm El-Sheikh. Continue reading

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Number of Ultrarich Hits All-Time High as Someone Dies From Hunger Every 4 Seconds

“Those with the power and money to change this must come together to better respond to current crises and prevent and prepare for future ones,” a coalition of charities asserted.

By Brett Wilkins  Published 9-20-2022 by Common Dreams

A Somali woman and her severely malnourished child wait for medical assistance from the African Union Mission in Somalia. Photo: UN

As a new analysis revealed that the global ranks of the superrich soared to a record number, a coalition of charity groups said Tuesday that hundreds of millions of people around the world are hungry—and that someone starves to death every four seconds.

At least 238 international and local charities from 75 countries signed an open letter noting that “a staggering 345 million people are now experiencing acute hunger, a number that has more than doubled since 2019.” Continue reading

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First Hit by Privatization, Puerto Rico in ‘Total Blackout’ as Fiona Makes Landfall

First Hurricane Maria devastated the island in 2017. Then the power grid was privatized in 2020. Now this.

By Jon Queally  Published 9-18-2022 by Common Dreams

NOAA satellite imagery as Hurricane Fiona, a Category 1 storm with sustained windspeeds of 85 mph, made landfall in Puerto Rico on Sunday, September 18, 2022. (Image: Satellite/NOAA)

A “total blackout” was reported on the island of Puerto Rico on Sunday as heavy rainfall and powerful winds pounded the island before Hurricane Fiona made landfall just before 4:00 pm local time.

Weather forecasters said the rainfall is likely to produce devastating landslides and severe flooding, with up to 25 inches (64 cm) expected in some areas. A Category 1 storm, with sustained winds of 85 mph, Fiona is nowhere near as powerful as Hurricane Maria which slammed the island in 2017, nearly five years to the day, as a Category 4 monster. Continue reading

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‘David Beat Goliath’ as Line 3 Water Defenders Win Protective Ruling

“Today’s ruling shows that Hubbard County cannot repress Native people for the benefit of Enbridge by circumventing the law,” said Indigenous water protector Winona LaDuke.

By Brett Wilkins  Published 9-13-2022 by Common Dreams

Police in Hubbard County, Minnesota blockade a driveway to an Indigenous camp of water protectors protesting the Line 3 pipeline. (Photo: Giniw Collective)

Indigenous water defenders and their allies on Tuesday celebrated a Minnesota court ruling protecting a Line 3 protest camp from illegal government repression.

Hubbard County District Judge Jana Austad issued a ruling shielding the Indigenous-led Giniw Collective’s Camp Namewag—where opponents organize resistance to Enbridge’s Line 3 tar sands pipeline—from local law enforcement’s unlawful blockades and harassment. Continue reading

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Intense heat and flooding are wreaking havoc on power and water systems as climate change batters America’s aging infrastructure

Volunteers distributed bottled water after Jackson, Mississippi’s water treatment plant failed during flooding in August 2022.
Brad Vest/Getty Images

 

Paul Chinowsky, University of Colorado Boulder

The 1960s and 1970s were a golden age of infrastructure development in the U.S., with the expansion of the interstate system and widespread construction of new water treatment, wastewater and flood control systems reflecting national priorities in public health and national defense. But infrastructure requires maintenance, and, eventually, it has to be replaced.

That hasn’t been happening in many parts of the country. Increasingly, extreme heat and storms are putting roads, bridges, water systems and other infrastructure under stress. Continue reading

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Locals Celebrate ‘Tremendous Victory’ Against South Louisiana Methanol Petrochemical Complex

The company “finally threw in the towel having learned that our community will not back down in the fight to protect our health and well-being from more industrial pollution,” said Sharon Lavigne of RISE St. James.

By Jessica Corbett  Published 9-9-2022 by Common Dreams

Sharon Lavigne, founder of community group RISE St. James in Louisiana, was the 2021 Goldman Environmental Prize winner for North America. (Photo: Goldman Environmental Prize)

Community organizers and their supporters are celebrating that after years of local resistance, South Louisiana Methanol won’t complete a stalled $2.2 billion petrochemical complex in a region known as “Cancer Alley.”

In a statement Friday, the environmental law organization Earthjustice and groups it has represented in challenges to the project—RISE St. James, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, Healthy Gulf, and Sierra Club—highlighted a letter to the company from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ). Continue reading

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If you thought this summer’s heat waves were bad, a new study has some disturbing news about dangerous heat in the future

Parts of China suffered through a monthslong heat wave in summer 2022.
China Photos/Getty Images

David Battisti, University of Washington

As global temperatures rise, people in the tropics, including places like India and Africa’s Sahel region, will likely face dangerously hot conditions almost daily by the end of the century – even as the world reduces its greenhouse gas emissions, a new study shows.

The mid-latitudes, including the U.S., will also face increasing risks. There, the number of dangerously hot days, marked by temperatures and humidity high enough to cause heat exhaustion, is projected to double by the 2050s and continue to rise.

In the study, scientists looked at population growth, economic development patterns, energy choices and climate models to project how heat index levels – the combination of heat and humidity – will change over time. We asked University of Washington atmospheric scientist David Battisti, a co-author of the study, published Aug. 25, 2022, to explain the findings and what they mean for humans around the world. Continue reading

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In ‘Historic’ Step, Biden EPA Moves to Designate Two Forever Chemicals as Hazardous

Arguing the Biden administration’s new rule isn’t enough, campaigners said, “I-t’s time for EPA to address the whole PFAS class.”

-By Jake Johnson  Published 8-26-2022 by Common Dreams

Photo: Steven Depolo/flickr

The Environmental Protection Agency moved Friday to designate two commonly used “forever chemicals” as hazardous under federal law, a long-awaited step that green groups welcomed as important while also warning it is inadequate to address the scale of toxic pollution caused by the increasingly ubiquitous substances.

The EPA said in a press release that it has proposed a rule to formally classify perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS)—part of a long list of chemical compounds known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)—”as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as ‘Superfund.'” Continue reading

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Climate Crisis Pushing Up to 1 in 6 US Tree Species Toward Extinction: Study

“Understanding the current state of trees within the U.S. is imperative to protecting those species, their habitats, and the countless communities they support.”

By Julia Conley   Published 8-23-2022 by Common Dreams

Black ash trees are among the tree species identified in a new study showing that up to one in six tree species are being pushed toward extinction. Photo: Eli Sagor/flickr/CC

New research published Tuesday reveals both how chronically under-studied tree populations are in the U.S. and how the lack of resources devoted to trees has pushed as much as 16% of all tree species toward the threat of extinction.

After five years of study, a coalition of scientists from Botanic Gardens Conservation International, NatureServe, the U.S. Botanic Garden, and other groups revealed that as many as one in six U.S. tree species are in danger of becoming extinct due largely to disease and invasive insects—both of which have been quietly made more devastating to trees in recent years by the climate crisis. Continue reading

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90% of Marine Species Face Extinction Under Emissions Status Quo: Study

While the research predicts “a potentially bleak future for many marine species,” the authors say it “also measures how much our oceans and the life within them stand to benefit from both climate change mitigation and adaptation.”

By Julia Conley  Published 8-22-2022 by Common Dreams

Various fish including bigscale soldierfish / ‘ū’ū (Myripristis berndti), Moorish idols / kihikihi (Zanclus cornutus), and a masked angelfish (Genicanthus personatus) swim in a small outcropping of coral on a reef in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Photo: Andrew Gray for NOAA/flickr/CC

A new study details the disastrous consequences that would result for marine life across the world’s oceans if current levels of fossil fuel emissions are maintained, with up to 90% of ocean species facing extinction.

Daniel Boyce, a research scientist at Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Nova Scotia, Canada, led the study examining 35,000 species of marine flora and fauna as well as bacteria and protozoans, devising a new analytical tool called the Climate Risk Index for Biodiversity (CRIB). Continue reading

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