Worsening Climate Change Could Make It Harder to Vote

Originally published by Prism. Twenty-seven days before the 2018 midterm elections, Hurricane Michael made landfall on the Florida panhandle and devastated tens of thousands of homes and buildings, displacing families and forcing the closure of multiple polling locations in eight impacted counties. The polling place consolidation led to a 7% decline in voter turnout that year, which was roughly the equivalent of 13,800 ballots going uncast in the election, according to analysis from the Brennan Center for Justice. Climate change means that extreme weather events like hurricanes are becoming increasingly frequent and devastating due to both their intensity and the…

Hurricane Ian Knocks Out Electricity for All of Cuba

The entire island of Cuba was without electricity early Wednesday after Hurricane Ian collapsed the country’s power grid and left behind significant damage as it barreled toward the coast of Florida, strengthening into an even more destructive Category 4 storm. Around a million people lost power Tuesday as Hurricane Ian lashed the island with heavy rain and wind, tearing off people’s roofs, devastating farms, and reportedly killing at least two people. By late Tuesday, Cuba’s entire power grid had collapsed, leaving roughly 11 million without electricity. One major Cuban farm owner said the storm “was apocalyptic, a real disaster.” The…

Historic Tropical Storm Fiona Swept Homes Into Ocean in Eastern Canada

At least eight homes were reportedly swept into the sea in southern Newfoundland Saturday after post-Tropical Storm Fiona slammed into eastern Canada with winds racing at nearly 81 miles per hour and the lowest barometric pressure ever recorded for a storm in the country. After knocking out power in Puerto Rico last week when it hit the U.S. territory as a Category 1 hurricane and intensifying to a Category 4 storm as it approached Bermuda, Fiona made landfall in Nova Scotia, where it caused “very extensive damage” at an airport in Sydney and cut off power for more than 415,000…

US Has Cut Water Supplies for 7 States During Climate-Induced Drought

The federal government’s recent announcement that it would impose significant cutbacks in water allocations to the seven states reliant on water from the drought-stricken Colorado River is the latest sign that climate change is ravaging global water systems. Arizona will lose more than 20 percent of its water allocation, and Nevada 8 percent. Northern Mexico, which is also reliant on the Colorado River and has been provided 1.5 million acre feet of water per year from the river since a water-sharing treaty between the two countries was signed in 1944, is being hit hard as well, with a 7 percent…

Biden Mulls Climate Emergency Declaration as Wildfire Sweeps California

Thousands of emergency workers in California struggled to fight a rapidly growing wildfire near Yosemite National Park on Sunday as President Joe Biden continued to mull whether to declare a national climate emergency, a move that campaigners say is needed to respond to the immediate threat of extreme weather and lay the groundwork for a livable future. Dubbed the Oak Fire, the California blaze was completely uncontained as of Sunday afternoon, having tripled in size since it began on Friday. The fire has now burned more than 14,000 acres, making it California’s largest wildfire of the season. “Explosive fire behavior…

More Than 1,000 Die as Record-Breaking Heat and Wildfires Scorch Europe

Record-breaking heat has killed over 1,000 people in Western Europe over the past week, while firefighters battle to contain blazes scorching swathes of three countries amid a worsening climate emergency, officials said this weekend. El País reports heat killed 360 people in Spain between July 10 and July 15. This follows the heat-related deaths of more than 800 people last month, according to the Spanish government’s Carlos III Health Institute. Madrid-Barajas International Airport recorded an all-time high temperature of 108°F Thursday, while some Spanish municipalities registered highs of 110°F to 113°F. One 60-year-old Madrid sanitation worker collapsed in the middle…

Private Law Has Failed to Hold Chemical Facilities Accountable During Disasters

Recently, a group of national security and environmental experts, including former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christine Todd Whitman, former Occupational Safety and Health Administration head David Michaels, and retired United States Army Generals Russel Honoré and Randy Manner, wrote to EPA Administrator Michael Regan. They urged the agency to issue stronger and stricter regulations to protect Americans from chemical accidents that may be caused by natural disasters, among other factors. These natural disasters are more and more frequently the result of climate change, which is escalating decade by decade. As a global phenomenon with frightening environmental implications happening right before…

UN Weather Agency Sounds Alarm on Extreme Events in Antarctica

Scientists with the United Nations weather agency on Friday expressed fresh concern over the climate crisis following recent extreme events in Antarctica — an area they say should not be taken “for granted.” The remarks from climate experts with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) — delivered just ahead of a key report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — follow last month’s collapse of East Antarctica’s Conger Ice Shelf, record warm temperatures, and rare rainfall. “Antarctica has often been referred to as a ‘sleeping giant,’” said Mike Sparrow, head of the WMO co-sponsored World Climate Research Program, in a…

Climate Crisis Fuels Late-December Wildfires Ravaging Colorado

Tens of thousands of Coloradans were forced to flee their homes Thursday as two fast-moving wildfires — whipped up by wind gusts reaching 110 mph — tore through communities just outside of Denver, engulfing entire neighborhoods in flames and destroying hundreds of buildings. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has declared a state of emergency to help aid the disaster response as officials characterized the late-December fire event as among the worst in the state’s history. “None of this is normal,” said Colorado state Rep. Leslie Herod (D-8). “We are not OK.” Experts said the combination of months of unusually dry conditions,…

Amazon Slammed for Putting Profits Over Safety After 6 Die in Warehouse Collapse

Amazon was accused Saturday of putting corporate profits above worker safety following the tornado-caused partial collapse of a St. Louis-area warehouse that left at least six people dead. “Time and time again Amazon puts its bottom line above the lives of its employees,” said Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), in a statement. “Requiring workers to work through such a major tornado warning event as this was inexcusable.” Appelbaum’s remarks came after an outbreak of over 20 devastating tornadoes late Friday tore through multiple states and killed dozens of people. In addition to Illinois,…

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