Water Utility Collaborates With Farmers to Clean up Pollution
When heavy rain falls in northwest Wisconsin, fertilizer and manure can wash off farm fields into nearby waterways. This pollution contains phosphorus, which can cause algal blooms and foul surface water.
"We know we're going to see increased precipitation events. We know we're going to have more severe precipitation events," says Erin Houghton of NEW Water, Green Bay's wastewater utility.
State regulations require the utility to reduce phosphorus in the water it discharges. But instead of building a $100 million treatment plant, NEW Water decided to tackle the problem at its source.
The utility worked with crop and soil experts and farmers to minimize runoff. They experimented with planting cover crops, tilling the soil less, and planting grass buffers alongside fields.
Houghton says the goal is "keeping those nutrients and soil where they need to be, and on those fields, and really working for that farmer."
She says the early results are promising, so NEW Water is expanding the project into a 20-year plan. The utility is confident that by preventing runoff in the first place, it can reduce phosphorus pollution without an expensive new treatment plant.
As the climate warms, the problem could get worse.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Yale Climate Connections.
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By Simon Evans
Furthermore, the IEA's "renewable energy market update" forecasts nearly 40% higher growth in 2021 than it expected a year ago, putting wind and solar on track to match global gas capacity by 2022.
The Paris-based agency says a "huge" 280 gigawatts (GW) of renewable capacity – primarily wind and solar – was installed globally last year, some 45% higher than the level in 2019, after the largest annual increase in more than 20 years.
This "exceptional" level of annual additions will become the "new normal" in 2021 and 2022, the IEA says, with the potential for further acceleration in the years that follow.
Overall, the IEA says that renewables accounted for 90% of new electricity generating capacity added globally last year and that they will meet the same share in each of the next two years.
In its latest update, the IEA says wind and solar growth forecasts have been "revised upwards by over 25% from last year."
This is based on comparing the new forecast for growth in 2021 (red line in the chart below) to the "main case" published in November 2020 (dashed mid blue). Looking at the figures for 2022, the IEA's new forecast is 30% higher than the main one it published last November.
Annual global growth of wind and solar capacity, 2000-2025. Actual growth is shown in black, while various IEA forecasts are shown in red and shades of blue. Source: Carbon Brief analysis of IEA forecasts. Chart by Carbon Brief using Highcharts.
Wind and solar are now expected to surpass even the "accelerated case" outlined by the agency in November 2020 (dashed dark blue), in which they matched global gas capacity by 2022.
Moreover, the new forecast for 2021 is nearly 40% higher than the one published by the IEA just a year ago, in May 2020 (dashed light blue line).
At the time, the agency had expected renewable additions to be badly hit by the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic, but impacts on the sector were largely confined to the first quarter of the year.
The IEA has repeatedly raised its expectations for wind and solar over the past decade, drawing fire from critics that say – in the words of a 2019 Reuters article – that it has "underplay[ed] the speed at which the world could switch renewable sources of energy."
Last year's flagship IEA World Energy Outlook made a major update to the agency's assumptions about the costs of financing the construction of wind and solar over the next two decades. This gave a significant boost to the agency's expectations for the growth of renewables.
But today's new report, which focuses on near-term growth in 2021 and 2022, contains even higher forecasts for wind and solar growth.
This is shown for solar in the chart below, with red triangles marking the solar growth figures in today's report, the red line showing historical data and the blue and black lines showing successive World Energy Outlooks for solar over the next 20 years, as published between 2009-2020.
Gigawatts of solar capacity added around the world each year (red line) and the IEA renewable market update 2021 (red triangles), as well as IEA World Energy Outlooks published between 2009-2020. Source: Carbon Brief analysis of IEA reports. Chart by Carbon Brief using Highcharts.
Explaining its new forecasts, the IEA points to a number of changes over the past year, as well as areas where its earlier expectations have proved too pessimistic.
The biggest changes in this year's forecast are for China, the IEA notes, where more projects are going ahead without government subsidies than expected. The update says:
"The pipeline of solar PV and wind plant projects accepting provincial electricity prices without additional subsidies has increased since last year, resulting in a more optimistic forecast."
The IEA has, therefore, increased its forecast for growth in China by 45%, boosting total additions in 2021 and 2022 from around 150GW to around 230GW, as shown in the chart below.
Wind and solar growth during 2021 and 2022, according to the IEA's November 2020 forecast (green) and its May 2021 figures (blue). Forecast capacity growth is shown by the bars and the left axis. The percent revision between forecasts is shown by the dots and the right axis.Source: IEA Renewable Energy Market Update 2021
The new China forecast for 2021 and 2022 is lower than the growth seen in 2020, when developers rushed to secure subsidies before they expired, but the IEA now sees less of a slowdown than it had previously expected.
Elsewhere, the IEA has boosted its U.S. forecasts by more than 20% thanks to the expected extension of renewable energy tax credits.
It also points to better-than-expected solar auction volumes in India during 2020, but adds that the ongoing COVID-19 surge in the country creates "short-term uncertainty."
The IEA says there were "record-breaking" competitive auctions for renewable contracts last year, with India and China securing almost 55GW of new capacity at average prices of $60 per megawatt hour (MWh) for wind and $47/MWh for solar.
There was another record-breaking year for corporate renewable energy deals, the IEA adds, with companies signing "power purchase agreements" for nearly 25GW in 2020 – a 25% increase.
In a press release announcing the new figures, IEA chief executive Fatih Birol says:
"Wind and solar power are giving us more reasons to be optimistic about our climate goals as they break record after record. Last year the increase in renewable capacity accounted for 90% of the entire global power sector's expansion…A massive expansion of clean electricity is essential to giving the world a chance of achieving its net-zero goals."
The update says renewables will again meet 90% of the global power sector's capacity growth in 2021 and 2022.
Reposted with permission from Carbon Brief.
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By Malavika Vyawahare
"Tell me what you eat, and I shall tell you what you are," the French lawyer Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin wrote in his 1826 opus, Physiologie du Goût. This is quite literally the case, scientists decoding the human body have found.
Now, an analysis of chemical signatures in human hair and nails shows that as more of our food is mass-produced, we are beginning to "look" increasingly similar. If not in the flesh, then in the bones.
"Reliance on international food distribution and industrial agriculture has changed the chemistry of the entire human race," said Michael Bird, first author of a recent paper in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Only communities that rely on subsistence agriculture have bucked the trend, the paper found.
This change is especially true for urbanized and wealthier communities. In nations where annual per capita income exceeds $10,000, supermarkets supply most of the food. Another hallmark of the modern diet is the reliance on wheat, maize, rice, and a handful of other starchy cereals.
A supermarket in North America. Image courtesy of Flickr
Archaeologists routinely draw conclusions about past diets from skeletal remains. Bird and his collaborators analyzed hair and nail samples from present-day populations and compared them with archaeological data on the diets of people living before 1910. It was around this time that synthetic nitrogen fertilizer, one of the pillars of industrial farming, came into widespread use.
The researchers looked specifically at the ratio of different isotopes of nitrogen and carbon found in corporal remains. Isotopes are versions of the same element that differ in mass. By studying these ratios, scientists can draw conclusions about the food that people eat.
In the case of nitrogen-based fertilizers, the proportion of nitrogen isotopes reflects their ratio in the atmosphere, not what would exist in naturally fertile soils. When nitrogen-fixing microbes extract nitrogen from the atmosphere, it yields a different ratio of the two isotopes than chemical fertilizer.
When plants take up nitrogen from the soil, they absorb two stable nitrogen isotopes in a fixed proportion. This ratio changes as the nutrients make their way up the food chain via the guts of other organisms. The lighter form of nitrogen is more likely to be used for bodily functions and excreted as waste, but the body retains heavier isotopes. Thus, more of the heavier nitrogen isotope survives the ascent from prey to predator.
For folks buying food at mega marts supplied by factory farms, nitrogen isotope values across populations are in general lower and lie within a narrower band. If you consume meat from cows on large industrial-scale farms or plants grown in monoculture fields with the help of fertilizers, the nutrients come to you through an artificially shortened route.
"We're sort of short-circuited many of the natural processes that go into making the food for people in prehistory, or people who still live a subsistence lifestyle," Bird said.
Carbon isotopes, in turn, shed light on what kinds of foods people consume: a diet rich in corn or one where rice is a staple will leave behind a different carbon isotope signal in human tissue. The range of values for carbon isotopes has also shrunk today, the analysis found, because we're eating similar kinds of food.
"We know that agricultural production and food consumption patterns were narrowed down globally over the last 100 years due to research and policy concentrating mostly on a few major crops — cereal grains, oilseeds, sugar — while neglecting many others," said Matin Qaim, an agricultural economist at the University of Goettingen, Germany, who was not involved in the study. "Of course, food collection from the wild — roots, leaves, berries — also declined in importance for most humans in modern times."
However, communities that rely on subsistence agriculture exhibit isotope ratios that are similar to pre-1910 human diets.
That's not necessarily a good or bad thing in terms of health. "The authors of this paper show that diets were more diverse on average before 'industrial agriculture' started, but this does not mean that people had a better nutritional status back then," Qaim said.
The problem with this mode of sustenance, divorced from natural complex food chains, is a loss of resilience. The simplification of the food chain and overreliance on one- or two-step food chains worry researchers like Bird. "It's a demonstration that being reliant to a very great degree on technology in the form of industrial agriculture is potentially a risk," he said.
A disruption, like a plant disease, locust invasion, or pandemic, can throw the entire system into disarray. Short of dismantling the industrial, agricultural complex, there is no way to revert to earlier production modes. Given the ballooning human population, such a campaign would also undermine the food security of millions of people. According to economic historians, the availability of chemical fertilizers is one major reason for the burgeoning human population in the first place.
"Agricultural production and food consumption patterns should be diversified, meaning that more different types of crops should be produced and consumed locally and globally. This would have nutritional, health, and environmental benefits," Qaim said. "We cannot roll back agricultural technology to what it was 100 years ago. We need technology, including new technologies to feed and nourish the world, but need more diversity and reduce the environmental footprint."
Reposted with permission from Mongabay.
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On May 10, 1996, an unexpected storm engulfed the summit of Mt. Everest, killing eight climbers. At the time, it was the deadliest disaster in the mountain's history. Twenty-five years later, scientists and the mountaineering community are still taking steps toward safer expeditions. But with the climate crisis taking its own toll on the mountain, climbing the world's highest peak may become more dangerous than ever.
Disaster On High
In the spring of 1996, guided climbing teams from around the world gathered at base camp, preparing their attempts to summit Mt. Everest. Among them were Adventure Consultants, led by Rob Hall, and Mountain Madness, led by Scott Fischer, two of the most well-respected and experienced guides in Himalayan mountaineering.
After months of preparation and acclimatization, Hall and Fischer's teams were making their summit push the second week of May. After staying a couple of nights lower on the mountain, they departed their final camp, Camp IV, just after midnight on May 10 and headed toward the highest point on Earth.
As a safety precaution, teams summiting Everest set a turnaround time to make sure they have enough daylight and resources to get back down the mountain safely. For Hall and Fischer's teams, that time was 2 p.m. If clients hadn't summited by then, they'd have to turn around, thousands of dollars and months of preparation squandered — but at least they'd make it home.
A cloudy day in the Himalaya. Toomas Tartes / Unsplash
On May 10, however, multiple delays caused many of the climbers to miss this window, and for reasons nobody will ever be sure of — maybe client dedication, maybe high-altitude brain fog, maybe a combination of both, or maybe something different entirely — neither guide turned his clients around at the agreed-on time. Instead, climbers were struggling up the mountain through the afternoon, even as snow started to fall around 3 p.m. Fischer himself didn't summit until 3:45.
Although the forecast had shown clear weather, by 5 p.m., the top 3,000 feet of the mountain were engulfed in an unpredicted, unforgiving blizzard.
About 2,500 feet below the storm at Camp III was the Alpine Ascents team, which included guide Pete Athans, a long-time mountaineer who earned the nickname "Mr. Everest" after becoming the first Westerner to summit seven times. Athans had been climbing alongside both Hall and Fischer for years, as all were part of the close-knit Himalayan guiding community.
The Alpine Ascents team was planning to make its summit push two days after Mountain Madness and Adventure Consultants, but as they watched the high-altitude storm blow in above them, they soon realized they'd have to make it a rescue mission instead.
"Around 10:30 or 11 p.m., we were still hearing [via radio contact] that there were more than 18 people that had not made it down [to camp]," Athans said. Two of those stranded climbers were Hall and Fischer. "At that point, we realized likely something was wrong there."
Athans and co-guide Todd Burleson, while hoping for the best, made a plan for the worst. At 3 a.m. on May 11, they woke up and began climbing.
"Our plan was to keep going up the mountain until we found Rob and Scott," Athans said. But when they got to Camp IV, they realized how many other people needed attention after a night spent blasted by near-hurricane-force winds.
There were still people missing from camp, and by that point, they'd heard via radio that Fischer had collapsed and had likely perished at a spot called the Balcony, which lies at about 27,500 feet, and that Hall was still alive but in need of assistance to descend further than where he'd spent the night about 28,700 feet up the mountain.
A team of six Sherpa, or Himalayan support climbers, began ascending to attempt a rescue of the two stranded guides, but the still-fierce wind prevented them from being successful. Neither Rob Hall nor Scott Fischer made it down the mountain alive.
"It still brings up a wealth of sadness that I wasn't able to do more for Rob and Scott," said Athans, now 64 and living in Bainbridge Island, Washington. "Back in that day, I had always thought I'd continue working and climbing and being friends with those guys. They were a big part of our community; they were larger than life — great sense of humor, fun to be around, really congenial and convivial people, and good climbers.
"It's hard to lose people like that. You know if you spend much time in mountain-climbing circles, you lose important people to you along the way. It happens, unfortunately."
Hall and Fischer were two of eight climbers who died due to the storm that struck Mt. Everest on May 10, 1996.
Evolutions in Tourism
In the past quarter-century, there have been a number of other deadly seasons on Everest, and commercialization has played a major role in these losses.
"Base camp has a thousand people at the height of the climbing season," said Paul Mayewski, director and professor at the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine. "The actual climbing window is during the last two weeks of May usually. In that climbing window, you'll look for ideally two to three days during which the weather is really good for people to make the ascent."
Climbers form a line to the top of Everest. GESMAN TAMANG / AFP via Getty Images
Unfortunately, not every year has enough good weather days to space out expeditions. This is the scenario that played out in the 2019 season, one of the deadliest on record. Poor weather allowed just a few opportunities to climb, which led to about 800 people trying to summit each day. Lines up at the summit looked like something you'd see at Disney World. That year, 11 people died trying to achieve their Everest dreams.
So, why not just restrict the number of climbers? While the Nepalese government has considered cutting the number of permits issued each year, "it's really tough when your economy is completely reliant," Athans said. "There are some small industries [in Nepal], but really their chief economic motor is tourism — everything from people going into the Kathmandu valley for a weekend to people going on months-long Everest expeditions."
That isn't to say that the government isn't concerned about these issues, especially considering their own people, the Sherpa climbers, have the most dangerous jobs on the mountain.
"It's not that they've been operating in bad faith," he said. "They're operating in good faith, they're just in a really difficult place."
One possibility that's often discussed is that the government could issue fewer permits but charge more for them. Today, climbing Everest can cost anywhere from $40,000 per person if going at it alone to more than $100,000 for a guided trip with your own personal Sherpa and extra oxygen.
According to Athans, in the early '90s, expedition permits jumped from $12,000 to around $50,000 per team, which the government hoped would be a significant deterrent. However, "in a couple of years, they were getting more applications than they ever had before," he said. And costs have held pretty consistent over the past 25 years — in 1996, Adventure Consultants charged $65,000 a head to join its expedition, and the company raised its prices by just $4,000 since.Although going on a guided expedition isn't a guarantee you'll summit, if climbers were to make a more significant financial commitment due to higher permit fees, guides may feel increased pressure to get their clients to the top of Everest, leading to a situation in which they become unfit to lead, as happened with Hall and Fischer.
On the other hand, increasing the cost of an expedition may weed out some of the inexperienced or out-of-shape travelers that can easily get themselves into trouble high on the mountain. Both Western teams that got caught in the 1996 storm included climbers of varying experience levels, which likely contributed to the severity of the catastrophe.
"It's unfortunate, because so many of the teams are commercial teams," Athans said. "There are going to be people who are novice climbers, and they're just not going to be as strong or as fast as more experienced, expert climbers."
Mountaineers push for the summit of Mt. Everest. STR / AFP via Getty Images
While there has been talk of implementing a sort of experience-based selection process — and much of that may fall on the guiding companies themselves — for now, the community is focusing on improving safety on the mountain for those that do attempt a climb.
One issue that's been worked on over the past 25 years is marking the trail with flags and setting more fixed ropes. Due to the storm, visibility became dangerously low, and nine of Fischer and Hall's climbers got lost on the way to camp, having to spend a night exposed to the elements. This resulted in the death of one client, Yasuko Namba, and severe frostbite that warranted extremity amputations for another, Beck Weathers.
"In general, the guiding community there, which has grown substantially since '96, is a bit more conservative and now fixes continuous lines from the high camp at 26,000 feet to the summit," Athans said. "Before then, only the steeper sections were actually equipped with fixed rope. This practice might well have helped those who were stranded out away from the camp in '96 and may have guided them in successfully."
Another major development over the past few years has been the professionalizing of the Sherpa workforce. Although his guiding days are behind him, as the director of the Khumbu Climbing Center, Athans has played a large role in shaping the future of the industry.
"We've been training the guides on everything from high-altitude biodiversity to ice climbing skills to medical skills to just better guiding overall," Athans says. "We definitely see some Nepalese operators, but there are as many or more foreign operators, and those businesses should really be managed by the Sherpa or certainly by the Nepalese."
After all, with their more efficient use of oxygen and unique metabolisms, those born in the Himalaya makes them naturals at climbing the region's peaks, even without supplemental O2. This is why they're contracted as support for international expeditions — carrying large loads in thin air is physiologically easier for them.
By learning the technical and physical skills exhibited by Western guides, the Sherpa can take more ownership of what is, effectively, their own mountain.
"It's right in their backyard. It's something they revere, and having a sustainable business practice there is part of their mythology, is part of their religion," Athans said. "The overall improvement and the innovating of how they guide and use more technology will just be game-changing in the coming years on Everest."
A Changing Mountain
Although expedition companies are working to make their trips safer, recent scientific analysis shows the mountain itself will pose more threats to climbers in the coming years.
In the spring of 2019, Mayewski led a scientific expedition supported by National Geographic and Rolex to take a closer look at the human impact on Everest and how the mountain has changed over time. His research team, which included Athans, spent months collecting hundreds of samples of ice, water, rock, snow, and more that's since been analyzed in top laboratories across the world.
What they've found is that Everest is warming faster than most places on Earth. One of the major issues this causes is ice and snowmelt.
"We were surprised to find out how much ice was lost at very high elevations," Mayewski said. "As you go higher up, your temperatures get lower. You would assume that the snow and ice would be preserved better, but it's not. It actually has a significant loss of ice. You are seeing exposed, old ice at 26,000 feet. That has big implications."
Not only does an absence of snow and ice high on the mountain mean it will become harder for climbers to access drinking water, but also, the snow is melting and flowing around existing ice sheets, which can cause them to shift and trigger avalanches.
Climbers set up tents at Everest base camp on Khumbu Glacier. Frank Bienewald / LightRocket via Getty Images
Runoff water poses a unique risk at base camp, too. Glacial melt has caused this area to sink more than 150 feet in the past 35 years, and small lakes have formed. According to Mayewski, these will eventually become larger and connect with the underground rivers that flow beneath the camp.
"It'll begin to look more and more like swiss cheese," Mayewski said. "There will be times that if people aren't careful, they'll slide into these rivers, and if you do come out, you come out in little bits. It'll become more dangerous."
Additionally, scientists found that the water from melting glaciers contained a multitude of toxic chemicals, like cadmium and lead, which can pose major threats to the health of those living downstream. And this wasn't the only pollution seen on Everest — microplastics were also found in snow samples taken less than 1,500 feet from the summit.
The amount of waste on the mountain has led to Everest being nicknamed the "world's highest garbage dump" in recent years. Thanks to the efforts of local NGOs and the Nepalese government, climbers have started carrying extra trash down from high altitudes. Expeditions also hire Sherpa to carry their trash down, which Athans says poses its own dilemma.
"If you can't make the mountain pristine, at least try to clean the mountain of everything that you brought," Athans said. "For every load of trash [climbers leave behind], that's one more Sherpa trip through the Khumbu Icefall, one of the more dangerous parts of the mountain. Morally, ethically, do you really want to risk someone's life for a load of trash?"
The Khumbu Icefall is where the Khumbu Glacier flows over the mountain (similar to a waterfall). The glacier moves 3 to 4 feet every day, creating massive crevasses and the potential for a collapse or avalanche. Between 1953 and 2016, about 25% of the recorded deaths on the Nepalese side of the mountain occurred in the Icefall, and according to Mayewski, this area will only become more treacherous as temperatures rise.
Interestingly, scientists also found climate change is making the air near the summit thicker, which would make it easier for climbers to breathe once they do make it past the Icefall.
"As you begin to make the ascent into the highest parts of Everest, with warming, there will actually be a little bit more oxygen," Mayewski said.
Climbers approach the top of the world. PHUNJO LAMA / AFP via Getty Images
To monitor things like air pressure, temperature, and wind speed on Everest, scientists installed five weather stations on various parts of the mountain during the 2019 expedition. These will operate for a number of years and will be used both to make climate-related predictions and to forecast weather to ensure climbers have the safest conditions during their ascents.
Mayewski and Athans agree that the data from these stations, if available a quarter-century ago, could have helped Hall and Fischer avoid their fateful storm.
"Understanding what's coming in these big storms and helping climbers to know exactly what the best window is will be a tremendous help," Mayewski said. "That's one of the primary reasons for putting the weather stations up there."
A follow-up to the 2019 scientific expedition was planned for the spring of this year but has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So, instead of being in Nepal for the 25th anniversary of the disaster, Athans is planning to spend some reflection time on Mount Rainier, which he calls a "little slice of the Himalaya here in the lower 48 — one of the few places in the U.S. that you can go to that's a bit like Everest."
When the expedition is rescheduled either in the fall or next spring, Athans plans to return to base camp, continuing research and making technological advances. Hopefully, his work will prevent future climbers from finding themselves in a disastrous situation such as that struck those in his own community all those years ago.
Melissa Smith is an avid writer, scuba diver, backpacker, and all-around outdoor enthusiast. She graduated from the University of Florida with degrees in journalism and sustainable studies. Before joining EcoWatch, Melissa worked as the managing editor of Scuba Diving magazine and the communications manager of The Ocean Agency, a non-profit that's featured in the Emmy award-winning documentary Chasing Coral.
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By Brett Wilkins
Following the path of thousands of families who permanently fled the lowest-lying major city in the United States in the wake of storms like Hurricane Katrina, a group of activists from the youth-led Sunrise Movement on Monday began a 400-mile march from New Orleans to Houston to demand President Joe Biden include "good jobs for all" and a Civilian Climate Corps in his $2.26 trillion infrastructure plan.
Participants in the Sunrise Movement's "Generation on Fire" campaign set out from the New Orleans Superdome — the site of so much suffering and a symbol of state failure following Katrina in 2005 — and walked along the Mississippi River following a delay due to flash flood warnings.
The climate campaigners are marching "to make clear that young people are unsatisfied with Biden and Congress' incremental, watered down proposals," according to a statement from the group.
With Democrats in control of both Congress and the White House, "young people expect more from their political leaders," the statement added.
Dancing in New Orleans with @sunrisemvmt @smvmtgenonfire at beginning of their 400 mile trek for climate justice.… https://t.co/oUxcATcoaj— Elias Newman 🔥 (@Elias Newman 🔥)1620678211.0
The activists will stop in cities and towns along the march route to stage protests, rallies, and visioning sessions with community members. They will be joined by political leaders, environmental justice advocates, and other supporters.
"As a young person in the Gulf South, we're living in constant crisis: hurricanes, superstorms, jobs that break our bodies and could be taken away at any minute," said Chanté Davis, a high school senior and Sunrise Movement organizer.
"This is an emergency, but it isn't an accident," Davis continued. "We know there is money that can provide living wages, stop the climate crisis, and take us back from the edge of survival. There's always money to rebuild rich neighborhoods after storms, always money for petrochemical plants and oil wells, always money for border walls and jails."
"This march symbolizes my story as a climate refugee who fled New Orleans and moved to Houston after Hurricane Katrina destroyed my city," Davis added. "This is me claiming agency over my future."
A statement from Sunriser Chante Davis https://t.co/mtH1bpGf7D— Generation on Fire 🔥 (@Generation on Fire 🔥)1620667118.0
The White House has touted Biden's American Jobs Plan as "an investment in America that will create millions of good jobs, rebuild our country's infrastructure, and position the United States to out-compete China."
However, since the plan was unveiled on March 31, Sunrise Movement and other climate campaigners have said it needs to go further.
Sunrise Movement executive director Varshini Prakash said at the time that the plan "lacks a commitment to the full scale of transformation that is needed of our economy."
"We cannot miss this moment," Prakash insisted. "Congress must strengthen this plan and Biden must pass it into law as quickly as possible. If Republicans don't cooperate, do it without them. If the filibuster obstructs progress, abolish it. Money needs to go out the door and flow into communities now."
Reposted with permission from Common Dreams.
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California governor Gavin Newsom expanded an emergency drought declaration from two to 41 of the state's 58 counties on Monday.
About 40 million people, around 30% of the state's population, now live under a drought emergency that Newsom said is likely to expand.
"The hots are getting a lot hotter in this state, the dries are getting a lot drier," Newsom said.
"We have a conveyance system, a water system, that was designed for a world that no longer exists."
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