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7 Reasons Why Jeff Flake Is Awful on Climate Change and Energy Justice

7 Reasons Why Jeff Flake Is Awful on Climate Change and Energy Justice

This week, U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) made national headlines by dramatically announcing his retirement on the U.S. Senate floor. Flake focused his speech on the erratic behavior of President Donald Trump and the nationalistic, anti-immigration turn taken by some Republican Party politicians in recent years.

"I have decided that I will be better able to represent the people of Arizona and to better serve my country and my conscience by freeing myself from the political considerations that consume far too much bandwidth and would cause me to compromise far too many principles," said Flake. "To that end, I am announcing today that my service in the Senate will conclude at the end of my term in early January 2019."

Beyond taking a stance in favor of corporate-backed free trade and "limited government and free markets," Flake's speech mostly stayed away from policy. But it did include the word "behavior" eight times, pointing to that of President Trump without explicitly mentioning the president by name.

Flake's speech has won him praise by pundits and politicians on both sides of the political aisle, ranging from U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), to MSNBC show host and Capitol Hill reporter Kasie Hunt and neoconservative pundit Bill Kristol. It also has scored him countless fawning profile pieces in the media.

But with high praise has come criticism, with some critics countering that Trump merely says loudly the same things that mainstream Republican officials are dog-whistling. Others point out that on policy, Flake and Trump align on issues such as cutting health care coverage and offering tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy.

And as news site FightThirtyEight points out, Flake has voted for policies Trump favors 90 percent of the time. There's also the fact that in August Flake was polling at an 18 percent approval rating in Arizona and has even admitted himself he would likely lose in the Republican Party primary if he ran. Trump supporters, all the while, have cheered Flake's departure.

Yet lost in the conversation, thus far, has been almost any discussion of some of the major issues of our time: climate change, energy and the environment. And on that count, Flake has made a career out of doing the bidding of his fossil fuel and mining industry corporate campaign donors.

Here are seven reasons why Jeff Flake has been awful on the issues which, for humanity in the long run, arguably count the most.

1.) Climate Change Denier

Perhaps superseding all else, Flake is a climate change science denier, claiming that no one "can say definitely" what has caused global temperature increases.

"Certainly, nobody can deny that we've had several years of warmer temperatures. If that signals routine change that is manmade or not, I don't think anybody can say definitely," Flake said in 2014.

In 2015, Flake also voted "nay" on an amendment proposed by Democrats for a GOP-proposed bill in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline which asked if human activities led to climate change. Flake introduced his own amendment during the voting process, one which supported "the evaluation and consolidation of duplicative green building programs."

For insight into his motivations, look to Flake's campaign backers in the fossil fuel industry. According to OpenSecrets.org, Flake has taken $312,260 from the oil and gas industry and another $226,721 from the electric utilities industry since his congressional career began in 2000.

In the 2012 Senate race to represent Arizona, Flake took $96,000 from the oil and gas industry, $32,500 from electric utilities and $39,000 from the coal industry. That included taking money from funders of climate change denial, such as Koch Industries, Peabody Energy, ExxonMobil, and the American Petroleum Institute.

On the same day he gave his retirement speech, Flake was one of 17 Senators to vote against a disaster relief aid package for Puerto Rico and Hurricane Maria.

2.) Opponent of Public Lands

Flake has also long been a proponent of "states' rights" for U.S. federal lands, a colloquialism often used by conservatives and corporate-financed groups to argue for transferring ownership of federal lands to the states in order to make it easier for drilling and mining companies to access public land for extractive purposes.

In October 2016, Flake and McCain wrote a letter to then-President Barack Obama requesting that his administration not designate any land in Arizona as a national monument, as was eventually done in Utah for Bears Ears. Obama eventually complied with the request, for which Flake and McCain praised him.

Flake also introduced a bill in July which would transfer and sell U.S. public lands maintained by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in Mojave County, Arizona, to county residents.

"These pieces of legislation give regional and local interests a voice in how to best to utilize and maintain lands within the state, which is critical in Arizona where nearly half the land is owned by the federal government," Flake said of the bill, which was also introduced in 2016.

The Center for American Progress has pigeonholed Flake as part of the "Anti-Parks Caucus" due to his anti-public lands politicking. Likewise, the Center for Biological Diversity put Flake on its top 15 list of "public land enemies."

3.) Rubberstamp for Trump Nominees

Flake has voted "yes" on 23 out of 24 Trump federal agency nominees, with the exception being a vote in which he didn't participate. He voted "yes" for all of Trump's energy and environmental nominees, including Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke, Energy Sec. Rick Perry, Sec. of State Rex Tillerson, and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator (EPA) Scott Pruitt.

"EPA's litany of overreaching regulations have strained Arizona's economic competitiveness," Flake said in a statement in response to Pruitt's successful nomination to head the EPA. "I was pleased to vote to confirm Scott Pruitt as EPA Administrator so together we can get to work eliminating unnecessary economic barriers and restoring regulatory certainty."

Pruitt, like Flake, is a climate change denier.

4.) Cheerleader for Fracking and Coal

Flake has been supportive of the Pruitt-led EPA and its deregulatory efforts, including the rollback of President Obama's Clean Power Plan, which would have regulated greenhouse gas emissions of coal-fired power plants.

"It's been phenomenal to see an administration in this area, on the regulatory front, to do so much to create a better regulatory environment for businesses to prosper," he told the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, according to the Phoenix Business Journal. "I mentioned in a meeting just before this with Secretary Pruitt [sic] that I put out a press release from the office several weeks ago and after I put it out or approved it, I realized that we are actually complimenting the EPA for working with us on an issue that is benefiting Arizona and that I haven't done in a long, long, long time."

Additionally, Flake voted "yes" for a bill, the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011, which would block the EPA's ability to use the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gases to address climate change. It was lobbied for by Koch Industries, ExxonMobil, Chevron, America's Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA), Peabody Energy, Edison Electric Institute and a litany of other major fossil fuel industry players.

Flake and McCain also denounced the Clean Power Plan when proposed in 2015 in a letter to then-EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. The two of them described the plan as an "attempt to bypass Congress and commandeer the state regulatory process to impose unduly burdensome carbon-emissions regulations at existing power plants." Flake even referred to Obama's regulatory plans as a "war on coal."

"There is a war on coal at the EPA. Let's call it for what it is," Flake told an audience in 2012. "And they're going to use anything they can, it seems, to push forward that war on coal."

During the early years of the hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") boom in the U.S., Flake also voted in opposition to a bill which would have given subsidies to the renewable energy sector, giving a speech on the House floor in 2008 which stated that subsidizing the alternative energy sphere would hurt the oil and gas industry.

"While it is well and good to encourage alternative energy development, Congress should not do so by damaging our domestic oil and gas industry. In 2006 all renewable energy sources provided only six percent of the U.S. domestic energy supply. In contrast, oil and natural gas provided 58 percent of our domestic energy supply," Flake said. "The numbers don't lie. Oil and natural gas fuel our economy and sustain our way of life."

On the contrary, Flake has voted against a bill which would have ended tax subsidies for domestic production of oil and natural gas.

5.) Opponent of Indigenous Rights

Perhaps most prominently in recent years, Flake and McCain also co-sponsored and pushed a bill which was eventually inserted into the National Defense Authorization Act of 2016 (NDAA) calling for thousands of acres of national parks land to be handed over to Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton for copper mining purposes. The catch: It was located on land considered holy by the San Carlos Apache tribe.

"The land grab was sneakily anti-democratic even by congressional standards," explained a New York Times op-ed in May 2015. "[T]he giveaway language was slipped onto the defense bill by Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona at the 11th hour. The tactic was successful only because, like most last-minute riders, it bypassed public scrutiny … The deal is an impressive new low in congressional corruption, unworthy of our country's ideals no matter what side of the aisle you're on. It's exactly the kind of cynical maneuvering that has taught the electorate to disrespect politicians—a disdain for government that hurts everyone."

The New York Times article points out, too, that Flake used to lobby for Rio Tinto (more on that below).

The secretive deal came under fierce opposition by Apaches and was met with protest. It was also criticized by U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ).

"This is a precedent setter, because if we do not repeal this portion of [the NDAA bill], then sacred sites and religious burial sites—all the things that are by law protected—are suddenly expendable, which sets a precedent for other parts of Indian Country," Grijalva said at a July 2015 rally.

6.) Right-Wing Machine, Apartheid Ties

Flake's rise to Congress started by many acounts during his time spent as executive director of the Goldwater Institute, which is part of the right-wing State Policy Network, itself founded as an offshoot of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). In his recently released book Conscience of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle, Flake's book shares a title with that of the late Senator Barry Goldwater's famous 1960 book, The Conscience of a Conservative. Among other things, Goldwater voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

As Phoenix New Times reported back in 1999, Flake cut his teeth at the Goldwater Institute as an avid opponent of public schools and proponent of a voucher, school-choice system.

Before running the Goldwater Institute, Flake served as a lobbyist for the mining company Rossing Uranium in Namibia, 68 percent owned by mining giant Rio Tinto. Flake's official biography only mentions his work abroad there as executive director of the Foundation for Democracy, helping the country "usher in freedom and democracy." At the time, Namibia was run by the South African government, which imposed apartheid in the country until it gained independence in 1990.

Flake denied that the work he did helped bolster the system of apartheid, but audio arose during his 2012 run for Senate revealing his lobbying of the Utah state Senate against economic sanctions applied toward the South African apartheid regime.

National Journal reported that Flake earned $5,000 to $7,000 per month for his lobbying work, which he did as a registered foreign agent. Before that work for Rossing Uranium, Flake worked for "Smoak, Shipley & Henry, whose principals, Marion Smoak and Carl Shipley, had ties to the South African-controlled regime in Namibia during apartheid," National Journal reported.

Throughout his political career, the mining companies have contributed $287,902 to Flake's campaigns.

7.) Koch Brothers Servant

In his 2012 Senate race, Flake's biggest donor by far was Club for Growth, a group co-founded by Stephen Moore, who was a senior economic adviser for the Trump presidential campaign. Moore co-authored a book steeped in climate change denial, Fueling Freedom: Exposing the Mad War on Energy, alongside Kathleen Hartnett White, who was recently named chair of the Trump White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ).

That year Flake received just over $1 million from the Club for Growth, which receives funding from the Koch network and other wealthy conservatives, and he was the biggest recipient of its donations for that electoral cycle. Flake also served as a signatory for Americans for Prosperity's (AFP) "No Climate Tax" pledge. AFP is a front group founded and created by the Koch Family Foundations.

Flake also received a $2,000 campaign contribution from Koch Industries for his 2012 Senate race. In return, Flake has received a 98 percent scorecard rating from AFP and a 97 percent rating from Club for Growth, which he touts on his official Senate biography page.

'Children Are Watching'

In his retirement speech, Flake noted that "children are watching," too.

"It is often said that children are watching. Well, they are. And what are we going to do about that? When the next generation asks us, Why didn't you do something? Why didn't you speak up?—what are we going to say?" Flake asked rhetorically. "I have children and grandchildren to answer to, and so, Mr. President, I will not be complicit."

But on the issues of climate change and environmental justice, Flake's questions could easily be flipped back on him, as a politician who has paved his career with climate denial. And as 21 youth suing the U.S. government for failing to act on climate change have shown, indeed, the "children are watching."

Reposted with permission from our media associate DeSmogBlog.

Asian elephants have been added to a list of species that need migratory protection. Steve Evans / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0

By Karin Jäger

"They begin on a fall night, preferring the light of a full moon … Driven by the currents, they're pulled to the mouth of the river and out into the ocean," writes the WWF, rather poetically, of the European eel's long journey from the rivers of Central Europe to the far reaches of the Atlantic Ocean.

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Vampire bats avoid other bats when they're feeling unwell. Uwe Schmidt / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 4.0

Scientists found that vampire bats in the wild will socially distance when they feel sick, according to a new study published in the journal Behavioral Ecology.

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Do you feel embarrassed due to the foul odor coming from your mouth? Or your oral hygiene isn't as good as before, and you are suffering from gingivitis (inflammation of gums)?

Well, these oral problems are skyrocketing, and even young people are suffering from oral issues that result in a lack of confidence.

It's common to change your toothpaste by seeing the TV commercials that claim to free you from bad breath or sensitive teeth, but these products don't always work.

Fighting oral issues isn't that easy, even if you religiously follow what your primary school teacher has taught, to "Brush two times a day!"

Well, there is a much-hyped supplement in the market that claims to help you fight all of these oral issues: The Steel Bite Pro.

Steel Bite Pro is an oral supplement that claims to cure bad breath and other such oral issues like sensitivity and gum problems.

But does the supplement really work, or is it just like the useless toothpaste that you tried before? Let's find out in this review.

Who Should Use Steel Bite Pro?

The best part about Steel Bite Pro is that anyone can use the supplement to get rid of oral issues. The supplement contains natural ingredients such as turmeric, zinc, alfalfa, jujube seeds, and much more, so there are no chemicals at all.

No matter whether you are 20 or 60, you can use this supplement to overcome oral issues and get the confidence back that you are missing due to bad odor and sensitive teeth.

Steel Bite Pro Review: Overview of the Supplement

Steel Bite Pro is an all-natural supplement that contains a mix of natural supplements to rebuild your gums and teeth.

The supplement contains 29 different foods that help you reduce the gum pain and other dental problems you have been facing for years.

More than 55,000 people have used Steel Bite Pro till now, and the results of the supplement are pretty impressive. Furthermore, the supplement is prepared in an FDA-approved facility in the USA.

It is available in the form of pills that you can consume anytime, so using the supplement is incredibly convenient. There are numerous benefits of using the Steel Bite Pro as it solves a plethora of dental problems.

Click here to Get the Best Deal on Steel Bite Pro from the Official Website.

Pros and Cons: Steel Bite Pro

To understand the supplement better, it is essential to know about its pros and cons.


Convenient to Use

The dietary supplement is convenient to use as it comes in the form of pills. You can take the pill anytime, even when you are in your office or somewhere else. Now there is no need to use multiple kinds of toothpaste and splurge money by visiting a dentist.

All-Natural Ingredients

All the ingredients present inside the supplement are natural, and there are no chemicals that can harm your teeth or gums.


When you compare the cost of 1 bottle with the cost of a special toothpaste with the fee that your dentist charges, Steel Bite Pro will seem much more affordable. The supplement is available in multiple packages, so you will find it affordable to use.

No Side Effects at All

There are no side effects to using Steel Bite Pro, so you can rest assured that you won't face any headaches or other issues while curing the oral issues. The reason why Steel Bite Pro has no side effects is due to its natural ingredients.

Designed by Experts

The supplement is designed by experts that have been in the industry for years.

No Additional Medicines Are Required

When you are using Steel Bite Pro, you can avoid using other medicines that you have been taking to cure oral issues.

Attacks on the Pain

There are several ingredients present in Steel Bite Pro that attack tooth and gum pain so that you get some instant relief with the supplement.

Comes With a Money Back Guarantee

The supplement comes with a 60-day money back guarantee, so you can claim a full refund if you find the supplement isn't working for you, or if it isn't doing what the manufacturer has promised.


You Can Purchase It From the Official Site Only

The supplement is only available for purchase from the Official Website. Sometimes the supplement gets out of stock, so you have to wait for it to get back in stock.

A Single Bottle Costs More

If you buy a single bottle of the supplement, it'll cost you more than other packages with multiple bottles.

Ingredients in Steel Bite Pro

All the ingredients present in Steel Bite Pro are natural and have proven benefits for humans. Here is a list of supplements explained in detail and how they can benefit you if you start using Steel Bite Pro.


As per a study, there are innumerable benefits of using turmeric on your teeth. The natural herb has antimicrobial properties that help remove the plaque effectively from the teeth, exterminate bacteria and help cure sensitivity.

Moreover, turmeric is good for fighting oral inflammation issues. When applied on teeth, the ingredient gives instant relief from pain and is effective in curing mouth ulcers as well.


Berberine is a natural herb with proven antioxidant power to help you get rid of microorganisms developing inside the mouth. Furthermore, the ingredient has anti-inflammatory properties and is good for curing oral issues caused due to viruses and bacteria.


It is another natural ingredient that is used in a range of health supplements due to its healing power. The ingredient naturally heals the gums and the damage caused to the teeth by bacteria and microorganisms.

As per a study, it helps reduce the infection, oral pain, and cures other dental issues.

Milk Thistle

Your liver has a significant impact on your oral health, and that's where milk thistle works. The natural ingredient eliminates toxins from the liver and detoxifies your mouth as well.

Here is a study that proves how milk thistle is beneficial in detoxifying the liver.


The decaying of teeth is the initial phase of damage caused by bacteria thriving inside your mouth. Alfalfa works by reducing tooth sensitivity drastically and repairs the tooth decay caused by the bacteria.

It even stops the bacteria from growing further so you can expect good oral health.


A lot of natural supplements for teeth contain ginger because of its benefits on the teeth and the stomach. This ingredient present in the Steel Bite Pro reduces nausea and inflammation.

As per this study, there are umpteen other benefits of ginger as well, such as it maintains the pH inside your mouth.

Jujube Seeds

Jujube seeds are good for boosting the immunity. Also, the ingredient has excellent antioxidant properties and is rich in Vitamin C, which is beneficial for the teeth and overall oral health.


Dandelion is a natural ingredient extracted from herbs. The ingredient is rich in minerals and has immense benefits such as fighting the bacteria and preventing the infections occurring inside your mouth.


Zinc is essential for teeth, and that is why many toothpaste brands advertise that their product contains a good amount of zinc. Further, zinc is a natural immunity booster and fights against bacteria to prevent gum disease and cavities.

Moreover, zinc repairs the enamel on your teeth that's damaged due to toothpaste or any other reasons. Here is a study that shows the benefits of zinc for your teeth and mouth.

Chicory Root

Chicory root acts as a catalyst and increases the effectiveness of other ingredients. The reason why you get instant relief from pain after using Steel Bite Pro is due to the presence of chicory root in the pills.

Celery Seeds

Bacteria result in bad odor and can create cavities in the teeth. Furthermore, some bacteria result in tooth decay and harm the gums. The celery seeds fight these bacteria and prevent further growth.

Yellow Dock

To stay healthy, the teeth need to absorb the minerals present in the saliva. When your teeth are damaged for any reason, they stop absorbing the minerals, and the damage continues further.

Yellow dock helps the teeth to absorb the minerals while reducing the inflammation. Various studies have proven the efficacy of yellow dock for teeth and gums, and it is a natural and effective ingredient to keep the teeth healthy.

Raspberry, Chanca Piedra, and Artichoke

These three natural ingredients have similar properties and contribute a lot to the effectiveness of Steel Bite Pro. The ingredients have good amounts of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin K, Vitamin C, magnesium, phosphorus, and folate.

The purifying agents will remove bacteria and other impurities from the mouth so that the other ingredients work well by repairing the teeth and gums.


The worst thing about oral issues is the pain that you have to go through. Steel Bite Pro claims to help with the pain as it contains feverfew, which is a natural pain reliever. The ingredient suppresses oral and dental pain so you will feel better instantly.

As per a study, there are some other benefits of feverfew, because it is a medicinal plant that suppresses other pains as well. Also, there are no side effects of feverfew at all.

Burdock Root

The root of the burdock plant comes loaded with antioxidants that improve the gum health and the overall health of your mouth.

The best thing about Steel Bite Pro is that the ingredients are present in exact quantities, so you can rest assured that there will be no side effects. Every ingredient is tested in the labs for its efficiency, and that's what makes the Steel Bite Pro a considerable option if you want to improve your oral and dental health.

Click here to See the full list of ingredients in Steel Bite Pro on the official website.

How Does Steel Bite Pro Work?

It is crucial to understand how the supplement works so that you can decide whether to invest in it or not. Below is a step by step process that will help you understand Steel Bite Pro on the go.

Step 1:

When you start consuming the supplement, the pills break down in your mouth. The ingredients then mix with saliva to perform their particular actions.

Step 2:

The ingredients fight the bacteria and heal issues such as wounds while reducing the inflammation caused in the mouth.

Step 3:

The supplement cements the root of the teeth so that there are no further oral and dental issues. Also, it heals the gums and repairs the enamel to provide you relief from sensitivity.

The minerals present in these ingredients strengthen the crown area of the teeth while repairing the cracks so that the damage can be stopped.

Step 4:

The supplement also has some impact on your overall health as the ingredients detoxify the liver by flushing away the toxins.

Step 5:

Consuming the supplement regularly will help you maintain the shield on the teeth that fights against bacteria and microorganisms. Also, it improves the condition of the teeth and curtails bad breath.

The working of Steel Bite Pro is really simple, as there are no complex ingredients present in the supplement. It is easy to use, and all you have to do is consume the pill regularly to keep your oral and dental health up to the mark.

Benefits of Steel Bite Pro

There are many benefits of using Steel Bite Pro since it is an all-natural supplement that has no side effects at all. Here are some benefits you need to consider before buying it.

Prevents Bleeding and Improves Gum Health

The reason why your teeth bleed is due to the loose gums. The space between the tooth and the gum results in bleeding, and that's where Steel Bite Pro helps. The supplement tightens the gums so that there is no bleeding at all.

Whitens the Teeth Naturally

The ingredients present in the supplement, such as zinc and milk thistle, whiten the teeth naturally. There is no need to invest in expensive teeth whitening toothpaste if you are using Steel Bite Pro.

Reduces Bad Breath

The supplement contains ingredients that improve the overall health of the teeth, and it automatically reduces bad breath.

Helps Cure Tooth Pain

Steel Bite Pro has feverfew, which is a natural pain reliever ingredient. The ingredient cures tooth and gum pain and can have instant results after you consume Steel Bite Pro.

Click here to Learn more about the Benefits of Steel Bite Pro on the official website.

Side Effects of Using Steel Bite Pro

You may find it surprising, but Steel Bite Pro has no side effects at all as the supplement contains natural ingredients and has exact quantities so that there are no ill effects on your health. If you keep using the supplement as prescribed, then it can have some excellent results.

Who Should Refrain from Steel Bite Pro?

Steel Bite Pro is an all-natural dietary supplement to improve your dental and oral health.

Anyone can use the supplement, including pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. There are no harms of using the supplement.

However, it would be great to consult a doctor before using the supplement to find out if you are allergic to any of the ingredients.

Dosage and Tips to Start

To get the most from Steel Bite Pro, you should consume two pills with water every day. Take both capsules together anytime that's convenient for you.

To get the best results, follow a brushing regime, and massage your teeth regularly with some good-quality oil to increase the effectiveness of the pills.

Where to Buy Steel Bite Pro, and Guarantees?

You can only buy Steel Bite Pro from the Official Site, as the supplement is not available anywhere else for purchase. You can choose from three available options:

●1 bottle (60 pills) $69

●Three bottles (180 pills) $117

●Six bottles (360 pills) $294 (Best Deal)

You get a 60-day money back guarantee with all the packages, no matter if you go for one bottle or six bottles. You are eligible to claim the full refund within 60 days of the date of purchase.

Steel Bite Pro Reviews: Closing Thoughts

After this definitive review, it will be easier for you to find out whether you should use Steel Bite Pro or not. The supplement contains a mix of 29 natural ingredients that have proven benefits and are tested in labs.

It is essential to get rid of oral and dental issues before things get out of control and you have no option left despite visiting a dentist.

Getting a good quality supplement is essential, so Steel Bite Pro is a viable option if you need a supplement with no side effects.

Anyone can use this supplement irrespective of age, sex, and medical conditions. Lastly, buy the supplement only from the official site so that you can easily claim the refund if required.

Click here to Get the best deal on Steel Bite Pro from the official website.

A pumpjack in North Dakota. Feifei Cui-Paoluzzo / Moment / Getty Images

North Dakota has found a controversial use for federal coronavirus relief money: using it to fund fracking.

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A ghost forest in Nags Head Woods, North Carolina on Oct. 16, 2017. NC Wetlands / CC BY 2.0

Along the Atlantic coast, ghost forests provide haunting signs of sea-level rise. These stands of bleached and broken tree trunks are all that remain after salty water inundates a forest.

Matt Kirwan is with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. He says ghost forests are not a new phenomenon, but they're moving inland faster as seas rise.

"Eventually they'll fall apart and become stumps surrounded by marshland," he says. "And so when you see a ghost forest now, you're seeing where the marsh will be in the future."

Marshes are valuable ecosystems, so in some ways, that's positive.

"Ghost forests are a surprising indicator of ecological resilience in coastal systems," Kirwan says. "They mark how marshes naturally migrate in response to sea-level rise."

But that migration comes at a cost.

"Places that people have lived for hundreds of years are becoming too wet and too salty to grow crops on, in some cases," Kirwan says. "And of course, the forest resources are being lost. And in some cases, people are forced to move from their homes as the land becomes too flooded."

So ghost forests have become eerie symbols of rapid change.

Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.

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