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British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver will be launching his Food Revolution May 20. The global campaign aims to address the global health crisis by facilitating debate and inspiring positive change in the way children access, consume and understand food.
Oliver is looking to engage as many revolutionaries as possible to sign up and join the revolution to fix the broken food system. This campaign will be an ongoing effort to create lasting change to help the world feed the future. From May 20 onward, the new Food Revolution website will be uniting revolutionaries and showcasing food revolution events and stories from around the world.
Oliver's website explains that millions of children are eating too much of the wrong food while millions more don't get enough good food to grow and thrive. As a result, nearly 1 billion people in the world are hungry, while another 1 billion people are overweight or obese, according to the Worldwatch Institute. Solving this problem requires securing access to fresh, nutritious food for every eater on the planet.
In addition to signing up online to stay informed about the latest Food Revolution news, Oliver has laid out several steps for people to get involved:
Get cooking. Oliver is sharing 10 simple and nutritious recipes to encourage people to cook and learn essential culinary skills. He's inviting everyone to join him in cooking during a Facebook live event on May 20.
Get the kids involved. Parents and teachers should discuss these issues with kids to inspire them to appreciate food. Oliver has provided a special recipe and lesson plan for schools that's designed just for kids. There's also a collection of resources online for parents to get kids excited about food.
Show your support. Once you've joined the movement, invite your friends and family to do the same by sharing the campaign on social media or organizing offline events. You can use these materials to spread the word (but not for commercial use).
Become an ambassador. To take it a step further, join the team of volunteer food ambassadors who promote food access in their communities. You can apply here.
Lani Furbank is a writer and photographer based in the Washington, DC metro area, where she covers the intersection of food, farming and the environment for local and national publications. Follower her on Twitter @lanifurbank.
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Colorado River Has Lost 1.5 Billion Tons of Water to the Climate Crisis, 'Severe Water Shortages' May Follow
California is headed toward drought conditions as February, typically the state's wettest month, passes without a drop of rain. The lack of rainfall could lead to early fire conditions. With no rain predicted for the next week, it looks as if this month will be only the second time in 170 years that San Francisco has not had a drop of rain in February, according to The Weather Channel.
The last time San Francisco did not record a drop of rain in February was in 1864 as the Civil War raged.
"This hasn't happened in 150 years or more," said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability to The Guardian. "There have even been a couple [of] wildfires – which is definitely not something you typically hear about in the middle of winter."
While the Pacific Northwest has flooded from heavy rains, the southern part of the West Coast has seen one storm after another pass by. Last week, the U.S. Drought Monitor said more Californians are in drought conditions than at any time during 2019, as The Weather Channel reported.
The dry winter has included areas that have seen devastating fires recently, including Sonoma, Napa, Lake and Mendocino counties. If the dry conditions continue, those areas will once again have dangerously high fire conditions, according to The Mercury News.
"Given what we've seen so far this year and the forecast for the next few weeks, I do think it's pretty likely we'll end up in some degree of drought by this summer," said Swain, as The Mercury News reported.
Another alarming sign of an impending drought is the decreased snowpack in the Sierra Nevada Mountain range. The National Weather Service posted to Twitter a side-by-side comparison of snowpack from February 2019 and from this year, illustrating the puny snowpack this year. The snow accumulated in the Sierra Nevadas provides water to roughly 30 percent of the state, according to NBC Los Angeles.
Right now, the snowpack is at 53 percent of its normal volume after two warm and dry months to start the year. It is a remarkable decline, considering that the snowpack started 2020 at 90 percent of its historical average, as The Guardian reported.
"Those numbers are going to continue to go down," said Swain. "I would guess that the 1 March number is going to be less than 50 percent."
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center forecast that the drier-than-average conditions may last through April.
NOAA said Northern California will continue deeper into drought through the end of April, citing that the "persistent high pressure over the North Pacific Ocean is expected to continue, diverting storm systems to the north and south and away from California and parts of the Southwest," as The Weather Channel reported.
As the climate crisis escalates and the world continues to heat up, California should expect to see water drawn out of its ecosystem, making the state warmer and drier. Increased heat will lead to further loss of snow, both as less falls and as more of it melts quickly, according to The Guardian.
"We aren't going to necessarily see less rain, it's just that that rain goes less far. That's a future where the flood risk extends, with bigger wetter storms in a warming world," said Swain, as The Guardian reported.
The Guardian noted that while California's reservoirs are currently near capacity, the more immediate impact of the warm, dry winter will be how it raises the fire danger as trees and grasslands dry out.
"The plants and the forests don't benefit from the water storage reservoirs," said Swain, as The Mercury News reported. "If conditions remain very dry heading into summer, the landscape and vegetation is definitely going to feel it this year. From a wildfire perspective, the dry years do tend to be the bad fire years, especially in Northern California."
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A warm day in winter used to be a rare and uplifting relief.
Now such days are routine reminders of climate change – all the more foreboding when they coincide with news stories about unprecedented wildfires, record-breaking "rain bombs," or the accelerated melting of polar ice sheets.
Where, then, can one turn for hope in these dark months of the year?