New Mexico Tribes Step Up to Protect Land Before Fossil Fuels Vote
Native American tribes are voicing concerns and demanding input on regulations on fossil fuel development in a New Mexico county, in the latest wave of tribal voices growing louder on oil and gas development across the country.
Sandoval County, home to 12 Native tribes, will hold a final vote in January on a draft ordinance to regulate oil and gas development in the county. In packed public meetings over the proposed ordinance last week, tribal leaders called out the lack of tribal input in the draft ordinance and raised concerns over the ordinance's lack of protections for water, air and land resources.
Santo Domingo Pueblo Gov. Robert Coriz, who says he was one of the leaders not consulted on the ordinance, told the AP the decision must be based "on honest, open, respectful communication" with tribes.
As reported by the Washington Post:
"At a contentious meeting late last week, Ahjani Yepa of Jemez Pueblo spoke about the connection between her people and the land, spurring fellow activists in the crowd to raise their fists in solidarity.
'As with many cultures and religions, we do not have a book to guide us. The land is our Bible. Once it is gone, you cannot print another copy,' she told members of the Sandoval County Commission."
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By Jeff Masters, Ph.D.
Earth had its second-warmest year on record in 2020, just 0.02 degrees Celsius (0.04°F) behind the record set in 2016, and 0.98 degrees Celsius (1.76°F) above the 20th-century average, NOAA reported January 14.
Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for 2020, the second-warmest year the globe has seen since record-keeping began in 1880, according to NOAA. Record-high annual temperatures over land and ocean surfaces were measured across parts of Europe, Asia, southern North America, South America, and across parts of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans. No land or ocean areas were record cold for the year. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information
Figure 2. Total ocean heat content (OHC) in the top 2000 meters from 1958-2020. Cheng et al., Upper Ocean Temperatures Hit Record High in 2020, Advances in Atmospheric Sciences
Figure 3. Departure of sea surface temperature from average in the benchmark Niño 3.4 region of the eastern tropical Pacific (5°N-5°S, 170°W-120°W). Sea surface temperature were approximately one degree Celsius below average over the past month, characteristic of moderate La Niña conditions. Tropical Tidbits
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