By Pamela Davis-Kean
With in-person instruction becoming the exception rather than the norm, 54% of parents with school-age children expressed concern that their children could fall behind academically, according to a poll conducted over the summer of 2020. Initial projections from the Northwest Evaluation Association, which conducts research and creates commonly used standardized tests, suggest that these fears are well-grounded, especially for children from low-income families.
- How Other Countries Reopened Schools During the Pandemic ... ›
- Young People Are Primary Coronavirus Spreaders, WHO Warns ... ›
- How Families Can Boost Kids' Mental Health During the Pandemic ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Yet another former Trump administration staffer has come out with an endorsement for former Vice President Joe Biden, this time in response to President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Trump Denies CDC Director's 2021 Timeline for Coronavirus Vaccine ›
- Trump Orders Hospitals to Stop Sending COVID-19 Data to CDC ... ›
- Two White House Staffers Test Positive for Coronavirus - EcoWatch ›
- Trump Admin to Disband Coronavirus Task Force - EcoWatch ›
- Pence Offers 'Prayers' as Hurricane Laura Hits Gulf Coast While ›
Every September for the past 11 years, non-profit the Climate Group has hosted Climate Week NYC, a chance for business, government, activist and community leaders to come together and discuss solutions to the climate crisis.
- Covering the 2020 Elections as a Climate Story - EcoWatch ›
- Coronavirus Delays 2020 Earth Overshoot Day by Three Weeks ... ›
- Massive 'Climate Clock' Is Unveiled in New York City - EcoWatch ›
The secretive blueprints for two of the leading vaccine candidates for the coronavirus were released Thursday. Pfizer and Moderna became the first two companies among the nine leading vaccine candidates to share their study designs, hoping that the disclosures will create trust and clarity for the public, as The New York Times reported.
- Tapes Show Trump Knew Coronavirus Was Deadly While ... ›
- U.S. Sits out as World Leaders Pledge $8 Billion to Find a COVID-19 ... ›
- White House Ordered Coronavirus Meetings Be Classified - EcoWatch ›
- COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Put on Hold Over Safety Concerns ... ›
- Drugs Touted by Trump for COVID-19 Increase Heart Risks, Studies ... ›
By Brett Wilkins
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the meatpacking industry worked together to downplay and disregard risks to worker health during the Covid-19 pandemic, as shown in documents published Monday by Public Citizen and American Oversight.
<div id="13077" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="11b9fe5ff48ebc437353df6df9c2c892"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1305915938148147205" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Just a week before the Trump administration issued an executive order aimed at keeping meat packing plants open, th… https://t.co/DkbXgPm4YR</div> — ProPublica (@ProPublica)<a href="https://twitter.com/propublica/statuses/1305915938148147205">1600189597.0</a></blockquote></div>
<div id="36e4c" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e7c8048c2755109629a3b3072fcb3261"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1304424041814593539" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Meatpacking union @UFCW, which reps workers at this plant (four of whom died), slams OSHA for the small $13k fine a… https://t.co/tnhfKd89ab</div> — Dave Jamieson (@Dave Jamieson)<a href="https://twitter.com/jamieson/statuses/1304424041814593539">1599833901.0</a></blockquote></div><p>The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, which represents Smithfield Foods workers, <a href="https://www.argusleader.com/story/news/crime/2020/09/10/osha-fines-smithfield-foods-sioux-falls-south-dakota/5768786002/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=f7bf3f03-ce98-4df4-9c45-f44d9a6a5890" target="_blank">slammed</a> the fine as "insulting and a slap on the wrist."</p><p>"How much is the health, safety, and life of an essential worker worth? Based on the actions of the Trump administration, clearly not much," said UFCW president Marc Perrone.</p><p>"This so-called 'fine' is a slap on the wrist for Smithfield, and a slap in the face of the thousands of American meatpacking workers who have been putting their lives on the line to help feed America since the beginning of this pandemic," Perrone added. </p><p>Other critics, including vegans, vegetarians, and animal rights and environmental advocates argued that the accelerated spread of Covid-19 from meatpacking facilities is but the latest compelling argument in favor of reducing—or eliminating—meat consumption.</p><p>"We know that Covid-19 originated in a meat market and that previous influenza viruses originated in pigs and chickens," People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) <a href="https://www.peta.org/blog/meat-shortage-slaugherhouses-go-vegan/" target="_blank">said</a> in April amid news that a Foster Farms slaughterhouse in Livingston, California was <a href="https://www.peta.org/blog/coronavirus-covid-19-slaughterhouse-meat-concerns/?utm_source=PETA::Twitter&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=0420::veg::PETA::Twitter::Workers%20Blame%20Major%20Pig%20Slaughterhouse%20600%20Infected%20COVID-19::::tweet" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">ordered closed</a> by local health authorities due to a Covid-19 outbreak that killed eight employees.</p>
<div id="28490" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="48ddd3480a2beb42597d9516ef652f0f"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1252416495990140929" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS! @SmithfieldFoods allegedly took NO PRECAUTIONS to protect the safety of its workers, leaving o… https://t.co/viAJ026pLy</div> — PETA (@PETA)<a href="https://twitter.com/peta/statuses/1252416495990140929">1587434336.0</a></blockquote></div><p>"It's not a matter of <em>whether</em> using and killing animals for food will give rise to another disease outbreak—it's a matter of <em>when</em>," said PETA. "There has never been a better, more obvious time for businesses to put an end to their dirty trade of slaughtering animals for their flesh." </p>
The pandemic has affected everyone, but mental health experts warn that youth and teens are suffering disproportionately and that depression and suicide rates are increasing.
- How Families Can Boost Kids' Mental Health During the Pandemic ... ›
- How to Deal With Cabin Fever - EcoWatch ›
- 'Quarantine Fatigue' Is Real. Here's How to Cope - EcoWatch ›
Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), testified before the Senate health panel Wednesday and discussed a realistic timeline for a vaccine. While he said an initial vaccine for the novel coronavirus may be ready by November or December, the first batch will have an extremely limited supply that will go to the most vulnerable populations, as The Washington Post reported.
- White House Ordered Coronavirus Meetings Be Classified - EcoWatch ›
- Coronavirus and the Terrifying Muzzling of Public Health Experts ... ›
- CDC Data Censorship Sparks Outcry, Forces HHS to Reverse Course ›
- Trump Admin Rejects CDC Reopening Guidelines - EcoWatch ›
- Sanders Rips Trump's Push to Rush COVID Vaccine - EcoWatch ›
- Former Pence Aid Endorses Biden, Says Trump Cared More About Re-election Than Stopping Coronavirus - EcoWatch ›
A record number of new coronavirus cases within a 24-hour-period was reported Sunday, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
New Zealand’s Ardern Pledges 100% Renewable Energy by 2030 if Her Labour Party Wins Next Month’s Election
- Jacinda Ardern: Australia Must 'Answer to the Pacific' ›
- New Zealand Passes 'Historic' Zero Emissions Bill - EcoWatch ›
- New Zealand Bans New Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration - EcoWatch ›
- New Zealand Will Consider Climate Crisis in All Major Policy ... ›
By Ashutosh Pandey
In 1973, a handful of oil-rich countries, led by Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq, brought the mighty U.S. economy to its knees by slapping an oil embargo on Washington and its allies. The suspension of oil shipments from the Middle East to the U.S. and steep production cuts in retaliation for the Americans' support of Israel during the Yom Kippur War wreaked havoc on the U.S. economy, leading to fuel shortages and causing oil prices to go through the roof.
Peak Oil Debate Heats Up Amid COVID-19 Crisis<p>The bloc's waning influence has coincided with oil's fall from grace. The fossil fuel has seen its share in the global energy mix diminish to about 33% from a peak of 50% in 1973, according to estimates by BP, as governments and companies shift to cleaner energy sources to combat climate change. By contrast, renewables, mostly from solar and wind, have seen their share rise, accounting for over 40% of global energy growth last year, according to BP's data.</p><p>"Oil isn't as significant or visible as it used to be. For example, do you know who the head of Exxon is? Probably not. Do you know who the head of Tesla is? Yes, Elon Musk," said Philippe Benoit, from consultancy Global Infrastructure Advisory Services 2050. </p><p>The COVID-19 pandemic has further dimmed oil's prospects. Global lockdowns brought cars, planes and trains to a screeching halt, causing oil consumption to drop by a quarter and <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/oil-prices-collapse-with-biggest-drop-since-1991-gulf-war/a-52687503" target="_blank">oil prices to crash to multiyear lows,</a> even trading below $0 a barrel in the US at one point. Transportation accounts for close to a third of the global oil demand. </p><p>Experts don't see the automobile and aviation sectors returning to their pre-pandemic levels for the next 3-5 years at least. The airline industry was touted to be the biggest growth engine for oil, riding on demand from people getting richer, but that now looks unlikely, especially over the next few years. </p><p>Oil industry leaders, including BP's chief executive, Bernard Looney, and Royal Dutch Shell's boss Ben van Beurden, have said the current crisis may cause the <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/when-will-peak-oil-hit-global-energy-markets/a-51367939" target="_blank">oil demand to peak sooner than expected.</a></p><p>"The backdrop of declining demand means that the Kingdom [of Saudi Arabia] and its Gulf allies would find it increasingly difficult to manipulate supply and boost prices for any length of time," Jason Tuvey, of Capital Economics, wrote in a note to clients. "If prices are kept artificially high for an extended period, oil demand will end up declining at an even faster pace and the nimbleness of U.S. shale production means that non-OPEC supply will expand." </p>
'OPEC Is a Saudi Mouthpiece'<p>OPEC was founded in Baghdad in September 1960 by Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. The bloc, which has expanded and contracted over the years, has been plagued by squabbles over strategy and regional power struggles, which have occasionally turned into full-blown conflicts like the Iran-Iraq war and Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990. </p><p>Saudi Arabia, which produces a third of OPEC's oil, has remained the de facto leader of the bloc since the 1990s, when conflicts, corruption and poor management wrecked production in other member countries, including regional rivals Iran and Iraq. </p><p>Riyadh has oscillated between propping up crude oil prices and shielding its market share, often unilaterally. "OPEC is a Saudi mouthpiece," Colgan said. In March, when OPEC+ negotiations to cut output in response to the pandemic collapsed, Saudi Arabia launched a price war against Russia — much to the dismay of <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/oil-price-war-saudi-arabia-russia-us-nigeria-angola/a-52718595" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">weaker OPEC members such as Nigeria and Angola,</a> already bleeding due to low oil prices caused by Riyadh's 2015-16 misadventure. </p><p>Despite all its sway, Saudi Arabia has struggled to rein in the <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/will-coronavirus-oil-shock-rein-in-opec-cheaters/a-53277101" target="_blank">bloc's so-called cheaters, including Nigeria and Iraq,</a> which have been notorious for failing to comply with pledged output cuts aimed at propping up oil prices. Riyadh, which is more vulnerable to low oil prices than other major oil producers with its break-even oil price exceeding $80 a barrel, has ended up doing much of the heavy lifting to ensure overall compliance.</p><p>Tuvey of Capital Economics says in the medium-term Saudi Arabia will scale back its efforts to prop up oil prices and revert to the strategy of shielding its market share at any cost to avoid leaving substantial quantities of oil stranded amid falling demand. </p><p><span></span>"Such a shift in policy, particularly if it were sudden and unexpected, would put some downward pressure on oil prices. But this is unlikely to be too troubling for the kingdom, and the government has proven its willingness to impose harsh fiscal austerity," Tuvey said. "Saudi policymakers won't have much sympathy for other producers that fail to adjust their economies to low oil prices."</p>
Bigger Role for OPEC?<p>Yet it may be too early to write an obituary for the bloc, <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/saudi-arabia-considering-breaking-up-opec-report/a-46226353" target="_blank">which has survived many crises in the past 60 years,</a> eliciting comparisons to the proverbial cat with nine lives. Oil is likely to remain the world's most important commodity for years to come.</p><p>"Paradoxically, OPEC as an aggregator, a point of meeting for many producing nations, could potentially play a bigger role in managing the tensions of a contracting market among those oil producers," Benoit said. </p>
- The Beginning of the End of the Old Oil Order - EcoWatch ›
- Climate Activists Respond to OPEC Official Calling Them 'Greatest ... ›
- OPEC Wants to “Crush U.S. Shale” - EcoWatch ›
- Oil Demand May Have Peaked in 2019, BP Report Says - EcoWatch ›
By Jessica Corbett
As the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the United States surpassed 6.43 million and the nation's death toll topped 192,600, the federal government's top infectious disease expert warned Friday that life likely won't return to normal until sometime—perhaps late—in 2021.
- U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll Now No. 1 in World - EcoWatch ›
- Trump Terminates U.S. Ties With the World Health Organization ... ›
- Fauci Warns Bad Second Wave of Coronavirus Could Hit U.S. ... ›
By Sean Taylor
MilkRun, a Portland, Oregon-based company, is supporting small, local farmers by enabling them to sell produce safely and directly to consumers' homes.
By Brett Wilkins
In the nearly six months since President Donald Trump declared a public health emergency over the coronavirus pandemic, he has rolled back at least 30 public protections, while proposing changes to at least 20 others, according to a report published Thursday by Public Citizen's Coalition on Sensible Safeguards.
The report—Pandemic Rollbacks: Slashing Safeguards During the Coronavirus—tracks dozens of regulatory rollbacks enacted or proposed by the Trump administration since March.
<div id="4dd61" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="fbdc0a617c3c5d28cd82b3c2021679d0"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1304042392274771969" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">SCOOP: Six months after his emergency declaration, Trump has repealed more than 30 public protections that have not… https://t.co/19r1AuV5Pp</div> — Sensible Safeguards (@Sensible Safeguards)<a href="https://twitter.com/goodregs/statuses/1304042392274771969">1599742908.0</a></blockquote></div>
- Trump Announces Final Rollback of Law That Gives Communities a ... ›
- Trump Named 'Worst President for Our Environment in History' by ... ›
- Latest Trump Rollback Targets Water-Saving Showerheads ... ›