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100 mph Winds Kill Two in First Named Storm to Hit UK and Ireland This Season
Storm Ali, the first named storm of the UK storm season, killed two and sent several to the hospital as winds of more than 100 miles per hour walloped Ireland, Scotland and Northern England Wednesday, The Guardian reported.
More than 250,000 homes and businesses in Ireland lost power and 30,000 lost power in southwest Scotland.
High wind also delayed flights and suspended train service in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
A cruise ship in Greenock, Scotland with 500 on board broke free from its moorings and had to be rescued by tug boats, BBC News reported.
The first death occurred Wednesday morning when wind blew a caravan off a cliff in western Ireland.
"At approximately 7:45 a.m., a report was received that a caravan had blown off the cliff at the above location. A search was carried out at the scene on the beach and after a short time the body of a female in her 50s was recovered," Irish police said in a statement reported by The Guardian.
Locals identified the woman as Swiss tourist Elvira Ferraii, The Guardian reported.
The second fatality occurred in Northern Ireland when a tree fell on two men working for Northern Ireland Water in Slieve Gullion Forest Park. One man, in his 20s, died and the other, in his 40s, was injured.
Another woman in Cheshire County in England was seriously injured when a tree fell on her car.
Even if warming is limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the cost of destruction from wind storms could increase by more than a third in some parts of the UK.
High winds will increase in all parts of the UK except the South and Southeast, and be especially strong in the midlands, Yorkshire and Northern Ireland as warmer temperatures cause the path of Atlantic storms to shift north.
Head Gardener of the Kilmacurragh Botanic Gardens in Ireland Séamus O'Brien told The Irish Times that he could detect the footprints of climate change in Wednesday's storm.
O'Brien said that storms were coming from the east instead of the southwest, as they had in the past, and this caused more trees to topple.
"This is part of the scenario of climate change," he said.
The total number of trees in Ireland to fall because of Storm Ali has yet to be calculated, but the country has lost many trees to storms during the past 18 months, The Irish Times reported.
O'Brien said that his botanical garden only lost one tree, while the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin were more impacted.O'Brien said trees were most vulnerable in soggy, wet soil but that droughts like the one Ireland faced this summer
could also pose a problem, as dry soil made trees "more prone to rocking."
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'We Should Be Retreating Already From the Coastline,' Scientist Suggests After Finding Warm Waters Below Greenland
By Johnny Wood
The Ganges is a lifeline for the people of India, spiritually and economically. On its journey from the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal, it supports fishermen, farmers and an abundance of wildlife.
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By Jake Johnson
As a growing number of states move to pass laws that would criminalize pipeline protests and hit demonstrators with years in prison, an audio recording obtained by The Intercept showed a representative of a powerful oil and gas lobbying group bragging about the industry's success in crafting anti-protest legislation behind closed doors.
Speaking during a conference in Washington, DC in June, Derrick Morgan, senior vice president for federal and regulatory affairs at the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), touted "model legislation" that states across the nation have passed in recent months.
AFPM represents a number of major fossil fuel giants, including Chevron, Koch Industries and ExxonMobil.
"We've seen a lot of success at the state level, particularly starting with Oklahoma in 2017," said Morgan, citing Dakota Access Pipeline protests as the motivation behind the aggressive lobbying effort. "We're up to nine states that have passed laws that are substantially close to the model policy that you have in your packet."
Big Oil is now using its political power to try and criminalize protests of oil & gas infrastructure.— Friends of the Earth (@foe_us) August 19, 2019
"This legislation has potential to punish public participation and mischaracterize advocacy protected by the First Amendment."https://t.co/bmiHjONEhy
The audio recording comes just months after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law legislation that would punish anti-pipeline demonstrators with up to 10 years in prison, a move environmentalists condemned as a flagrant attack on free expression.
"Big Oil is hijacking our legislative system," Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network said after the Texas Senate passed the bill in May.
As The Intercept's Lee Fang reported Monday, the model legislation Morgan cited in his remarks "has been introduced in various forms in 22 states and passed in ... Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota."
"The AFPM lobbyist also boasted that the template legislation has enjoyed bipartisan support," according to Fang. "In Louisiana, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the version of the bill there, which is being challenged by the Center for Constitutional Rights. Even in Illinois, Morgan noted, 'We almost got that across the finish line in a very Democratic-dominated legislature.' The bill did not pass as it got pushed aside over time constraints at the end of the legislative session."
Many of the state bills restricting the right to protest have been "drafted by companies and passed through groups like ALEC, the secretive group of corporate lobbyists trying to rewrite state laws to benefit corporations over people." @greenpeaceusa https://t.co/ZxpTjWdrwT— Stand Up To ALEC (@StandUpToALEC) May 6, 2019
Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.