The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Wildfires Rage Through Portugal and Spain, Kill at Least 39
Wildfires have killed at least 39 people in Spain and Portugal since Sunday.
Hundreds of fires in both countries are being fanned by winds from Hurricane Ophelia in the north, currently barreling towards Ireland, and encouraged by extremely dry terrain from a scorching hot summer in the region.
Sixty-four people died in a wildfire in Portugal in June, and the country has declared a state of emergency in the northern region. "We are facing new (weather) conditions" due to climate change, Portuguese Interior Minister Constanca Urbano de Sousa told the press, as she also referenced the fires blazing in California. "In an era of climate change, such disasters are becoming reality all over the world."
As reported by Vox:
Meanwhile, the European Environment Agency projected a rise in the "length and severity of the fire season, the area at risk and the probability of large fires," as average temperature rises this century.
Europe's fire season has already grown from July through August to June through October over the past 50 years."
For a deeper dive:
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Low-Fat Diets Rich in Fruits and Veggies May Reduce Women’s Risk of Breast Cancer Death, Study Finds
Colorado senator and 2020 hopeful Michael Bennet introduced his plan to combat climate change Monday, in the first major policy rollout of his campaign. Bennet's plan calls for the establishment of a "Climate Bank," using $1 trillion in federal spending to "catalyze" $10 trillion in private spending for the U.S. to transition entirely to net-zero emissions by 2050.
When Trump's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its replacement for the Obama-era Clean Power Plan in August 2018, its own estimates said the reduced regulations could lead to 1,400 early deaths a year from air pollution by 2030.
Now, the EPA wants to change the way it calculates the risks posed by particulate matter pollution, using a model that would lower the death toll from the new plan, The New York Times reported Monday. Five current or former EPA officials familiar with the plan told The Times that the new method would assume there is no significant health gain by lowering air pollution levels below the legal limit. However, many public health experts say that there is no safe level of particulate matter exposure, which has long been linked to heart and lung disease.