climate and health


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Development to Meet San Joaquin Valley’s Population Growth, Extreme Temperature Must be Climate-Smart

, Western states senior climate analyst

Living in the San Joaquin Valley means living with heat, where historically July temperatures can regularly be 95-100°F. Over the next 30-70 years, it will get even hotter due to heat-trapping carbon emissions, primarily from the burning of fossil fuels. These higher temperatures will place additional pressure on the region’s critical infrastructure and vulnerable populations, like children, the elderly, and outdoor workers. Hotter days and nights can also stress the infrastructure that people rely on to keep cool when it is dangerously hot outside, like the electricity grid and buildings. Read more >

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Indigenous People of Louisiana and the Oil Industry: An Ishak Reflection

Jeffery U. Darensbourg, freelance writer, speaker, and editor, , UCS

While doing field research in 2018 for a book, I took a boat to a shell midden in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana, near where the Vermilion River – long home to my ancestors of various sorts – meets up with the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway before spilling into the Gulf of Mexico. My people, the Ishak, also known as the Atakapa (or even the Atakapa-Ishak) once inhabited the nearby Onion Bayou. Our ancient midden is bisected by a ship channel known as Four Mile Cutoff.

Standing there, I watched ships ferrying workers and equipment for oil exploration, going straight through the middle of this remnant of our cultural legacy. In our tribal creation myth, the first Ishak walked out of that very gulf onto our lands. Now something else coming from there is a dominant cultural, environmental, and economic force.

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