COVID-Climate Collision

Union of Concerned Scientists’ Climate team analyzes the collision between the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.


Hurricane Laura damages home in Lake Charles, LA/FEMA

Did EPA’s Non-Enforcement Policy Cause Lake Charles Chemical Plant Fire As COVID-Climate Disasters Pile Up?

, Senior Climate Justice and Health Scientist

In Westlake Louisiana, near Lake Charles, a chemical manufacturing plant fire last week increased the public health threat environmental justice communities are already facing. The fire released chlorine gas into the air, leading to a ‘stay at home’ order for residents who had not evacuated in anticipation of Hurricane Laura. Because of that order, and directions to keep windows and doors closed and not use air conditioners, depending on their situations, people may have been at an increased risk of COVID-19 infection and adverse health effects from the chlorine gas, on top of the danger from Hurricane Laura. Read more >

FEMA
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Hurricane Michael

With Hurricane and COVID-19 Preparedness, Communities Are Damned if they Do and Damned if they Don’t

, Senior Climate Justice and Health Scientist

Hurricane season is arriving in the middle of a global pandemic. What is the plan? Read more >

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Hurricane Dennis/US Navy

Real-Time Lessons on COVID-19 and US Hurricane Response: What We’ve Learned from Hanna and Isaias

, climate scientist

This hurricane season is particularly unique in a couple of ways – not only has it had various earliest named storms, but it is happening amidst a pandemic. The novel coronavirus is everywhere in the U.S. and in the world, and to respond to a disaster under the threat of contagion is nothing short of an extraordinary challenge. Read more >

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Forest Service Photo by Kari Greer

U.S. West Faces a Grim Summer as Red Flag Fire and COVID-19 Warnings Mount

, Kendall Science Fellow

Across the Western US, surges of COVID-19 cases are colliding with wildfires. New warnings that states with the highest number of cases in the country are now facing immediate fire risk mean the picture is about to get grimmer for this region. Read more >

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Retha Ferguson/Pexels

Researchers Find Deadliest Aspect of COVID-19 for People of Color: Racism

, Senior Climate Justice and Health Scientist

Environmental and economic conditions experienced by people of color are influenced not only by the environmental injustices of living in contaminated areas, but also by climate change impacts. Those impacts affect vulnerable communities first and worst, and this is exacerbated by COVID-19, which has ravaged the lives of Black, Latino and Indigenous communities. The underlying cause that runs through these issues is racism, plain and simple. Read more >

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