As Congress considers formulating economic recovery and relief packages for the nation, robust funding must be targeted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) pre-disaster mitigation programs to help prepare and protect communities ahead of time, particularly African American, Latinx and Native American communities that are suffering the brunt of the pandemic in this dire time. Read more >
April 29, 2020 5:55 PM EDT
January 10, 2020 4:02 PM EDT
I’m writing from Australia with a heavy heart and a growing sense of anger.
Uncontrolled bushfires, sparked in September and raging since October, continue to ravage the southern and eastern parts of the continent. So far, 25 people have lost their lives, thousands of houses have been destroyed, and whole towns have been razed to the ground. Countless native animals and livestock have died. Communities are grieving. And there are months left to go in this fire season.
While the unfolding tragedy that has captured global headlines highlights our vulnerability in a rapidly warming climate, it also exposes a gaping absence of climate leadership both in this country and globally. Communities have been left shattered, exhausted and looking for answers. As a climate scientist who has been working on these issues for decades, I share below some thoughts on how we got here and the urgent new course we need to set. Read more >
November 25, 2019 10:10 AM EDT
We live in a time of extremes. Our daily news cycle is replete with extreme language, extreme corruption, and extreme threats. It’s easy to become numb, a self-defense mechanism, and equate these extremes with normal. I sometimes find myself falling victim to this mentality, and quickly snap out of it.
Before this barrage of daily extremes I had a much more benign, Earthly connection with the concept of ‘extreme’. I’m a scientist who studies our northern forests, boreal forests. I’ve always been fascinated by the ability of boreal trees, animals, and other organisms to thrive in such extreme conditions. After flying north and setting foot in a dense, mossy boreal forest, the extreme is palpable. Read more >
California Wildfires and Power Outages Signal Long Road Ahead, But Climate Ambition Sets the Right Course
November 1, 2019 12:10 PM EDT
In California, this fall marked the third consecutive year of catastrophic blazes ripping across the state. It marked the first year in which those blazes were accompanied by the widescale deployment of multi-day, multi-city pre-emptive power outages.
July 31, 2019 3:56 PM EDT
During the (on-going) 2019 fire season, over 2 million acres have burned – an area roughly equivalent to that of Yellowstone National Park. In comparison to many fires in the conterminous United States, many fires in Alaska burn far away from population centers, and as such can be fought and responded to differently. However, to put the alarming nature of this season in context, the 2019 fire season in Alaska has already burned greater acreage than ALL fires in California during 2018 (~1.8 million acres), the year of the devastating Camp, Woolsey, and Carr fires. Read more >