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Summer 2023

Hot off the press

The court found that young people have a constitutional right to a healthful environment and that regulators must be allowed to consider climate impact.

YEAH!!!

And read with dismay what follows on HEAT (the planet registers the highest temperatures on record, rising in some places to levels incompatible with human life) and with hope CLEAN ENERGY (governments around the world are pouring trillions of dollars into clean energy to cut the carbon pollution that is broiling the planet). Clean Energy Future Is Arriving Faster Than You Think.

Belle, Victoria and the Climate Team

Links to Articles

Extreme Weather – Heat Waves

Heat Waves and the Sweep of History

This burning summer is taking us out of human time

By Bill McKibben

There’s history, and there’s History—and it’s possible that the second is what we’re living through in this summer of temperatures never before recorded by humans (article attached).

The system of ocean currents that regulates the climate for a swath of the planet could collapse sooner than expected, a new analysis found. The new research, in the journal Nature Communications, adds to a growing body of scientific work that describes how humankind’s continued emissions of heat-trapping gases could set off climate “tipping points,” or rapid and hard-to-reverse changes in the environment.

From north to south, temperatures are surging as greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere and combine with effects from El Niño.

By Brad Plumer and Elena Shao

A chart shows daily average air temperatures worldwide for each day since 1979 and ends on July 5, 2023. On Tuesday, global average temperatures rose to a new high of 62.9 degrees Fahrenheit.

Wildfires in Hawaii

Declining rainfall, rising temperatures and invasive species have left the islands more susceptible to wildfires. The explanation is as straightforward as it is sobering: As the planet heats up, no place is protected from disasters.

What began as scattered brush fires on the state’s biggest islands, Hawaii and Maui, turned deadly by the middle of last week. By Saturday evening local time, at least 93 people had been confirmed dead, and many on the island remain unaccounted for. The rapid spread of the flames caught state officials and residents by surprise, and the Maui Emergency Management Agency estimates that it will cost $5.52 billion to rebuild in Maui County.

Marin Wildfire Protection Agency (MWPA) – Insurance Coverage

Marin Voice: Wildfire prevention authority working to preserve insurance coverage (article attached)

By Mark Brown and Dennis Rodoni

An alarming trend is underway in California as homeowner insurance companies are either dropping coverage or escalating rates in high fire risk areas.

Wildfires

By Richard Halstead

Crews started work this week on a 60-mile-long, continuous shaded fuel break that will encircle both incorporated and unincorporated Novato as a protective cushion against wildfires.

The 200- to 300-foot-wide break will skirt 5,200 residences on the area’s outer edges and cover more than 3,400 acres.

Smoke permeates everything and impacts everyone. The visible stew of carbon and particulates typically from emission sources travels in the air, shrouds buildings, suffocates birds, and penetrates deep into the lungs. Now researchers believe wildfire smoke may impact the brain too.

By Nadja Popovich

Wildfires in Canada have burned a staggering 25 million acres so far this year, an area roughly the size of Kentucky. With more than a month of peak fire season left to go, 2023 has already eclipsed Canada’s previous annual record from 1989, when over 18 million acres were scorched. And the country’s worst wildfire season on record continues to rage.

Clean Energy and Renewables

The United States is pivoting away from fossil fuels and toward wind, solar and other renewable energy, even in areas dominated by the oil and gas industries.

David Gelles reported from Tulsa, Okla.; Brad Plumer and Jim Tankersley from Washington; and Jack Ewing from New York to see how an accelerated energy transition is playing out. Photographs by Mason Trinca.

This is the first article in a three-part series examining the speed, challenges and politics of the American economy moving toward clean energy.

By Jeff Goodell

With its zinc roofs and minimal tree cover, Paris was not built to handle the new era of extreme heat. Now, like other cities worldwide, it is looking at ways to adapt to rising temperatures — planting rooftop terraces, rethinking its pavements, and greening its boulevards.


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