Rainfall, storms, grasshoppers, wildfires, drought. We've got 'em all right now, folks, in biblical proportions. And yet climate change is still stuck back in the action queue.
Here's just a small taste of what we're dealing with:
- Last month saw stunning new temperature records set in famously cool places like Portland, Oregon (116°F) and a satellite-recorded 118°F in Siberia above the Arctic Circle;
- Hellacious blazes cover the West, and their drifting smoke is now a daily feature over Boston, New York and Washington, DC. It will likely reach Europe for the second consecutive year;
- Unprecedented, extended deluges have washed away old German villages and streets in the desert town of St. George, Utah;
- Warming waters around the Chinese port city of Qingdao developed an algae-clogged "dead zone" in mid-July – far sooner than any year since it first appeared 15 years ago. Like its Gulf of Mexico cousin, the algae bloom shuts down Qingdao's fishing industry and reportedly stinks to high heaven.
All of these things might tempt you to think we've reached a moment of enlightenment on climate action — and climate denial would give way to a torrent of on-the-ground evidence that the climate crisis is underway and that action is long overdue.
But no. At least not in America.
It didn't shock me when a sharply winnowed-down infrastructure bill limped out of negotiations on Thursday and many of its climate considerations were gone. They were given away as bargaining chips for what Democrats see as more reasonable ways to find middle ground with Republicans.
From its leadership down to its oh-so-colorful base, the GOP has teased, if not embraced, doubt and conspiracy theories about vaccines and mask-wearing, our primary tools against COVID-19. Never mind what science says about the stack of 600,000 -and-growing COVID corpses.
For that matter, there's that other pile of American corpses – the one from gun violence – for which the presumed antidote is more guns.
Yeah, I know, guns are a bit off our normal environmental turf here at EHN. But drawing obvious conclusions on human health, human suffering, and human mortality isn't.
That's why I can't swallow the notion that Congressional Republicans are on the verge of a Come-to-Jesus moment on climate. And the historically reliable pattern of the party in power taking a drubbing in the midterms means that the climate crisis may be lacking some US Congressional help for years to come.
His views do not necessarily represent those of Environmental Health News, The Daily Climate, or publisher, Environmental Health Sciences.
Banner photo: National Weather Service GOES image of western North America on the morning of July 27, 2021. Most of the west is covered by smoke from many wildfires. (Credit: Stuart Rankin/flickr)
The story behind Florida’s laws that strip cities of their ability to fight climate change.
'The World We Need: Stories and Lessons from America’s Unsung Environmental Movement' is a gripping new anthology published by The New Press and edited by Brooklyn-based journalist Audrea Lim. It expertly shows how and why environmental science and social justice activism must work together.
With climate change fueling high temperatures across the Arctic, Greenland lost a massive amount of ice on Wednesday with enough melting to cover the U.S. state of Florida in 2 inches (5.1 cm) of water, scientists said.
If the skies were to darken, seas swell and economies crumble, where would be the best place to ride out global civilizational collapse?
They say burning natural gas harms communities of color, exceeds New York's carbon limits and helps make the case for a federal clean energy standard.
Early exposure to lead pollution may lead to less mature personality traits as an adult.
Yes, even for healthy people.
A new law in Maine clarifying that legal cases alleging damage or injury from PFAS can be filed up to six years after the harm was or could reasonably have been discovered may have ramifications outside the state, attorneys said.
President Biden is unwinding Donald Trump’s environmental legacy, while forging his own. The Washington Post is chronicling every step.