The Arctic is not a barren, frozen wasteland. It’s home to some of the most unique ecosystems in the world. More than this: it’s home to people. Those people are at the center of the controversy over drilling for oil in the Arctic. The Trump administration is now starting the formal process of selling leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil companies, according to the New York Times. The move comes after the Trump administration opened the refuge for oil drilling in August 2020. There are potentially billions of dollars in untapped oil and gas reserves in the Arctic. But, there is value in keeping the region untouched, too. The Arctic provides more than $281 billion per year in fishing, oil, mineral extraction, tourism and climate stabilization services, according to a preliminary assessment done in 2016 by environmental economist Tanya O’Garra, who worked at the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions at Columbia University at the time the research was conducted.
In recent decades, the worldwide burden of infectious disease has fallen, thanks to sanitation, hygiene, and prevention and control efforts. But the covid-19 pandemic shows how great a threat to global health remains – particularly as the climate crisis continues to affect disease spread and our response in myriad ways. Increasing temperatures are expanding the areas where diseases such as malaria and dengue thrive. More flooding and drought increases disease risk. Hygiene requires access to clean water. Further urbanization and migration related to climate change will also complicate prevention and control. The BMJ has published “The time is now” collection, calling for the strengthening of the global response to climate change and communicable disease. https://www.bmj.com/communicable-dise…
This week the whole show focuses on keeping cool in a warming world. First up, host Sarah Crespi talks with Senior News Correspondent Elizabeth Pennisi about the latest research into how to stay safe when things heat up—whether you’re running marathons or fighting fires.
Sarah also talks with Po-Chun Hsu, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at Duke University, about the future of cooling fabrics for everyday use. It turns out we can save a lot of energy and avoid carbon dioxide emissions by wearing clothing designed to keep us cool in slightly warmer buildings than we’re used to now. But the question is, will cooling clothes ever be “cool”? Visit the whole special issue on cooling.
“Nature reveals itself to us in unique ways, if we stop and look at the world through a window of time,” says photographer Stephen Wilkes. Using a special photographic technique that reveals how a scene changes from day to night in a single image,
Wilkes exposes the Earth’s beautiful complexity and the impacts of climate change — from the disruption of flamingo migrations in Africa to the threat of melting ice — with unprecedented force. This performance was part of the Countdown Global Launch on 10.10.2020.
(Watch the full event here: https://youtu.be/5dVcn8NjbwY.)
Countdown is TED’s global initiative to accelerate solutions to the climate crisis. The goal: to build a better future by cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, in the race to a zero-carbon world.
In the biggest climate commitment made by any nation, China pledged to go carbon neutral by 2060. While it will be challenging for Beijing to achieve its goal, China’s plan to become a green superpower will have ripple effects around the world.
Illustration: Crystal Tai
Wildfires are a fact of life in California but extent and devastation in the American West feel dramatic this year: More than 5 million areas of uncontrolled fires lead to incredible footage on the news & reports of orange skies in Oakland or San Francisco. The 2020 fire season has broken almost every record in terms of frequency and ferocity. We analyzed several factors like climate change, housing development and fire suppression & management to see what’s behind the largest and most destructive wildfires in the state’s history and what can be done to solve the worsening problem?
NPR’s Tamara Keith and Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report join Judy Woodruff to discuss the latest political news, including the differences between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden on climate change and what the Trump campaign’s willingness to hold large indoor rallies says about Trump’s perspective on the pandemic.
Global satellite data indicate wildfires are becoming bigger and more intense. WSJ talks with NASA’s Doug Morton to understand the science behind what’s making the planet more flammable and making fires harder to control.
Noah Berger/Associated Press