Biden’s two trillion dollar infrastructure plan and how it addresses climate change (Time)
The White House states that climate action is interwoven into economic policy in addition to the specific climate policies listed in the new proposed infrastructure plan. For example, the American Jobs Plan which proposes to build transportation infrastructure aims to repair and renovate roads and bridges with more sustainable materials and attempts to reduce energy consumption in transportation. More climate dedicated proposals in the plan call for an increase in electric vehicle production, investment into climate research, and the creation of jobs for conservation efforts. It seems as though Biden is trying to instill climate considerations across the federal government’s branches. Although this plan looks promising, passing the bill will likely take some time, considering the size and cost of this infrastructure plan.
Bulgaria’s coal industry proves to be an obstacle to the EU’s green goals (Phys)
Bulgaria has failed to pledge to be a part of the EU’s effort to stop using coal power electricity by 2030, causing it to be a roadblock in the EU’s transition to green energy. Bulgaria and other Eastern European countries are coal dependent and an emphasis on green energy threatens companies like the Bobol Dov Thermal Power plant; if the Bobol Dov plant were forced to close, Bulgaria is at risk of losing hundreds of jobs and a substantial source of Bulgaria’s energy. There is also a noticeable lack of commitment to the EU’s green deal from politicians and the government. A transition to clean energy is possible and the plant hopes to get funding to help them in that transition but Bulgaria’s reputation of political corruptness makes these decisions even more difficult for Bulgaria to transition to greener energy.
Evaluating consumer resistance in Chile to nationwide plastic bag ban (News Wise)
A study trying to understand consumer pushback on plastic bag bans, found that the behaviors being targeted by these environmental policies, like banning plastic bags, were difficult to give up because of how infused they were in the socially accepted way of shopping. Because using plastic bags has been so normalized in society, giving up the behavior was not only an individual task, but a social one. To consumers, this meant disrupting their daily routines, lifestyle, and practices that are linked to the use of plastic bags. The study also offers guidelines for policy makers on how to make consumers more easily accept sustainable changes.
Environmental racism: Pollution disproportionately affects vulnerable communities (UN News)
Plastic pollution poses great danger to human, animal and environmental health. Plastic waste in bodies of water travel up the food chain, creating health problems for all consumers. Despite the global damage of pollution, the impacts severely and disproportionately affect minority populations and people of color. A new UNEP report presents evidence for environmental injustices, such as the displacement of indigenous peoples to perform oil drilling. As well, the report raises concern for health issues within African-American communities living by oil refineries in the Gulf of Mexico.
Sandstorms and droughts: China suffering extreme weather brought on by climate change (The Guardian) Below average precipitation and above average temperatures and winds led to sandstorms that enveloped Beijing in an orange fog for a number of days this past March. As well, China has experienced intense droughts. These extraordinary natural occurrences, which are brought on by global warming, are bringing to light the severity of climate challenges in China.
Climate change creates the danger of lightning induced wildfires in colder regions (CNN)
As global temperatures continue to rise, the Arctic is heating at a disturbing rate. The air in the Arctic is typically too cool for thunderstorms to take place, but the increasing warmth is creating an environment in which lightning strikes can occur more frequently. Areas within the Arctic Circle, such as Alaska and northern parts of Canada, have seen a greater number of lightning strikes over time. Locations that are full with forests are at high risk of lightning induced wildfires. The burning of forests will in turn create a cycle of climate change.
Projected irreversible damage to Australia will leave the land desiccated (The Print)
Based on countries’ current emission plans, global temperatures are still predicted to reach 2.9 ℃ by 2100. This rise is unfortunately higher than the initial call to limit the increase to only 1.5 ℃. Australia, already being the hottest and driest continent, will possibly suffer the most. The country is expected to face mass bushfires, rising sea levels, ecological shifts, droughts, and consequent detrimental effects on Australia's infrastructure, food production, and population in the years to come. In order to avoid this drastic future for Australia (and ultimately the rest of the world), we must all aim to reach net zero emissions by at least 2050.
Washington DC’s cherry blossoms bloomed early, and that’s not a good thing (The Guardian)
Unprecedented warm temperatures for early spring in Washington DC sped up the bloom of the city's famous cherry blossom trees. The average bloom date for these trees, or the "peak bloom," is being pushed farther and farther forward, with data showing them reaching peak bloom 6 days earlier than they did 100 years ago. Scientists believe this irregular blooming cycle is directly related to climate change.