Extreme weather events and computer system attacks threaten the US’ success in its efforts towards energy independence (New York Times)
Although the US has reached a degree of energy independence, its systems and electric grids are not resilient enough under extreme weather events and cyber-attacks. One of the US’s largest pipeline systems for refined oil products underwent a criminal cyberattack that caused panic amongst parts of the US population. Extreme weather events due to climate change, such as heatwaves and deep freezes, have also shown failures in US energy systems; last year’s weather events forced blackouts showing just how unprepared US power plants and electrical lines are to face these kinds of challenges. This will become a deeper concern as extreme weather events become more frequent as a result of climate change.
New book explores what would happen to the planet if we reduced our shopping and consumption rate (InsideClimate News)
Canadian journalist J.B. MacKinnon is putting out a book titled “The Day the World Stops Shopping” on May 25th. In an interview, MacKinnon states that in order to decrease consumption without crashing the economy, we need to create new, sustainable, business models: some businesses, like Patagonia, have already implemented business models that encourage the reuse of old materials. These types of business models would reduce the environmental harm that today’s corporations have on the environment. Read more of the InsideClimate News news column to discover new research and technologies that help us fight and understand climate change.
Abandoned coal mines in the Donetsk Basin pose threat to the environment as they fill with contaminated water (NBC News)
The Donbas, short for the Donetsk Basin, used to be a hub for heavy industry filled with hundreds of coal mines. Now, the mines of the Donbas are filled with polluted and heavy metal infused water that threatens to contaminate drinking water and farming soil in the surrounding region. Engineers have been trying to pump the contaminated water out of the decommissioned mines after they were closed without proper preparations to avoid making the closed mines hazardous.
A Dip In The Pool: New York approves public pool project that will clean the East River (CNN)
New York City will soon feature an olympic-size floating pool that can be utilized by the public for enjoyment, and will also clean the river it floats on. The project has taken ten years for approval, and can host 300 people at a time. It is self-filtering with layers of "filtration membranes" and is expected to clean 600,000 gallons of river water each day.
Climate change displaces more people than war (The Guardian)
Harsh weather events and natural disasters displaced roughly three times as many people wars did last year. In 2020, the number of people internally displaced reached a new record, correlating to the increase in climate change. A report determined that of the record high of 40 million new displacements in the past decade, 30 million (75%) were disaster-driven, whether by wildfires, floods or storms.
Political Backyard: Can home gardens be politicized? (UN News)
Irish-celebrity gardener Diarmuid Gavin claims that each individual doesn't garden for only themselves, but rather for entire ecosystems. Gavin believes that gardening, even just in one's home for pleasure, is connected to all other parts of the world and society, such as the pandemic and racial inequality. By making ethical choices when buying product and considering the well being of the flora and fauna around one's garden, a person can make an active positive impact on the world around them.
Students hold a School Strike 4 Climate in Australia (The Guardian)
This past Friday, students held 47 different strikes around Australia to call for climate justice and protest their government’s choice to fund the construction of a gas-fired power plant. All necessary COVID-19 precautions, including the distribution of masks and hand sanitizer, were taken to ensure the gatherings remained safe.
The National Park Service must decide what to save and what to let go (New York Times)
As our planet's ecosystems change by the day, the National Park Service must adapt their long-held mission of "absolute conservation." More and more often, park officials finding themselves making the hard decision of what to preserve and what to accept that they are going to lose.
Read the US National Park Service's revised planning guide for park managers here.