This Week's 3 E's: Environmental justice, Earth's axis, and the economy

The Clim8

4.18.21-4.24.21

Photo Credit: Hilton Kelley via CNN

Pollution disproportionately affects people of color (CNN)

The American Lung Association recently found over 40% of America’s population lives in areas with poor air quality, and people of color are 61% more likely to live in these regions. Part of unhealthy is particle pollution, which occurs with mass wildfires. The changing climate that fuels these fires also contributes to warmer temperatures, which also leads to more ozone, or smog, production. Smog can irritate lungs and cause asthma attacks.


Learn more about environmental justice from the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) here.

Photo Credit: Matthew Busch via NBC

How farmers are adapting to climate change (NBC)

Farmers have had to work around increasingly frequent unpredictable and extreme weather events. Such events range from this past winter’s deep freeze in Texas to long droughts, heavy rain, and heat waves. More and more often, they are unable to rely on weather patterns and forecasts and must expect the unexpected. Many young farmers have begun to invest heavily in cover crops: crops which are planted once the farms’ cash crops have been harvested for the season. Although the cover cropping method is not too widespread yet, it has several benefits, including strengthening soil health and slowing down erosion.

Photo Credit: via We Are/Getty Images

How to combat climate change from your own home (NPR)

You can switch to a more sustainable lifestyle from your kitchen! Start off by cutting down on your meat intake, as deforestation and methane emissions are both byproducts of the meat production process. Next, work on decreasing the amount of uneaten food you throw away. Note: “sell by” dates are deceiving! You can also work towards sustainability by avoiding fast fashion and instead buying from second-hand stores!


Subscribe to NPR’s “Life Kit” Newsletter for more advice like this.

Check out this curated list of meatless recipes!

Download the USDA app to help you keep track of how long food products can truly keep.

Photo Credit: Evan Schneider via UN Photo

United Nations chief declares planet is on ‘red alert’, urges for action (UN News)

At President Biden’s climate summit, world leaders gathered to discuss the state of global climate and the need for action. The past decade, the hottest one on record, showed the continuation of warmer temperatures, rising sea-levels, and natural disasters. The UN chief warned members of the convention to start taking initiative immediately before it is officially too late. President Biden stated that the United States would cut greenhouse gas emissions in half within the next decade. He informed that climate response has the potential to create a large number of job opportunities and that the entire world must work together to make smart and sustainable decisions.

Photo Credit: Tom Ridout via Alamy

New study documents that the climate crisis has moved the Earth’s axis (The Guardian)

Since the 1990s, an intensely large number of glaciers have melted due to global heating, causing recorded shifts in the Earth’s rotation axis, according to research. Geographically, Earth’s north and south poles are where the axis of rotation meets its exterior, however, the points are not fixed. When the planet’s mass changes, its distribution on the planet can cause the axis and poles to alter location. Scientists say the changing axis is due to human activity on the planet as opposed to the past when only natural components impact the poles, pushing them to drift.

Photo Credit: Dita Alangkara via Associated Press

New report warns the climate crisis could slash $23 trillion from the global economy by 2050 (New York Times)

As temperatures rise across the planet, damaging crop yields, spreading illnesses and leading to sea levels destroying coastal cities, well-known insurance corporation Swiss Re warns of the irreversible effects to the economy if countries fail to reduce the emissions and use of fossil fuels. It is predicted that the impacts of climate change will cut 11 percent to 14 percent of the world economy, according to a study by Swiss Re. That percentage roughly equals a loss of $23 trillion from economic output needed to support the entire human population and their activity.

Photo Credit: via AP News

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez links past and ongoing social and racial injustices to the climate crisis (The Hill)

Last Tuesday, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez promoted the Green New Deal, a proposal to reduce the use of fossil fuels and lower the US’s carbon emissions. The New York representative stated that the climate crisis is rooted in racial injustice and injustice against indigenous people. After the proposal failed to be backed by the Republican controlled Senate last presidency, Democratic senators and house representatives are stressing that we should not prioritize politics or the economy when discussing how to fight the climate crisis.


Sign Greenpeace's petition urging Congress to pass the Green New Deal.

Photo Credit: Al Seib via Los Angeles Times

Researchers propose covering California’s largest canals with solar panels to create clean energy and conserve canal water (Los Angeles Times)

A study by researchers at UC Merced found that covering canals with solar panels could reduce evaporation of water, generate large amounts of clean energy, and be a better financial investment than existing solar farms. The State Water Project is currently California’s largest electricity user and aims to switch to 75 percent renewable and clean energy by 2030; Karla Nemeth, head of the Department of Water Resources, sees potential in using solar canals to reach the State Water Project’s goal.

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