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The latest news on the environment and global climate change, the impact it is having on communities everywhere, and what is being done (or not being done) to save the planet.
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Biden's virtual climate summit: Diplomacy sans human touch

Apr 20, 2021
There will be no hands to shake or backs to slap, no way to look a foreign leader in the eye. The small human moments that define statecraft will be reduced to images on a screen. President Joe Biden, a most hands-on politician, this week will host a major climate summit with dozens of world leaders — all of them stuck on Zoom.

Miners' union backs shift from coal in exchange for jobs

Apr 20, 2021
The nation's largest coal miners' union said Monday it would accept President Joe Biden's plan to move away from coal and other fossil fuels in exchange for a “true energy transition" that includes thousands of jobs in renewable energy and spending on technology to make coal cleaner. Cecil Roberts, president of the United Mine Workers of America, said ensuring jobs for displaced miners — including 7,000 coal workers who lost their jobs last year — is crucial to any infrastructure bill taken up by Congress.

Biden feels heat on emissions goal as climate summit nears

Apr 20, 2021
As President Joe Biden convenes a virtual climate summit on Thursday with 40 world leaders, he faces a vexing task: how to put forward a nonbinding but symbolic goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that will have a tangible impact on climate change efforts not only in the U.S. but throughout the world. The emissions target, eagerly awaited by all sides of the climate debate, will signal how aggressively Biden wants to move on climate change, a divisive and expensive issue that has riled Republicans to complain about job-killing government overreach even as some on the left worry Biden has not gone far enough to address a profound threat to the planet.

US, China agree to cooperate on climate crisis with urgency

Apr 19, 2021
The United States and China, the world’s two biggest carbon polluters, agreed to cooperate to curb climate change with urgency, just days before President Joe Biden hosts a virtual summit of world leaders to discuss the issue. The agreement was reached by U.S. special envoy for climate John Kerry and his Chinese counterpart Xie Zhenhua during two days of talks in Shanghai last week, according to a joint statement.

US, China agree to cooperate on climate crisis with urgency

Apr 18, 2021
The United States and China, the world's two biggest carbon polluters, agreed to cooperate to curb climate change with urgency, just days before President Joe Biden hosts a virtual summit of world leaders to discuss the issue. The agreement was reached by U.S. special envoy for climate John Kerry and his Chinese counterpart Xie Zhenhua during two days of talks in Shanghai last week, according to a joint statement.

US West prepares for possible 1st water shortage declaration

Apr 18, 2021
The man-made lakes that store water supplying millions of people in the U.S. West and Mexico are projected to shrink to historic lows in the coming months, dropping to levels that could trigger the federal government's first-ever official shortage declaration and prompt cuts in Arizona and Nevada. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation released 24-month projections this week forecasting that less Colorado River water will cascade down from the Rocky Mountains through Lake Powell and Lake Mead and into the arid deserts of the U.S. Southwest and the Gulf of California.

Interior head Haaland revokes Trump-era orders on energy

Apr 17, 2021
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland on Friday revoked a series of Trump administration orders that promoted fossil fuel development on public lands and waters, and issued a separate directive that prioritizes climate change in agency decisions. The moves are part of a government-wide effort by the Biden administration to address climate change ahead of a virtual global summit on climate change that President Joe Biden is hosting next week.

Google Earth adds time lapse video to depict climate change

Apr 16, 2021
The Google Earth app is adding a new video feature that draws upon nearly four decades of satellite imagery to vividly illustrate how climate change has affected glaciers, beaches, forests and other places around the world. The tool unveiled Thursday is rolling out in what is being billed as the biggest update to Google Earth in five years. Google says it undertook the complex project in partnership with several government agencies, including NASA in the U.S. and its European counterpart, in hopes that it will help a mass audience grasp the sometimes abstract concept of climate change in more tangible terms through its free Earth app.

Powell defends Fed's consideration of climate change risks

Apr 15, 2021
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday defended the Fed's increasing scrutiny of the threat that climate change could pose to the health of the nation's banks, after some Republican members of Congress had complained that by doing so the Fed was overstepping its mandate. Over the past year, the Fed has taken steps to incorporate the risks from climate change into its oversight of the financial system. A key part of the Fed's mandate, in addition to setting short-term interest rates to either stimulate or slow the economy, is regulating banks to guard against excessive risk-taking.

Humanitarian crisis feared in St. Vincent amid eruptions

Apr 15, 2021
Ongoing volcanic eruptions have displaced about 20% of people in the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent as a U.N. official on Wednesday warned of a growing humanitarian crisis. Between 16,000 to 20,000 people were evacuated under government orders before La Soufriere volcano first erupted on Friday, covering the lush green island with ash that continues to blanket communities in St. Vincent as well as Barbados and other nearby islands.