In Ethiopia, the charity Oxfam warns an intense drought has pushed another 700,000 people to the verge of starvation. Oxfam’s warning adds to the U.N.’s earlier estimate that at least 8.5 million Ethiopians are in need of immediate food aid. The U.N. warns that climate change has made droughts in the Horn of Africa far more common, leading to food shortages like a 2011 famine that killed as many as 260,000 people.
NOAA Climate Report Confirms 2016 was Hottest Year on Record
In more climate news, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—NOAA—confirmed in a new report Thursday that 2016 was the hottest year on record. NOAA’s report found record heat for both land and ocean temperatures, record high sea levels, an above-average tropical cyclone season and Arctic sea ice coverage at or near record lows. NOAA also measured record high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, reaching nearly 403 parts per million.
Greenland: Defrosting, Drying Tundra Burns in Unprecedented Wildfires
Meanwhile, in Greenland, a massive and unprecedented wildfire continues to burn nearly two weeks after dried peat first caught fire on the island’s southwest. Scientists say climate change has led to less surface water in those parts of Greenland not covered in ice.
Nebraska: Over 460,000 Oppose Keystone XL Pipeline in Public Comments
In Lincoln, Nebraska, activists delivered over 460,000 public comments Thursday to the state’s public service commissioners, urging them to reject a permit for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline to cross the state. The pipeline, which was resurrected in March by President Trump, has faced years of resistance from Native Americans, farmers, ranchers and environmentalists.
New York: 5 Arrested Protesting Goldman Sachs Fossil Fuel Conference
And in New York City’s financial district, five activists were arrested Thursday as they nonviolently blocked the entrance of the investment giant Goldman Sachs. The arrests came as about 200 protesters gathered to denounce a conference between Goldman Sachs and pipeline and fossil fuel corporations.
Pete Sikora “I’m Pete Sikora, and I’m with New York Communities for Change. We’re here in front of Goldman Sachs’s headquarters to send them a message that they should not be funding oil and gas pipelines and collaborating with the Trump administration. We’re holding an image that shows Native peoples, indigenous peoples, who are under attack by Goldman Sachs and the Trump administration, who’s trying to build and finance projects like Dakota Access and Keystone XL.”
Judy Allen: “My name is Judy Allen. I’m from Putnam Valley. And we just want to show up to tell them that there’s cleaner alternatives. There’s solar. There’s wind. There’s geothermal. There’s tidal. There’s all kinds of energy. They should invest in that.”
Anastasia Skiumtalx McAllister: “My name is Skiumtalx, otherwise Anastasia. I’m from the Colville Confederated Tribes, the Entiat band. There are pipelines underneath us right now. There are pipelines being built right now. The nature is being harmed by pipelines right now. This is something that we are living. And I am here as proof that Native people will always be standing here, whether it is facing colonization through war or facing colonization through pipeline.”
Again, five people were arrested at the nonviolent civil disobedience outside the Goldman Sachs pipeline conference.