Daily Archives: September 12, 2017

Stop talking right now about the threat of climate change. It’s here; it ’s happening | Bill McKibben | Opinion | The Guardian

Flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey, southeast Texas 31 August 2017. Photograph: UPI / Barcroft Images
Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, flash fires, droughts: all of them tell us one thing – we need to stand up to the fossil fuel industry and fast

Monday 11 September 2017 00.59 EDT

For the sake of keeping things manageable, let’s confine the discussion to a single continent and a single week: North America over the last seven days.

In Houston they got down to the hard and unromantic work of recovery from what economists announced was probably the most expensive storm in US history, and which weather analysts confirmed was certainly the greatest rainfall event ever measured in the country – across much of its spread it was a once-in-25,000-years storm, meaning 12 times past the birth of Christ; in isolated spots it was a once-in-500,000-years storm, which means back when we lived in trees. Meanwhile, San Francisco not only beat its all-time high temperature record, it crushed it by 3F, which should be pretty much statistically impossible in a place with 150 years (that’s 55,000 days) of record-keeping.

Floods in drought season: is this the future for parts of India?

That same hot weather broke records up and down the west coast, except in those places where a pall of smoke from immense forest fires kept the sun shaded – after a forest fire somehow managed to jump the mighty Columbia river from Oregon into Washington, residents of the Pacific Northwest reported that the ash was falling so thickly from the skies that it reminded them of the day Mount St Helens erupted in 1980.

(read more).

Africa’s Mega-City: Future MEGAPROJECTS

Published on Mar 29, 2017

LAGOS, NIGERIA — population 22 million — is Africa’s largest city. This mini-documentary examines the multiple mega-projects under construction, the leadership of state Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, and — briefly — the history of Nigeria.

Lagos Megacity: contrasting tales

RGS Geography
Published on Nov 7, 2013

Channel 4 documentary on the two sides of Lagos……

Austerity, Divestment & Irma: Juan González on Why 300,000 in Puerto Rico are Without Power

Democracy NowPublished on Sep 12, 2017
https://democracynow.org – FEMA Administrator Brock Long is traveling today to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to see firsthand the damage caused by Hurricane Irma. In Puerto Rico, 300,000 remain without power—despite the fact that the island was barely hit by the storm. Authorities have warned parts of Puerto Rico could be without electricity for up to six months, in part due to the island’s economic crisis. We speak with Juan González about how U.S.-imposed austerity and divestment are contributing to the electricity crisis after Irma.

Hurricane Irma: Writer Edwidge Danticat on Evacuating from Miami to Orlando

Published on Sep 12, 2017
Democracy Now

https://democracynow.org – At least four people have died and nearly 6 million people are without power in Florida after Hurricane Irma made landfall on Sunday on the Florida Keys as a Category 4 hurricane. The storm also flooded the streets of downtown Miami, turning the city’s main strip, Brickell Avenue, into a three-foot high raging river. Its arrival sparked one of the largest mass evacuations in U.S. history, with nearly 7 million people ordered to leave their homes. We go now to Florida to speak with one of the evacuees–the award winning Haitian-American writer Edwidge Danticat. She lives in Miami but had to evacuate to Orlando.

Special Report: How Decentralized Mutual Aid Networks Are Helping Houston Recover from Harvey

Published on Sep 12, 2017
Democracy Now

https://democracynow.org – We end today’s show in Houston, Texas, two weeks after Hurricane Harvey caused historic flooding and left residents to coordinate with each other to rescue thousands of people who were left stranded when officials were overwhelmed. Now that volunteer spirit of mutual aid has continued in the storm’s aftermath. We air a report from Renée Feltz on how many Houstonians have formed decentralized networks to clean out flooded homes, feed thousands who lost everything, and offer much-needed counseling.

A Storm of Silence: Study Finds Media Is Largely Ignoring Link Between Hurricanes and Climate Change

Published on Sep 12, 2017
Democracy Now!

https://democracynow.org – “A Storm of Silence.” That’s the title of a new report by the watchdog group Public Citizen that looks at the media’s failure to discuss climate change in its wall-to-wall hurricane coverage. While all the television networks commented on the magnitude of Hurricane Harvey and “extreme weather,” virtually none explained how warmer ocean temperatures lead to heavier winds, warmer air causes more precipitation, and higher sea levels exacerbate storm surges. The report examined 18 media sources’ coverage of Hurricane Harvey—looking at 10 major newspapers, three weekly news magazines and national programming from ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and Fox News over the course of eight days’ worth of Hurricane Harvey coverage. The report concludes, “Many failed to discuss the issue [of climate change] much or failed to cover important aspects of it. … Two of the three major broadcast networks, ABC and NBC, did not mention climate change at all in the context of Hurricane Harvey.” We speak to David Arkush, managing director of Public Citizen’s Climate Program.

“Man is Stupid”: Pope Francis Slams Climate Change Deniers

Sep 12, 2017

Pope Francis has spoken out forcefully against climate change denial. Speaking to reporters Sunday as he flew over Caribbean islands decimated by Hurricane Irma, Pope Francis said humans must make progress in tackling climate change, and called those who continue to deny its existence “stupid.”

Pope Francis: “We will not go backwards, we will go down. That is true. Climate change, you feel the effects, and the scientists tell us clearly the road to take. All of us have a responsibility—all of us—some small, some big, a moral responsibility, to not accept it, to give one’s opinion or to make decisions, and we have to take it seriously. I think it is something we cannot joke about. Whoever denies this must go to the scientists and ask them. They speak very clearly. The scientists are precise. Man is stupid, a head that does not see.”

Pope Francis was speaking with a bandage over his eye because he bumped his head on the popemobile while traveling in Colombia.

Texas: Harvey Triggered Spill of a Half-Million Gallons of Gasoline

Sep 12, 2017

In Texas, authorities say Hurricane Harvey is responsible for causing nearly a half-million gallons of gasoline to spill from two storage tanks—marking the largest spill so far from the devastating storm. The 460,000 gallons were released from a petroleum tank farm operated by Magellan Midstream Partners in Galena Park, Texas, just east of Houston. Some of the spilled gasoline contaminated a waterway alongside the Houston Ship Channel. Hurricane Harvey killed 70 people and caused widespread environmental contamination. The Center for Biological Diversity reports flooded oil refineries and chemical plants released as much as 5 million pounds of pollutants into the air during the storm.

13 Million Remain Without Power in Florida as Residents Survey Irma Damage

Sep 12, 2017

As many as 13 million people remain without power in Florida as the state begins to survey the widespread damage caused by Hurricane Irma. At least 11 people died on the mainland U.S. from the hurricane. Authorities say some parts of the Florida Keys may be inaccessible for weeks. The U.S. military is now helping evacuate some Florida Keys residents who did not leave before the storm. Jacksonville experienced its worst flooding since 1864.

The storm also caused destruction when it swept across Georgia and South Carolina on Monday. In Puerto Rico, hundreds of thousands of people remain without power. Authorities have warned parts of Puerto Rico could be without electricity for up to six months.

The head of FEMA, Brock Long, announced this morning he’s heading to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands today. The death toll from the storm also rose in the Caribbean, where at least 34 people are confirmed dead. Ten people died on Cuba, where Irma hit the northern coast as a Category 5 storm. It was the deadliest hurricane in Cuba since 2005. We’ll have more on Hurricane Irma after headlines.