Edition for 21 March 2020

Top Stories

If We’re Bailing Out Corporations During the Coronavirus Crisis, They Should Bail Out the Planet (The New Yorker)

  • If they attach those strings with even a modicum of care, they will have used this emergency to help solve the looming climate crisis in ways that were unimaginable just a few days ago.
  • And since, at current rates of growth, by 2050, air travel threatens to eat up a quarter of the entire carbon the world can still emit and meet the climate targets set in Paris, that something should be a wholesale change in direction.
  • On Friday, some environmental groups proposed that “Congress must cap total lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions from the U.S. airline fleets at 2020 levels, and overall emissions must fall at least 20% per decade thereafter.” (The Trump Administration has so far sidestepped Clean Air Act calls to regulate aircraft emissions.)

Ross Michael Pink and Luthfi Dhofier: Climate change impacts water security in Egypt, India, Indonesia and Australia (Vancouver Sun)

  • The theme for this year’s World Water Day is “water and climate change.” Globally, 98 per cent of water is salt and two per cent is fresh.
  • Four countries are particularly struck by water insecurity and climate change: Egypt, India, Indonesia, and Australia.
  • The harsh climate change impacts confronting Egypt include drought, sea-level rise, extreme temperature, sandstorms, heatwaves, and desertification.

How a small Caribbean island nation is trying to become climate resilient (PRI.org)

  • It’s trying to build back stronger, and become what it calls the first climate resilient nation.
  • Dominica’s ambition in the age of climate change outstrips its small size.
  • Related: We’re launching a new climate change solutions segment.

Economic slowdown as a result of COVID is no substitute for Climate Action (World Meteorological Organization)

  • But it is too early to assess the implications for concentrations of greenhouse gases which are responsible for long-term climate change.
  • Carbon dioxide levels at key observing stations have so far this year been higher than last year.
  • Any cuts in emissions as a result of the economic crisis triggered by COVID19 are not a substitute for concerted Climate Action, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

With Climate Change or the Coronavirus, Florida Always Waits Until It’s Too Late (Slate)

  • On March 11, as the coronavirus spread silently across Florida, the state Legislature passed its very first bill directly addressing climate change.
  • It is ground zero for rising seas, and it didn’t pass a climate change bill until 2020.
  • It took decades for their Legislature to begin responding to rising seas; their previous governor, Republican Rick Scott, opposed all climate legislation and banned state agencies from even using the terms climate change and global warming.

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