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Extreme weather

3.4 Million Adults In US Were Displaced By Extreme Weather Last Year

About 3.4 million adults in the U.S. (1.4% of the adult population) were displaced from their homes by extreme weather disasters in 2022, a new survey from the U.S. Census Bureau reveals. Those findings, based on the 68,500 responses to the Bureau’s Jan. 4-16 Household Pulse Survey , are far higher than figures from the International Displacement Monitoring Centre, which estimates an average of 800,000 U.S. residents were displaced annually from 2008 through 2021, including the 1.7 million people the Centre estimates were displaced in 2017 when Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria all rocked the country. About half of those displaced in 2022 were forced to leave their homes due to hurricanes. While about 40% of those displaced returned home within a week, about 12% were displaced for more than six months and roughly 16% never returned home. The portion of people with disabilities permanently displaced by disasters is far higher.

Pakistan Moves Towards Another IMF Bailout

Almost all of Pakistan awoke to darkness on the morning of Monday, January 23, as the country experienced its second major power outage in four months. Energy Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan announced that “unusual voltage and frequency fluctuation” had caused a widespread breakdown in the national grid.  The outage was caused by a disruption in the power generation units, which the government was shutting down at night when the demand for electricity was relatively lower, as an “economic measure” amid a looming energy shortage.  The fallout from the outage was dramatic—affecting not only water supply systems and hospitals, but also economic activities. Shahid Sattar, the secretary general of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association, told AFP that 90% of factories had shut down on Monday, causing an estimated loss of $70 million. 

Will The Weather Eventually Provoke Radical Action On Climate?

With two world summits on the global environment at the end of last year – COP27 and COP15 – there should have been the prospect of an immediate impact on the looming disaster of climate breakdown. In reality, results were limited at best. COP27 on climate change did agree to a ‘loss and damage’ fund that acknowledged the role of long-term emitters in the industrial world and the need for them to aid countries across the Global South. Funding was proposed for accelerating the transition to renewable energy while responding to the impact of current and future climate disasters. What was lacking was any firm timescale and, even more importantly, COP27 did not secure an across-the-board commitment in the Global North to rapid decarbonisation.

The Poor Are Bearing The Brunt Of California’s Storms

Since late December, the West Coast of the United States has been battered by torrential rain of up to eight inches, strong winds reaching 70 mph that have knocked down power lines and ripped trees from the soil, and forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate. US President Joe Biden has declared a state of emergency in California. The “parade of cyclones,” as read the National Weather Service warning, is predicted to cost USD$1 billion in damages. Thus far, 18 people are dead as a result of these storms. As these storms, heightened in frequency by climate change, wreak havoc in California, many wonder, what of the state’s 172,000 homeless people? California is notorious for its homelessness crisis, with an unhoused population that swelled by 22,000 during the pandemic, attributed to plummeting wages due to the pandemic crisis and increased housing unaffordability.

10 Costliest Climate Disasters Of 2022

In 2022, there were 10 climate-fueled extreme weather events that caused more than $3 billion worth of damage each. That’s the disturbing conclusion of UK charity Christian Aid’s annual review of the year’s costliest and most destructive climate disasters, released December 27. “Having ten separate climate disasters in the last year that each cost more than $3 billion points to the financial cost of inaction on the climate crisis,” Christian Aid CEO Patrick Watt said in a press release. “But behind the dollar figures lie millions of stories of human loss and suffering. Without major cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, this human and financial toll will only increase.” The report, “Counting the Cost 2022: A Year of Climate Breakdown,” first listed the 10 costliest extreme weather disasters of the past year. The $3 billion floor is an escalation from 2021’s report, which listed 10 disasters that cost $1.5 billion or more.

Autonomous Winter Support Mobilization: Street Patrol Basic Guide

According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, approximately seven hundred people experiencing or at risk of homelessness are killed from hypothermia annually in the so-called United States. Absolutely no one should be left to sleep outside during cold weather yet a range of factors may force people to sleep in the cold; from discriminatory shelters kicking people out, being kicked out of a house during a storm, being forced to flee an abuser, simply being unprepared, etc. Raids sweeps and anti-homeless laws, such as anti-camping ordinances push people to camp in hidden and dispersed areas which puts them more at risk. Street Patrol (SP) consists of an autonomous (decentralized) volunteer crew or multiple crews of people who mobilize to support unsheltered relatives when weather is extremely cold.

With Nearly 60 Frostbite Injuries In Unhoused Community, Advocates Encourage Denver To Do Better

Denver, Colorado – Thursday’s weather is expected to be one of the coldest on record in the city of Denver due to an arctic cold front, bringing temperatures to well below zero degrees with the wind chill. In the weeks leading up to this potentially record breaking cold, medical health professionals with Denver Health and Hospital Authority and the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) wrote a joint letter to two city directors recommending the city “take immediate steps to address current deficiencies in 1) criteria used to determine when warming centers are open, and 2) policies and procedures related to forced displacements of unhoused individuals during cold-weather months.” The letter sent on Dec. 12 stated that when unhoused individuals “spend a prolonged amount of time in damp clothing and/or shoes as often occurs following forced displacement from tents,” their “risks for weather-related illness and injury increase exponentially.”

Pakistan And China Partner To Build Climate Resilience

As part of an ambitious initiative to build climate resilience in the aftermath of disastrous floods, Pakistan has, with Chinese assistance, put up a high-tech environmental observation station to anticipate weather and research climate change. Disasters such as floods, droughts, and cyclones have struck Pakistan in recent years, causing widespread destruction. Since the monsoon season started in mid-June, Pakistan has seen extremely heavy rains—about three times higher than the country’s 30-year average. As a result, Pakistan is facing its worst floods this century, with rivers spilling their banks, flash flooding, and bursting glacial lakes. The climate minister of Pakistan has declared that floodwaters have spread across one-third of the country, making this the worst flooding event in the country’s history.

The Attack On Nature Is Putting Humanity At Risk

In the last week of October, João Pedro Stedile, a leader of the Landless Workers’ Movement (MST) in Brazil and the global peasants’ organisation La Via Campesina, went to the Vatican to attend the International Meeting of Prayer for Peace, organised by the Community of Sant’Egídio. On 30 October, Brazil held a presidential election, which was won by Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, affectionately known as Lula. A key part of his campaign addressed the reckless endangerment and destruction of the Amazon by his opponent, the incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro. Lula’s victory, helped along by vigorous campaigning by the MST, provides hope for our chance to save the planet. This week’s newsletter contains the speech that Stedile gave at the Vatican. We hope you find it as useful as we do.

Epic Drought Hits US, Solutions Ignored

Environmentalists have been saying for decades that the climate crisis would impact us all, and the mainstream media has essentially ignored it. And if you’re thinking, “Mainstream media covers climate change all the time!” No, they actually don’t. They cover the impacts of climate change like droughts, fires, and hurricanes. But they don’t connect it to climate change. In fact, most of the time they won’t even say the words “climate change.” For example, take Hurricane Ida just last year, which destroyed parts of Louisiana. As reported in The Guardian, in their coverage, “Six of the biggest commercial TV networks in the U.S. – ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox, NBC and MSNBC – ran 774 stories about Ida from 27 to 30 August, an analysis by the watchdog group Media Matters found.

Four Of Five World Cities Faced ‘Significant Climate Hazards’ In 2022

It’s no secret that climate hazards are rising, with headlines of floods, hurricanes, and wildfires taking over the news. Now, a report from CDP, a nonprofit climate disclosure group, found that 4 out of 5 cities have experienced “significant climate hazards” this year. One-quarter of cities surveyed also expect to see more frequent “high-risk” climate hazards by 2025. Researchers surveyed 998 cities for its Protecting People and the Planet analysis, finding that 80% of responding cities reporting they faced significant climate hazards — including extreme heat (46%), heavy rainfall (36%), drought (35%) and flooding (33%) — in 2022. For 28% of the cities facing significant climate hazards, these extreme weather events threaten at least 70% of the cities’ populations.

Puerto Rico Contends With Two Storms: Fiona And Colonialism

In mid-September of this year, Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico as a Category 1 storm. Despite Category 1 being the mildest ranking, the damage was devastating, triggering an island-wide blackout and leaving more than 760,000 without clean water. After nearly a month since the storm, the reality on the ground is still grim. Officials estimate $172 million in damages to roads, excluding municipal roads, which are the majority. Around 900,000 Puerto Ricans have applied for individual assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). 59%, or three out of every five such applications have been approved. According to Manuel Laboy, the director of the Central Office of Recovery (COR3), FEMA has not approved any of the public assistance applications submitted by the 78 municipalities, 40 agencies and 57 non-profit organizations. FEMA itself has challenged this claim.

The Gangster Socialists Of The Red State Beaches

Say what you want about the insurance industry — damn bloodsuckers constantly cranking up your bills — but you must admit that they understand risk. It is, at its heart, a simple business: Estimate with great precision how much you are likely to pay out in claims, and then charge customers more than that, so you make a profit. The success of insurance companies is closely wedded to their ability to analyze the real world with accuracy. Some businesses, like advertising, may run on delusion, but in insurance, that sort of thing is poison. So it poses a problem for a certain variety of right-wing free market fundamentalists when the insurance industry begins sending signals that climate change is very, very real — so real that it should be upending our way of life already.

100% Solar-Powered Town Left Virtually Unscathed After Hurricane

Hurricane Ian caused mass destruction to Southwest Florida, taking dozens of lives and leaving millions without power. But in the midst of devastation, a small solar-powered community was left virtually unscathed — despite being just 12 miles northeast of hard-hit Fort Myers. Babcock Ranch is a solar-powered town with roughly 2,000 homes and more than 700,000 solar panels. Homes and businesses in Babcock are built to be energy efficient and weather resistant, many of them constructed with durable insulated panels meant to withstand Florida’s extreme weather. Many residents have additional solar panels and solar battery systems as an extra layer of protection from power outages. If Hurricane Ian was a test of the town’s resiliency, Babcock Ranch passed with flying colors.

Water Crises Portend Socialism Or Barbarism

It’s 2022 and the climate has changed. Around the world, the new climate is making itself felt via droughts, heatwaves, floods, and storms. Many of these events are record breakers, and their effects go beyond local areas to affect global supply chains and the lives of millions of working-class people. These are more than just “natural” disasters, though: these multiple water crises are driven, sometimes even created, by a capitalist society organized to put short-term profit above long-term sustainability. Our untenable management of water illustrates the impossibility of addressing climate change under capitalism, and shows how only socialism can produce a sustainable and equitable civilization.
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