Skip to content

Extreme weather

The Next Great Human Migration: America’s Future Climate

A 2022 report from the International Panel on Climate Change observed that more than 3.3 billion people around the world are “highly vulnerable to climate change.” And more than one billion people could be exposed to “coastal-specific climate hazards by 2050.” Here in the U.S., the Census Bureau calculated that 3.2 million adults were displaced or evacuated due to natural disasters of all kinds in 2022. And while climate migration is not easily measurable, as there are multiple factors involved, it is no doubt happening.  Investigative reporter at Politico Abrahm Lustgarten delved into the topic of U.S. climate migration in his new book, On The Move: The Overheating Earth and the Uprooting of America. 

Brazil’s Flood Of Austerity And Climate Catastrophe

Meteorological agencies and officials predicted the events with eerie precision. A week into the flood, experts pointed to the extraordinary rainfall as the primary cause. Estael Sias, managing director of the weather forecaster MetSul, wrote that this was not ‘just an episode of extreme rain’, but ‘a meteorological event whose adjectives are all superlative, from extraordinary to exceptional’. The seemingly unending rain, she wrote, ‘is absurdly and bizarrely different from what is normal’. It will take a very long time for this region of Brazil to recover from the flood. Within the floodwaters are several encampments and settlements of Brazil’s Landless Workers’ Movement (MST), about which we published a dossier last month to commemorate the movement’s 40th anniversary.

The Principle Of Landless Solidarity And The Recent Rains In Brazil

The Landless Rural Workers’ Movement (MST) this past week launched the Landless Solidarity Campaign in Rio Grande do Sul to help the more than 1.3 million people affected by the heavy rains and floods in the state. More than 90,000 Brazilian reais have already been raised for the campaign. In addition to cash donations, the Movement has also converted the Galpão Elza Soares and the Casa dos Movimentos Carlito Maia, both in São Paulo’s Campos Elíseos neighborhood, into collection points for clothes, hygiene products, medicines, and non-perishable food. “Our beloved people of Rio Grande suffered from the heavy rain that occurred last weekend, which destroyed our settlement areas, our cooperatives, our crops and, above all, the people’s dream of producing healthy food, which we were just making a reality.

Sponge Cities Are The Future Of Urban Flood Mitigation

“When it rains, it pours” once was a metaphor for bad things happening in clusters. Now it’s becoming a statement of fact about rainfall in a changing climate. Across the continental U.S., intense single-day precipitation events are growing more frequent, fueled by warming air that can hold increasing levels of moisture. Most recently, areas north of Houston received 12 to 20 inches (30 to 50 centimeters) of rain in several days in early May 2024, leading to swamped roads and evacuations. Earlier in the year, San Diego received 2.72 inches (7 centimeters) of rain on Jan. 22 that damaged nearly 600 homes and displaced about 1,200 people.

Phoenix Passes Ordinance Giving Workers Protection From Extreme Heat

A historic new law in Phoenix, Arizona, will provide thousands of outdoor workers in the hottest city in the country with protections from extreme heat. In a unanimous vote, the Phoenix City Council passed an ordinance requiring that workers have easy access to rest, potable water and shade, as well as training to recognize signs of heat stress, a press release from the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH) said. Vehicles with enclosed cabs must also have access to air conditioning. “People who work outside and in hot indoor environments in Phoenix suffer unacceptably during our deadly summers, with too few protections,” said Katelyn Parady.

You Can’t Be Neutral In A Flooding House

Cicero, Illinois - A crowd swells outside an auditorium one summer evening in 2023, trying to enter a special town hall meeting. The air fills with chants: ​“Where’s our money?” and ​“El pueblo unido jamás será vencido” (“The people, united, will never be defeated”). Soon, police inform the hundreds outside that no one else is allowed in. It felt apt: We wanted answers about why our city was so dysfunctional, and the city couldn’t even host a proper meeting. I’m a journalist and also a Cicero resident, and I was there because I, too, was angry. Howard Zinn famously said you can’t be neutral on a moving train; it’s also difficult in a flooded house.

WMO Issues ‘Red Alert’ As Climate Records Are Broken Worldwide

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has issued a “red alert” as all major global climate records — greenhouse gas levels, near-surface temperatures, ocean heat and acidification, Antarctic sea ice cover, glacier retreat and sea level rise — were broken in 2023, a WMO press release said. Floods, swiftly intensifying tropical cyclones, heat waves, drought and wildfires impacted millions of people around the world and caused billions in economic losses, the WMO State of the Global Climate 2023 report said.

‘Fire Weather’: Big Oil’s Climate Conflagration

Few places illustrate the destructive cycle of fossil fuel-driven climate change as well as Alberta, Canada. Home to the tar sands boom, the province’s remote north has also become a site of some of the worst climate disasters in recorded history—like the 2016 Fort McMurray Fire, which swallowed up 1.5 million acres and burned for three months. John Vaillant, author of Fire Weather: A True Story from a Hotter World, joins The Chris Hedges Report to discuss the Fort McMurray Fire, the tar sands industry responsible for the conditions that produced it, and the tinderbox world Big Oil has made in its all-consuming pursuit of profit.

What We Can Learn From One Florida Community About Climate Resilience

The health and safety we enjoy as individuals and the opportunities for employment, education, and recreation available to us are shaped to a large degree by the built environment in which we live. For the past 70 years, the vast majority of new housing development has followed the example of Levittown, New York. The city now serves as the poster child for a seemingly endless wave of car-dependent greenfield suburban sprawl developments that not only helped to generate the carbon emissions that contribute to the climate crisis we now face but also modeled a form of growth that provided opportunity for wealth creation for some households and not others.

Hidden Toll Of Hurricane Katrina On The Mental Health Of Black Survivors

When Hurricane Katrina touched down in New Orleans in late August 2005, nine-year-old Nia Burnett was too young to realize that her life would never be the same. Nia's family had chosen to stay in the city and wait out the storm. They all headed to a local hospital for safety. What they found were corpses lining the hallways. The whole building smelled like rotten flesh. Nia remembers later standing on the roof after the hospital started flooding, waiting to be rescued. Below her, she watched as all the neighborhoods she used to play in with her friends were swallowed up by the rising waters. Meanwhile, even more bodies floated around the hospital. It wasn't until 11 years after the storm that Nia was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Climate-Related Damage Costs $16 Million Per Hour On Average Globally

Over the past 20 years, extreme weather events globally, like hurricanes, floods and heat waves, have cost an estimated $2.8 trillion, according to a new study. The study authors estimate the cost of the extreme weather damages from 2000 to 2019 to average around $143 billion, which breaks down to around $16.3 million per hour. The researchers analyzed studies that used a methodology known as Extreme Event Attribution (EEA), which connects human-related greenhouse gas emissions and changes in extreme weather events. They compared these analyses to socio-economic costs from extreme weather events to determine how much of the socio-economic costs of extreme weather events are linked to climate change.

NATO Destroyed Libya In 2011; Storm Daniel Came To Sweep Up The Remains

Three days before the Abu Mansur and Al Bilad dams collapsed in Wadi Derna, Libya, on the night of September 10, the poet Mustafa al-Trabelsi participated in a discussion at the Derna House of Culture about the neglect of basic infrastructure in his city. At the meeting, al-Trabelsi warned about the poor condition of the dams. As he wrote on Facebook that same day, over the past decade his beloved city has been ‘exposed to whipping and bombing, and then it was enclosed by a wall that had no door, leaving it shrouded in fear and depression’. Then, Storm Daniel picked up off the Mediterranean coast, dragged itself into Libya, and broke the dams. CCTV camera footage in the city’s Maghar neighbourhood showed the rapid advance of the floodwaters, powerful enough to destroy buildings and crush lives. A reported 70% of infrastructure and 95% of educational institutions have been damaged in the flood-affected areas. As of Wednesday 20 September, an estimated 4,000 to 11,000 people have died in the flood – among them the poet Mustafa al-Trabelsi, whose warnings over the years went unheeded – and another 10,000 are missing.

Libya’s Disastrous Flooding… Causes And Hope?

On the 11th of September, small towns and cities in eastern Libya (Sousa, Baida, and Batta) experienced heavy rains and flooding, leading to some infrastructural and material damage. However, the big catastrophe was in the city of Darna which houses more than 100,000 inhabitants and is located by a valley leading directly from the mountains. The two dams that control the flow of the water that seeps through the city’s valley collapsed at around 2:00 a.m., leading to a complete blackout and mass flooding. Cars, 10-story apartments, and houses were washed away with their residents, leading to a humanitarian catastrophe with more than 10,000 dead and 11,000 missing.

France: Stellantis Workers Walk Out To Demand Breaks Amid Heat Wave

Last week, France was blanketed by a dome of heat, resulting in exceptionally warm temperatures. It even broke the previous record set in 1949, making September 4 the hottest day ever recorded in France during the month of September. The French national meteorological service, Météo-France, points to a remarkably long and intense heat wave which has lasted late into the season, clearly pointing to the impact of climate change, which tends to extend summer heatwaves. At the Stellantis plant in Hordain, France, where Peugeot and Citroën vehicles are assembled, outside temperatures exceeded a scorching 30°C (86°F) every afternoon from September 5 to 10.

The National Flood Insurance Program Is Broken

The most expensive type of disaster in the United States is flooding. Hurricanes, a major source of flooding, make up seven of the 10 costliest disasters in United States history, from Katrina in 2005 to Ian in 2022. Together, these storms alone have cost $800 billion, adjusted for inflation. Half a century ago—before any of these storms occurred—the federal government created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a public sector alternative to fill in the gaps in higher-risk areas where commercial insurance is unavailable. But as the frequency and severity of flooding events have increased—and as insurers continue to add to the list of states they refuse to insure—the NFIP has become massively oversubscribed, amassing more than $20 billion in debt on behalf of its five million policyholders.
Sign Up To Our Daily Digest

Independent media outlets are being suppressed and dropped by corporations like Google, Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for our daily email digest before it’s too late so you don’t miss the latest movement news.