The trouble with the island right now is that it is surrounded by water.
In the summer, the water is the selling point. The village of Put-in-Bay supplies all the daiquiri-serving bars of a Key West getaway but lies a mere 20-minute ferry ride from a port on Lake Erie, about halfway between Toledo and Cleveland. Tens of thousands of vacationers pour in for a party that goes on for months.
But when the cold sets in and the ferries stop running, the few hundred people who live here year round watch intently for signs that the blue all around them is turning white. This, they insist, is the real high season: ice fishing time.
Vast releases of gas, along with future ‘methane bombs’, represent huge threat – but curbing emissions would rapidly reduce global heating…
Satellite data analysed by the company Kayrros has identified 1,005 super-emitter events in 2022, of which 559 were from oil and gas fields, 105 from coalmines, and 340 from waste sites, such as landfills. The events can last between a few hours and several months.
Survivors of big disasters like these earthquakes – among the worst in the region’s history – certainly need food, water, medications, blankets and other goods. But they also need psychological first aid – that is, immediate mental health counseling along with support that strengthens their connections with their friends, relatives and decision-makers.
Research conducted after a wide variety of catastrophes has shown that mental health problems become more common after these events. Many survivors experience anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder because of everything they have been through.
One reason for this is that disasters can cut people off from their routines and sever access to the sources of emotional support they previously relied on. Often moved to emergency shelters, and away from their doctors, neighbors and friends, survivors – especially those without strong networks – regularly experience poor mental health.
Further, when there are many casualties after major disasters of any kind, families may have lost loved ones and still not have a gravesite at which they can mourn. Within seven weeks of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, for example, nearly half of the residents of New Orleans surveyed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had PTSD symptoms.
An important lesson we’ve drawn from researching what occurs after disasters is that robust social networks can soften some of the blows from these shocks. Even after someone loses a home and a sense of normalcy, staying in close touch with family and friends can minimize some of the sense of loss.
People who are pushed out of their routines but manage to remain connected to their neighbors – who are often going through the same ordeal – tend to have lower levels of PTSD and anxiety. Their friends and relatives can provide emotional support, help them stay informed, and encourage the use of mental health treatment and outside help when it’s needed.
One of us participated in a research team that surveyed nearly 600 residents of a town located near the Fukushima Daiichi power plant after the nuclear meltdowns in March 2011. More than one-fourth of these survivors of the catastrophe had PTSD symptoms. Those with strong social networks, however, generally had fewer mental health problems than other survivors with weaker connections to their friends and loved ones.
Get as many public spaces, such as cafes, libraries and other gathering spots as possible, up and running again. Even virtual get-togethers using Zoom or similar software can help maintain connections with displaced friends and loved ones – as long as survivors have working cellphone service, at a minimum.
Disaster recovery efforts should make communications technology a high priority. In addition to spending on food, tents, blankets, cots and medical supplies, we recommend that basic disaster aid should include access to free phone calls and Wi-Fi so that people whose lives have been upended can stay in contact with far-flung friends and loved ones.
Given the likelihood of more large-scale disasters in the future, we believe that it’s essential that relief efforts emphasize work that will strengthen the mental health and social networks of survivors.
This tool is designed to help you determine if given climate change your project will continue to deliver intended benefits.
The Checklist supports your ability to:
Explicitly evaluate the implications of future conditions on project function, longevity and impact
Build climate consideration directly into funding, permitting and planning phases
Reduce liabilities or avoid actions that will be ineffective under future conditions
Step 1: Climate Quick Check
Identify how the project may be impacted by climate change over its lifetime by considering a range of indicators
Step 2: Evaluation of Climate Impact on a Project
Explore potential of climate risk factors by answering specific questions and considering relevant, available data
Step 3: Synopsis & Adaptation Options
For each identified vulnerability in Step 2, develop adaptation options to avoid, minimize or mitigate future negative impacts, while delivering intended benefits. Use adaptation support resources to find potential options.
As climate commitments among large financial institutions have rapidly become the new normal, so has the criticism of those targets. A Reclaim Finance report in January that revealed members of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) have continued financing fossil fuel expansion echoes a common refrain from the NGO and activist community: target setting is still disconnected from real-world financing and the ambition required to reach 1.5°C scenarios. Below, we share our latest insights on the state of play in climate targets among the world’s largest financial institutions, noting the ongoing tension between meaningful progress and persistent gaps in ambition and action.
Climate change is aggravating the impact of droughts — one of the factors that only affect plant physiology — on all plant ecosystems worldwide. Although new tools have been developed to detect and assess drought stress in plants — transcriptomic or metabolomic technologies, etc. — they are still difficult to apply in natural ecosystems, especially in remote areas and developing countries.
Now, a study published in the journal Trends in Plant Science presents a set of techniques that enable researchers to detect and monitor drought stress in plants in a cheap, easy and quick way. The authors of the study are the experts Sergi Munné-Bosch and Sabina Villadangos, from the Faculty of Biology and the Institute for Research on Biodiversity (IRBio) of the University of Barcelona.
When it comes to environmental storytelling, there’s several different routes a project can take. Some have opted for scaring an audience into action (like Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up) while others have tried to Trojan horse climate messages into more uplifting fare, or take a more by-the-numbers documentary approach.
ForExtrapolations, Apple TV+’s new anthology drama following eight different stories of people’s lives upended by climate change, creator Scott Z. Burns is taking inspiration from another future-looking anthology series, as star Kit Harington recalled how “Scott always described this to me as a kind of Black Mirror of a climate change show, and I think it falls in that.”
In February 2022, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released the beta version of their Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST), which identifies environmentally and socioeconomically disadvantaged communities eligible for federal resources under the Justice40 initiative. Notably, the tool did not explicitly consider race and ethnic demographics when determining if a community qualifies for the Justice40 initiative. Using 2019 census data, previous Rhodium analysis of the beta tool found that over 50% of Hispanic/Latino, Black, and American Indian/Alaska Native individuals reside in census tracts considered disadvantaged under the screening tool criteria.
On November 22, 2022, the final version (V1.0) of the CEJST was released. This version includes several new environmental and socioeconomic criteria which could establish eligibility for the Justice40 initiative. In this note, we update our analysis to include the criteria in the final version of the tool, and find that the number of communities eligible for benefits under the Justice40 initiative has increased overall. Further, we show that the final criteria dataset highlights the increased burden of compounding environmental, health, and socioeconomic barriers on Black, Hispanic/Latino and American Indian/Alaska Native communities. These communities make up 30% of the US population and 49% of the population of communities eligible for the Justice40 program, but they make up 60% of the population exceeding at least five threshold screening criteria in the tool and 71% of the population exceeding 10+ screening criteria.
Climate change is transforming the global business landscape, but many corporate leaders continue to underestimate the speed and scale with which the shift to a low-emissions economy is likely to unfold—and they are failing to recognize the substantial business opportunity associated with the transition. As leaders shift from ambition to action, understanding and accelerating systems transformation will be crucial. Explore a framework that can help organizations design a corporate climate strategy to drive change and create new value in the climate-aligned economy.
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