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US Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Adapting homes to extreme weather changes

05:35  25 september  2021
05:35  25 september  2021 Source:   thehill.com

Zimbabwe's older people often sent to homes amid pandemic

  Zimbabwe's older people often sent to homes amid pandemic HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Banana bread was served at a recent birthday party at Melfort Old People’s home, where a group of residents mustered a raspy happy birthday tune. Just a week after arriving at the facility, Rodrick Bhatare, in his 90s, said he felt a bittersweet moment at the celebration for a 103-year-old fellow resident. “I haven’t been this happy in a very long time,” he said. “I just wished I was doing it with my family.” Hard-hit by the pandemic, his family could no longer provide for him, he said.

From The Driver's Seat. Equilibrium / Sustainability — Presented by The American Petroleum Institute — The stricter the lockdown, the better for eagles. By Sharon Udasin and Saul Elbein - 09/23/21 05:13 PM EDT. “However, greater frequency of extreme weather events due to climate change are affecting our momentum,” Hasina said. “As a global leader in addressing the challenges of climate change , we are also working on [a] climate resilient agriculture and food system.” A message from API.

From The Driver's Seat. Equilibrium / Sustainability — Presented by The American Petroleum Institute — Climate change turning US into coffee country. By Sharon Udasin and Saul Elbein - 09/22/21 04:58 PM EDT. Today is Wednesday. Welcome to Equilibrium, a newsletter that tracks the growing global battle over the future of sustainability. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup. Climate change may have fueled the flames that ripped across Siberia this summer, sending plumes of smoke over the North Pole.

Today is Friday. Welcome to Equilibrium, a newsletter that tracks the growing global battle over the future of sustainability. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.

Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Adapting homes to extreme weather changes © The Hill Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Adapting homes to extreme weather changes

The wooden stilts that used to prop up Francis Waskey's home have gradually sunk into the thawing Alaskan permafrost - leading the vinyl floor to split apart and sending icy drafts through shattered windows, The Washington Post reported.

Residences like this one were imported from "the temperate Lower 48" during what the Post described as "home-building frenzy" that coincided with the Trans-Alaska Pipeline economic boom in the 1970s. Designed to meet those balmy southern environmental conditions, they're faring poorly in the subarctic climate of the 2020s.

Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by The American Petroleum Institute — Dems demand accounting from Big Oil

  Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by The American Petroleum Institute — Dems demand accounting from Big Oil Today is Friday. Welcome to Equilibrium, a newsletter that tracks the growing global battle over the future of sustainability. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup. Two Democratic leaders called upon the CEOs of major oil companies to testify before Congress about whether they "suppressed information about their roles in climate change," Zack Budryk reported for The Hill."We need an accounting," House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) told The Hill, stressing that companies are making public statements about the importance of sustainability while telling their boards that oil production will continue.

"However, greater frequency of extreme weather events due to climate change are affecting our momentum," Hasina said. "As a global leader in addressing the challenges of climate change , we are also working on [a] climate resilient agriculture and food system." A message from API. We'll see you on Friday. Equilibrium / Sustainability — Presented by The American Petroleum Institute — Bezos promises billion for biodiversity . Today is Tuesday. Welcome to Equilibrium, a newsletter that tracks the growing global battle over the future of sustainability.

Welcome to Equilibrium , a newsletter that tracks the growing global battle over the future of sustainability . Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup. As kids leave behind a year of pandemic isolation for crowded cabins across the country, camp directors say that rising temperatures, wildfire smoke and shifting species are hindering the carefree summer experiences that previous Slower adoption of renewables and a glut of cheap oil would also mean greater short-term carbon emissions, trapping more heat and further destabilizing the weather , worsening fires and threatening agriculture.

So Waskey's home - located in the native Yupik town of Mountain Village - is being replaced by a prototype created by the Cold Climate Housing, a nonprofit based at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. This will be the newest of 22 prototypes that the Center has built to withstand "high winds, extreme snowfall and temperature swings from minus-50 to 80 degrees" in rural environments, the Post reported.

"If we cannot predict what the climate is going to do, then all of our architecture should be adapted," Aaron Cooke, the architect leading the effort, told the Post.

In the spirit of adapting to change, we'll take a look at new research that has identified the Northeast coast as one of the fastest warming areas in the U.S. - and what this might mean for the future. And we'll explore how wood from Canada's pristine northern forests is ending up as bright white toilet paper - and how that's causing pressure on paper makers from within.

Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by The American Petroleum Institute — Illegal pot farms dry up Western creeks

  Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by The American Petroleum Institute — Illegal pot farms dry up Western creeks Illegal pot farms dry up Western creeksToday is Monday. Welcome to Equilibrium, a newsletter that tracks the growing global battle over the future of sustainability. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup. Illegal cannabis farms are drying up creeks and sucking up scarce groundwater out West in what Oregon Sheriff Dave Daniel called "just a blatant theft of water," The Associated Press reported.The Western states' legalization ofToday is Monday. Welcome to Equilibrium, a newsletter that tracks the growing global battle over the future of sustainability. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.

Climate change may have fueled the flames that ripped across Siberia this summer, sending plumes of smoke over the North Pole. But it is also apparently warming the American coffee crop — providing Californian and Floridian farmers with the high temperatures necessary to cultivate the beans that But coffee requires 20 percent less water than most fruit and nut trees and could also earn farmers a sizable profit. For Equilibrium , we are Saul Elbein and Sharon Udasin. Please send tips or comments to Saul at selbein@thehill.com or Sharon at sudasin@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @saul_elbein and

Climate change may have fueled the flames that ripped across Siberia this summer, sending plumes of smoke over the North Pole. But it is also apparently warming the American coffee crop — providing Californian and Floridian farmers with the high temperatures necessary to cultivate the beans that wake us up David Armstrong, a farmer in Ventura, Calif., recently joined a group of growers participating in the largest-ever American coffee cultivation endeavor, Reuters reported. Today we’ll look at a billion pledge by nine foundations aimed at preserving a third of the Earth’s land and waters — and a major

For Equilibrium, we are Saul Elbein and Sharon Udasin. Please send tips or comments to Saul at selbein@thehill.com or Sharon at sudasin@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @saul_elbein and @sharonudasin.

Let's get to it.

Northeast US one of the fastest warming areas

  Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Adapting homes to extreme weather changes © Provided by The Hill

The coastal Northeast - from Maine to Delaware - is heating faster than most areas of the United States, due to dramatic shifts in the ocean and atmospheric conditions over the North Atlantic, a new study has found.

The study, published in Nature Climate Change on Thursday, showed that not only are Northeastern winters getting warmer, but there is also rapid summer warming occurring along the Atlantic coast..

In many parts of this region, which includes the highly populated cities of New York and Boston, the researchers found that warming over the past century had exceeded 2 degrees Celsius - the overall global figure that countries have committed to avoiding in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by The American Petroleum Institute — Climate change turning US into coffee country

  Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by The American Petroleum Institute — Climate change turning US into coffee country Today is Wednesday. Welcome to Equilibrium, a newsletter that tracks the growing global battle over the future of sustainability. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup. Climate change may have fueled the flames that ripped across Siberia this summer, sending plumes of smoke over the North Pole. But it is also apparently warming the American coffee crop - providing Californian and Floridian farmers with the high temperatures necessary to cultivate the beans that wake us up every morning. While coffee is typically produced in the equatorial Coffee Belt and requires constant heat, climate change is now bringing that condition to some U.S.

Sustainability is the ability to exist constantly. In the 21st century, it refers generally to the capacity for Earth's biosphere and human civilization to co-exist.

Much like cell phones before it in the 1980s and 90s, 5G has encountered strong pushback from the general public since it was first announced. In September 2018, Mill Valley city council, in California, voted to block development of 5G towers and small cells in residential areas citing “serious adverse health and environmental impacts caused by the microwave radiation emitted from these 4G and 5G Small Cell Towers,” Motherboard reports. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “There is no scientific evidence that provides a definite answer to that question…

That coastal warming is nothing less than "exceptional," lead author Ambarish Karmalkar, a professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst said in a press statement that accompanied their research.

Population centers enduring greatest warming: "Some of the biggest [population] centers in the U.S. are suffering the greatest degree of warming," said Karmalkar, who conducted the study with Columbia University climate scientist, Radley Horton.

Karmalkar and Horton reanalyzed existing datasets to determine the connection between sea surface temperature rise and a slowdown of the Atlantic Ocean's system of currents - called the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), according to the study.

A "conveyor belt" of warmth: Describing AMOC "as a conveyor belt that transports warm, salty water from the tropics north toward Greenland, where it cools and sinks," the authors explained that this cooled water then flows south in deep-water currents. However, because the climate is warming and Greenland's glaciers are melting, that conveyor belt is slowing down and ocean temperatures are getting warmer.

Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by The American Petroleum Institute — The stricter the lockdown, the better for eagles

  Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by The American Petroleum Institute — The stricter the lockdown, the better for eagles Today is Thursday. Welcome to Equilibrium, a newsletter that tracks the growing global battle over the future of sustainability. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup. Where the cars go quiet, the birds move in.That's one clear conclusion of a new study published in Science Advances, which found that the urban populations of most American bird species - from warblers to ruby throated hummingbirds - had seen increases in their urban populations throughout the pandemic, according to The Guardian. Bald eagles showed a clear preference for areas with the tightest lockdown restrictions, the study found.

And then there are the winds: AMOC is also connected to rising temperatures in the Northeast's coastal cities, due to a weather phenomenon called the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), which blows over the Atlantic Ocean from the U.S. to Europe, according to the researchers.

The NAO has settled into a pattern over the past few decades that has strengthened the impact of ocean air on the eastern seaboard, the authors explained. Coupled with the AMOC slowdown, this results in warmer ocean air blowing over the Northeast and accelerating land-based warming trends.

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CURRENT DATA 'MAY UNDEREMPHASIZE WARMING IN THIS POPULOUS REGION'

What should scientists do next? Investigate more specialized models that delve into daily weather conditions, as the outsized impact of one or two unusual (or dangerous) days may be obscured by seasonal averages, according to the authors.

Without integrating improved high-resolution data into regional climate assessments, scientists and policymakers "may underemphasize warming in this populous region," Karmalkar said in the press statement.

Fortunately, he told Equilibrium, these capabilities are readily available to scientists, who now have access to high-resolution observational datasets that show temperature and humidity changes at local scales.

NASCAR betting: Larson closing road-course gap, plus picks to consider at Brickyard

  NASCAR betting: Larson closing road-course gap, plus picks to consider at Brickyard Kyle Larson is closing the gap on teammate Chase Elliott when it comes to the betting market‘s expectations on road courses. Larson is as skinny as +280 (bet $100 to win $280) at BetMGM to take the checkers at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course on Sunday, a significantly shorter price than the +450 he […]Despite finishing second to Larson last week, Elliott remains the road-course favorite, offered at +200 at multiple shops for this week‘s race, the Verizon 200 at the Brickyard. He has piloted the No. 9 Chevrolet to six wins and two second-place finishes over the 10 most recent road-course races in the Cup Series .

"But in terms of understanding future projections, we need to better understand the ability of our current generation of climate models to capture these highly localized trends," Kalmakar said.

"We can't limit our vision": Horton, the study's co-author, stressed that recent extreme weather events, such as the Pacific Northwest heatwave and flooding in the Northeast, have "exceeded climate model projections and led to outsized impacts for vulnerable urban populations."

"When considering how to reduce vulnerability, we can't limit our vision of the possible to the relatively narrow band of outcomes suggested by climate models," Horton told Equilibrium. "And we need to realize that impacts may cascade in complex ways that our sectoral models simply cannot envision."

To read the full story, please click here.

Climate change is 'a freight train' making some places too dangerous to live in, experts say

  Climate change is 'a freight train' making some places too dangerous to live in, experts say Climate change raises unavoidable questions about where it makes sense to live in the United States.“It was insanely gorgeous and very affordable,” the social worker said.

How to wipe out deforestation from toilet paper

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Wood from critical primary forests in Canada's north is making its way into major-brand toilet paper - just as scientists say those forests have to be protected.

The disturbance of these landscapes - even if the trees grow back - leads to both the expulsion of wildlife and increased carbon emissions, a Nature Climate Study found in April.

But there are few protections to keep primary forests from being "literally flushed down the toilet or thrown down the trash can," according to Shelly Vinyard, who directs campaigns around Canada's northern boreal forest - the largest intact forest on Earth - for the nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Biden leaves meeting saying 'it doesn't matter' when bill is passed

  Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Biden leaves meeting saying 'it doesn't matter' when bill is passed Biden says 'it doesn't matter' when infrastructure bill is passed Welcome to Friday's Overnight Energy & Environment, your source for the latest news focused on energy, the environment and beyond. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.Today we're looking at the latest round of infrastructure negotiations, a sentencing for a former environmental lawyer and a Midwest EV network initiative. For The Hill, we're Rachel Frazin and ZackWelcome to Friday's Overnight Energy & Environment, your source for the latest news focused on energy, the environment and beyond. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.

And that lack of protections is making shareholders at toilet paper companies restless.

Toilet paper is like sausage: It comes from everywhere. In the U.S., about a third of the blend is domestic (sourced from pine plantations), a third comes from South America and a third comes from Canada's wild forests - from which tissue companies get the Northern Bleached Softwood Kraft pulp prized for its blend of softness and strength.

"In the U.S., the biggest paper brands, the one customers are most familiar with - Charmin, Cottenelle, Quilted Northern, then Bounty and Kleenex - are made using almost entirely virgin forest fiber," Vinyard told Equilibrium

This means that the paper is made from newly-felled trees, which uses far more energy and releases far more carbon than recycled paper.

Then there's how the trees get cut. "The vast majority of logging that occurs in the boreal forest is clear-cut logging," Vineyard said, adding that areas previously lush with moss are transformed into "a barren landscape."

Logging leads to a far greater amount of deforestation than just the cleared areas: a study in Northern Ontario by Wildlands League found that the amount of land actually cleared was seven times greater than the amount reported - in part because so much land has to be cleared for roads and lots just to allow a cut to happen.

DEFORESTATION FEARS LEAD TO SHAREHOLDER REBELLION

A shareholder movement: In September 2020, shareholders of consumer goods corporation Procter & Gamble voted 67 percent to "increase the scale, pace and rigor of our efforts to eliminate deforestation and the degradation of intact forests."

The company's failure to do so already "poses material financial risk to the company and its shareholders," wrote Leslie Samuelrich, president of the fund that proposed the vote. Large investors like BlackRock also backed the proposal in an "investor rebellion," according to the Financial Times.

That effort pushed Procter & Gamble to agree to source three quarters of its paper only from forests certified by the high-standards of the Forest Sustainability Council.

But that hasn't been enough to get the heat off.

Primary v. virgin: Last week, the NRDC released its third "Issue with Tissue" report, grading the environmental responsibility of America's toilet papers. Procter & Gamble's offerings - like the majority of those of its "Big Three" colleagues at Kimberly-Clark and Georgia-Pacific - received an "F."

The NRDC has two distinct goals: to see the pulp companies stop buying entirely from primary forests - those largely undisturbed ones that scientists say are so critical.

When it comes to the secondary growth in previously cleared forests, the NRDC wants to see companies "reduce their use of virgin forest fiber in tissue products by half," Vinyard told Equilibrium.

So what does NRDC want to see from Procter & Gamble? Two principal actions, according to Vinyard:

  1. Reduce the use of virgin forest fiber by half
  2. Stop sourcing from primary forest entirely

That second one is a way to keep deforestation from "escaping" one protected region into another, so that preservation in the boreal is not "fueling forest loss somewhere else," Vinyard explained.

Takeaway: Print a copy of NRDC's toilet paper scorecard for some bathroom reading - and consider that these sorts of reports are becoming grist for the kinds of shareholder resolutions that are forcing companies like Procter & Gamble to go places they may not have been prepared to go willingly.

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Follow-up Friday

  Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Adapting homes to extreme weather changes © Provided by The Hill

Our weekly tying-off of loose threads from the week.

America's ambassador to Haiti quits over deportations

  • America's special envoy to Haiti, Ambassador Daniel Foote, has quit in disgust over the mass deportations of Haiitians gathered on the Southern U.S. border, which we covered on Tuesday.
  • The returnees had been sent back to "a country where American officials are confined to secure compounds because of the danger posed by armed gangs in control of daily life," Foote wrote in a letter obtained by the Washington Post.
  • The camp itself has largely been cleared, with only "stragglers" remaining, Reuters reported.
  • While about 2,000 individuals have been deported, thousands of migrants have been allowed into the U.S., The New York Times reported.

Yemen 'marching towards starvation' as funds dwindle

  • A day before the U.N. Food Systems Summit, which we covered on Thursday, the head of the U.N. food agency warned that 16 million people in Yemen "are marching towards starvation" and that rations would dwindle by October, the Associated Press reported.
  • The U.N.'s World Food Program is running out of money to solve this humanitarian crisis, its executive director, David Beasley, said on Wednesday, according to the AP.
  • When a similar situation occurred earlier this year, he said, the U.S., Germany, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia "averted famine and catastrophe."
  • In major pledges this week, the U.S. announced an additional $290 million in humanitarian assistance for Yemen, while the European Union said it would provide about $139 million in humanitarian and development aid, according to the AP.

UN seeks to win over disaffected youth

  • The U.N. has announced the creation of a new Youth Office to "bridge the generational divide" and focus on issues relevant to those aged 15 to 29, the AP reported.
  • It's a group that the U.N. calls the largest cadre of young people in history - and 60 percent feel "betrayed by their governments," U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said, referring to the Lancet study we covered here.
  • "Those are the years when you're taking stock of your life," Connie Flanagan, a University of Wisconsin professor who studies youth activism, told the A.P. "And as a result, you're taking stock of your world."

Please visit The Hill's sustainability section online for the web version of this newsletter and more stories. We'll see you on Friday.

Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Biden leaves meeting saying 'it doesn't matter' when bill is passed .
Biden says 'it doesn't matter' when infrastructure bill is passed Welcome to Friday's Overnight Energy & Environment, your source for the latest news focused on energy, the environment and beyond. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.Today we're looking at the latest round of infrastructure negotiations, a sentencing for a former environmental lawyer and a Midwest EV network initiative. For The Hill, we're Rachel Frazin and ZackWelcome to Friday's Overnight Energy & Environment, your source for the latest news focused on energy, the environment and beyond. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.

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