Lead-poisoned water in Flint, Michigan, may have led to a significant drop in the number of babies born in the town, according a newly released study. Researchers found that after elected leaders decided to save money by switching the city’s water supply source in 2014, the area saw a precipitous rise in miscarriages and stillbirths, as well as infants born with “health complications.”
The past few days have produced clashing reports that he may or may not come around. Confusion is how Trump gets turnarounds past the base. What happened right after he spoke of helping the “dreamers,” immigrants brought to this country illegally as children? He defended his earlier controversial remarks equating the Charlottesville racists to the protesters. And he retweeted anti-Muslim sentiments.
In times like these (Donald Trump, the climate crisis, environmental degradation, police brutality, etc.), it’s natural to feel a need to do something. But what? It’s easy to donate online to any one of hundreds of organizations. Heck, even making an Amazon purchase online or an in-store Whole Foods purchase is accompanied by an opportunity to donate to an organization that needs your spare change. But where does that money go? And really, do you know what effect it is having?
In May, the New Orleans City Council declared monuments of Lee, Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Confederate Gen. PGT Beauregard public nuisances and had them removed. In August, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh ordered Confederate monuments removed from the city’s public spaces.
“There has been no change in the United States’ position on the Paris agreement,” said Lindsay Walters, a White House spokeswoman. “As the president has made abundantly clear, the United States is withdrawing unless we can re-enter on terms that are more favorable to our country.”
After failing to note the impact of climate change on hurricanes in their coverage of Hurricane Harvey, ABC and NBC both discussed the link while covering Irma, Media Matters has found in a new analysis of coverage of the more recent storm. But NBC did a better job: It ran a segment that featured a scientist explaining the climate-hurricane connection, while ABC’s sole mention of climate change was cursory and failed to provide viewers with much information.
The wonky words infrastructure and resilience have circulated widely of late, particularly since Hurricanes Harvey and Irma struck paralyzing, costly blows in two of America’s fastest-growing states. Resilience is a property traditionally defined as the ability to bounce back. A host of engineers and urban planners have long warned this trait is sorely lacking in America’s brittle infrastructure.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner on Tuesday gave his strongest endorsement to date for constructing a physical coastal barrier to protect the region from deadly storm surge during hurricanes. Though such a barrier system would not have guarded against the unrelenting and unprecedented rain Hurricane Harvey dumped on the area, Turner — one of the region’s last leaders to endorse the so-called “coastal spine” concept — said at a Tuesday news conference that he believes it is crucial.
“The devastation left by Hurricane Irma was far greater, at least in certain locations, than anyone thought,” President Donald Trump said in a Twitter comment, adding that “amazing people” were working hard. Teams of emergency workers rescued more people from flooded communities, repaired roads, cleared debris and started restoring power to millions of residences and businesses.
Hurricane Irma, which collided with Florida over the weekend, was in a similar league as those storms in its sheer power, and the number of people living in vulnerable areas has only grown. So how has the number of deaths — in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina as of Monday night — remained in single digits?
Joel Myers, president of AccuWeather, predicted Monday the cost of Irma and Harvey combined could reach a total of $290 billion. However, that includes costs for which the federal government is not responsible, such as lost personal valuables or destruction of homes that ought to be protected by insurance.
Hurricane Irma made a second ferocious landfall near Naples Sunday after inundating the low-lying Florida Keys, sending floodwaters surging into downtown Miami and menacing millions in Florida’s Gulf Coast cities where some had initially sought shelter from the storm.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, Florida Power and Light (FPL) CEO Eric Silagy announced Sunday evening that more than 2 million households and businesses in South Florida would not get power restoration for weeks. FPL Vice President of Communications Rob Gould also told ABC News that affected areas will see a “wholesale rebuild” of the electrical grid, which could be considered the “longest restoration in U.S. history.” FPL serves more than 10 million customers across Florida.
As Hurricane Irma tore through the Caribbean and approached Florida, Sunday morning political news programs reported on the storm’s remarkable strength and size and the potential damage it could cause, but three major Sunday shows — Fox Broadcasting Co.’s Fox News Sunday, CBS’ Face the Nation, and ABC’s This Week — failed to mention the effects of climate change during their coverage of the storm, even though experts have linked extreme weather events, including Irma, to global warming.
For Texas and large swaths of the Caribbean, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have proven historic human catastrophes. At least 70 people were killed in the former, while the latter is presently on a collision course with Florida’s Gulf Coast after leveling Anguilla, Cuba and the Bahamas, among other island nations and commonwealths. Barbuda, which bore the brunt of the Category 5 storm Irma, has been reduced to rubble.
When the Aztecs founded Tenochtitlán in 1325, they built it on a large island on Lake Texcoco. Its eventual 200,000-plus inhabitants relied on canals, levees, dikes, floating gardens, aqueducts and bridges for defense, transportation, flood control, drinking water and food. After the Spaniards conquered the city in 1521, they drained the lake and built Mexico City over it.
Forecasters say Irma will hit Florida directly this weekend, starting in Miami and the Keys, and then the entirety of the state by Monday. Nadege Green, a reporter with WLRN in Miami, lives in an area that’s not currently in an evacuation zone. She has boarded up her house in preparation for the storm. She says she’s staying put not because she wants to, but because she feels like she has no other choice.
The three hurricanes—Category 4 Irma, Category 4 Jose and Category 2 Katia—are swirling and wreaking havoc along their distinct paths. Both Irma and Jose are moving up the eastern Atlantic Ocean, with Irma already causing destruction in the northern Lesser Antilles and Jose expected to do the same over the weekend.
FPL now has 13,500 crews from around the country, as well as its own, on hand to restore power once hurricane and tropical winds subside, Silagy said. “We’re frankly more prepared for this hurricane than we have been for any storm in the history of our company,” he said. But Hurricane Irma is the kind that “can snap concrete poles and bend metal,” he said. Silagy expects overgrown vegetation and debris to cause some equipment failures, as well as flooding. “We’re going to see a lot of damage. We’re going to see areas where we’re going to have to rebuild,” Silagy said.
The disinformation and falsehoods that can accompany breaking news online — involving terror attacks or national elections — have become a familiar plague in recent years. Big weather stories, it now seems clear, are not immune. On Twitter, Facebook and a handful of other venues, hundreds of thousands of people in recent days have clicked or shared items with headlines warning that Hurricane Irma was poised to become a Category 6 storm (on the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane intensity) that “could wipe entire cities off the map.”
Two days ago, right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh said that Hurricane Irma’s news coverage was a ploy to create “fear and panic,” and predicted that the storm probably wouldn’t impact the major population centers of South Florida. It took Limbaugh about a day to change his mind. On Thursday, the bag of bluster announced that he’d be going to be taking a hiatus from his Palm Beach, Florida, house and studio, leaving someone else to handle his show.
A new petition to rename one of the most destructive hurricanes in recorded history after Ivanka Trump is quickly drawing closer to its goal of 10,000 signatures. The creator of the appeal writes that Hurricane Irma, which “has become one of the most powerful storms in the Atlantic ever,” will cause “catastrophic damage.” Noting that scientists have been unequivocal in implicating man-made climate change for the extreme weather we’ve seen in recent weeks, the author cites the Trump administration’s denialism as a major barrier to addressing this crisis.
In their early morning discussion, National Hurricane Center forecasters said the latest model runs have moved Irma’s path slightly to the east, taking the fierce Cat 5 storm over Florida’s east coast or the northern Bahamas in the coming days. But they say models are still struggling to factor in a trough moving over the U.S. expected to help steer Irma.
Hurricane Irma is gathering strength over the Atlantic Ocean as it heads towards the Caribbean. Already rated Category 5, it is expected to make landfall in Florida by the end of the week, with many worried about a repeat of the havoc caused in Texas and Louisiana by Hurricane Harvey.
The disaster in Houston has put many conservatives on the defensive. Houston was their urban model. Developers could put almost anything anywhere, which lowered the cost of living. By unfavorable comparison, “elite” coastal cities that regulate development have relatively high housing costs. But it’s an extreme creed that portrays regulation as the enemy of investment. In the real world, smart regulation can protect investments.