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The Water Crisis in Jackson, Mississippi, Is a Dire Warning Sign

Jackson, Mississippi, is finally on its way out of a nightmare water crisis. Freezing winter storms wreaked havoc on Jackson’s old and crumbling water infrastructure. In mid-February the city experienced over 80 water main breaks, leaving tens of thousands of residents without running water. But while the Texas blackouts dominated the news cycle, Jackson’s water crises received far less attention, even as it extended into its...

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A Salty Solution for Methane-Belching Cows

This story was originally published by Grist and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. How scary are cow burps exactly? Measured by their planet-warming power, methane-filled livestock belches are the equivalent of 850 coal plants burning year-round. But scientists have found that spicing up cattle feed with a little seaweed can dramatically reduce the methane they produce, according to a new study out...

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The Texas Freeze Set Off a Methane Bomb

One night last month during the historic winter storm in Texas, Sharon Wilson was huddling in her sleeping bag inside her freezing home when her phone buzzed. A man was messaging her on Twitter from the small town of Wickett, in the sparsely populated part of west Texas that overlaps with the Permian Basin, home to some of the densest oil production in the state. He asked for Wilson’s help, saying he could smell noxious fumes coming...

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Environmentalists Urge Biden To Slash Carbon Emissions in Half by 2030

This story was originally published by The Guardian and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. The US needs to commit to slashing its planet-heating emissions by at least half by the end of the decade to address the climate crisis and spur other countries to greater action, a coalition of American environmental groups has urged. Joe Biden’s administration is set to unveil a new national emissions reduction...

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How This Regal Canine Could Help Save the Mongolian Steppe

This story was originally published by Atlas Obscura and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. On the Mongolian steppe, there are predators, there are prey, and there are the bankhar. These large, powerful dogs weigh up to 125 pounds, with shaggy, thick coats that give them a bear-like appearance. For 15,000 years, bankhar dogs have been the guardians of the steppe. In these grasslands, sheep and other...

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We Throw Out More Than 2 Trillion Pounds of Food Every Year, UN Says

This story was originally published by The Guardian and is reproduced here as a part of the Climate Desk collaboration.  People waste more than two trillion pounds of food a year, a UN report has revealed. It is the most comprehensive assessment to date and found waste was about double the previous best estimate. The food discarded in homes alone was 163 pounds per person each year on average around the world, the UN found. In the...

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Big Polluters Just Power-Stomped Cities Seeking Greener Building Codes

This story was originally published by HuffPost and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. The private consortium that oversees the model building codes for much of the United States and parts of the Caribbean and Latin America on Thursday stripped local governments of their right to vote on future energy-efficiency codes. The decision came more than a year after the construction and gas industry groups that...

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Developers Aim to Halt Local Push Toward Climate-Friendly Building Codes

This story was originally published by HuffPost and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. Kim Havey had a problem. Minneapolis was generating more and more of its electricity from renewables, dropping climate-warming pollution from power to record lows. But emissions from natural gas, which is used to heat buildings and stovetops, were climbing ― overtaking power plants as the city’s top source of carbon...

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How Congressional Republicans Are Responding to Biden’s Climate Agenda

This story was originally published by Grist and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. Since taking office, President Joe Biden has re-entered the United States into the Paris Agreement, revoked a key permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, and placed a moratorium on new oil and gas leases on public lands. Republicans in Congress aren’t happy. This week, Republicans signaled how they aim to block...

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Watch This Number Closely to See How Seriously Biden Will Tackle Climate Pollution

Many of President Joe Biden’s promises for tackling unchecked climate pollution come down to nailing down one obscure economic metric. It’s called the social cost of carbon, and it will guide policymaking across the Biden administration for how to consider the benefits and costs of reigning in climate pollution. In a single number, it is supposed to capture the full extent of damage to the economy and society for every additional...

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The Texas Fiasco Makes the Case for Creating a National Power Grid

You could point fingers in several directions for the outages that stemmed from last week’s polar vortex obliteration of the Texas power grid. You can’t rightly blame Earth for doing what it does, but you could certainly condemn the state’s deregulation of its energy system. Texas also remains heavily reliant on fossil fuels, and the power plants that run on them failed en masse. So you might blame those operators, but you...

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The Climate Crisis May Threaten All That Depends on the Colorado River

This story was originally published by High Country News and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. Southern California farmers spend their winters watching the snowpack in the Colorado Rockies, and what they see is the climate crisis hitting hard. When it melts, the snow that falls on these peaks will, eventually, make its way into the Colorado River, which connects the Southwest like a great tendon, tying the...