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Climate Bill includes Billions in funding. Will It be Spent Fairly
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Climate Bill includes Billions in funding. Will It be Spent Fairly

Christopher Flavelle


President Biden signed the new infrastructure law, which includes almost $50 billion to help communities combat climate change. This is the largest ever such investment. But, spending that money will test the president’s promise to pursue climate justice.

Biden has committed to directing 40 percent of climate spending towards underserved areas, including communities of color or small towns. These places are more vulnerable to climate change than their white, wealthy counterparts. However, they have a harder time protecting them.

It could be difficult to keep that pledge. Many of the funds for climate resilience are awarded through competitive grant programs. This tends to favor wealthy, white, urban areas. That’s because, among other things, those communities have more money to hire experts to navigate the complicated process of getting federal grants.

I spoke to officials from all levels of the Biden administration my article on the bill, and it’s unclear whether they’ve found a way to remake those grant programs. Advocates, meanwhile, say they’re looking for actions to back up the president’s promises.

Quotable: “What is most important?” asked Yoca Arditi-Rocha, executive director of the CLEO Institute, a nonprofit group in Florida. “Protecting property values, or protecting the lives of people?”

Wildlife officials are doing something they’ve never done before to help manatees in Florida: They plan to provide food for hundreds of malnourished animals at a key location on the state’s east coast in an urgent effort to get them through the winter.

This is a difficult decision, as scientists have discovered that feeding wild animals can sometimes cause more damage than good. But Florida’s manatees, already threatened with extinction, have suffered catastrophic losses over the last year. Officials at wildlife have linked the deaths with a sharp decrease in the availability and consumption of sea grasses, which the aquatic animals eat.

On Wednesday, the program was announced. It will be limited and experimental. You can read the full article here.

Numbers:According to state wildlife officials, Florida still had approximately 8,800 manatees in its waters in 2016. This year, more than 1000 manatees have died.

Bill Jacobs is an ecologist who believes in the sacredness of all life. He is a believer in every butterfly, bird and beetle.

Lynn, his wife and more than 25-year-old son, decided against a lawn and instead filled their yard at the North Shore of Long Island, with native pollinating plant to provide food for their feathered and antennaed family.

As I wrote in my recent articleBeautiful photographs by Karsten Moran. Jacobs’ love of the natural has led to them falling out with their lawn-loving neighbors who are two landscapers. Jacobs insists that as a Catholic he feels a responsibility for being a steward and that everyone can help to fight biodiversity collapse by planting native trees outside their front doors.

Quotable: “This lawn is an obsession, like a cult,” Mr. Jacobs said. “This is a poverty that most of us are not even aware of.”

The Global North has the power to lead the chargeCarola Rackete (ecologist, activist) writes in a guest essay against the pollution it has enabled.

If you are a teacher of science, math, technology, or any other STEM-related subject, we’d like to hear how you incorporate New York Times coverage into your curriculum. We will publish a compilation of these responses on The Learning Network.

The first series of the New York Times Headway team’s first series was published by the New York Times. This new group was established to examine big national and international problems through the lense of progress. The climate articles can be found here:

What do a former NBA star, a Trump fund-raiser, an R&B singer, a fashion executive and a famous military contractor have in common? They’re all trying to invest in cobalt, a crucial metal in the clean-energy revolution.

And, all of them have strolled through the lobby of the Fleuve Congo Hotel in Kinshasa, on the banks of the muddy, furious Congo River, in a country that produces more than 70 percent of the globe’s supply of cobalt, which keeps electric-car batteries from overheating and gives vehicles longer range without needing a charge.

The high-end Fleuve, with its $29 cheeseburgers and seven-chandeliered lobby in a country where most people live on $2 a day, is an emporium of ambition in a nation that serves up raw materials crucial to the planet’s battle against climate change. Practically everyone who passes through the hotel seems determined to grab a piece of Congo’s wealth, despite the fact that many have little or no experience in the mining industry.

You can read more about this new wave, and how years worth of corruption and labor abuses here in Congo opened the doors to them. in our article here.

Related:A few days later our article about Albert YumaThe publication was by, the man responsible for reforming so-called “artisanal mining” in Congo he was fired from his post as chairman of the country’s state mining enterprise.

Higher global temperatures equals more droughts. It sounds obvious, right? Well, it’s not so simple.

Two years of low rainfall in Madagascar have created a hunger crisis in the African nation’s poor, agrarian southwest. But an international team of scientists has foundClimate change caused by humans is not likely to be a driving factor.

The researchers, working as part of the World Weather Attribution initiative, used computer simulations to compare today’s world with a hypothetical one in which industrial activity had not added heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere. They found no significant difference in the likelihood that such a severe, long-lasting drought would occur in this part of Madagascar.

The findings point to how tricky it can be to draw straight lines between individual extreme weather events — think flooding, heat waves, cold spells — and the changing global climate. Droughts can be caused by multiple factors, including temperature, soil and vegetation conditions, as well as precipitation.

However, the study does not give Madagascar any reason to relax. Other research has indicated that the island will probably suffer more droughts if average global temperatures rise beyond the level that the researchers considered in the latest study — as seems likely in the coming decades under current policies.

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