Border wall along Mexico to go up in national monument, wildlife refuge

Border wall along Mexico to go up in national monument, wildlife refuge

SOURCE: Salt Lake Tribune DATE: May 15, 2019 SNIP: The U.S. government plans to replace barriers through 100 miles of the southern border in California and Arizona, including through a national monument and a wildlife refuge, according to documents and environmental advocates. The Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday once again waived environmental and dozens of other laws to build more barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border. Funding will come from the Defense Department following the emergency declaration that President Donald Trump signed this year after Congress refused to approve the amount of border wall funding that he wanted. Barriers will go up at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, a vast park named after the unique cactus breed that decorates it, and Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, which is largely a designed wilderness home to 275 wildlife species. The government will also build new roads and lighting in those areas. Environmental advocates who have sued to stop the construction of the wall say this latest plan will be detrimental to the wildlife and habitat in those...
Cyclone Idai lays bare the fundamental injustice of climate change

Cyclone Idai lays bare the fundamental injustice of climate change

SOURCE: Grist DATE: March 19, 2019 SNIP: A humanitarian catastrophe is underway in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe as the full scale of devastation from Cyclone Idai becomes more clear. The World Meteorological Organization said Idai, which made landfall five days ago, could become the worst tropical cyclone on record in the Southern Hemisphere. Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi fears that 1,000 people may have died in his country alone. The U.N.’s World Food Program called it “a major humanitarian emergency that is getting bigger by the hour.” Nearly 3 million people have been affected across the region, one of the poorest in the world. Cyclone Idai is not a natural disaster; the storm was made worse by climate change, centuries of colonialism, and continuing international injustices. There are at least three major ways that the Mozambique floods are related to climate change: First, a warmer atmosphere holds more water vapor, which makes rainfall more intense. Idai produced more than two feet of rainfall in parts of the region — nearly a year’s worth in just a few days. Second, the region had been suffering from a severe drought in recent years in line with climate projections of overall drying in the region, hardening the soil and enhancing runoff. Third, sea levels are about a foot higher than a century ago, which worsens the effect of coastal flooding farther inland. During four centuries of colonial rule, Mozambique was used as a source of slaves, mines, and plantation agriculture. The nation gained independence from Portugal in 1975 after a 10-year long revolutionary war. A devastating 15-year civil war followed shortly thereafter. But...