Millions see extreme weather alerts
New York City was hit by a “potentially less severe” smog early Thursday from the Canadian wildfires than it was about three weeks ago, when the city’s skies turned a dark orange haze. The city’s air quality index was at a moderate 83, however, Pittsburgh and Chicago were experiencing very unhealthy air quality, according to the AirNow index. Some 80 million residents are under air quality alerts, while heat warnings are in effect for over 100 million people as a record-breaking heat wave hits the South and California.
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By Todd Dybas, Editor at LinkedIn News
Extreme weather hits millions, putting energy access at risk
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Americans are getting ready for one of the busiest travel weekends of the year ahead of Independence Day celebrations, but many will be flying into cities darkened by wildfire smoke or stifling heat waves that are straining the power grid.
Wildfires raging in Canada are again pushing smoke south into New York and the Midwest, prompting health alerts urging caution and forcing those with vulnerable lungs indoors. The South, meanwhile, is in the midst of the latest heat wave that has left thousands without power.
These extreme weather events are pushing energy infrastructure to the brink, jeopardizing their reliability. In California, the record rainfall has put the state’s dams at risk. U.S. reliance on natural gas over the past decade has made it the primary energy source for the country. The pipelines circulating the resource and power plants that burn the fuel, however, were not built to withstand the extreme temperatures and natural disasters now happening on a regular cadence.
To better understand how we got here, it’s worth reading Vox’s deepdive into the history of heat waves and how climate change is intensifying them.
As these climate disasters continue to increase in speed and intensity, those living on small island nations are facing an impossible question: What happens when they become stateless? The global community is working on frameworks that would designate further funding for the countries that will feel the impact of rising sea levels first but money doesn’t solve immigration when your country is under water. The Guardian has an interesting take on what’s next for these islanders.
It’s not all dire, however. LinkedIn’s Economic Graph team released its latest green skills report, breaking down the industries that are adapting to meet the moment and the skills workers need to be part of the transition.
Other stories I’m watching
- Humans have extracted so much groundwater, it’s shifted the Earth’s axis, which will have ripple effects on the climate and GPS systems used by cell phones and planes.
- Demand in Phoenix for groundwater is so high that officials are restricting housing construction around the Arizona capital.
- Oil and gas companies are looking at diversification but not in renewables. Instead, they’re looking at mining lithium, a metal critical for battery production.
- Grist, a climate-focused nonprofit news outlet, breaks down how to build a zero-waste economy.
- Those with disabilities could teach others how to navigate climate disasters.
- More companies and individuals are moving their files and entire businesses to the cloud, but at what cost to the environment?
- As insurance companies reevaluate their climate exposure, opting to drop entire states like California, a Floridian state agency is selling municipal bonds that will act as a backstop on its home insurance industry.