Biden Administration Announces $660 Million To Plug Abandoned Wells

Over the past century, the fossil fuel industry has made a habit of letting others clean up their messes. Today, the U.S. is dotted with millions of “orphaned wells,” crevices in the earth that companies once used to extract oil and subsequently abandoned once they were no longer considered profitable. But additional help appears to be on the way: This week, the Biden administration announced it would make nearly $660 million in funds from the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law available to states to plug more of these polluting fissures.


How California’s Salton Sea Went From Vacation Destination to Toxic Nightmare

In the spring of 1905, the Colorado River, bursting with seasonal rain, topped an irrigation canal and flooded the site of a dried lake bed in Southern California. The flooding, which continued for two years before engineers sealed up the busted channel, created an unexpected gem in the middle of the arid California landscape: the Salton Sea. In the decades that followed, vacationers, water skiers, and speed boat enthusiasts flocked to the body of water. The Beach Boys and the Marx Brothers docked their boats at the North Shore Beach and Yacht Club, which opened in 1959. At the time, it seemed like the Salton Sea, and the vibrant communities that had sprung up around it, would be there for centuries to come.

Indigenous Tribes are at the Forefront of Climate Change Planning in the U.S.

Temperatures in Idaho’s Columbia, Snake, and Salmon rivers were so warm in 2015 that they cooked millions of salmon and steelhead to death. As climate change leads to consistently warmer temperatures and lower river flows, researchers expect that fish kills like this will become much more common. Tribal members living on the Nez Perce reservation are preparing for this new normal.

“The biggest and most poignant impact for Nez Perce tribal members has been the loss of fishing and fish,” said Stephanie Krantz, the climate change coordinator for the tribe. “For tribal peoples, they are absolutely essential for survival.”

Is Climate Change Showing Up In The Daily Weather Forecast? It’s Complicated

Early this month, scientists announced a surprising discovery: The “fingerprint” of climate change is now detectable in everyday weather. In fact, evidence of global warming can be found in the planet’s weather every day, minute, and second since 2012.

But wait —you, a person who actually paid attention in your high school atmospheric science class, say — weather and climate are not the same! Right you are, dear reader. Weather is what happens in the moment (rain passing through, or the current temperature outside). Climate is average weather over time.

California’s Water Crisis Has Put Farmers In A Race To The Bottom

While California was gripped by drought in 2014, Mark Arax began to notice something he couldn’t explain. Instead of shrinking for lack of water, some big farms were growing even bigger, expanding to hillsides, saltbush desert, and other lands where farmers usually feared to tread. They were planting thirsty almond trees as fast as they could. Arax, a former reporter for the Los Angeles Times, watched as journalists from the East Coast parachuted in to tell the story of California’s fruit basket turning into another Dust Bowl. And they found versions of that story to tell: Some farms were drying up, especially the smaller ones.

Are Avocados Toast?

Chris Sayer pushed his way through avocado branches and grasped a denuded limb. It was stained black, as if someone had ladled tar over its bark. In February, the temperature had dropped below freezing for three hours, killing the limb. The thick leaves had shriveled and fallen away, exposing the green avocados, which then burned in the sun. Sayer estimated he’d lost one out of every 20 avocados on his farm in Ventura, just 50 miles north of Los Angeles, but he counts himself lucky.