Wildfires can leave toxic drinking water behind – here's how to protect the public

Two environmental engineers say governments need to do more to protect people from possible water contamination after wildfires.

Caitlin R. Proctor, Lillian Gilbreth Postdoctoral Fellow, Purdue University • conversation
Sept. 17, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: water camp-fire chemicals drinking-water natural-disasters california wildfires oregon disaster-recovery safe-drinking-water-act building-codes washington-state

Climate change and forest management have both fueled today's epic Western wildfires

Debating whether climate change or forest management has caused the devastating wildfires in California, Washington and Oregon is a false choice.

Steven C. Beda, Assistant Professor of History, University of Oregon • conversation
Sept. 16, 2020 ~10 min

Tags: climate-change donald-trump wildfire forests california us-history wildfire-fighting oregon logging forest-management washington-state us-west endangered-species-act timber-industry us-forest-service

Coping with Western wildfires: 5 essential reads

How climate change and other human actions have combined to create conditions for explosive wildfires in California, Oregon and Washington state.

Jennifer Weeks, Environment + Energy Editor, The Conversation • conversation
Sept. 10, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: public-health climate-change risk california-wildfires insurance california wildfires oregon land-use wood-smoke essential-reads washington-state

'Hottest temperature on Earth' as Death Valley, US hits 54.4C

A reading of 130F (54.4C) recorded in Death Valley could be the highest reliable recording ever.

BBC Science News • bbcnews
Aug. 17, 2020 ~3 min

Tags: united-states california

Wildfires can poison drinking water – here's how communities can be better prepared

Buildings aren't the only things at risk in wildfires. Recent disasters in California have left local water system contaminated with toxic chemicals afterward, slowing return and recovery.

Caitlin R. Proctor, Lillian Gilbreth Postdoctoral Fellow, Purdue University • conversation
Aug. 3, 2020 ~11 min

Tags: water camp-fire chemicals drinking-water natural-disasters california wildfires disaster-recovery safe-drinking-water-act building-codes safe-drinking-water

How California’s COVID-19 surge widens health inequalities for Black, Latino and low-income residents

California’s COVID-19 disparities are sobering. Everyone is at risk, but low-income, Black and Latino residents are dying at higher rates.

Andrea N. Polonijo, Medical Sociologist, University of California, Riverside • conversation
July 30, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: health covid-19 coronavirus pandemic health-disparities california ethnicity state

National parks – even Mount Rushmore – show that there's more than one kind of patriotism

President Trump is scheduled to appear at an Independence Day celebration at Mount Rushmore on July 3. For some, this event will symbolize love of country. Others will see it very differently.

Jennifer Ladino, Professor of English, University of Idaho • conversation
June 29, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: covid-19 donald-trump japanese-internment-camps california us-history national-parks patriotism reconciliation independence-day july-4 south-dakota

Fast food is comforting, but in low-income areas it crowds out fresher options

Fast-food restaurants can be comforting places, but when they saturate communities, they crowd out healthy food sources and leave residents less nourished.

Catherine Keske, Associate Professor, Management of Complex Systems, University of California, Merced • conversation
June 29, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: covid-19 agriculture nutrition food-deserts hunger california food-security fast-food food-banks food-sovereignty third-places

Living near active oil and gas wells in California tied to low birth weight and smaller babies

A new study finds an association between living near active oil and gas wells in California and low birth-weight infants, adding to findings elsewhere on health risks from oil and gas production.

Lara Cushing, Assistant Professor of Health Education, San Francisco State University • conversation
June 18, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: environmental-justice oil california us-energy-policy los-angeles environmental-health natural-gas oil-and-gas-industry oil-and-gas-field low-birth-weight-babies

When dams cause more problems than they solve, removing them can pay off for people and nature

Thousands of dams across the US are aging and overdue for maintenance. Taking them down can revive rivers, restore fish runs and create new opportunities for tourism and outdoor activities.

Jon Honea, Assistant Professor of Science, Emerson College • conversation
May 29, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: climate-change water flooding fisheries dams rivers ecosystem-recovery california maine hydropower

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