Climate Change ☀️
A lesson in electric school buses
Montgomery County school board seals deal to get 300 of the buses By leasing the buses rather than buying them outright, the county is able to avoid the upfront cost of electric vehicles, said Montgomery County Public Schools Transportation Director Todd Watkins. The contract with Highland costs the same amount as the school system typically spends on new buses, gasoline and maintenance for its diesel-powered buses.

Diesel engines are major sources of harmful pollutants, according to the Energy Information Administration. They account for almost a quarter of the U.S. transportation sector’s annual greenhouse gas emissions.

Burning diesel also generates dangerous inhalable particles called “particulate matter” and gases that interact with air to form ground-level ozone. Both pollutants contribute to low air quality and can lead to respiratory illnesses in children.

A sweeping study published in 2001 found children riding in diesel school buses are exposed to four times the levels of toxic exhaust as people sitting in a passenger car on the same road. The authors estimated between 23 and 46 out of every million children riding school buses were at risk of developing cancer from the exhaust they inhaled. Federal legislation has required diesel buses to reduce emissions — but electric buses don’t produce any fumes.
Read the full article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-solutions/2021/02/24/climate-solutions-electric-schoolbuses/

‘Climate Change’ Is Back, ‘Illegal Alien’ Is Out. New Administration Changes the Language of Government.
Days after President Biden took office, the Bureau of Land Management put a scenic landscape of a winding river at the top of its website, which during the previous administration had featured a photograph of a huge wall of coal.

At the Department of Homeland Security, the phrase “illegal alien” is being replaced with “noncitizen.” The Interior Department now makes sure that mentions of its stakeholders include “Tribal” people (with a capital “T” as preferred by Native Americans, it said). The most unpopular two words in the Trump lexicon — “climate change” — are once again appearing on government websites and in documents; officials at the Environmental Protection Agency have even begun using the hashtag #climatecrisis on Twitter.


And across the government, L.G.B.T.Q. references are popping up everywhere. Visitors to the White House website are now asked whether they want to provide their pronouns when they fill out a contact form: she/her, he/him or they/them.

It is all part of a concerted effort by the Biden administration to rebrand the government after four years of President Donald J. Trump, in part by stripping away the language and imagery that represented his anti-immigration, anti-science and anti-gay rights policies and replacing them with words and pictures that are more inclusive and better match the current president’s sensibilities.
Read the full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/24/us/politics/language-government-biden-trump.html

Coast-to-Coast Crises Waiting to Happen
When extreme weather knocked out power and water in Texas last week, it represented a profound warning for the rest of the country: The nation’s vital infrastructure remains fundamentally unprepared for the shocks of climate change.

The problem isn’t just underinvestment, experts said, but the assumption that it’s good enough to design and build infrastructure to meet the environmental conditions of the past. Climate change is upending that assumption.


What’s at stake: Everything that underpins modern life, including roads and railways, dams, drinking water and sewer systems, power plants, industrial waste sites and even our homes.

Quotable: “A lot of our infrastructure systems have a tipping point,” said Jennifer M. Jacobs, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of New Hampshire. “And the tipping point could be an inch.”
Read the full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/24/climate/coast-to-coast-crises-waiting-to-happen.html

Climate change, periodic modification of Earth’s climate brought about as a result of changes in the atmosphere as well as interactions between the atmosphere and various other geologic, chemical, biological, and geographic factors within the Earth system.

Source: Climate change - Evidence for climate change | Britannica
Climate Change is the defining issue of our time and we are at a defining moment. From shifting weather patterns that threaten food production, to rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding, the impacts of climate change are global in scope and unprecedented in scale. Without drastic action today, adapting to these impacts in the future will be more difficult and costly.

Source: Climate Change | United Nations