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October 14, 2020

Dear Reader,

Hurricane Delta struck Louisiana over the weekend, just six weeks after Hurricane Laura devastated the same area. The one-two punch exemplifies what a notable—and costly—year it has been for the U.S. Because it is hard to keep up as one disaster piles on top of another, we started a running list of all the records that have been broken by wildfires, hurricanes and other nominally natural events this year. It is a sobering reminder of the toll being wrought by climate change and other human activities that increasingly place people in danger’s path.

Andrea Thompson, Associate Editor, Sustainability

Natural Disasters

A Running List of Record-Breaking Natural Disasters in 2020

The year has already seen many extremes, from California’s and Colorado’s largest wildfires to a tropical cyclone boom

By Andrea Thompson


Blue Whale Song Timing Reveals Time to Go

Blue whales off California’s coast sing at night—until it’s time to start migrating, and they switch to daytime song.

By Susanne Bard | 03:22


U.S. Wind and Solar Installations Are Smashing Records, but the Trend May Not Last

The renewable boom needs to continue in order to decarbonize the energy grid, but key tax incentives are ending

By Benjamin Storrow,E&E News

Policy & Ethics

Would a Green New Deal Add or Kill Jobs?

A shift to renewable energy powered by a carbon tax would create millions of new jobs, but the amount of money it would return to U.S. residents in rebates could vary considerably

By Marilyn A. Brown,Majid Ahmadi


Climate Change May Cause More Storms to Rapidly Intensify as Delta Did

A warming climate is not expected to have much effect on the number of storms, but those that do form may be stronger

By Chelsea Harvey,E&E News


Climate Anxiety and Mental Illness

We don’t know for sure to what degree the former leads to the latter, but we need to be vigilant about the plausible connection

By Brian Barnett,Amit Anand


Exxon's Internal Plans Reveal Rising CO2 Emissions

As other oil majors have committed to net-zero emissions goals and invested in renewables, Exxon plans to increase drilling

By Benjamin Storrow,E&E News

Natural Disasters

Natural Disasters May Push Global Finances to the Brink

In the past 20 years, 20 climate-fueled disasters have caused damage to countries worth more than 10 percent of their GDP

By Corbin Hiar

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"The extent of fires is staggering. When you wipe out a quarter of a biome, you create all kinds of unprecedented circumstances."

Douglas C. Morton, NASA scientist, The New York Times



World Leaders Try to Ban Another Greenhouse Gas

Eliminating refrigerants known as HFCs could prevent a leap in global warming


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