Coral Davenport and
President Biden this week is continuing his ambitious effort to confront climate change and we’ve found out what’s in store.
New executive actions planned for Wednesday include a halt to new oil and gas leases on federal lands and in federal waters. The president will also elevate climate change as a national security issue, instructing the Pentagon to conduct a climate risk analysis of the nations’s military bases. And, Mr. Biden will create a civilian “climate corps” to mobilize people to work in conservation.
When the new moves are formally announced, Mr. Biden will have the support of some unlikely allies. He’ll also face huge obstacles, some quite likely put up by members of his own party. That’s because an evenly divided Senate has given enormous power to any single senator and some lawmakers, even on the Democratic side, will very likely oppose any policies perceived as hurting industry in their home states. Here’s how the battle lines are shaping up.
What it means for America and the world: Serious efforts to address global warming could mean big changes for America’s trade, foreign relations and even defense strategy.
The toxic gear that could be killing firefighters
Every day, firefighters put on bulky suits that protect them from the heat and flames they face on the job. But new research has raised an unsettling concern: Toxic chemicals on the very equipment meant to protect firefighters could instead be making them gravely ill.
This week, members of the International Association of Fire Fighters, the nation’s largest firefighters’ union, are demanding action. They’re asking officials for independent tests on gear and for the union to cancel sponsorship agreements with equipment makers and the chemical industry. With climate change causing increasingly devastating fires, the issue has special urgency. — Hiroko Tabuchi
The numbers: Over the past three decades, cancer has emerged as the leading cause of death for firefighters in the United States, making up 75 percent of active-duty firefighter deaths in 2019.
Quotable: “It’s a new kind of line-of-duty death,” said Jim Burneka, a firefighter in Dayton, Ohio. “It’s still the job that kills us. It’s just we die with our boots off.”
Marsibil Erlendsdottir runs a farm, maintains a lighthouse and provides weather reports from a remote outpost in eastern Iceland.
The job requires vigilance and an unfailing resolve. Her reports, along with those from the rest of the country, are published online and broadcast over the radio. For farmers, the information helps to dictate their daily work. For fishermen in the North Atlantic, it can mean the difference between life and death.
The region is incredibly remote. In the coldest months of the year, the farm is only accessible by boat and, when storms hit, can be cut off from the outside world for days on end.
Here’s a look at the rhythms of life at the station where, despite the isolation, Ms. Erlendsdottir says “it never gets boring.” — Marzena Skubatz
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