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President Biden signs executive orders on tackling the Climate Crisis

President Joe Biden signed executive orders to transform the nation’s heavily fossil-fuel-powered economy into a clean-burning economy. The Us’s most ambitious effort to stave off the worst of climate change in recent times.

Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad

The United States and the world face a profound climate crisis.  We have a narrow moment to pursue action at home and abroad in order to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of that crisis and to seize the opportunity that tackling climate change presents.  Domestic action must go hand in hand with United States international leadership, aimed at significantly enhancing global action.  Together, we must listen to science and meet the moment.

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

PART I — PUTTING THE CLIMATE CRISIS AT THE CENTER OF UNITED STATES FOREIGN POLICY AND NATIONAL SECURITY

Section 101.  Policy.  United States international engagement to address climate change — which has become a climate crisis — is more necessary and urgent than ever.  The scientific community has made clear that the scale and speed of necessary action is greater than previously believed.  There is little time left to avoid setting the world on a dangerous, potentially catastrophic, climate trajectory.  Responding to the climate crisis will require both significant short-term global reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and net-zero global emissions by mid-century or before.

It is the policy of my Administration that climate considerations shall be an essential element of United States foreign policy and national security.  The United States will work with other countries and partners, both bilaterally and multilaterally, to put the world on a sustainable climate pathway.  The United States will also move quickly to build resilience, both at home and abroad, against the impacts of climate change that are already manifest and will continue to intensify according to current trajectories.

Sec. 102.  Purpose.  This order builds on and reaffirms actions my Administration has already taken to place the climate crisis at the forefront of this Nation’s foreign policy and national security planning, including submitting the United States instrument of acceptance to rejoin the Paris Agreement.  In implementing — and building upon — the Paris Agreement’s three overarching objectives (a safe global temperature, increased climate resilience, and financial flows aligned with a pathway toward low greenhouse gas emissions and climate‑resilient development), the United States will exercise its leadership to promote a significant increase in global climate ambition to meet the climate challenge.  In this regard:

(a)  I will host an early Leaders’ Climate Summit aimed at raising climate ambition and making a positive contribution to the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) and beyond. 

(b)  The United States will reconvene the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, beginning with the Leaders’ Climate Summit.  In cooperation with the members of that Forum, as well as with other partners as appropriate, the United States will pursue green recovery efforts, initiatives to advance the clean energy transition, sectoral decarbonization, and alignment of financial flows with the objectives of the Paris Agreement, including with respect to coal financing, nature-based solutions, and solutions to other climate-related challenges.

(c)  I have created a new Presidentially appointed position, the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, to elevate the issue of climate change and underscore the commitment my Administration will make toward addressing it.  

(d)  Recognizing that climate change affects a wide range of subjects, it will be a United States priority to press for enhanced climate ambition and integration of climate considerations across a wide range of international fora, including the Group of Seven (G7), the Group of Twenty (G20), and fora that address clean energy, aviation, shipping, the Arctic, the ocean, sustainable development, migration, and other relevant topics.  The Special Presidential Envoy for Climate and others, as appropriate, are encouraged to promote innovative approaches, including international multi-stakeholder initiatives.  In addition, my Administration will work in partnership with States, localities, Tribes, territories, and other United States stakeholders to advance United States climate diplomacy.

(e)  The United States will immediately begin the process of developing its nationally determined contribution under the Paris Agreement.  The process will include analysis and input from relevant executive departments and agencies (agencies), as well as appropriate outreach to domestic stakeholders.  The United States will aim to submit its nationally determined contribution in advance of the Leaders’ Climate Summit.

(f)  The United States will also immediately begin to develop a climate finance plan, making strategic use of multilateral and bilateral channels and institutions, to assist developing countries in implementing ambitious emissions reduction measures, protecting critical ecosystems, building resilience against the impacts of climate change, and promoting the flow of capital toward climate-aligned investments and away from high-carbon investments.  The Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Treasury, in coordination with the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, shall lead a process to develop this plan, with the participation of the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Chief Executive Officer of the United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the Chief Executive Officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Director of the United States Trade and Development Agency, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and the head of any other agency providing foreign assistance and development financing, as appropriate.  The Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Treasury shall submit the plan to the President, through the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, within 90 days of the date of this order.

(g)  The Secretary of the Treasury shall:

(i)    ensure that the United States is present and engaged in relevant international fora and institutions that are working on the management of climate-related financial risks;

(ii)   develop a strategy for how the voice and vote of the United States can be used in international financial institutions, including the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund, to promote financing programs, economic stimulus packages, and debt relief initiatives that are aligned with and support the goals of the Paris Agreement; and

(iii)  develop, in collaboration with the Secretary of State, the Administrator of USAID, and the Chief Executive Officer of the DFC, a plan for promoting the protection of the Amazon rainforest and other critical ecosystems that serve as global carbon sinks, including through market-based mechanisms.

(h)  The Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Secretary of Energy shall work together and with the Export–Import Bank of the United States, the Chief Executive Officer of the DFC, and the heads of other agencies and partners, as appropriate, to identify steps through which the United States can promote ending international financing of carbon-intensive fossil fuel-based energy while simultaneously advancing sustainable development and a green recovery, in consultation with the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.

(i)  The Secretary of Energy, in cooperation with the Secretary of State and the heads of other agencies, as appropriate, shall identify steps through which the United States can intensify international collaborations to drive innovation and deployment of clean energy technologies, which are critical for climate protection.

(j)  The Secretary of State shall prepare, within 60 days of the date of this order, a transmittal package seeking the Senate’s advice and consent to ratification of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, regarding the phasedown of the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons.

Sec. 103.  Prioritizing Climate in Foreign Policy and National Security.  To ensure that climate change considerations are central to United States foreign policy and national security:

(a)  Agencies that engage in extensive international work shall develop, in coordination with the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, and submit to the President, through the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, within 90 days of the date of this order, strategies and implementation plans for integrating climate considerations into their international work, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law.  These strategies and plans should include an assessment of:

(i)    climate impacts relevant to broad agency strategies in particular countries or regions;

(ii)   climate impacts on their agency-managed infrastructure abroad (e.g., embassies, military installations), without prejudice to existing requirements regarding assessment of such infrastructure;

(iii)  how the agency intends to manage such impacts or incorporate risk mitigation into its installation master plans; and

(iv)   how the agency’s international work, including partner engagement, can contribute to addressing the climate crisis.

(b)  The Director of National Intelligence shall prepare, within 120 days of the date of this order, a National Intelligence Estimate on the national and economic security impacts of climate change.

(c)  The Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the  Secretary of Commerce, through the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Director of National Intelligence, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the heads of other agencies as appropriate, shall develop and submit to the President, within 120 days of the date of this order, an analysis of the security implications of climate change (Climate Risk Analysis) that can be incorporated into modeling, simulation, war-gaming, and other analyses.

(d)  The Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff shall consider the security implications of climate change, including any relevant information from the Climate Risk Analysis described in subsection (c) of this section, in developing the National Defense Strategy, Defense Planning Guidance, Chairman’s Risk Assessment, and other relevant strategy, planning, and programming documents and processes.  Starting in January 2022, the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff shall provide an annual update, through the National Security Council, on the progress made in incorporating the security implications of climate change into these documents and processes.

(e)  The Secretary of Homeland Security shall consider the implications of climate change in the Arctic, along our Nation’s borders, and to National Critical Functions, including any relevant information from the Climate Risk Analysis described in subsection (c) of this section, in developing relevant strategy, planning, and programming documents and processes.  Starting in January 2022, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide an annual update, through the National Security Council, on the progress made in incorporating the homeland security implications of climate change into these documents and processes.

Sec. 104.  Reinstatement.  The Presidential Memorandum of September 21, 2016 (Climate Change and National Security), is hereby reinstated. 

PART II — TAKING A GOVERNMENT-WIDE APPROACH TO THE CLIMATE CRISIS

Sec. 201.  Policy.  Even as our Nation emerges from profound public health and economic crises borne of a pandemic, we face a climate crisis that threatens our people and communities, public health and economy, and, starkly, our ability to live on planet Earth.  Despite the peril that is already evident, there is promise in the solutions — opportunities to create well-paying union jobs to build a modern and sustainable infrastructure, deliver an equitable, clean energy future, and put the United States on a path to achieve net-zero emissions, economy-wide, by no later than 2050.

We must listen to science — and act.  We must strengthen our clean air and water protections.  We must hold polluters accountable for their actions.  We must deliver environmental justice in communities all across America.  The Federal Government must drive assessment, disclosure, and mitigation of climate pollution and climate-related risks in every sector of our economy, marshaling the creativity, courage, and capital necessary to make our Nation resilient in the face of this threat.  Together, we must combat the climate crisis with bold, progressive action that combines the full capacity of the Federal Government with efforts from every corner of our Nation, every level of government, and every sector of our economy. 

It is the policy of my Administration to organize and deploy the full capacity of its agencies to combat the climate crisis to implement a Government-wide approach that reduces climate pollution in every sector of the economy; increases resilience to the impacts of climate change; protects public health; conserves our lands, waters, and biodiversity; delivers environmental justice; and spurs well-paying union jobs and economic growth, especially through innovation, commercialization, and deployment of clean energy technologies and infrastructure.  Successfully meeting these challenges will require the Federal Government to pursue such a coordinated approach from planning to implementation, coupled with substantive engagement by stakeholders, including State, local, and Tribal governments.

Sec. 202.  White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy.  There is hereby established the White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy (Climate Policy Office) within the Executive Office of the President, which shall coordinate the policy-making process with respect to domestic climate-policy issues; coordinate domestic climate-policy advice to the President; ensure that domestic climate-policy decisions and programs are consistent with the President’s stated goals and that those goals are being effectively pursued; and monitor implementation of the President’s domestic climate-policy agenda.  The Climate Policy Office shall have a staff headed by the Assistant to the President and National Climate Advisor (National Climate Advisor) and shall include the Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Climate Advisor.  The Climate Policy Office shall have such staff and other assistance as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this order, subject to the availability of appropriations, and may work with established or ad hoc committees or interagency groups.  All agencies shall cooperate with the Climate Policy Office and provide such information, support, and assistance to the Climate Policy Office as it may request, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law.

Sec.203.  National Climate Task Force.  There is hereby established a National Climate Task Force (Task Force).  The Task Force shall be chaired by the National Climate Advisor.

(a)  Membership.  The Task Force shall consist of the following additional members:

(i)      the Secretary of the Treasury;

(ii)     the Secretary of Defense;

(iii)    the Attorney General;

(iv)     the Secretary of the Interior;

(v)      the Secretary of Agriculture;

(vi)     the Secretary of Commerce;

(vii)    the Secretary of Labor;

(viii)   the Secretary of Health and Human Services;

(ix)     the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development;

(x)      the Secretary of Transportation;

(xi)     the Secretary of Energy;

(xii)    the Secretary of Homeland Security;

(xiii)   the Administrator of General Services;

(xiv)    the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality;

(xv)     the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency;

(xvi)    the Director of the Office of Management and Budget;

(xvii)   the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy;

(xviii)  the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy;

(xix)    the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs;

(xx)     the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism; and

(xxi)    the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy.

(b)  Mission and Work.  The Task Force shall facilitate the organization and deployment of a Government-wide approach to combat the climate crisis.  This Task Force shall facilitate planning and implementation of key Federal actions to reduce climate pollution; increase resilience to the impacts of climate change; protect public health; conserve our lands, waters, oceans, and biodiversity; deliver environmental justice; and spur well-paying union jobs and economic growth.  As necessary and appropriate, members of the Task Force will engage on these matters with State, local, Tribal, and territorial governments; workers and communities; and leaders across the various sectors of our economy. 

(c)  Prioritizing Actions.  To the extent permitted by law, Task Force members shall prioritize action on climate change in their policy-making and budget processes, in their contracting and procurement, and in their engagement with State, local, Tribal, and territorial governments; workers and communities; and leaders across all the sectors of our economy.

USE OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S BUYING POWER AND REAL PROPERTY AND ASSET MANAGEMENT

Sec. 204.  Policy.  It is the policy of my Administration to lead the Nation’s effort to combat the climate crisis by example — specifically, by aligning the management of Federal procurement and real property, public lands and waters, and financial programs to support robust climate action.  By providing an immediate, clear, and stable source of product demand, increased transparency and data, and robust standards for the market, my Administration will help to catalyze private sector investment into, and accelerate the advancement of America’s industrial capacity to supply, domestic clean energy, buildings, vehicles, and other necessary products and materials.

Sec. 205.  Federal Clean Electricity and Vehicle Procurement Strategy.  (a)  The Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality, the Administrator of General Services, and the Director of the Office and Management and Budget, in coordination with the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Energy, and the heads of other relevant agencies, shall assist the National Climate Advisor, through the Task Force established in section 203 of this order, in developing a comprehensive plan to create good jobs and stimulate clean energy industries by revitalizing the Federal Government’s sustainability efforts.

(b)  The plan shall aim to use, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, all available procurement authorities to achieve or facilitate:

(i)   a carbon pollution-free electricity sector no later than 2035; and

(ii)  clean and zero-emission vehicles for Federal, State, local, and Tribal government fleets, including vehicles of the United States Postal Service.

(c)  If necessary, the plan shall recommend any additional legislation needed to accomplish these objectives.

(d)  The plan shall also aim to ensure that the United States retains the union jobs integral to and involved in running and maintaining clean and zero-emission fleets, while spurring the creation of union jobs in the manufacture of those new vehicles.  The plan shall be submitted to the Task Force within 90 days of the date of this order.

Sec. 206.  Procurement Standards.  Consistent with the Executive Order of January 25, 2021, entitled, “Ensuring the Future Is Made in All of America by All of America’s Workers,” agencies shall adhere to the requirements of the Made in America Laws in making clean energy, energy efficiency, and clean energy procurement decisions.  Agencies shall, consistent with applicable law, apply and enforce the Davis-Bacon Act and prevailing wage and benefit requirements.  The Secretary of Labor shall take steps to update prevailing wage requirements.  The Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality shall consider additional administrative steps and guidance to assist the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council in developing regulatory amendments to promote increased contractor attention on reduced carbon emission and Federal sustainability.  

Sec. 207.  Renewable Energy on Public Lands and in Offshore Waters.  The Secretary of the Interior shall review siting and permitting processes on public lands and in offshore waters to identify to the Task Force steps that can be taken, consistent with applicable law, to increase renewable energy production on those lands and in those waters, with the goal of doubling offshore wind by 2030 while ensuring robust protection for our lands, waters, and biodiversity and creating good jobs.  In conducting this review, the Secretary of the Interior shall consult, as appropriate, with the heads of relevant agencies, including the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Commerce, through the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Secretary of Energy, the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality, State and Tribal authorities, project developers, and other interested parties.  The Secretary of the Interior shall engage with Tribal authorities regarding the development and management of renewable and conventional energy resources on Tribal lands.

Sec. 208. Oil and Natural Gas Development on Public Lands and in Offshore Waters.  To the extent consistent with applicable law,the Secretary of the Interior shall pause new oil and natural gas leases on public lands or in offshore waters pending completion of a comprehensive review and reconsideration of Federal oil and gas permitting and leasing practices in light of the Secretary of the Interior’s broad stewardship responsibilities over the public lands and in offshore waters, including potential climate and other impacts associated with oil and gas activities on public lands or in offshore waters.  The Secretary of the Interior shall complete that review in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Commerce, through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Secretary of Energy.  In conducting this analysis, and to the extent consistent with applicable law, the Secretary of the Interior shall consider whether to adjust royalties associated with coal, oil, and gas resources extracted from public lands and offshore waters, or take other appropriate action, to account for corresponding climate costs.

Sec. 209.  Fossil Fuel Subsidies.  The heads of agencies shall identify for the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and the National Climate Advisor any fossil fuel subsidies provided by their respective agencies, and then take steps to ensure that, to the extent consistent with applicable law, Federal funding is not directly subsidizing fossil fuels.  The Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall seek, in coordination with the heads of agencies and the National Climate Advisor, to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies from the budget request for Fiscal Year 2022 and thereafter.

Sec. 210.  Clean Energy in Financial Management.  The heads of agencies shall identify opportunities for Federal funding to spur innovation, commercialization, and deployment of clean energy technologies and infrastructure for the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and the National Climate Advisor, and then take steps to ensure that, to the extent consistent with applicable law, Federal funding is used to spur innovation, commercialization, and deployment of clean energy technologies and infrastructure.  The Director of the Office of Management and Budget, in coordination with agency heads and the National Climate Advisor, shall seek to prioritize such investments in the President’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2022 and thereafter.

     Sec. 211.  Climate Action Plans and Data and Information Products to Improve Adaptation and Increase Resilience.  (a)  The head of each agency shall submit a draft action plan to the Task Force and the Federal Chief Sustainability Officer within 120 days of the date of this order that describes steps the agency can take with regard to its facilities and operations to bolster adaptation and increase resilience to the impacts of climate change.  Action plans should, among other things, describe the agency’s climate vulnerabilities and describe the agency’s plan to use the power of procurement to increase the energy and water efficiency of United States Government installations, buildings, and facilities and ensure they are climate-ready.  Agencies shall consider the feasibility of using the purchasing power of the Federal Government to drive innovation, and shall seek to increase the Federal Government’s resilience against supply chain disruptions.  Such disruptions put the Nation’s manufacturing sector at risk, as well as consumer access to critical goods and services.  Agencies shall make their action plans public, and post them on the agency website, to the extent consistent with applicable law.

(b)  Within 30 days of an agency’s submission of an action plan, the Federal Chief Sustainability Officer, in coordination with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, shall review the plan to assess its consistency with the policy set forth in section 204 of this order and the priorities issued by the Office of Management and Budget.

(c)  After submitting an initial action plan, the head of each agency shall submit to the Task Force and Federal Chief Sustainability Officer progress reports annually on the status of implementation efforts.  Agencies shall make progress reports public and post them on the agency website, to the extent consistent with applicable law.  The heads of agencies shall assign their respective agency Chief Sustainability Officer the authority to perform duties relating to implementation of this order within the agency, to the extent consistent with applicable law.

(d)  To assist agencies and State, local, Tribal, and territorial governments, communities, and businesses in preparing for and adapting to the impacts of climate change, the Secretary of Commerce, through the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Secretary of Homeland Security, through the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, in coordination with the heads of other agencies, as appropriate, shall provide to the Task Force a report on ways to expand and improve climate forecast capabilities and information products for the public.  In addition, the Secretary of the Interior and the Deputy Director for Management of the Office of Management and Budget, in their capacities as the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Federal Geographic Data Committee, shall assess and provide to the Task Force a report on the potential development of a consolidated Federal geographic mapping service that can facilitate public access to climate-related information that will assist Federal, State, local, and Tribal governments in climate planning and resilience activities.

EMPOWERING WORKERS THROUGH REBUILDING OUR INFRASTRUCTURE FOR A SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY

     Sec. 212.  Policy.  This Nation needs millions of construction, manufacturing, engineering, and skilled-trades workers to build a new American infrastructure and clean energy economy.  These jobs will create opportunities for young people and for older workers shifting to new professions, and for people from all backgrounds and communities.  Such jobs will bring opportunity to communities too often left behind — places that have suffered as a result of economic shifts and places that have suffered the most from persistent pollution, including low-income rural and urban communities, communities of color, and Native communities. 

     Sec. 213.  Sustainable Infrastructure.  (a)  The Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall take steps, consistent with applicable law, to ensure that Federal infrastructure investment reduces climate pollution, and to require that Federal permitting decisions consider the effects of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.  In addition, they shall review, and report to the National Climate Advisor on, siting and permitting processes, including those in progress under the auspices of the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council, and identify steps that can be taken, consistent with applicable law, to accelerate the deployment of clean energy and transmission projects in an environmentally stable manner.

     (b)  Agency heads conducting infrastructure reviews shall, as appropriate, consult from an early stage with State, local, and Tribal officials involved in permitting or authorizing proposed infrastructure projects to develop efficient timelines for decision-making that are appropriate given the complexities of proposed projects.

EMPOWERING WORKERS BY ADVANCING CONSERVATION, AGRICULTURE, AND REFORESTATION

     Sec. 214.  Policy.  It is the policy of my Administration to put a new generation of Americans to work conserving our public lands and waters.  The Federal Government must protect America’s natural treasures, increase reforestation, improve access to recreation, and increase resilience to wildfires and storms, while creating well-paying union jobs for more Americans, including more opportunities for women and people of color in occupations where they are underrepresented.  America’s farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners have an important role to play in combating the climate crisis and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, by sequestering carbon in soils, grasses, trees, and other vegetation and sourcing sustainable bioproducts and fuels.  Coastal communities have an essential role to play in mitigating climate change and strengthening resilience by protecting and restoring coastal ecosystems, such as wetlands, seagrasses, coral and oyster reefs, and mangrove and kelp forests, to protect vulnerable coastlines, sequester carbon, and support biodiversity and fisheries.

     Sec. 215.  Civilian Climate Corps.  In furtherance of the policy set forth in section 214 of this order, the Secretary of the Interior, in collaboration with the Secretary of Agriculture and the heads of other relevant agencies, shall submit a strategy to the Task Force within 90 days of the date of this order for creating a Civilian Climate Corps Initiative, within existing appropriations, to mobilize the next generation of conservation and resilience workers and maximize the creation of accessible training opportunities and good jobs.  The initiative shall aim to conserve and restore public lands and waters, bolster community resilience, increase reforestation, increase carbon sequestration in the agricultural sector, protect biodiversity, improve access to recreation, and address the changing climate.

     Sec. 216.  Conserving Our Nation’s Lands and Waters.  (a)  The Secretary of the Interior, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Commerce, the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality, and the heads of other relevant agencies, shall submit a report to the Task Force within 90 days of the date of this order recommending steps that the United States should take, working with State, local, Tribal, and territorial governments, agricultural and forest landowners, fishermen, and other key stakeholders, to achieve the goal of conserving at least 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030.

(i)   The Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Commerce, through the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality shall, as appropriate, solicit input from State, local, Tribal, and territorial officials, agricultural and forest landowners, fishermen, and other key stakeholders in identifying strategies that will encourage broad participation in the goal of conserving 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030.

(ii)  The report shall propose guidelines for determining whether lands and waters qualify for conservation, and it also shall establish mechanisms to measure progress toward the 30-percent goal.  The Secretary of the Interior shall subsequently submit annual reports to the Task Force to monitor progress.

(b)  The Secretary of Agriculture shall:

(i)   initiate efforts in the first 60 days from the date of this order to collect input from Tribes, farmers, ranchers, forest owners, conservation groups, firefighters, and other stakeholders on how to best use Department of Agriculture programs, funding and financing capacities, and other authorities, and how to encourage the voluntary adoption of climate-smart agricultural and forestry practices that decrease wildfire risk fueled by climate change and result in additional, measurable, and verifiable carbon reductions and sequestration and that source sustainable bioproducts and fuels; and

(ii)  submit to the Task Force within 90 days of the date of this order a report making recommendations for an agricultural and forestry climate strategy.

     (c)  The Secretary of Commerce, through the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, shall initiate efforts in the first 60 days from the date of this order to collect input from fishermen, regional ocean councils, fishery management councils, scientists, and other stakeholders on how to make fisheries and protected resources more resilient to climate change, including changes in management and conservation measures, and improvements in science, monitoring, and cooperative research.

EMPOWERING WORKERS THROUGH REVITALIZING ENERGY COMMUNITIES

     Sec. 217.  Policy.  It is the policy of my Administration to improve air and water quality and to create well-paying union jobs and more opportunities for women and people of color in hard-hit communities, including rural communities, while reducing methane emissions, oil and brine leaks, and other environmental harms from tens of thousands of former mining and well sites.  Mining and power plant workers drove the industrial revolution and the economic growth that followed, and have been essential to the growth of the United States.  As the Nation shifts to a clean energy economy, Federal leadership is essential to foster economic revitalization of and investment in these communities, ensure the creation of good jobs that provide a choice to join a union, and secure the benefits that have been earned by workers.

     Such work should include projects that reduce emissions of toxic substances and greenhouse gases from existing and abandoned infrastructure and that prevent environmental damage that harms communities and poses a risk to public health and safety.  Plugging leaks in oil and gas wells and reclaiming abandoned mine land can create well-paying union jobs in coal, oil, and gas communities while restoring natural assets, revitalizing recreation economies, and curbing methane emissions.  In addition, such work should include efforts to turn properties idled in these communities, such as brownfields, into new hubs for the growth of our economy.  Federal agencies should therefore coordinate investments and other efforts to assist coal, oil and gas, and power plant communities, and achieve substantial reductions of methane emissions from the oil and gas sector as quickly as possible.

     Sec. 218.  Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization.  There is hereby established an Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization (Interagency Working Group).  The National Climate Advisor and the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy shall serve as Co-Chairs of the Interagency Working Group.

(a)   Membership.  The Interagency Working Group shall consist of the following additional members:

(i)     the Secretary of the Treasury;

(ii)    the Secretary of the Interior;

(iii)   the Secretary of Agriculture;

(iv)    the Secretary of Commerce;

(v)     the Secretary of Labor;

(vi)    the Secretary of Health and Human Services;

(vii)   the Secretary of Transportation;

(viii)  the Secretary of Energy;

(ix)    the Secretary of Education;

(x)     the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency;

(xi)    the Director of the Office of Management and Budget;

(xii)   the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy and Director of the Domestic Policy Council; and

(xiii)  the Federal Co-Chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission.

(b)  Mission and Work. 

(i)   The Interagency Working Group shall coordinate the identification and delivery of Federal resources to revitalize the economies of coal, oil and gas, and power plant communities; develop strategies to implement the policy set forth in section 217 of this order and for economic and social recovery; assess opportunities to ensure benefits and protections for coal and power plant workers; and submit reports to the National Climate Advisor and the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy on a regular basis on the progress of the revitalization effort.

(ii)  As part of this effort, within 60 days of the date of this order, the Interagency Working Group shall submit a report to the President describing all mechanisms, consistent with applicable law, to prioritize grantmaking, Federal loan programs, technical assistance, financing, procurement, or other existing programs to support and revitalize the economies of coal and power plant communities, and providing recommendations for action consistent with the goals of the Interagency Working Group.

(c)  Consultation.  Consistent with the objectives set out in this order and in accordance with applicable law, the Interagency Working Group shall seek the views of State, local, and Tribal officials; unions; environmental justice organizations; community groups; and other persons it identifies who may have perspectives on the mission of the Interagency Working Group.

(d)  Administration.  The Interagency Working Group shall be housed within the Department of Energy.  The Chairs shall convene regular meetings of the Interagency Working Group, determine its agenda, and direct its work.  The Secretary of Energy, in consultation with the Chairs, shall designate an Executive Director of the Interagency Working Group, who shall coordinate the work of the Interagency Working Group and head any staff assigned to the Interagency Working Group.

(e)  Officers.  To facilitate the work of the Interagency Working Group, the head of each agency listed in subsection (a) of this section shall assign a designated official within the agency the authority to represent the agency on the Interagency Working Group and perform such other duties relating to the implementation of this order within the agency as the head of the agency deems appropriate.

SECURING ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE AND SPURRING ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY

     Sec. 219.  Policy.  To secure an equitable economic future, the United States must ensure that environmental and economic justice are key considerations in how we govern.  That means investing and building a clean energy economy that creates well‑paying union jobs, turning disadvantaged communities — historically marginalized and overburdened — into healthy, thriving communities, and undertaking robust actions to mitigate climate change while preparing for the impacts of climate change across rural, urban, and Tribal areas.  Agencies shall make achieving environmental justice part of their missions by developing programs, policies, and activities to address the disproportionately high and adverse human health, environmental, climate-related and other cumulative impacts on disadvantaged communities, as well as the accompanying economic challenges of such impacts.  It is therefore the policy of my Administration to secure environmental justice and spur economic opportunity for disadvantaged communities that have been historically marginalized and overburdened by pollution and underinvestment in housing, transportation, water and wastewater infrastructure, and health care. 

     Sec. 220.  White House Environmental Justice Interagency Council.  (a)  Section 1-102 of Executive Order 12898 of February 11, 1994 (Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations), is hereby amended to read as follows:

“(a)  There is hereby created within the Executive Office of the President a White House Environmental Justice Interagency Council (Interagency Council).  The Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality shall serve as Chair of the Interagency Council.

“(b)  Membership.  The Interagency Council shall consist of the following additional members:

(i)      the Secretary of Defense;

(ii)     the Attorney General;

(iii)    the Secretary of the Interior;

(iv)     the Secretary of Agriculture;

(v)      the Secretary of Commerce;

(vi)     the Secretary of Labor;

(vii)    the Secretary of Health and Human Services;

(viii)   the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development;

(ix)     the Secretary of Transportation;

(x)      the Secretary of Energy;

(xi)     the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers;

(xii)    the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency;

(xiii)   the Director of the Office of Management and Budget;

(xiv)    the Executive Director of the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council;

(xv)     the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy;

(xvi)    the National Climate Advisor;

(xvii)   the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy; and

(xviii)  the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy.

“(c)  At the direction of the Chair, the Interagency Council may establish subgroups consisting exclusively of Interagency Council members or their designees under this section, as appropriate.

“(d)  Mission and Work.  The Interagency Council shall develop a strategy to address current and historic environmental injustice by consulting with the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council and with local environmental justice leaders.  The Interagency Council shall also develop clear performance metrics to ensure accountability, and publish an annual public performance scorecard on its implementation.

“(e)  Administration.  The Office of Administration within the Executive Office of the President shall provide funding and administrative support for the Interagency Council, to the extent permitted by law and within existing appropriations.  To the extent permitted by law, including the Economy Act (31 U.S.C. 1535), and subject to the availability of appropriations, the Department of Labor, the Department of Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency shall provide administrative support as necessary.

“(f)  Meetings and Staff.  The Chair shall convene regular meetings of the Council, determine its agenda, and direct its work.  The Chair shall designate an Executive Director of the Council, who shall coordinate the work of the Interagency Council and head any staff assigned to the Council.

“(g)  Officers.  To facilitate the work of the Interagency Council, the head of each agency listed in subsection (b) shall assign a designated official within the agency to be an Environmental Justice Officer, with the authority to represent the agency on the Interagency Council and perform such other duties relating to the implementation of this order within the agency as the head of the agency deems appropriate.”

(b)  The Interagency Council shall, within 120 days of the date of this order, submit to the President, through the National Climate Advisor, a set of recommendations for further updating Executive Order 12898.

     Sec. 221.  White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council.  There is hereby established, within the Environmental Protection Agency, the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council (Advisory Council), which shall advise the Interagency Council and the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality.

     (a)  Membership.  Members shall be appointed by the President, shall be drawn from across the political spectrum, and may include those with knowledge about or experience in environmental justice, climate change, disaster preparedness, racial inequity, or any other area determined by the President to be of value to the Advisory Council.

     (b)  Mission and Work.  The Advisory Council shall be solely advisory.  It shall provide recommendations to the White House Environmental Justice Interagency Council established in section 220 of this order on how to increase the Federal Government’s efforts to address current and historic environmental injustice, including recommendations for updating Executive Order 12898.

     (c)  Administration.  The Environmental Protection Agency shall provide funding and administrative support for the Advisory Council to the extent permitted by law and within existing appropriations.  Members of the Advisory Council shall serve without either compensation or reimbursement of expenses.

     (d)  Federal Advisory Committee Act.  Insofar as the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), may apply to the Advisory Council, any functions of the President under the Act, except for those in section 6 of the Act, shall be performed by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in accordance with the guidelines that have been issued by the Administrator of General Services.

     Sec. 222.  Agency Responsibilities.  In furtherance of the policy set forth in section 219:

     (a)  The Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality shall, within 6 months of the date of this order, create a geospatial Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool and shall annually publish interactive maps highlighting disadvantaged communities.

     (b)  The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency shall, within existing appropriations and consistent with applicable law:

(i)   strengthen enforcement of environmental violations with disproportionate impact on underserved communities through the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance; and

(ii)  create a community notification program to monitor and provide real-time data to the public on current environmental pollution, including emissions, criteria pollutants, and toxins, in frontline and fenceline communities — places with the most significant exposure to such pollution.

     (c)  The Attorney General shall, within existing appropriations and consistent with applicable law:

(i)    consider renaming the Environment and Natural Resources Division the Environmental Justice and Natural Resources Division;

(ii)   direct that division to coordinate with the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, through the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, as well as with other client agencies as appropriate, to develop a comprehensive environmental justice enforcement strategy, which shall seek to provide timely remedies for systemic environmental violations and contaminations, and injury to natural resources; and

(iii)  ensure comprehensive attention to environmental justice throughout the Department of Justice, including by considering creating an Office of Environmental Justice within the Department to coordinate environmental justice activities among Department of Justice components and United States Attorneys’ Offices nationwide.

(d)  The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall, consistent with applicable law and within existing appropriations: 

(i)   establish an Office of Climate Change and Health Equity to address the impact of climate change on the health of the American people; and

(ii)  establish an Interagency Working Group to Decrease Risk of Climate Change to Children, the Elderly, People with Disabilities, and the Vulnerable as well as a biennial Health Care System Readiness Advisory Council, both of which shall report their progress and findings regularly to the Task Force.

(e)  The Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy shall, in consultation with the National Climate Advisor, within existing appropriations, and within 100 days of the date of this order, publish a report identifying the climate strategies and technologies that will result in the most air and water quality improvements, which shall be made public to the maximum extent possible and published on the Office’s website.

     Sec. 223.  Justice40 Initiative.  (a)  Within 120 days of the date of this order, the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and the National Climate Advisor, in consultation with the Advisory Council, shall jointly publish recommendations on how certain Federal investments might be made toward a goal that 40 percent of the overall benefits flow to disadvantaged communities.  The recommendations shall focus on investments in the areas of clean energy and energy efficiency; clean transit; affordable and sustainable housing; training and workforce development; the remediation and reduction of legacy pollution; and the development of critical clean water infrastructure.  The recommendations shall reflect existing authorities the agencies may possess for achieving the 40-percent goal as well as recommendations on any legislation needed to achieve the 40‑percent goal. 

     (b)  In developing the recommendations, the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and the National Climate Advisor shall consult with affected disadvantaged communities.

     (c)  Within 60 days of the recommendations described in subsection (a) of this section, agency heads shall identify applicable program investment funds based on the recommendations and consider interim investment guidance to relevant program staff, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law.

     (d)  By February 2022, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, in coordination with the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality, the Administrator of the United States Digital Service, and other relevant agency heads, shall, to the extent consistent with applicable law, publish on a public website an annual Environmental Justice Scorecard detailing agency environmental justice performance measures.

PART III — GENERAL PROVISIONS

     Sec. 301.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency or the head thereof; or

(ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

     (b)  This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

     (c)  This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

Source: The Whitehouse 2021

Categories
timeline

Covid-19 cases surpass 97 million around the world

Covid-19 cases around the world have now surpassed 96,823,968, according to John Hopkins University as of January 2021. Over 400,000 people have died in America alone.

With over 400,000 deaths means that 1 in every 820 Americans has now died from Covid-19. 

January is on track to be the deadliest month of the pandemic – tallying over 3,000 deaths on more than half of the days that have elapsed so far and twice surpassing 4,000 deaths (a new high).

One American dies from COVID-19 every 30 seconds. America now has its highest daily death rate since the beginning of the pandemic.

Categories
timeline

Joe Biden inaugurated, is the 46th US President

20 January 2021 – Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th President of the United States of America after beating Donald Trump in the 2020 US election. His election will hopefully signal a time of change for US politics and environmental causes.

President, Joe Biden declared to the American people that “Democracy had prevailed.”

As Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn in at the US Capitol, the former President Donald Trump was conspicuously absent travelling on Air Force one to Florida.

However, former presidents and previous Vice President Mike Pence attended the inauguration, where the new President swore to preserve, protect, and defend the US.

Joe Biden, calm, gracious & Presidential

With a promise to the American people that he will “always level with you, defend the constitution, defend our democracy and heal the Broken Land”. He asked the American people to put aside their political differences and unite to once again, to become the United States of America.

As one of the world’s leading countries, America must lead the world on environmental, humanitarian and equality issues. More importantly, they demonstrate them in their own country.

You do get the feeling that a new president was a forward step for America, who can now rejoin the world after being internally focused under Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign.

With the challenges facing America with COVID-19, racism and divisiveness among its people, The President and his administration will have to act quickly and take immediate action – especially in their first 100 days.

We truly hope that Joe Biden can actually deliver what he is promising because it will be “Great” for America if he does.

Categories
climate change Environment News Pollution World

Global ocean plastic pollution: how it affects all life.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Article from Thomas Collins, Active Scuba on plastic pollution in our oceans. We love these types of articles written by businesses who are worried about the environment they work in, in this case, the ocean. It is inspiring to read their articles and see businesses, large & small, bringing about awareness and change.

Introduction

Our oceans are polluted and full of plastic. Regardless of its source, plastic pollution has a devastating impact on marine life. Our very life source, that holds so much wonder. So much yet to be explored and so much opportunity for our future. Along with our day to day activities whether that is for work or for fun. The ocean has such a deep impact on all our lives. Yet we are the ones responsible for damaging so much of this precious ecosystem that we rely on. I want to take you through the damage that has been caused. The impact on humans and what we can all do to improve this serious problem.

Ocean In Distress

When we think of public health risks, we may not consider the ocean as a factor. But the health of the ocean is intimately tied to our health. One sign of an ocean in distress is an increase in beach or shellfish harvesting.  Intensive use of our ocean and runoff from land-based pollution sources. Are just two of many factors that stress our fragile ecosystems. These increasingly lead to human health concerns. Waterborne infectious diseases, harmful algal bloom toxins & contaminated seafood. Along with chemical pollutants are other signals. As we can threaten our ocean’s health, so, too, can our ocean threaten our health. And it is not public health alone that may be threatened. Our coastal economies, too, could be at significant risk.

Plastic Pollution Has Put Our Oceans At The Brink Of Disaster

Every year more than 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into our oceans. But how does this pollution affect humans and what can we and should we do to stop this?

Plastic and other forms of pollution are ending up in our marine life, and it’s making its way into our food chain. The ocean is full of an endless array of potential food sources for ocean creatures. Everything from microscopic plankton all the way up to giant squid and whales. Are used as potential food for a hungry member of the food chain.

Source: activescuba.com

Click here to read the rest of the article

Categories
timeline

Estimated World Population 7.794 Billion

Categories
climate change News Science

Why are Climate Global Temperatures so important?

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Measuring global temperatures allows scientists to determine “Global Warming,” which is important to predict our future climate. The term “global warming” is also used to refer to increases in the average temperature of the air and sea at Earth’s surface.

Global temperatures have not been increasing uniformly across the planet, but globally averaged temperatures definitely show an upward trend. (especially since the 1970’s) you can view this in the graphs below.

Why are we showing you this?

We believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and we respect that. This article is not be written to pursuade you. It is simply providing you the science, summarising it for, allowing you to make your own decision.

NASA – Global Temperature Index

NASA’s graph illustrates the change in global surface temperature relative to 1951-1980 average temperatures. Nineteen of the 20 warmest years all have occurred since 2001, except for 1998. The year 2016 ranks as the warmest on record (source: NASA/GISS). This research is broadly consistent with similar constructions prepared by the Climatic Research Unit and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Source: NASA Climate Global Climate Change, retrieved on December 9, 2020. Data download

NOAA – Climate at a Glance: Global Time Series

Climate Monitoring at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information is committed to the monitoring and assessment of the state of the Earth’s climate in near real-time, providing decision-makers at all levels of the public and private sectors with data and information on climate trends and variability.

Source: NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, Climate at a Glance: Global Time Series, published November 2019, retrieved on December 9, 2020, from https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/

European Environment Agency

How do they determine the Average Global Temperature?

To determine the Earth’s temperature, scientists combine measurements from the air above land and the ocean surface collected by ships, buoys, and sometimes satellites, too.

The temperature at each land and ocean station is compared daily to what is ‘normal’ for that location and time, typically the long-term average over a 30-year period. The differences are called an ‘anomalies’ and they help scientists evaluate how temperature is changing over time.

A ‘positive’ anomaly means the temperature is warmer than the long-term average, a ‘negative’ anomaly means it’s cooler. Daily anomalies are averaged together over a whole month. These are, in turn, used to work out temperature anomalies from season-to-season and year-to-year.

What data do they use to measure global temperatures?

Scientists use four major datasets to study global temperature. The UK Met Office Hadley Centre and the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit jointly produce HadCRUT4 .

In the US, the GISTEMP series comes via the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Sciences (GISS), while the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) creates the MLOST record. The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) produces a fourth dataset.

Here’s how global temperatures in three of the four datasets compare over the past 130 years. You can see they all show a warming trend.

Categories
climate change Environment News timeline

Climate emergency declared for New Zealand by Jacinda Ardern

The New Zealand Government, led by Jacinda Ardern, announced that she has proposed New Zealand declare “A climate emergency for New Zealand.” While this is only a motion to parliament at present, it is a step in the right direction for New Zealand to be carbon neutral by 2025.

“We’ve always considered climate change to be a huge threat to our region, and it is something we must take immediate action on,”

Jacinda Ardern

Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern to move, that this house, declare a climate emergency, following the finding of the Intergovernmental Panel on climate change that, to avoid a more than 1.5°C rise in global warming, global emissions would need to fall by around 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching net-zero by around 2050;

The motion below was lodged with Parliament on 1 December 2020 and is proposed it would:

Recognise the advocacy of New Zealanders in calling for action to protect the environment and reduce the impact of human activity on the climate;

Join the over 1,800 jurisdictions in 32 countries to declare a climate emergency and commit to reducing emissions to avoid a more than 1.5°C rise in global warming;

Recognise the devastating impact that volatile and extreme weather will have on New Zealand and the wellbeing of New Zealanders, on our primary industries, water availability, and public health, through flooding, sea-level rise, and wildfire damage;

Note that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time, that the Government has made significant progress on meeting that challenge through the Paris Agreement and the Climate Change Response (Zero-Carbon) Amendment Act 2019, and that New Zealand has committed to taking urgent action on greenhouse gas mitigation and climate change adaptation;

Acknowledge the core tenets of New Zealand’s response by establishing emissions budgets that set us on a path to net-zero by 2050, setting a price on emissions through the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme, transitioning to a low-carbon economy, and planning for climate adaption;

Implement the policies required to meet the targets in the Climate Change Response (Zero-Carbon) Amendment Act 2019, and to increase support for striving towards 100 percent renewable electricity generation, low carbon energy, and transport systems;

Seize the economic opportunities that a clean, green reputation provides;

Create green jobs in the low-carbon economy while managing risks for workers and communities currently reliant on carbon-intensive sectors;

Recognise the alarming trend in species decline and global biodiversity crisis, including the decline in Aotearoa’s indigenous biodiversity, and acknowledge New Zealand’s strategic framework for the protection and restoration of biodiversity Te Mana o te Taiao;

Note that the Government will take further steps towards reducing and eliminating waste; and

Show leadership and demonstrate what is possible to other sectors of the New Zealand economy by reducing the Government’s own emissions and becoming a carbon-neutral Government by 2025.

Source: New Zealand Parliament

Categories
Environment News

NIWA forecasts a marine heatwave is forming around parts of New Zealand.

NIWA forecasters say a marine heatwave is forming around parts of New Zealand after sea surface temperatures (SSTs) warmed considerably last month.

NIWA Meteorologist says the warmest region in the north of the North Island, where ocean temperatures are 1.6ᵒC above the November monthly average.

In this region, marine heatwave conditions affect Northland and northern Auckland’s coastal waters and extend west into the Tasman Sea. In other areas around the country, sea surface temperatures are between 0.7 to 1.1ᵒC above average.

“High-pressure systems in October brought more sunshine, warmer temperatures, and less wind than normal. This pattern led to the warming of the sea surface and prevented cooler water underneath from mixing to the top.

“While the weather has been a bit more unsettled during early November, ocean temperatures have remained warmer than average due to prevailing northeasterly and northwesterly air flows,” Mr. Noll said.

The east and west of the South Island is 1.1˚C above average as is the east of the North Island.   West of the North Island is +0.8˚C above average, and north of the South Island +0.7˚C.

New Zealand is now in a La Niña climate regime which tends to bring more northerly winds and has historically been associated with warm Tasman Sea temperatures.

NIWA subscribes to a marine heatwave definition as an extended period of hot ocean temperatures that can extend up to thousands of kilometres. These temperatures must be above the 90th percentile – or the value above which 90 percent of historical observations occur. “In other words, nine times out of 10, Northland’s sea temperatures are cooler than what they are right now for the time of year. This makes what we see now quite unusual.”

The actual SSTs are between 18 to 21ᵒC. “We’re not even at the peak of our sea surface temperatures which typically occur over January and February.”

However, a marine heatwave this summer would mark the third in four years. The most severe was in 2017/18 when the sea was at times 6-7ᵒC above average.

Image Source NIWA.

A key climate driver and contributor to New Zealand’s hot start in 2019 was also the presence of above-average ocean temperatures. Marine heatwave conditions persisted in the Tasman until March. Warmer than average seas can also provide extra energy for passing storms.

Source NIWA

Categories
timeline

Global Covid-19 coronavirus cases surpass 50 million

The total confirmed coronavirus cases have surged past 50 million following record new case numbers in several countries.

Coronavirus kills over 1.25 million people around the World.

More than 1.25 million, out of the 50 million worldwide people have now died after contracting the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University. But the numbers are thought to be higher because of insufficient testing in many countries.

Europe, with more than 12.5 million cases and 305,700 deaths, is again a hotspot after being the first epicentre of the pandemic earlier this year.

In the US just under 10 million have tested positive. It has seen more than 125,000 cases per day three days in a row. The states of North and South Dakota have the highest rates of death per capita.

Covid 19 Cases increase in Europe

In Europe, France on Sunday recorded 38,619 new coronavirus cases – many less than Saturday’s record increase of 86,852 cases. However the health ministry said it had problems collecting data and there would be a correction on Monday.

France also registered 271 deaths, bringing the total to 40,439. The country is just over a week into a second lockdown with the aim of curbing the spread of the virus.

Under the lockdown restrictions, expected to be in place until 1 December, people can only leave their homes to go to work if they cannot work from home, to buy essential goods, seek medical help or to exercise for one hour a day.

In the UK – which has seen the highest number of deaths in Europe – there were 20,572 new cases and 156 new deaths, bringing the total to 49,044 deaths.

India and Brazil have also been hard hit.

Source BBC

Categories
Search Optimisation

Search optimisation, should I host my website in New Zealand?

7 reasons why Richard Hayes Digital thinks you should.

If you are a New Zealand business and worried about your website is and search optimisation, we recommend that your website is hosted in New Zealand. Not only is it easier to implement, but it makes sense to keep things local.

1. Site Speed

An important factor for your website is it’s loading speed – deliver your website to your customer as fast as possible, especially with the variance of internet delivery ranging from 5G the fastest to 3G, where older or remote areas will have only this service.

The location of a web server can definitely impact the download speed of your website. This may be seconds and, in some cases, fractions of a second.

Suppose your customer visits multi-pages and has to wait for these pages to download. These seconds will add up and make the customers viewing experience very frustrating. 

Some consumer research shows some websites that take longer than 3 seconds to load can lead to you losing up to 40% of potential customers.

If you are servicing New Zealand customers, we recommend hosting your website on local web servers for maximum download speed.

2. Customer Experience

Being local is always important, especially when designing your content and services that you offer customers. An audience viewing your website can quickly conclude if you are talking to them from New Zealand or overseas. 

We have seen the incorrect translation of English and grammar from one country to the other. The customer can quickly notice the tone and colloquialisms of their own country.

Don’t confuse your audience by trying to disguise that your website as a multi-country website. Be honest, and don’t try to outsmart your customer.

Allowing your customers to contact you or buy your products must be quick and easy. Some businesses create websites that are easy for their businesses and work systems. They forget about the customers.

3. Search Results

Search results are probably the most important issue when hosting your website or using a multi-country website outside the country of origin. 

How will you manage your search results or the duplication of content within the same website? Managing duplication of content can be tricky, especially if you are showing the same page using individual URLs, as shown below:

www.abc.com.au/product/green-tree

The same page is also shown using the URL: 

www.abc.co.nz/product/green-tree 

Which page will Google rank the higher?

Search engines don’t like to see multiple sites with similar or duplicate content. If you have two websites using the same content, this can cause duplication problems.

The search engine will choose one page over the other as having more relevance or created earlier. There’s no guarantee that they’ll choose the local page that you feel is more important. 

Consequently, you could find that the .com.au page is ranked higher than the .co.nz simply because Google believes the content was originally created on the .com.au website. 

If the Australian content had been created first and indexed by Google, you would find the example above would be the likely outcome.

Google Search Example

Duplicate content on multi-country websites can confuse your customer, highlighted in the sequence below. 

Your NZ customer searches: green trees

Google notices duplicate content OR thinks the .com.au page is more relevant and serves the NZ Customer: www.abc.com.au/product/green-tree.

Your New Zealand customer clicks on the search result and is sent to the .com.au website unknowingly.

The customer wants more information on the products and then navigates to the .com.au contact page. Only if New Zealand is listed, can they contact you?

Issues that can develop from your customers’ actions:

  1. The customer bookmarks the product. They bookmark the .com.au website. Therefore, they never visit the New Zealand website.
  2. The customer has issues finding contact details or unknowingly fills out the .com.au contact form.
  3. The customer feels that the New Zealand website is a subset of the Australian website; therefore, they may look elsewhere if they prefer local.
  4. The customer might think all products are shipped from Australia, and there could be a delay in delivery.
  5. The record of the search query by Google will be allocated to the .com.au website; therefore, according to Google the New Zealand, the website has less relevance.

4. Google Ranking by IP Address

While it has not proven, search engines use server location as a ranking factor

There has been some strong evidence to show that the IP address of a website can affect the site’s rankings.

In today’s cybersecurity environment, having search engines decide your website is malicious should be avoided at all costs.

5. Privacy Regulations

Within New Zealand, personal data held by a business is protected by the Privacy Act 1993. Every business has an obligation to protect the data they hold about their customers.

6. Support Hours

Any website issues are a high priority and should be solved quickly. A New Zealand based web hosting company operates in the same time zone. 

7. Support Local

Finally, when you choose to host in New Zealand, you are helping the local economy. In today’s market, “Shopping Local” has become a big buzzword, especially for marketing.

You cannot expect your customers to shop locally when you do not demonstrate this yourself.

If you would like to discuss your search optimisation or business website. Please contact us

Categories
timeline

Labour government wins the 2020 election by a landslide result

Labour Government of New Zealand with leader Jacinda Ardern has won a historic victory in the 2020 election, with Labour on track to form the first majority government in the MMP era.

With 98 percent of the vote counted, Labour looks set to win 49 percent of the party vote, giving the party 64 seats in Parliament.
Celebrating her victory in the Auckland Town Hall, Ardern acknowledged her history-making win.

Jacinda Ardern has secured a landslide victory over National.

“Tonight, New Zealand has shown the Labour Party its greatest support in at least 50 years,” she said.

“Tonight’s result has been strong and it is clear that Labour will lead the Government for the next three years,” she said.

Ardern repeated her campaign pledge to “build back better” from Covid-19. Earlier in the night, National leader Judith Collins congratulated Labour and Jacinda Ardern for the election victory, vowing to be a “robust Opposition”.

Collins, who said she would be staying on as National leader, conceded in a speech in Auckland, saying National “will be back”.

Leader Judith Collins easily won her Papakura seat again.

Former Air New Zealand boss Chris Luxon cruised to victory in Botany as well.

Nearly 2 million votes were cast before election day this year. Counting for them began at 9 am on Saturday. Votes cast on the actual election day will continue to be counted throughout the night, although it does not look like any path to power for National.

New Zealanders will have to wait a bit longer for the results of the euthanasia and cannabis referendums. The Electoral Commission will release preliminary results for each referendum on October 30, and the official results will be released on November 6 – that is, 35 days after advance voting began and 20 days after election day

Source: Stuff

Categories
Environment News Pollution stopping pollution

Our goal is to collect one piece of litter every day for one year.

We are collecting one piece of litter every day for 365 days around our local area of Cambridge, New Zealand.

This is our small way of doing what we believe is right in helping clean up litter and helping the environment. Inspired by @onepieceoflitteraday

We all must play our part. If each person collected one piece of rubbish every day for a year across the world, we would be having a different conversation about climate change and pollution.

Why should we all be collecting litter?

I’m sure you would agree, there is no need for littering in today’s world with the resources that local councils and governments provide – is it as simple as laziness?

Possibly. We believe it has become part of today’s culture, around the world where people of all ages think they have the right to do as they please with no repercussions for their behaviour or the environment.

In some cases we have seen first-hand, people walking over litter and even kicking it out of the way without registering that it is rubbish. How did we become like this?

In New Zealand, there are many bins for all our rubbish, however, for some inexplicable reason, people do not dispose of their litter in a bin or take it home. This is not a new message, why do people ignore it?

Stop Litter in New Zealand

Litter, although it seems harmless enough, is just a piece of paper or plastic lying around. It can’t do too much harm, right?

Firstly, litter looks ugly and then over time it breaks down to smaller micro pieces, which have been entering waterways and affecting local wildlife.

Over the last three decades, we have seen a major increase in sea pollution from land-based rubbish flowing into our seas and rivers – this is not a new problem but needs action now to stop it.

It’s time for everyone to say enough is enough. It’s time to do the right thing.

Visit Keep New Zealand Beautiful to find more information, people doing great things, how you can help to keep New Zealand, our country green.

We also will have other resources available on our resources page.

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climate change Environment News World

The Earthshot Prize – 5 Challenges for the next decade

It’s official. The Earthshot prize has announced its 5 challenges for everyone to focus on for the Decade. If they can inspire businesses and individuals to look and enact change by providing prizes as incentives, it serves its purpose. They have our support.

At present, action for climate change and pollution needs to be addressed, we cannot wait for others to provide solutions for this problem. We need to take ownership ourselves.

We are slowly polluting our planet – all in the name of profit – this needs to change.

The Earthshot Prize is the most ambitious and prestigious of its kind – designed to incentivise change and help to repair our planet over the next ten years.

Taking inspiration from President John F. Kennedy’s Moonshot which united millions of people around an organising goal to put a man on the moon and catalysed the development of new technology in the 1960s,

The Earthshot Prize is centred around five ‘Earthshots’ – simple but ambitious goals for our planet which, if achieved by 2030, will improve life for us all, for generations to come.

Protect & Restore Nature

By 2030 we choose to ensure that, for the first time in human history, the natural world is growing not shrinking – on our planet.

Clean our Air

By 2030 we choose to ensure that everyone in the world breathes clean healthy air – at the World Organisation Standard or better.

Revive our Oceans

By 2030 we choose to repair and preserve our oceans for future generations.

Build A Waste Free World

By 2030 we choose to build a world where nothing goes to waste, where the leftovers of one process become the raw materials of the next – just like they do in nature.

Fix our Climate

By 2030, the Earthshot Prize chooses to fix the world’s climate by cutting out carbon: building a carbon-neutral economy that lets every culture, community, and country thrive.

Carbon in the atmosphere is making our planet warmer, to levels that threaten all life on Earth. But it is not too late; if we act now, we can make the world a better, more sustainable home for everyone.

We will combat climate change by removing more carbon from the atmosphere than we put into it and ensuring all countries reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. We will build defences to protect innocent people from climate driven disasters and crises.

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timeline

The death toll surpasses ONE MILLION Globally from Coronavirus

Over one million lives have been lost around the world from Coronavirus, it is expected that this figure could double overtime. Researchers say, with many regions still reporting surging numbers of new infections.

The tally by Johns Hopkins University shows that deaths in the US, Brazil and India make up nearly half that total. Experts caution that the true figure is probably much higher. UN Secretary-General António Guterres called it a “mind-numbing” figure and “an agonising milestone”.

“Yet we must never lose sight of each and every individual life,” he said in a video message. 

“They were fathers and mothers, wives and husbands, brothers and sisters, friends, and colleagues. The pain has been multiplied by the savageness of this disease.” The development comes nearly 10 months after news of the coronavirus began to emerge from Wuhan, China.

The pandemic has since spread to 188 countries with more than 32 million confirmed cases. Lockdowns and other measures to try to stop the virus spreading have thrown many economies into recession. Meanwhile, efforts to develop an effective vaccine are continuing – although the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the death toll could hit two million before one is widely available.

One million deaths from coronavirus

The US has the world’s highest death toll with about 205,000 fatalities followed by Brazil on 141,700 and India with 95,500 deaths.

With over one million deaths, Where is Covid-19 spreading the fastest?

The US has recorded more than seven million cases – more than a fifth of the world’s total. After a second wave of cases in July, numbers dropped in August but appear to be on the rise again now.

One million deaths from coronavirus

The coronavirus has been spreading fast in India, with the country recording about 90,000 cases a day earlier in September. Confirmed infections in India have reached six million – the second-highest after the US. However, given the size of its population, India has seen a relatively low death rate.

Source: BBC

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timeline

Global coronavirus cases pass 30 million

Global coronavirus cases have exceeded 30 million, according to a Reuters tally, and the pandemic is showing no signs of slowing.

India was firmly in focus as the latest centre, although North and South America combined still accounted for almost half of the global cases.

Global Confirmed – 30,059,896
Global Deaths – 944,358
U.S. Confirmed – 6,672,222
U.S. Deaths – 197,590

Source: John Hopkins University

Global new daily case numbers reached record levels in recent days and deaths neared 1 million as the international race to develop and market a vaccine heated up.

The official number of global coronavirus cases is now more than five times the number of severe influenza illnesses recorded annually, according to World Health Organization data.

Around the world, there have been almost 1 million deaths, considered a lagging indicator given the two-week incubation period of the virus. That has well exceeded the upper range of 290,000 to 650,000 annual deaths linked to influenza.

India this week became only the second country in the world, after the United States, to record more than 5 million cases. On Thursday, it reported another record daily rise in cases of almost 98,000.

The south Asian nation, the world’s second most populous country, has been reporting more new daily cases than the United States since mid-August and accounts for just over 16% of global known cases.

Reported deaths in India have been relatively low so far but are showing an uptick, and the country has recorded more than 1,000 deaths every day for the last two weeks.

The United States has about 20% of all global cases, although it has just 4% of the world’s population. Brazil, the third worst-hit country, accounts for roughly 15% of global cases.

It took 18 days for global cases to surge from 25 million to more than 30 million. It took 20 days for the world to go from 20 million to 25 million and 19 days to go from 15 million to 20 million.

The global rate of new daily cases is slowing, reflecting progress in constraining the disease in many countries, despite a few big surges.

Australia on Thursday reported its lowest single-day case rise since June as strict lockdown measures in its second largest city of Melbourne, the centre of the country’s second wave, appeared to pay off.

Health experts stress that official data almost certainly under-reports both infections and deaths, particularly in countries with limited testing capacity.

While the trajectory of the coronavirus still falls far short of the 1918 Spanish flu, which infected an estimated 500 million people, killing at least 10% of them, experts worry the available data is underplaying the true impact of the pandemic.

Source: Star News

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Environment News timeline

Warmest winter on record for New Zealand 2020 winter

New Zealand has just experienced its warmest winter on record, according to official NIWA climate data.

NIWA’s Seven Station Temperature Series, which began in 1909, shows the 2020 winter was 1.14°C above average, just nudging out winter 2013 from the top spot, which was 1.08°C above average.

This year’s result also means seven of the 10 warmest winters on record in New Zealand have occurred since the year 2000.

Seventeen locations observed record breaking mean winter temperatures, with an additional 53 locations ranking within their top four warmest winters.

NIWA forecaster Ben Noll says the winter warmth can be attributed to several factors:

  • More sub-tropical northeasterly winds than normal, particularly in the North Island. This brought warmer air toward New Zealand from the north
  •  Sea surface temperatures above average during winter, especially August. As an island nation, New Zealand’s air temperatures are strongly influenced by the seas surrounding it
  • Air pressure was higher than normal, particularly to the east. This contributed to a sunnier than normal winter in much of the South Island and lower North Island
  • Climate change – the warmth over winter is consistent with New Zealand’s long-term trend of increasing air temperatures.
New Zealand has just experienced its warmest winter on record, according to official NIWA climate data.

Other Records

The highest recorded winter 2020 temperature was 25.1°C on August 30 in Timaru. This was the highest temperature recorded there during winter since records began in 1885 and the equal-4th warmest winter temperature on record for New Zealand as a whole.

The lowest temperature was  -12.3°C, observed at Middlemarch on 14 June.

New Zealand has just experienced its warmest winter on record, according to official NIWA climate data.

Of these locations the most anomalously warm (i.e. largest deviation from average) was Farewell Spit, where mean daily temperatures of 13.0°C were experienced. This is 2.8°C more than the winter average and the warmest on record since records began there in 1971.

Furthermore, mean maximum (i.e. daytime) temperatures at this location were 3.1°C warmer than average, while mean minimum (i.e. night-time) temperatures were 2.3°C warmer than average (these are also the largest anomalies in their respective categories).

Kaikohe had its second wettest winter on record, with 935mm of rain recorded for the season, which was 187% of normal. Records began in 1956.

At the opposite end of the scale, Reefton had its second driest winter on record with just 291 mm of rain recorded over three months – or 54% of normal. Records began in 1960. Much of the middle and upper South Island observed below or well below normal rainfall totals.

It will be no surprise that the highest one-day rainfall occurred in Northland in mid-July. Kaikohe and Whangarei received 262 and 251 mm respectively on July 17.

This is the highest one-day rainfall amount observed for both locations during winter. Kaikohe records began in 1956 and Whangarei in 1943.

Source: NIWA

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timeline

Auckland now Level 2.5 after over two weeks in lockdown

As of 11.59 pm 30th August 2020, the Auckland region joined the rest of the country in Lockdown Alert Level 2, albeit with slightly stricter rules to the rest of New Zealand. 

Auckland had been at Alert Level 3 since noon on August 12 after a community outbreak of Covid-19 in the city’s south. The rest of New Zealand went from Level 1 to Level 2 at the same time.

Social gatherings in Auckland are now limited to 10, while authorised tangihanga or funerals are limited to 50.

Source: 1 News

Categories
climate change Environment News Science World

Microplastics – New study estimates there is at least 10x more in Atlantic ocean

Why are these types of studies important?

Microplastics, along with other pollutants, are dramatically affecting our wildlife on the land and in the sea. Without these studies, we would not know the damage that has been done to the oceans by pollution over time – the disturbing issue is that the damage we are seeing today is not from yesterday but decades ago. The Editor

The mass of ‘invisible’ microplastics found in the upper waters of the Atlantic Ocean is approximately 12- 21 million tonnes, according to research published in the journal Nature Communications.

Significantly, this figure is only for three of the most common types of plastic litter in a limited size range. Yet, it is comparable in magnitude to estimates of all plastic waste that has entered the Atlantic Ocean over the past 65 years: 17 million tonnes.

This suggests that the supply of plastic to the ocean has been substantially underestimated.

The lead author of the paper, Dr Katsiaryna Pabortsava from the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), said “Previously, we couldn’t balance the mass of floating plastic we observed with the mass we thought had entered the ocean since 1950.

This is because earlier studies hadn’t been measuring the concentrations of ‘invisible’ microplastic particles beneath the ocean surface. Our research is the first to have done this across the entire Atlantic, from the UK to the Falklands.

The Atlantic Ocean might hold about 200 million tonnes of Microplastics

Co-author, Professor Richard Lampitt, also from the NOC, added “if we assume that the concentration of microplastics we measured at around 200 metres deep is representative of that in the water mass to the seafloor below with an average depth of about 3000 metres, then the Atlantic Ocean might hold about 200 million tonnes of plastic litter in this limited polymer type and size category.

This is much more than is thought to have been supplied. “

 “In order to determine the dangers of plastic contamination to the environment and to humans, we need good estimates of the amount and characteristics of this material, how it enters the ocean, how it degrades, and then how toxic it is at these concentrations.

This paper demonstrates that scientists have had a totally inadequate understanding of even the simplest of these factors, how much is there, and it would seem our estimates of how much is dumped into the ocean has been massively underestimated”.

Pabortsava and Lampitt collected their seawater samples during the 26th Atlantic Meridional Transect expedition in September to November 2016.

They filtered large volumes of seawater at three selected depths in the top 200 metres and detected and identified plastic contaminants using state-of-the-art spectroscopic imaging technique. Their study focussed on polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene, which are commercially most prominent and also most littered plastic types.   

This study builds on the NOC’s cutting-edge research into marine plastic contamination, which aims to better understand the magnitude and persistence of exposure to plastics and the potential harms it can cause.

We must act now to stop plastics from getting into our oceans – otherwise, this cycle will continue to grow.

This work was supported by the EU H2020 AtlantOS programme and the NOC.

The AMT programme was supported by the UK Natural Environment Research Council National Capability as funding to Plymouth Marine Laboratory and the NOC.

Categories
News timeline

COVID-19 ALERT LEVEL 3 for Auckland, August 2020

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces level 3 lockdown for Auckland due to the discovery of Community Covid-19 cases. New Zealand moves to Level 2 throughout the remainder of the country. So far 49 cases have been discovered in the cluster found in Auckland – all in managed quarantined facilities.

Auckland Level 3 update

New Zealand has extended a lockdown in its most populous city as the country battles a fresh community coronavirus outbreak that comes after months without any locally transmitted cases.Only five days ago, New Zealand was marking an enviable milestone — 100 days without any community transmission.

But this week has demonstrated how fast that can change, even in a country like New Zealand which has been held up as a world leader for its handling of the virus.

On Friday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that Auckland — the city of around 1.5 million people at the center of the new outbreak — will remain under a level three lockdown for another 12 days, while the rest of the country stays under level two restrictions, meaning gatherings are limited to no more than 100 people. The rules extend restrictions that came into effect earlier this week.

Under level three restrictions, people will be told to stay home aside for essential personal movement, schools will operate at limited capacity, and public venues such as museums, playgrounds and gyms will remain shut. 

The fresh outbreak is a blow for New Zealand.

The country already spent five weeks under one of the world’s strictest lockdowns, which closed most businesses and schools, and saw people stay at home.Ardern has warned she expects to see more cases.”Lifting restrictions now and seeing an explosion of cases is the worst thing we could do for Auckland and for the New Zealand economy,” she said. “We have got rid of Covid before … We can do all of that again.” 

Earlier Friday, New Zealand’s Director General of Health Dr. Ashley Bloomfield announced another 12 locally-transmitted coronavirus cases. There are now 49 active cases in New Zealand to 49, 29 of which are linked to the recent outbreak.

The cases are all in Auckland apart from two in Tokoroa, a town of 24,000 about 200km (124 miles) south of the city. According to the Ministry of Health, these two tested positive after a visit from a contact of one of the Auckland cases.

In a press conference Friday, Bloomfield said that 771 close contacts of the confirmed cases had been identified, and more than 15,700 tests had been processed on Thursday — the highest number of tests processed in a single day in the country. Since the start of the outbreak, New Zealand has conducted more than 500,000 tests. It has reported a total of 1,251 coronavirus cases, including 22 deaths.

Source CNN

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News timeline

Covid-19 confirmed cases surpass 20 million

Covid-19 confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide topped 20 million, more than half of them from the United States, India, and Brazil, as Russia on Tuesday became the first country to register a vaccine against the virus. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the registration at a government meeting and added that one of his two adult daughters had already been inoculated. “She’s feeling well and has a high number of antibodies,” he said.

Russia has reported more than 890,000 cases, the fourth-most in the world, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally that also showed total confirmed cases globally surpassing 20 million.

Covid-19 is accelerating

It took six months or so to get to 10 million cases after the virus first appeared in central China late last year. It took just over six weeks for that number to double. An AP analysis of data through Aug. 9 showed the U.S., India, and Brazil together accounted for nearly two-thirds of all reported infections since the world hit 15 million coronavirus cases on July 22.

Health officials believe the actual number of people infected with the virus is much higher than that tally kept by Johns Hopkins University, given testing limitations and that as many as 40 percent of those with the virus show no symptoms.

In Europe, countries that appeared to have gotten their outbreaks under control during nationwide lockdowns and lifted many public restrictions worked to prevent a resurgence of the virus. Finland joined France and Germany in announcing it would test travelers from at-risk countries upon arrival.

Spain, which along with Italy was hardest hit when the virus first exploded on the continent, now has the most confirmed cases in western Europe at nearly 323,000. The number of new cases have risen steadily in Spain since its strict, three-month lockdown ended on June 21, reaching 1,486 on Monday.

In Greece, which imposed strict lockdown measures early and kept its reported cases low during the height of the European epidemic, the government announced new measures Monday to prevent an outbreak. It ordered bars, restaurants and cafes in several regions to shut between midnight and 7 a.m.

Source NZ Herald

Categories
climate change Environment News

4Ocean Initiative: Why has the ocean plastic initiative seen so much success?

Questions are being asked about 4ocean’s validity and success, We personally believe 4ocean plays an important part in protecting and promoting the issue of plastics pollution in our oceans. We have supported and bought bracelets from 4ocean and will continue to do so. Read this article from IDiveBlue by Zoe Dagan a product expert, a degreed scientist, and a nature nerd originally from coastal California.

Meet the ocean’s newest superstars: recently, they’ve made the news, boasting about their unprecedented, newly christened, state-of-the-art Ocean Plastic Recovery Vessel.

Advertising campaigns featuring eco-friendly bracelets for worthy causes have gone viral, appearing relentlessly in social media feeds worldwide. Bracelet-driven eco-campaigns scale quickly and manage to achieve extraordinary notoriety outside of conventional environmental groups and activist circles. 4ocean LLC is not just another player in the field, they were the fledgling ocean activism company, and they are taking the world by storm.

It is no surprise to ocean-minded folks that these big salty water bodies are vital for purposes beyond just recreation. Global prosperity and food production are dependent on healthy oceans. Billions of people worldwide rely on healthy oceans to provide reliable employment food security. Healthy oceans trap excess carbon and are vital to mitigating global climate change.

Do you appreciate inhaling fresh air? Well, guess what, some of the smallest ocean inhabitants provide most of the world’s oxygen.

Ecological Plastic Footprint

We intuitively know that we vote with our dollars, and each dollar we spend has an impact on the world. A 2015 Nielsen report in consumer spending showed the sustainability of a brand is a significant force driving the spending habits for more than 66% of global consumers.

It has become clear that a majority of consumers from all backgrounds and representing all income brackets are willing to pay a premium for sustainable brands. Determined to put an end to the international crisis of plastic pollution, 4ocean LLC is fast becoming the world’s largest and most successful ocean cleanup company. The 4ocean business model is brilliantly simple. Buy an eco-friendly beach bracelet, reusable water bottle, or ocean cleanup kit from their online store, and your hard-earned dollars directly fund the 4ocean cleanup operation that has already removed more than 2.2 million pounds of trash from the ocean. The entire 4ocean operation, including boats, cleanup crews, warehouse operations, and paychecks for more than 150 employees, is funded solely by product sales from the 4ocean online store. By supporting 4ocean, your dollar really does make a difference.

4oceans is helping save our oceans now

Read the full article at Idiveblue, click here to read.

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timeline

World Population hits 7.8 billion

The world’s population has hit 7,800,959,316 Billion. Exceeding expectations of 7.7 billion for the end of 2020.

Categories
timeline

Coronavirus (COVID 19) global cases top 16 million

The global number of coronavirus cases crossed 16 million on Sunday, according to renowned resource centre Johns Hopkins University and AFP tallies. The pandemic has killed more than 645,715 people worldwide since it surfaced in China late last year.

The United States is the worst-hit country with the highest infection rate, registering 4,178,021 infections and 146,460 dead. Brazil has the second-highest rate of infection, with 2.3 million cases while India places third, with 1.3 million.

Latin America and the Caribbean have recorded 4,328,915 cases and 182,501 dead followed by Europe on 3,052,108 cases and 207,734 dead. Figures remained worryingly high in South Africa after confirming more than 12,000 new coronavirus cases. The total in the country has reached more than 434,000 and 6655 deaths.

Meanwhile, Australia suffered its deadliest day since the pandemic began, with 10 fatalities and a rise in new infections despite an intense lockdown effort. State Premier Daniel Andrews said the deaths included seven men and three women. A man in his 40s became one of the youngest Covid-19 fatalities in Australia.

The spread of the pandemic continues to accelerate and more than five million cases — nearly a third — have been declared since July, which represents a third of the total number of cases since the pandemic began. The World Health Organisation says more than a million cases had been recorded in each of the past five weeks while experts say the number is likely much higher than those reported.

There were more than 280,000 new cases recorded globally on both Thursday and Friday last week, the highest daily rises since the virus emerged in China late last year, according to an AFP count based on official sources – an alarming uptick in the spread of the virus.

Source: NZ Herald

Categories
timeline

Global coronavirus cases surpass 10 million

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide surpassed 10 million on Sunday, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.

The terrible milestone comes six months after initial cases were first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in mid-December, before continuing to spread across the globe. 

Covid-19 has infected 10,001,527 and killed at least 499,123 people globally.

The figure comes as numerous countries like the UK ease lockdown restrictions, yet the pandemic continues to course through nations. Countries like Germany, which effectively handled the first wave, are seeing an uptick in new infections — a problem that experts say will recur until a vaccine is found.

Other countries are seeing more than 10,000 infections a day. In India, authorities are scrambling to open a Covid-19 treatment facility to deal with the surge in cases in the nation’s capital, New Delhi.

The US leads with the most deaths and confirmed cases worldwide. There are at least 2,510,323 coronavirus cases and 125,539 deaths from the disease in the country.

After managing to slow the spread in May, coronavirus numbers have skyrocketed in inland states, including Texas and Arizona. Now only two US states are reporting a decline in new cases compared to last week — Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Florida reported 9,585 new coronavirus cases Saturday, a single-day record high since the start of the pandemic. The number rivals that of New York’s peak in daily cases in early April.

Source: cnn

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timeline

Coronavirus – Global cases surpass 5 million

Reported Coronavirus (Covid-19) cases around the world reached 5 million on Thursday as some countries begin easing strict social distancing guidelines and look to reopen their economies, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. 

The number of reported cases worldwide hit 5,000,038 and the global death toll now stands at 328,172, according to Hopkins.

The latest morbid milestone comes as the spread of the coronavirus across the world shows no signs of slowing down. Even as outbreaks in China and other countries appear to have abated, the pandemic has picked up speed in other parts of the world. The World Health Organization said Wednesday the number of newly reported coronavirus cases worldwide hit a daily record this week with more than 100,000 new cases over the last 24 hours.

Almost two-thirds of the cases were reported in just four countries, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press conference at the agency’s Geneva headquarters. “We still have a long way to go in this pandemic.”

The majority of new confirmed cases are coming from the Americas and led by the U.S., followed by Europe, according to the WHO’s daily report. The U.S. reported 45,251 new cases on Tuesday, according to the agency. Russia had the second most reported cases Tuesday at 9,263, according to the WHO.

Coronavirus Delayed epidemics

Eastern Europe is experiencing a delayed epidemic but could implement lessons that have been learned at great costs in Asia, North America and Western Europe, according to WHO officials. Russia has surpassed the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy as the country with the second-highest number of infections, according to JHU data.

“There are differences right now between Western Europe, which has been through that first big wave, and Eastern Europe, particularly Russian Federation, that is now experiencing higher numbers of disease,” Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s emergencies program, said at a press briefing on May 8. 

WHO officials have warned against easing coronavirus restrictions and reopening economies too quickly, saying it could lead to a “vicious cycle” of economic and health disasters as cases resurge and officials have to reinstitute lockdowns. 

It’s a “false equation” to choose between the economy and public health, Ryan said. “The worst thing that could happen,” economically, is that a country reopens and then has to shut down again to respond to a resurgence of the virus, Ryan said.

For more information see our timeline.

Source: CNBC

Categories
timeline

New Zealand population hits 5 million

Statistics NZ on Monday said New Zealand’s population passed 5 million in March as the country went into lockdown.

“This is a significant event for New Zealand,” said population insights senior manager Brooke Theyers.

“It is also the fastest million in our history, taking 17 years after reaching 4 million in 2003.”

At the end of March, there were 5,002,100 people living in New Zealand. The exact date we crossed the threshold won’t be known until more analysis is done, Statistics NZ said.

The agency had previously predicted we’d reach 5 million sometime in 2020. The milestone was reached partly thanks to tens of thousands of Kiwis rushing home before the borders were closed.

“It is most likely the 5 million milestone was reached by a migrant arriving by plane, but could have been reached by a newborn baby,” said Theyers. Since the census in 2013, we’ve added about half-a-million people – an average increase of 1.8 percent a year, half of it migration and the rest natural increase. 

“The global COVID-19 pandemic has caused unusual international travel and migration patterns in recent months,” said Theyers. “Net migration has been boosted by more New Zealand citizens returning home after living overseas. At the same time, New Zealand citizens may have been unable or reluctant to head offshore.”

Source Newshub 2020.

Categories
timeline

New Zealand to COVID-19 ALERT Level 2, 13 May 2020.

Alert Level 2 — Reduce

The disease is contained, but the risk of community transmission remains.

Risk assessment

  • Household transmission could be occurring.
  • Single or isolated cluster outbreaks.

Range of measures that can be applied locally or nationally

  • People can reconnect with friends and family, and socialise in groups of up to 10, go shopping, or travel domestically, if following public health guidance.
  • Keep physical distancing of two metres from people you don’t know when out in public or in retail stores. Keep one metre physical distancing in controlled environments like workplaces, where practicable.
  • No more than 10 people at gatherings (to be reviewed 25 May), except funerals and tangihanga, which can have a maximum of 50 people if registered with Ministry of Health.
  • Businesses can open to the public if following public health guidance including physical distancing and record keeping. Alternative ways of working are encouraged where possible.
  • Hospitality businesses must keep groups of customers separated, seated, and served by a single person. Until 21 May alcohol can only be served when purchasing a meal. Maximum of 100 people at a time.
  • Sport and recreation activities are allowed, subject to conditions on gatherings, record keeping, and – where practical – physical distancing.
  • Public venues such as museums, libraries and pools can open if they comply with public health measures and ensure 1 metre physical distancing and record keeping.
  • Event facilities, including cinemas, stadiums, concert venues and casinos have a limit of 100 customers in each workplace at any time, with 1 metre physical distancing and record keeping.
  • Health and disability care services operate as normally as possible.
  • It is safe to send your children to schools, early learning services and tertiary education. There will be appropriate measures in place.
  • People at higher-risk of severe illness from COVID-19 (e.g. those with underlying medical conditions, especially if not well-controlled, and seniors) are encouraged to take additional precautions when leaving home. They may work, if they agree with their employer that they can do so safely.

More information about Alert Level 2

Categories
Environment Science

(CO2) an important heat-trapping greenhouse gas.

What is Carbon Dioxide (CO2) – Carbon Dioxide is 1 Carbon atom with 2 Oxygen atoms. C (Carbon) 02 (Oxygen x2)

di-1 a prefix occurring in loanwords from Greek, where it meant “two,” “twice,” “double” (diphthong); on this model, freely used in the formation of compound words (dicotyledon; dipolar) and in chemical terms (diatomic; disulfide).

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an important heat-trapping (greenhouse) gas, which is released through natural processes such as respiration and volcanic eruptions, as well as human activities such as deforestation and burning fossil fuels,

Carbon dioxide (chemical formula (CO2) is a colorless gas with a density about 60% higher than that of dry air. Carbon dioxide consists of a carbon atom covalently double bonded to two oxygen atoms. It occurs naturally in Earth’s atmosphere as a trace gas. The current concentration is about 0.04% (412 ppm) by volume, having risen from pre-industrial levels of 280 ppm.[8] Natural sources include volcanoeshot springs and geysers, and it is freed from carbonate rocks by dissolution in water and acids. Because carbon dioxide is soluble in water, it occurs naturally in groundwaterrivers and lakesice capsglaciers and seawater. It is present in deposits of petroleum and natural gas. Carbon dioxide is odorless at normally encountered concentrations, but at high concentrations, it has a sharp and acidic odor.[1]

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in the earth’s Atmosphere

Atmospheric composition (by volume, dry air):

Major: 78.08% Nitrogen (N2), 20.95% Oxygen (O2),
Minor (ppm): Argon (Ar) – 9340; Carbon Dioxide (CO2) – 410, Neon (Ne) – 18.18; Helium (He) – 5.24; CH4 – 1.7 Krypton (Kr) – 1.14; Hydrogen (H2) – 0.55

Numbers do not add up to exactly 100% due to roundoff and uncertainty Water is highly variable, typically makes up about 1%

Source: NASA Earth Fact Sheet

What is Carbon Dioxide?

Carbon Dioxide is 1 Carbon atom with 2 Oxygen atoms. C (Carbon) 02 (Oxygen x2)

Categories
News Science

NASA Computer models Carbon Dioxide through the atmosphere

The new NASA supercomputer project builds on the agency’s satellite measurements of carbon dioxide and combines them with a sophisticated Earth system model to provide one of the most realistic views yet of how this critical greenhouse gas moves through the atmosphere.

Scientists have tracked the rising concentration of heat-trapping carbon dioxide for decades using ground-based sensors in a few places. A high-resolution visualization of the new combined data product – generated by the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, using data from the agency’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite build and operated by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California – provides an entirely different perspective.

The 3-D visualization reveals in startling detail the complex patterns in which carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases, decreases and moves around the globe over the course of September 2014 to September 2015.


Carbon dioxide plays a significant role in trapping heat in Earth’s atmosphere. The gas is released from human activities like burning fossil fuels, and the concentration of carbon dioxide moves and changes through the seasons. Using observations from NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2) satellite, scientists developed a model of the behavior of carbon in the atmosphere from Sept. 1, 2014, to Aug. 31, 2015. Scientists can use models like this one to better understand and predict where concentrations of carbon dioxide could be especially high or low, based on activity on the ground.

Credits: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/K. Mersmann, M. Radcliff, producers Download this video in HD formats from NASA Goddard’s Scientific Visualization Studio

Carbon dioxide plays a significant role in trapping heat in Earth’s atmosphere. The gas is released from human activities like burning fossil fuels, and the concentration of carbon dioxide moves and changes through the seasons. 

Using observations from NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2) satellite, scientists developed a model of the behavior of carbon in the atmosphere from September 1, 2014 to August 31, 2015. 

Scientists can use models like this one to better understand and predict where concentrations of carbon dioxide could be especially high or low, based on activity on the ground.

Source of Article NASA

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Covid-19 cases worldwide reach 3 million

Covid-19 (coronavirus) has now infected 3 million people around the world, with the global death toll more than 200,000, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

The true toll is believed to be much higher, because of inadequate testing, differences in counting the dead, and efforts by some governments to conceal the extent of their outbreaks. The number of dead in the US reached about 55,000 — close to the 58,000 US troops killed during the Vietnam War.

Italy, Britain, Spain, and France accounted for more than 20,000 Covid-19 deaths each. Many governments are working on mobile virus-tracking apps and other technology, keen for automated solutions to the time-consuming task of tracking an infected person’s contacts.

In Australia, which has had about 80 Covid-19 deaths, 1.1 million of the country’s 26 million people downloaded a new contract-tracing app within 12 hours of its becoming available.

New Zealand currently stands at: 1469 infected cases.

Source: Associated Press and Onenews

  • China has reported three new cases (two overseas cases and one from Heilongjiang) and no new deaths.
  • Germany has reported 1,018 new cases and 100 deaths.
  • India has confirmed a total of 27,000 cases and 872 deaths.
  • Malaysia has reported 40 new cases, bringing the total to 5,820. 95 patients were discharged, bringing the number of recoveries to 3,957. Malaysia reported one new death, bringing the death toll to 99.
  • The Netherlands has reported 400 new cases, bringing the total to 38,245. Dutch authorities have also confirmed 45 deaths, bringing the death toll to 4,518.
  • New Zealand has reported five new cases (one confirmed and four probable). Six previous cases were also rescinded, bringing the total down to 1,469 (1,122 confirmed and 347 probable). NZ health authorities have also reported 38 new recoveries, bringing the total to 1,180. One further death was reported, bringing the death toll to 19.
  • Pakistan has reported 605 new cases and a total of 281 deaths.
  • The Philippines has reported 198 new cases, bringing the total to 7,777. The country has reported ten new deaths, bringing the death toll to 511.
  • Singapore has reported 799 new cases, bringing the total to 14,423. Another two deaths were later confirmed, bringing the total to 14.
  • South Africa has reported a total of 4,546 cases and 87 deaths.
  • Spain has reported 331 new deaths, bringing the death toll to 23,521.
  • Thailand has reported nine cases and one death, bringing the total to 2931 cases and 52 deaths respectively.
  • Ukraine reports 392 new cases and 11 new deaths, bringing the total numbers to 9,009 and 220 respectively; a total of 864 patients have recovered.

Source: Wikipedia 27 April 2020.