Umair Irfan
Umair Irfan
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Why every state is vulnerable to a Texas-style power crisis

Why every state is vulnerable to a Texas-style power crisis

“The infrastructure we have built right now really isn’t ready.”The for days as temperatures dipped to record lows last month were stunning for a state that prides itself on its diverse and abundant energy supplies. Texas is the country’s largest , largest lignite coal producer, largest producer, and .Yet despite its bountiful resources, every electricity source — natural gas, coal, nuclear, wind, solar — fell short just as Texans needed to warm up the most.Now that Texas has thawed out after an icy freeze left more than 4 million people in the cold and dark, heads are rolling.This week, ,...

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Umair Irfan
Mar 11
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We aren’t using all of our tools to treat Covid-19

We aren’t using all of our tools to treat Covid-19

As record daily hospitalizations and deaths this month in the US have pushed the pandemic to new crisis levels, senior government health officials have lamented that many patients are not getting the drugs — including monoclonal antibodies, antivirals, and corticosteroids — available to treat the disease, leaving many doses unused.There are still questions about how well many of these drugs work. One found that a mix of monoclonal antibodies developed by could reduce Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths by 70 percent, though some researchers cautioned that the findings were .And with the...

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Umair Irfan
Jan 19
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Reminder: The US will leave the Paris climate agreement this week

Reminder: The US will leave the Paris climate agreement this week

Why the presidential election matters so much for global action on climate changeThe United States will leave the on Wednesday regardless of the outcome of the presidential election, making the US the to back out of the accord. But who wins the White House on November 3 will be the far bigger determinant of the future of international action on climate change.Pulling out of the accord was one of Donald Trump’s signature campaign promises in 2016. He announced on , that the US would begin the exit process. But because of the way the agreement works, the US is not able to officially withdraw...

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Umair Irfan
Nov 3
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Trump’s "Sharpiegate" grudge may have cost NOAA’s acting chief scientist his job

Trump’s "Sharpiegate" grudge may have cost NOAA’s acting chief scientist his job

The scientist who defended forecasters against political pressure during Hurricane Dorian was told to step down for reinforcing scientific integrity.Remember ?It turns out that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) may still be reeling from that episode, when President Trump’s refusal to admit he was wrong ballooned into an actual scandal at one of the nation’s premier scientific institutions.The reported this week that NOAA’s acting chief scientist, , who called out political interference during the ordeal, was removed from his post this month when he asked a new...

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Umair Irfan
Oct 31
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We asked Joe Biden’s campaign 6 key questions about his climate change plans

We asked Joe Biden’s campaign 6 key questions about his climate change plans

How Biden could use the powers of the presidency to protect vulnerable communities and hold fossil fuel companies accountable.Election Day is closing in, and former Vice President Joe Biden has made climate change one of his signature issues. His “” plan would be the most ambitious and aggressive environmental agenda in US history if it were enacted.Voters, especially young voters, also crave action on climate change. Polling shows that a of all ages want all levels of government to address global warming, but it’s one of the highest priorities for young Democrats.The single best way to...

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Umair Irfan
Oct 15
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Scientists fear the Western wildfires could lead to long-term lung damage

Scientists fear the Western wildfires could lead to long-term lung damage

We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our site, show personalized content and targeted ads, analyze site traffic, and understand where our audiences come from. To learn more or opt-out, read our . Please also read our and , which became effective December 20, 2019.By choosing I Accept, you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies.I Accept☰×Young children, older adults, and people with preexisting conditions face the highest risks.During the peak of the , cities like Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington, suffered some...

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Umair Irfan
Sep 24
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Democrats have made a puzzling decision to drop their demand to end fossil fuel subsidies

Democrats have made a puzzling decision to drop their demand to end fossil fuel subsidies

Democrats say climate change is a priority. The DNC platform dropped its demand to end subsidies to dirty energy.The Democratic National Committee has removed a provision in its party platform that called for an end to subsidies and tax breaks for the fossil fuel industry.First reported by on Tuesday, the revelation comes amid the this week, where fighting climate change has been a and where there has been a particular emphasis on switching to cleaner alternatives and away from dirty energy sources like coal and oil that emit greenhouse gases.It’s also an odd move during a campaign in which...

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Umair Irfan
Aug 19
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The Covid-19 pandemic is threatening vital rainforests

The Covid-19 pandemic is threatening vital rainforests

The coronavirus is undermining efforts to control rainforest fires in Indonesia and Brazil. And those fires could worsen the pandemic.One of the most alarming environmental problems stemming from the is the unchecked destruction of tropical rainforests happening in Brazil and Indonesia.Human-caused fires are posing a major threat to the ecology of these regions. In addition, the fires’ smoke is adding to the problems of the pandemic by placing more stress on people’s lungs.With governments distracted with the pandemic — both and have seen major increases in infections — both countries may...

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Umair Irfan
Jun 22
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Arizona’s new coronavirus spike is worrisome

Arizona’s new coronavirus spike is worrisome

Covid-19 cases have nearly doubled in two weeks, and hospitalizations are also on the rise.Arizona is seeing an alarming resurgence of , with the number of daily new reported cases over the past two weeks to nearly 30,000 total cases, according to the state (ADHS).The state’s hospitals are preparing for a surge of severely ill patients: Cara Christ, director of ADHS, told them to activate their emergency plans. Banner Health, the largest health care system in the state, says the number of since May 15 has quadrupled and warned that it has reached capacity for some intensive care...

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Umair Irfan
Jun 11
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Global warming is bringing more avalanches to the Himalayas

Global warming is bringing more avalanches to the Himalayas

ByShareThe tallest mountain range in the world — the Himalayas — are part of a region known as the These mountains, alongside the Tibetan Plateau and the Hindu Kush Mountains, are home to the largest permanent ice mass outside of the Arctic and Antarctic.But unlike the far north and far south, the Third Pole, spanning 5 million square kilometers, has direct impacts on a huge slice of humanity. More than 40 million people live in the Himalayas, and nearly live in the river basins that flow from the ice in the mountains.Now that ice is , with sometimes deadly consequences. In 2014, were...

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Umair Irfan
Mar 17, 2018
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