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Uncovering America's methamphetamine history; PA Early Intervention programs vital for child development; measuring long-term impact of the O.J. Simpson trial on media literacy.

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President Biden's name could be left off the ballot in Alabama and Ohio, the Justice Dept. mandates background checks for gun show purchases, and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds moves to allow state police to arrest undocumented migrants.

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Housing advocates fear rural low-income folks who live in aging USDA housing could be forced out, small towns are eligible for grants to enhance civic participation, and North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues.

NW Heat Wave, Fires Could be 'Preview' of Hotter Future

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Wednesday, July 7, 2021   

BOISE, Idaho -- An unprecedented heat wave and fears of another severe wildfire season have put the warming climate at center stage in the Northwest.

Heat has broken records across the region and claimed hundreds of lives on the West Coast, and temperatures have remained high in Idaho since last week.

Alycia Bean, climate campaign coordinator for the Idaho Conservation League, said the recent conditions highlight the health aspects of the changing climate.

"How are these people going to adapt to this long-term, you know, more than one or two days, sustained heat, given the resources and the infrastructure that they have?" Bean asked. "We are not prepared to handle something like that."

Bean thinks the nation needs to take two approaches to climate change: It must do what it can to mitigate the effects by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and also learn to adapt to the new, warmer climate.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 60% of Idaho faces severe drought this year, and nearly all the state faces moderate drought.

Bean pointed out the long-term trends of drier fuels, higher air temperatures and lower snowpacks are increasing the length and intensity of wildfire seasons.

"All of those different, observed impacts from climate change coupled together enable future wildfires that are going to be larger, more intense," Bean projected.

She noted not all fire is bad, and it can be used, in controlled ways, to help the forest. But nearly all the current fires burning in Idaho were started by people.

Jonathan Oppenheimer, external relations director for the League, sees current conditions as a preview of what's to come.

"It really emphasizes the need for us as Idahoans and Westerners across this portion of the country to really work to reduce climate impact," Oppenheimer contended. "Do what we can to transition to renewables, to use public transportation, and to take the personal steps that we can all take to reduce some of our climate impact."

Disclosure: Idaho Conservation League contributes to our fund for reporting on Energy Policy, Environment, Public Lands/Wilderness, and Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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