www.youtube.com

Did Rick Perry really just bring fossil fuels into the fight against sex assault?

"From the standpoint of sexual assault, when the lights are on, when you have a light that shines, the righteousness, if you will, on those types of acts."


That's from the mouth of Energy Secretary Rick Perry, speaking Thursday at an energy forum hosted by NBC News and Axios.

He was speaking about energy security, prompted in part by a recent trip to Africa where he talked with a young girl who reads from the light of a fire that also produces sooty – and harmful, especially to children's developing lungs – smoke.

Lack of access to electricity is HUGE issue: The World Bank estimates 15 percent of the world's population – some 1.25 billion people – had no access in 2014 to a technology that almost everyone in the United States (except Puerto Rico) takes for granted. Nearly half were in rural areas of Sub-­Saharan Africa, and nearly a third were rural dwellers in South Asia.

Meanwhile more than 3 billion people lack access to clean cooking fuels and technology, the World Bank says.

But to say fossil fuels are virtuous because they provide light that helps fight a very serious issue like sexual assault?

That was a bit much for some.

"We all need light in the dark, but what we don't need are the host of calamitous impacts of dirty fossil fuels on society: air and water pollution, destruction of natural landscapes, deadly human health effects and global climate chaos," said Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter

"It's time to acknowledge the better path forward: renewable power from clean and abundant resources."

A 2013 Food & Water Watch study on the fracking's social impacts in Pennsylvania found that, in counties where fossil fuel development was heaviest, sexually transmitted diseases were 62 percent higher than areas without. Arrest rates for disorderly conduct were higher, too, the group found.

The World Bank lists seven ways to close the electrification gap, including moving toward renewable fuels and increasing energy efficiency.

climatenewsnetwork.net

South Asia’s twin threat: Extreme heat and foul air

Climate change means many health risks. Any one of them raises the danger. What happens when extreme heat meets bad air? South Asia's humid megacities face special jeopardy.

Get our Good News newsletter

Get the best positive, solutions-oriented stories we've seen on the intersection of our health and environment, FREE every Tuesday in your inbox. Subscribe here today. Keep the change tomorrow.

www.winnipegfreepress.com

Killer whale migration upends Arctic waters

Slipping through the frigid water, the sleek black dorsal fin of a killer whale is iconic; but they're being seen in new parts of the world more frequently, thanks to climate change breaking up sea ice.

www.reuters.com

U.N. delays crucial climate summit for a year, cites pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has prompted the United Nations to delay until late 2021 a crucial climate summit that had been scheduled for Britain this year, officials said on Thursday.
crosscut.com

‘Extremophile’ scientist trades Antarctica for COVID-19 research

J.J. Hastings came off the grid into a pandemic. Stranded in Washington, she started swabbing for the virus.
www.dw.com

Plunging solar energy prices spell bright future for clean electricity

Solar energy has fallen in cost faster than experts predicted. How did electricity from photovoltaic panels get so cheap?

Joe Biden and climate change: A chance to make history in the 2020 election

Joe Biden might not have been the climate left's least favorite candidate but he was pretty far down their list. He won without them, but he will need their help to win in November.

www.post-gazette.com

County fines U.S. Steel more than $360K for violations at Clairton plant

The Allegheny County Health Department on Wednesday fined U.S. Steel $361,400 for over 300 air pollution and permit violations at the Clairton Coke Works dating back to October.

From our Newsroom

Fracking linked to rare birth defect in horses: Study

The implications for human health are "worrisome," say researchers.

Of water and fever

While we're rightly distracted by fighting a virus, are we ignoring other "just" wars over water?

How an enduring environmental symbol could become COVID-19 buzzkill

The Clearwater has sailed the Hudson River for five decades—teaching children and cleaning up the contaminated river. Much more work remains and the Clearwater is out of action due to COVID-19.

Coronavirus, the planet, and you

How the spread of the deadly virus is impacted by climate change, the environment, and our lifestyles.

On 'Noble' journalists and prizes

This year's Pulitzer winners and finalists feature five – count 'em – five environmental entries.

The Daily Climate

Top news on climate impacts, solutions, politics, drivers.

Don't get left in the rain! Join our Daily Climate newsletter!