New Mexico students lead global climate strike across state

Emily Phan, Vice-President, Fight for Our Lives. Photo by Bianca Hoops. Today, people from all over the world will be walking out of work and schools to send a message that the world is experiencing a climate emergency. 

The “global climate strike” comes from a youth-led movement sparked when a 15-year-old Greta ThunBerg started cutting classes and camping out on the steps of the Swedish Parliament in September 2018, sparking similar youth climate actions around the world. Thunberg said in interviews she was inspired to begin her climate protest by the student led “march for our lives” protests after mass school shooting in Parkland, FL. In New Mexico strikes will be happening throughout the state, in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Santa Fe, Silver City, and Del Norte.

Climate change means uncertain future for New Mexico chile farmers

This year’s chile season is in full swing, but it is getting mixed reviews from farmers in southern New Mexico. Maria Martinez sells her family’s produce from Anthony and Brazito on Wednesdays and Saturdays at the Farmers and Crafts Market in Las Cruces. Her booth stands out with red chile ristras strung up around the sides and sacks of chile piled next to them. Fresh green chile fill baskets at her booth and a continuous stream of customers approach her during the market, searching for their chile fix. She said it’s been a struggle this year because of insufficient water. 

“It’s been kind of hard because they don’t give them much water,” Martinez said of the local irrigation district. 

Dino Cervantes, of Cervantes Enterprises Inc. and a board member of the New Mexico Chile Association, grows cayenne peppers and jalapeños in Vado.

‘The silenced’: meet the climate whistleblowers muzzled by Trump

From weakening vehicle emissions to blocking warnings about how coastal parks could flood or the impact on the Arctic, the Trump administration is accused of muzzling climate science. Here six whistleblowers and former government scientists describe being sidelined by the administration – and why they won’t be quiet. Jeff Alson 

Role: A former senior engineer at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s vehicles lab in Ann Arbor, Michigan

What did the work involve? “I was an engineer at the EPA, working for 40 years in a very technical job. In 2009, after the election of Barack Obama, the EPA started working on greenhouse gas standards for vehicles for the first time.

Media can do better: Getting serious about climate change

New Mexico has the same water stress level as the United Arab Emirates, an analysis from the World Resources Institute finds. 

The state could have three months worth of 100-plus degree days by 2080, up from about 20 in the ‘60s and ‘70s, under a higher emissions scenario, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts, putting the elderly and children at greater risk of heat-related deaths and changing our agricultural system. In New Mexico, catastrophic wildfires, intense drought and heat over the last couple of decades have brought climate change into high relief. When it comes to global warming and mitigating its damage, there’s a lot going on, both here in New Mexico and around the world. There’s also high interest. 

Polls consistently show New Mexicans, in line with residents in all Rocky Mountain states, believe climate change is a pressing issue. Most recently, an annual bipartisan poll conducted by Colorado College found that New Mexicans increasingly say climate change is a serious problem. 

Yet, in the news, you’re a lot more likely to hear about President Trump’s latest tweet controversy than you are climate change. 

That’s just not right. 

As a profession, the news industry is not doing enough to ensure the global climate emergency receives the public debate and discussion it deserves.

‘Like a sunburn on your lungs’: how does the climate crisis impact health?

The climate crisis is making people sicker – worsening illnesses ranging from seasonal allergies to heart and lung disease. Children, pregnant people and the elderly are the most at risk from extreme weather and rising heat. But the impact of the climate crisis – for patients, doctors and researchers – is already being felt across every specialty of medicine, with worse feared to come. “There’s research suggesting that our prescription medications may be causing harm because of changing heat patterns,” said Aaron Bernstein, a pediatric hospitalist who is the co-director of the Center for Climate, Health and the Global Environment at Harvard University. “There’s evidence that extreme weather events are affecting critical medical supplies so we can’t do things as we normally would do because IV fluids aren’t available.

‘Americans are waking up’: two thirds say climate crisis must be addressed

Two-thirds of Americans believe climate change is either a crisis or a serious problem, with a majority wanting immediate action to address global heating and its damaging consequences, major new polling has found. Amid a Democratic primary shaped by unprecedented alarm over the climate crisis and an insurgent youth climate movement that is sweeping the world, the polling shows substantial if uneven support for tackling the issue. More than a quarter of Americans questioned in the new CBS News poll consider climate change a “crisis”, with a further 36% defining it as a “serious problem”. Two in 10 respondents said it was a minor problem, with just 16% considering it not worrisome at all. More than half of polled Americans said they wanted the climate crisis to be confronted right away, with smaller groups happy to wait a few more years and just 18% rejecting any need to act.

Oil and gas had little to fear during legislative session

Storage facilities in the Permian Basin. Photo by Elizabeth Miller. Stepping to the microphone at a press conference wrapping up this year’s legislative session, House Speaker Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe, hammered the podium to the drum beat for Queen’s “We Will Rock You” before declaring it the “best, most productive” legislative session in state history. He proclaimed major achievements in education funding, criminal justice reform, a path for carbon-free electricity — and a bill that would save 100,000 acre feet of water each year from use in oil fields. “The produced water bill, I think, is going to go down as one of the greatest environmental accomplishments to come out of the state legislature of New Mexico,” Egolf said.