The environment

PG&E shuts off power to tens of thousands as West Coast wildfires continue to rage

By Kevin Martinez, 28 September 2020

The shutoff of power on Sunday came in advance of an expected heat wave which will heighten the danger of more fires.

Western US wildfires point to worsening trends of global warming

By Alexa Castro, 26 September 2020

Since the beginning of 2020, California has seen approximately 3.6 million acres burn—a testament to the growing climate crisis.

California wildfires expose the wealth divide

By Rafael Azul, 25 September 2020

While hundreds of homes burn to the ground and essential services are cut for the working class, California’s oligarchs save their homes and preserve their lifestyles with the aid of private firefighting services.

As Creek Fire become the largest in California history, farmworkers continue to labor without protection from smoke

By Aditya Veeraiah and Evan Winters, 24 September 2020

Even though plans were announced over a month ago to distribute hundreds of thousands of N95 masks to Fresno area farmworkers, few have received these masks, which provide a high level of protection against both air pollution and COVID-19.

Wildfires threaten drinking water and further desertification of US West Coast

By Linda Rios, 19 September 2020

According to the National Interagency Fire Center, 21 major fires are still burning in California, 12 in Oregon and 8 in Washington state.

Slow-moving Hurricane Sally makes landfall along Alabama-Florida border

By J. L’Heureau, 17 September 2020

With close to 20 million people in its path, Sally brought coastal flooding, record rainfall, high winds and mass power outages to a large swath of the northern Gulf Coast, stretching from southeast Louisiana to the west central coast of Florida.

Millions in the US choke on hazardous air as West Coast fires continue to rage

By Kayla Costa, 14 September 2020

With 33 dead and over 4.6 million acres burned, the unprecedented fires in California, Oregon and Washington have quickly spiraled into a catastrophe affecting the lives of millions.

Floods inundate Sudan amid escalating economic crisis

By Jean Shaoul, 14 September 2020

The hardest hit has been the capital Khartoum, where the Blue and White Nile Rivers meet, as the Nile burst its banks, demolishing everything in its way.

Tens of thousands in southwest Louisiana remain without power two weeks after Hurricane Laura

By J. L’Heureau, 14 September 2020

With Tropical Storm Sally on track to hit Louisiana early this week the social and ecological crisis wrought in the wake of the last major storm is still coming into focus.

The California wildfires, climate change and capitalism

By Bryan Dyne, 14 September 2020

The wildfires ripping through California and Oregon have exposed yet again the dangers posed by climate change and the inability of capitalist governments to deal with it.

Wildfires devastate US West Coast

By Linda Rios, 12 September 2020

As with the criminal mishandling of COVID-19, the mass devastation wrought by the wildfires exposes the complete inability of capitalism to address any social problem.

UK Tories use Extinction Rebellion protests to argue for savage political repression

By Richard Tyler, 12 September 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has asked officials to take a “fresh look” at the legal status of Extinction Rebellion and see if it can be classified as an “organised crime group.”

Ten percent of Oregon’s population ordered to evacuate as wildfires continue to ravage the US west coast

By David Fitzgerald, 11 September 2020

At least fourteen people have died in the latest outbreak: a one-year-old boy in Washington, three people in Oregon, and ten in California, and the death toll is expected to rise.

Oregon governor declares state of emergency calling wildfires a “once-in-a-generation event”

By Kevin Martinez, 10 September 2020

Oregon Governor Kate Brown declared a wildfire emergency after two towns burnt to the ground and thousands of residents have been ordered to evacuate.

Human disturbances of wild areas increase the likelihood of future pandemics

By Philip Guelpa, 10 September 2020

Deforestation and other human incursions into wild areas decrease biodiversity and promote the growth of species that are reservoirs of potential zoonotic diseases.

Mounting social and health disaster in Louisiana after Hurricane Laura

By J. L'Heureau, 31 August 2020

Three days after the most powerful hurricane to hit the state since 1856, the scale of destruction and accompanying social crisis is coming into sharp relief.

False “glimmers of hope” as California continues to burn

By Linda Rios, 29 August 2020

Nearly two dozen major fire complexes are still burning, along with hundreds of smaller ones, including a new fire that started in the early hours of Friday.

Hurricane Laura, strongest to hit Louisiana in 150 years, brings damaging winds

By J. L'Heureau, 28 August 2020

The storm made landfall near Lake Charles early Thursday as an extremely dangerous Category 4 storm, with sustained winds reaching 150 miles per hour.

Renewed heat and lightning increase fire danger in California

By Rafael Azul, 28 August 2020

State authorities are warning that fire conditions are still very dangerous and have warned evacuees not to return to their homes until allowed to do so.

Two weeks after powerful windstorm, Iowa faces humanitarian crisis

By Jessica Goldstein, 25 August 2020

As it is with the wildfires in California and the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, the criminal nature of the ruling class is revealed in its response to the disaster still unfolding in Iowa.

“I have nothing but a bunch of ashes”

Hundreds of thousands displaced, six dead as 600 fires rip across California

By Norissa Santa Cruz, 24 August 2020

The two largest fires, now the second and third largest in the state’s history, are forcing hundreds of thousands to flee from deadly situation to another.

Powerful windstorm leaves 4 dead, 1.5 million without power across US Midwest

By Jessica Goldstein, 15 August 2020

Workers, who have lost everything in the storm, will be crowded into shelters and aid centers where social distancing will prove to be very difficult, putting thousands more at needless risk of contracting COVID-19.

Royal commission into Australia’s bushfires promotes greater use of the military

By Margaret Rees, 1 August 2020

The inquiry will ignore the underfunding of fire and emergency services while justifying rapid and expanded military interventions in domestic “emergencies.”

Record heatwave in Siberia and the burning danger of climate change

By Daniel Jakob, 31 July 2020

This year is the hottest in Siberia since measurements began 130 years ago. The record heatwave is an extreme consequence of global climate change.

Trump asserts emergency powers to gut environmental protections

By Daniel de Vries, 11 June 2020

An executive order Thursday directs agencies to ignore environmental requirements to expedite infrastructure projects.

Over 20,000 tons of diesel spilled in Russian Arctic river

By Clara Weiss, 6 June 2020

The catastrophe on the Ambarnaya underlies the dangers bound up with the “new scramble for the Arctic” by the major powers and corporations.

Flooding in central Michigan exposes decades of Dow Chemical’s environmental crimes

By Luke Galvin and Lily Zhao, 2 June 2020

A major health crisis threatens residents of central Michigan after last week’s flooding that displaced more than 10,000 people and destroyed thousands of homes.

Germany: Defend climate activist group “Ende Gelände” against the secret service

By Peter Schwarz, 29 May 2020

An official secret service report classifies the climate change movement “Ende Gelände” (“End of the Road”), which has organized several mass protests against opencast lignite mining, as “left-wing extremist.”

Democratic governor extends Michigan stay-at-home order to June 12 while relaxing social distancing restrictions

By Stephen Fuller, 25 May 2020

With COVID-19 still spreading throughout the state, Governor Whitmer extended the stay-at-home order even as automotive production ramps up and businesses are allowed to reopen.

Central Michigan residents speak on dam failures that sparked historic flooding

By Luke Galvin, 23 May 2020

The flooding has displaced over 10,000 residents and washed out multiple bridges and roads, forcing many to gather at emergency shelters.

Ukrainian capital Kiev engulfed in smog from wildfires near Chernobyl

By Jason Melanovski and Clara Weiss, 18 April 2020

The fires expose the fact that the world’s worst nuclear catastrophe remains unresolved and continues to threaten the health of the population.

Swathes of UK underwater as record storms expose government indifference

By Robert Stevens and Barry Mason, 29 February 2020

The government repeats that it is spending £4 billion on flood defences over the next four years—a pittance—but has yet to announce where and when the money will be allocated.

Canadian PM proclaims indigenous “barricades must now come down”

By Roger Jordan, 22 February 2020

The Trudeau Liberal government, acting on the demands of its big business masters, is exhorting police to dismantle the indigenous railway blockades.

Major Australian bushfires finally extinguished by torrential rain

By Martin Scott, 15 February 2020

Insurers have declared Australia’s sixth catastrophe in five months as storms batter the east coast and cause major flooding.

Democrats cover up extent of hexavalent chromium poisoning at public meeting in Detroit suburb

By Kevin Reed, 6 February 2020

At an informational meeting Monday evening in the Detroit suburb of Madison Heights officials sought to contain growing public anger over chemical contamination by a local industrial operator.

Australia: Bushfire survivors point to lack of funding for firefighters and recovery effort

By our reporters, 3 February 2020

Residents from New South Wales’ South Coast and Blue Mountains areas praise volunteers, and describe the struggle to rebuild after the fires.

Australia’s fire crisis continues while flash floods hammer northern Queensland

By Martin Scott, 1 February 2020

Australia’s catastrophic summer escalates, with heavy rain in the north and bushfires in the south.

Latest UN plan to address catastrophic decline in biodiversity—more empty platitudes

By Philip Guelpa, 1 February 2020

Earth faces the sixth mass extinction of life on the planet, and all the capitalist system can provide is another toothless document.

Amazon employees defy management and publicly protest corporate policies

By Kevin Reed, 30 January 2020

Hundreds of Amazon employees posted public criticisms of their employer and statements of support for fellow workers who have been threatened with firing for speaking out against the tech company’s climate policies.

Trump rolls back clean water protections

By Daniel de Vries, 28 January 2020

The move will exempt more than half of the nation's wetlands from federal regulations.

Australians suffer violent hailstorms, flash floods and ongoing fires

By Martin Scott, 25 January 2020

As bushfires continue to burn, Australian communities have been ravaged by other extreme climatic events.

Lack of action on climate change leads to warmest decade ever recorded

By James Cogan, 20 January 2020

For all the proclamations by corporations and governments that they accept the need to reduce fossil fuel use, carbon emissions rose to the highest ever level in 2019.

Australian Labor Party closes ranks with Morrison government in bushfire crisis

By Oscar Grenfell, 18 January 2020

Labor leader Anthony Albanese has largely refrained from criticising the inadequate government response on the grounds of ensuring “national unity.”

Smoke haze from Australian bushfires pose serious public health threat

By John Mackay, 18 January 2020

The fine particulates in smoke from fires has been known to contain a toxic mix of chemicals that are a concern to public health.

Trump seeks to roll back environmental reviews for major infrastructure projects

By Daniel de Vries, 17 January 2020

The administration announced a proposal to upend longstanding environmental law requiring the government to document environmental impacts.

Australia: Balmoral firefighters say they were “abandoned” and demand better resources

By our reporters, 17 January 2020

“Governments are definitely not looking after us—there’s too many hidden agendas—and things are not being done to make sure we’ve got adequate power or water.”

The Australian fire crisis and the necessity for socialism

the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 11 January 2020

That the Australian prime minister denied any link between the fires and global warming epitomises the organic incapacity of the ruling classes internationally to address, let alone resolve, the climate crisis.

Tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans still without electricity, water, days after earthquake

By Matthew Taylor, 10 January 2020

The 6.4 magnitude earthquake devastated the US territory which has yet to recover from the damage inflicted by Hurricane Maria in 2017, leaving two thirds of the population without electricity and a quarter million without water.

“Everyone is saying this government has to go”

Australia: Victim of East Gippsland bushfire voices anger over government negligence

By Margaret Rees, 10 January 2020

“The amount of money they spend on submarines and fighter planes. It should be spent on internal water bombers and resources.”

Ruling class bereft of answers while catastrophic fires escalate across Australia

By James Cogan, 4 January 2020

The criminal indifference of the Australian ruling elite to the threat of climate change has its parallels around the world.

Australia: Climate change and the bushfire crisis

By Frank Gaglioti, 4 January 2020

“Long-term climate change in Australia is an undeniable reality.”

Fires create hellish conditions across Australia

By Mike Head, 31 December 2019

An unprecedented mass evacuation order for an area half the size of Belgium gave tens of thousands of residents and holidaymakers just hours to pack up and leave.

Hexavalent chromium contamination likely leaking onto Detroit-area freeway since 2016

By Kevin Reed, 31 December 2019

As more details emerge about the oozing of the known carcinogen from the basement of a small metal plating company over the Christmas holiday, it is becoming clear that government environmental agencies are also directly responsible.

Worsening Australian fires pose the need for urgent action on climate change

By James Cogan, 30 December 2019

No region or nation-state on the planet is immune to the impact of climate change.

Killing of two Indonesian journalists points to criminality in palm oil industry

By Owen Howell, 27 December 2019

According to police, the two men were allegedly murdered by hired killers paid by a plantation owner.

Australian fires bring growing global climate crisis into stark relief

By James Cogan, 23 December 2019

The catastrophic fires in Australia follow blazes that have engulfed large areas of California, Siberia, Borneo and the Amazon.

Bush fires claim lives and property as Australia endures hottest days in recorded history

By James Cogan, 20 December 2019

The development of catastrophic conditions has been predicted and warned about for years.

Australia: New South Wales residents speak out on bushfire crisis

By our reporters, 19 December 2019

“I’m more than certain that the Australian government has money to purchase planes to fight the fires, instead of wasting money on military jets and military equipment.”

With support from Governor Newsom, California utility PG&E finalizes settlement with fire victims

By Anthony del Olmo, 19 December 2019

The revised settlement retains the incredibly inadequate $13.5 billion payout, a pittance compared to the immense destruction wrought by the company’s criminally negligent practices.

California governor rejects PG&E’s bankruptcy settlement, demands token reforms

By Anthony del Olmo, 16 December 2019

If PG&E accedes to Newsom’s demands, the company’s board will simply be changed from Wall Street vultures to financial parasites from California.

New Zealand: Warnings about danger of White Island eruption were ignored

By Tom Peters, 13 December 2019

There is growing anger among relatives of those killed and injured that warnings of a volcanic eruption were ignored by tourism companies and government regulators.

Australia: Thousands attend climate change rally in Sydney

By Martin Scott, 13 December 2019

While bushfires ravaged the state, workers and students gathered to protest government inaction on climate change.

Uranium contaminated site collapsed into the Detroit River during the Thanksgiving holiday

By Kevin Reed, 7 December 2019

The public was not alerted to the existence of the toxic spill potentially affecting Detroit’s drinking water until a report was published this week by a local paper across the river in Windsor, Ontario.

Australian cities bathed in smoke from hundreds of bushfires

By Martin Scott, 7 December 2019

Fires in four states have destroyed homes and caused hazardous air pollution.

Rising seas threaten US Pacific nuclear dump

By John Braddock, 23 November 2019

A concrete dome, a relic of the US nuclear testing program, is breaking up and beginning to spill deadly nuclear waste into the Pacific Ocean.

Venice sees second worst flooding in recorded history

By Allison Smith, 19 November 2019

Massive flooding last week brought Venice, Italy to its knees, with local authorities estimating that more than 85 percent of the city is under water.

Australia: Bushfires continue to ravage New South Wales and Queensland

By Martin Scott, 14 November 2019

Four people are dead and more than 300 homes have been lost in catastrophic fires.

US: Murray Energy files for bankruptcy, miners’ pensions in peril

By Samuel Davidson, 1 November 2019

The bankruptcy the coal giant threatens 7,000 jobs and the bankruptcy of health and pension funds for 82,000 current and former miners and their families.

Hundreds of thousands evacuated, more than two million without power as fires continue in California

By Gabriel Black and Dan Conway, 29 October 2019

In the wealthiest state in the wealthiest country in the world, millions are forced to spend days without power or flee for their lives as wildfires continue to rage.

Over two million to be without power over weekend as wildfires sweep through California

By Dan Conway, 26 October 2019

Millions of Californians are told to prepare for further power outages as wildfires wreak havoc across the length of the country’s most populous state.

California utility PG&E imposes mass blackouts for second time this month

By Jonathan Burleigh, 25 October 2019

Despite California Governor Gavin Newsom’s posturing as an opponent of the utility’s profiteering, PG&E knows full well that it will not be held responsible for the social cost of its power shutoffs.

The irrationality of capitalism: Millions cut off from electricity, lives endangered by California utility PG&E

By Evan Blake, 11 October 2019

The forced blackouts affecting over two million people and businesses across 34 counties in Northern California serve as a stark example of the irrationality of the capitalist system.

Officials cover up lead in water crisis in Newark, New Jersey

By Shuvu Batta, 27 September 2019

Residents of Newark, New Jersey, continue to be exposed to lead in their tap water as their city and state officials attempt to lie their way out of the crisis.

Millions march against climate change, capitalism and war

By Bryan Dyne and Will Morrow, 21 September 2019

“Any talk about climate change must include socialism and the economic system.”

Bushfires in Australia: Another symptom of climate change

By Frank Gaglioti, 21 September 2019

Early spring fires are an “omen” of an unprecedented and disastrous season ahead due to hot, windy and dry conditions.

The only solution to climate change is world socialism

the International Youth and Students for Social Equality, 19 September 2019

The millions marching against global warming must turn to the international working class to solve the unfolding environmental catastrophe.

100 Bolivia forest fires and Morales

10 September 2019

The issues raised by climate change in the wake of Hurricane Dorian

By Bryan Dyne, 9 September 2019

The destruction caused by Hurricane Dorian further supports the prediction that global warming will cause more destructive tropical storms.

Death toll mounts in Bahamas as Hurricane Dorian lingers off Carolina coast

By a reporter, 6 September 2019

The scenes of devastation on Grand Bahama and Abaco islands have astonished observers and drawn comparison to areas levelled by saturation bombing in wartime.

Trump administration to reverse methane rules for energy industry

By Daniel de Vries, 2 September 2019

EPA’s climate sabotage continues with plans to drop methane leakage rules.

Amazon wildfires expose fallacy of “green” capitalist politics

By Miguel Andrade, 28 August 2019

While Bolsonaro invokes rabid dictatorship-era chauvinism, world powers are using the fires to further their own strategic aims.

Michigan: Two million gallons of untreated sewage spill into Flint River

By Mitch Marcus, 24 August 2019

Exposure to or ingestion of raw or partially treated sewage, as the city maintains is the case here, can cause immediate harmful effects.

Wildfires rage throughout the Amazon rainforest

By Bryan Dyne, 23 August 2019

The Amazon rainforest supplies one-fifth of the world’s oxygen and plays a key role in the planet’s climate.

Tensions over climate change dominate Pacific Islands summit

By John Braddock, 20 August 2019

Australia, with New Zealand’s support, has again quashed efforts by small Pacific Island states to push for measures to address climate change.

ArcelorMittal and state officials hid news of Indiana chemical spill

By Jessica Goldstein, 19 August 2019

Despite the posturing of local politicians, ArcelorMittal will likely receive no more than a slap on the wrist for its reckless polluting of the environment.

Trump administration sabotages Endangered Species Act

By Kevin Martinez, 15 August 2019

The White House is seeking to reduce environmental regulations aimed at preserving plants and animals from extinction.

Hottest July on record signals accelerated climate change

By Philip Guelpa, 12 August 2019

Global warming is rapidly approaching the point of causing irreversible climate disruption, threatening human existence.

UN: Global food and water crisis threatens 3 billion people

By Bryan Dyne, 9 August 2019

A new report by the United Nations warns that anthropogenic climate change, if left unchecked, will render a steadily increasing portion of Earth essentially uninhabitable.

Second heatwave of 2019 shatters temperature records in western Europe

By Will Morrow, 27 July 2019

A significant element of the heatwave commented on by climate scientists was that heat records were not only beaten but shattered by between two and four degrees.

Clairton, Pennsylvania residents denounce US Steel pollution

By Evan Winters, 27 July 2019

After a fire last year disabled pollution controls, US Steel continued operating its Clairton Coke Plant, exposing the population to pollution levels exceeding those in Beijing, China.

Millions without electrical power in Michigan and northeast US

By Bryan Dyne, 23 July 2019

The blackouts induced by summer storms and the ongoing heatwave expose the fragility of infrastructure in the United States.

Plastic waste from foreign nations dumped in East Java village

By Owen Howell, 20 July 2019

With China blocking imports of recyclable waste, developed countries have now resorted to illegally smuggling plastic into Indonesia and other parts of South East Asia.

Thousands protest in central China against proposed waste incinerator

By Robert Campion, 19 July 2019

The Wuhan protests are an expression of the growing social discontent throughout China, occurring at the same time as the mass demonstrations in Hong Kong.

Hurricane Barry makes landfall in Louisiana as New Orleans avoids danger

By Tom Hall, 15 July 2019

The storm demonstrated the grossly inadequate level of disaster preparedness and infrastructure in what is supposedly the richest country on earth.

Major flooding inundates New Orleans as Tropical Storm Barry heads towards landfall

By Aaron Murch, 12 July 2019

Nearly 14 years after Hurricane Katrina, the city remains vulnerable to catastrophic flooding.

Chicago water meter program halted after testing reveals lead contamination

By Benjamin Mateus, 10 July 2019

Officials have known for many years that the city has a serious issue related to lead in its drinking water.

Two major earthquakes strike in two days: Why aren’t California’s cities ready for the “big one”?

By Dan Conway, 8 July 2019

Although there was no significant injury or loss of life, the quakes caused significant damage to homes and small businesses in in the city of Ridgecrest, 150 miles northeast of Los Angeles.

France records hottest temperature ever in European heat wave

By Will Morrow, 1 July 2019

At least nine people have already died due to the heat, but that number is expected to rise in coming weeks.

Fridays for Future: Tens of thousands demonstrate on climate change in Aachen, Germany

By our reporters, 26 June 2019

Under the slogan, “Climate Justice Without Borders—United for a Future,” about 40,000 young people in Aachen demanded a rapid shutdown of coal-fired power plants and other measures.

Canada: Alberta wildfires force evacuations, threaten air quality

By Janet Browning, 6 June 2019

Even as Alberta’s premier dismissed any link between climate change and the increased frequency and intensity of wildfires, smoke forced him to cancel an outdoor Calgary event.