How the Infrastructure Bill Will Help the West Manage Megafires

Cal Fire troops battle the Dixie Fire in Plumas County, California, July 2021.Noah Berger/AP

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This story was originally published by High Country News and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
Zack Bashoor was 19 years old when he joined the US Forest Service in northwestern Montana to fight wildfires.

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Biden Considering New Protections for Greater Sage Grouse

Greater sage grouse.Kerry Hargrove/Getty

This story was originally published by the Guardian and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
The Biden administration is considering new protections for the greater sage grouse, a bird known for the strutting and puffed-up courtship displays of males, that is losing grassland habitat across the western United States to climate change and pressure from industrial development.

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When Real Life Feels More Like Science Fiction

Oil pumpjacks. (muratart / Shutterstock)

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9 charts to be thankful for this Thanksgiving

For most Americans, these feel like bleak times. More than 750,000 Americans and 5 million people worldwide have died from Covid-19. A mob tried to violently stop the winner of our most recent presidential election from taking office through an attack on the Capitol. Climate change is exacerbating wildfires and other natural disasters, and we are not on track to avoid large-scale warming by 2100.
This is all real, and truly alarming. But it would be a mistake to view that as the sum total of the world in 2021.

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The dark Trumptopia we inhabit is the world science fiction warned us about

(Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian

Who knew that Martians, inside monstrous tripodal machines taller than many buildings, actually ululated, that they made eerily haunting “ulla, ulla, ulla, ulla” sounds? Well, let me tell you that they do — or rather did when they were devastating London.
I know that because I recently reread H.G. Wells’s 1898 novel War of the Worlds, while revisiting an early moment in my own life.

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The dark Trumptopia we inhabit is the world science fiction warned us about

(Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian

Who knew that Martians, inside monstrous tripodal machines taller than many buildings, actually ululated, that they made eerily haunting “ulla, ulla, ulla, ulla” sounds? Well, let me tell you that they do — or rather did when they were devastating London.
I know that because I recently reread H.G. Wells’s 1898 novel War of the Worlds, while revisiting an early moment in my own life.

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Dysfunction Is Central to the Basic Functioning of American Society

Compared with most other advanced capitalist countries, the United States is a mess. Our archaic eighteenth-century constitution ensures legislative gridlock and empowers small minorities to block democratic will. Our health care system leaves tens of thousands to die every year because they can’t afford treatment, as millions more forego necessary care because of the cost. Three hundred million privately owned firearms are in circulation nationwide, perpetuating a continuous public health crisis that simply would not be tolerated in other rich democracies.

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Dysfunction Is Central to the Basic Functioning of American Society

Compared with most other advanced capitalist countries, the United States is a mess. Our archaic eighteenth-century constitution ensures legislative gridlock and empowers small minorities to block democratic will. Our health care system leaves tens of thousands to die every year because they can’t afford treatment, as millions more forego necessary care because of the cost. Three hundred million privately owned firearms are in circulation nationwide, perpetuating a continuous public health crisis that simply would not be tolerated in other rich democracies.

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