Climate Change Will Make It Harder For Us to Adapt to…..Climate Change

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Via Brad Plumer, a new report from the Department of Energy says that climate change is likely to have a severe impact on our ability to produce and distribute electricity:

Increasing temperatures, decreasing water availability, more intense storm events, and sea level rise will each independently, and in some cases in combination, affect the ability of the United States to produce and transmit electricity from fossil, nuclear, and existing and emerging renewable energy sources. These changes are also projected to affect the nation’s demand for energy and its ability to access, produce, and distribute oil and natural gas.

Why? Because power plants need cooling water that’s actually cool. Coastal plants are vulnerable to flooding. Droughts cut off the massive water supplies needed for natural gas fracking. Hydropower dwindles when reservoir levels drop. Electric grids are less efficient when temperatures are higher. Fuel transport can be halted by floods and droughts. And all this, of course, comes against the backdrop of increasing demand for electricity to power air conditioners thanks to….climate change.

A few examples from the report about the effects of drought are below. Other chapters cover the consequences of increasing temperatures and sea level rise.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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