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Disasters Will Get Worse: U.S. Climate Report

Last year, Trump announced his intention to withdraw the United States from the 2015 Paris Agreement, which had been signed by nearly 200 nations to combat climate change.

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Disasters
A firefighter searches for human remains in a trailer park destroyed in the Camp Fire, Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, in Paradise, California. VOA

A U.S. government report says the impacts of climate change, including powerful storms, droughts and wildfires, are worsening in the United States.

The report, written with the help of more than a dozen U.S. government agencies and departments, frequently contradicts the statements and policies of U.S. President Donald Trump.

The congressionally mandated report was quietly issued Friday during a holiday weekend. The White House later dismissed the report as inaccurate, according to a Reuters report.

climate change, disasters
People clean up their house that was destroyed by Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach. VOA

White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters told Reuters Friday the report was “largely based on the most extreme scenario, which contradicts long-established trends by assuming that…there would be limited technology and innovation, and a rapidly expanding population.”

The National Climate Assessment, totaling more than 1,000 pages, warned of more powerful and longer weather disasters triggered at least, in part, by global warming.

It said such weather disasters are becoming more commonplace around the country and warned that without aggressive action they could become much worse.

Drought, Climate change, disasters
A farmer stands on cracked earth that three weeks earlier created the bottom of a reservoir on his farm, in Groot Marico, South Africa. VOA

While the report avoids policy recommendations, it said humans must take measures to stop future weather disasters “to avoid substantial damages to the U.S. economy, environment, and human health and well-being over the coming decades.”

“Future risks from climate change depend primarily on decisions made today,” the report said.

It predicted that climate change will cost the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century if no efforts are made to curb its effects and said global warming would disproportionately hurt the poor.

This year’s National Climate Assessment is the fourth time the U.S. government has issued a comprehensive look at climate change and is the first assessment to take place during the Trump administration. The last report came in 2014.

Hurricane, climate change, disasters
Floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey overflow from Buffalo Bayou in downtown Houston, Texas, VOA

11 Thirteen government departments and agencies, including the Department of Agriculture and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), were part of a committee of more than 300 researchers who compiled the assessment.

Several people involved in the report told The Washington Post that its release originally had been planned for early December. However, they said after a behind-the-scenes debate about when to make it public, administration officials settled on the Friday after Thanksgiving, traditionally one of the slowest news days of the year.

During a press conference Friday, authors of the report said there had been “no external interference” in the assessment. Report director David Reidmiller said questions about the timing of the release were “relevant,” but said the contents of the report were more important.

Climate Change, Trump, disasters
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. VOA

The Trump administration has rolled back several environmental regulations put in place during former President Barack Obama’s administration and has promoted the production of fossil fuels.

Also Read: Climate Change To Get Worse In The Future: Study

Last year, Trump announced his intention to withdraw the United States from the 2015 Paris Agreement, which had been signed by nearly 200 nations to combat climate change. He argued the agreement would hurt the U.S. economy and said there is little evidence in its environmental benefit.

Trump, as well as several members of his Cabinet, have also cast doubt on the science of climate change, saying the causes of global warming are not yet settled.

Friday’s report cites other climate studies, which say that humans have caused more than 90 percent of the current global warming. (VOA)

Next Story

Find Out How Restaurant Owners Are Operating Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Restaurants Revamp Menus, Operations to Stay in Business During Pandemic

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restaurant
Lucy Kwak paints a sign on the window of a fast food chain's restaurant indicating that the drive-thru window is still open as well as a takeout option during the coronavirus outbreak in Garden Grove, Calif. VOA

In the battle to keep their New York City restaurant going despite sharp restrictions during the coronavirus outbreak, the owners of Il Posto Accanto tried something Beatrice Tosti di Valminuta would have considered sacrilege in normal times.

That was offering their traditional Italian dishes for delivery, “which never, never, never, ever, ever, ever happened before,” she said. “I like my food to go from the kitchen to the table, and that’s it!”

On Friday, she said she and husband Julio Pena decided to suspend operations because employees were wary of being out in New York City, which is now the U.S. epicenter of the contagion.

“We respect their feelings,” she said. “It’s not like we were making money.”

restaurant
James Mark, right, owner of the restaurant Big King, talks with Jennifer Wittlin as they prepare for dinner take-out orders Wednesday, March 25, 2020, in Providence, R.I. Mark said pushing to restart the economy before the health crisis is over would put businesses like his in a terrible position. VOA

Across the United States, restaurateurs are transforming operations to try to stay afloat. The National Restaurant Association warns that the outbreak could cost 5 million to 7 million jobs and hundreds of billions in losses and is pushing for a special federal relief package for restaurants.

In an industry of traditionally tight profit margins, some decided it’s time to take chances.

Frisch’s Big Boy restaurants, a Cincinnati-based chain that laid off more than a third of its 5,000 employees in the first days of bans on in-restaurant dining, last week pivoted into the grocery business. Besides its signature Big Boy double-decker burgers and onion rings, customers at its 100 restaurants in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky can buy bread, milk and and produce at its drive-throughs and carryout counters and via home delivery.

Frisch’s saw a quick jump in revenues at a time when people have been frustrated by long lines and shortages at traditional supermarkets. Toilet paper is in high demand, and Frisch’s and others are using it as a lure.

Westmont Diner in Westmont, N.J., has added it to carry-out options at 60 cents a roll, along with paper towels, soap, bleach and other household needs. Lindey’s in Columbus, Ohio, throws in a free roll with all takeout orders. Frontier in Chicago gave out decks of cards to homebound customers with their carryout dinners.

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With the number of states with stay-at-home orders growing, some restaurateurs decided to shut down. Cameron Mitchell, based in Columbus, said carryout offerings weren’t bringing in enough business to keep his namesake chain of 36 restaurants in 12 states going. More than 4,000 employees were laid off last week.

Some fine-dining restaurants unused to carryout are trying scaled-down menu at bargain prices.

In Chicago, patrons can now carry out food for a fraction of the typical dine-in tab at Alinea, where nabbing a seat typically requires reservations weeks in advance and dinners can cost as much as $395 per head. Alinea now offers takeout meals of beef wellington, mashed potatoes and creme brulee for $39.95, and reports strong sales so far.

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti said Monday that with Californians under a stay-home edict, restaurants are allowed to deliver alcoholic beverages along with meals to boost their revenues.

restaurant
Frisch’s Big Boy restaurant employee Nicole Cox bags up an order of toilet paper, among in-demand items including milk and bread the double-decker burger chain is now offering during the coronavirus outbreak in Cincinnati, Ohio. VOA

Sitting in the nearly empty Frisch’s “Mainliner” restaurant where the chain originated in suburban Cincinnati in 1942, CEO Jason Vaughn said customers at the privately held chain’s 100 restaurants have asked for additions, such as bottles of orange juice, quarts of soup and coffee for home. Frisch’s is trying to leverage its supply chain to accommodate requests.

Vaughn predicts the crisis will change the industry.

“People have changed habits,” he  said. “When the green light goes on, we don’t expect to come back as status quo … when we go to whatever that new norm is, we’ll see if we can continue it [groceries] if it’s a service the community wants.”

Also Read- Lucid Ways Through Which Cinema Puts an impact on Your Life

In New York, Tosti said leftover meals would be given to city firefighters. She said the restaurant’s future after some 15 years of operation would depend on how long quarantining and edicts against in-restaurant dining lasted.

“I’m better at taking it one day at a time,” said the Rome-born restaurateur. “We can hope for a better day.” (VOA)