Pacific Northwest Slogs Through Season of Woes: "Oregon is seeing its wettest winter on record,
with gusts measured at more than 100 miles an hour” Carey Goldberg. NY
were destroyed and four were damaged by a massive
landslide that forced residents to evacuate in Northern California. Humboldt
A weekend of
heavy rains closed Highway 101 and Highway 50 due to flooding. SF Chronicle. 1/27/97.
International insurance companies pushing for cuts
in the use of carbon fuels to reduce
global warming said they had no plans to shift their investment funds
out of the oil and energy sector. Reuters,
in claims from severe storms has prompted
insurance companies to ally
themselves with organizations like Greenpeace to raise awareness of the
effects of global warming. NPR,
The number of storms around the world has increased
quite dramatically over the last 10 years.
We have come to the conclusion that it’s not just a coincidence that this
is happening at the same time as temperatures are rising. NPR, 3/2/97.
effects of climate change on the frequency or severity of extreme weather
events remains unknown, it is clear that
even small shifts in regional climate zones or storm patterns could lead to
increased property damage. Xinhua,
independent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has confirmed
that if fossil fuel greenhouse gas emissions continue at anywhere near
current levels, the planet will warm
up dangerously, and could experience a devastating increase in the frequency
and intensity of natural disasters. Westfair
Between 1989 and 1994, private and government
insurers paid more than $67 billion in storm damage claims - $20 billion
more than was paid out during the previous five years.
Officials warn that more storms will
mean higher insurance rates.
The biggest fear is that some areas could not get insurance at all.
believe that Hurricanes will become
more common if some changes aren’t made to human behavior. CNN,
Fierce Wind and Rain Tear Up Several States, Killing at
Least 35: Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas
“absolutely extraordinary event of weather. . . I’m calling it apocalyptic.” Rick Bragg. NY Times, 3/3/97, pg. A11.
In Storms’ Wake, Grief and Shock: 8 States
Confronting Damage From Tornadoes and Floods.
“In eight states, from as far west
as Texas to as far east as the West Virginia mountains and as far north as
Pennsylvania . . The death toll, 44, surpassed
even the grimmest expectations.” Rick Bragg. NY Times, 3/4/97.
Nations warned millions more people
in rich and poor countries could die from once purely tropical diseases
within the coming decades unless global warming is halted. Reuters, 3/7/97.
were crushed in a van when gale force winds toppled eight utility poles.
Four other children and two adults were injured. In other areas, power poles
fell, cutting off service to 100,000 homes, subway service and air travel
were also disrupted. NY Times, 3/7/97.
by flooding now focus on the threat of disease. Residents of several
counties battered by the week of flooding have been warned to boil the
drinking water. High waters have left 35 people dead and thousands homeless.
Damage to homes is in the millions. NY
Los Angeles breaks heat record – it was 97
degrees today, the hottest winter day since 1916.
Daily News, 3/20/97.
cost insurers 22% less than in 1996. The
most devastating natural disasters
happened in Asia, including two period of flooding in China that killed
2,700 people. But they produced few
claims because of a low level of insurance. NY
it would become the first company to sell a
low polluting vehicle with both
an electric motor and a gasoline engine. NY
lashed Bangladesh this weekend,
killing eight people and raising the number of storm-related deaths to 37 in
the past two weeks. AP, 4/1/97.
Insurance Commissioners Consumer Hot Line is back in service after weekend
windstorm knocks it out. Homeowners' policies in Western
Washington should apply to the
bulk of the wind damage to homes and garages that occurred during the
weekend’s blustery windstorm. PR
spring blizzard buried New
England and the Northeast under nearly three
feet of heavy, wet snow that downed power lines, closed airports and was
blamed for three deaths. Reuters,
weather caused flooding in parts of South
Dakota as runoff from melting snow spilled from rivers into low-lying
areas. Reuters, 4/3/97.
Britain is in the grips of its worst drought in 230
snow have knocked out power to many villages across
Romania and Bulgaria,
toppling trees and halting road, rail and river traffic. Reuters, 4/4/97.
the melting winter snowpack pooled into vast lakes across the northern
plains, pushing floodwaters into rural towns and forcing evacuations from
isolated farmhouses in North Dakota.
hailstorm destroyed 18 homes, damaged thousands more and ruined rice crops
in northern Vietnam. Reuters, 4/8/97.
a young girl away and damaged 235 homes in Morocco’s
southern region of Marrakesh.
used helicopters and all-terrain vehicles to carry thousands of people from
flooded homes as rivers swollen by rain and melting snow ravaged the northern
plains. Reuters, 4/11/97.
in southern Russia have evacuated
344 people from 18 flooded settlements. AP,
baseball-sized hail pounded western
Texas, smashing homes and toppling power lines, one person was killed. AP, 4/14/97.
The ozone layer was 15 to 25 percent thinner over
the Arctic during the March this year than it was a year earlier. The Meterological Organization said it is going to
get worse because of the abundance of man-made chemicals that destroy the
ozone. AP, 4/1/97.
3.7 million acres of cropland in Minnesota
are under water. Flooded farmers lose cattle and crops – for some it is
personally devastating, it could end their careers. AP,
Drought stricken Algeria
started rationing water supplies, limiting millions of people to six hours
flow every three days. Reuters,
estimated that at least 100,000 cattle died in the blizzards and floods that
ravaged North Dakota in the past
two weeks, leaving ranchers and their bankers wondering how to weather the
losses. Reuters, 4/21/97.
province of Manitoba declared a
state of emergency as more than 3,200 people were ordered to flee their
homes and 20,000 others were warned of possible evacuation as the Red River
floods. Reuters, 4/23/97.
One of the worst winter droughts in the last 150
years has destroyed an estimated 50 to 70 percent of Portugal’s winter
cereal crops. Reuters,
three people died and more than 1,000 homes have been evacuated because of
flooding in Siberia. Reuters, 4/29/97.
More than 40
villagers are feared to have drowned in the worst
ever floods in eastern Kenya.
sandstorm engulfed Egypt,
blinding drivers, grounding planes and killing 4 people. Reuters,
and hail pounded China’s
southwestern Yunnan province, 39 people are feared dead. Reuters,
CDE’s El Bronce gold and copper mine confirmed that Chile’s
continued four year drought will most likely lower copper production by
20 percent in 1997. AP, 5/19/97.
environmental lobby Greenpeace attacked European governments on Tuesday for
granting massive subsidies to the fossil fuel and nuclear industries in
spite of their commitments to protect the environment.
people were reported dead in a cyclone that battered the coastal areas of Bangladesh
and triggered a nationwide disaster alert. Reuters,
1.5 million people were left homeless by a cyclone in Bangladesh
in which hundreds are reported to have died. Nearly 400,000 homes had been
damaged and 15,000 cattle killed. Reuters,
At least 29
people were killed as torrential rain battered the Philippines, flooding thousands of homes. Reuters, 5/27/97.
120,000 Filipinos have fled their homes after the
heaviest rains in a decade triggered massive flooding, killing 36
people. Reuters, 5/28/97.
The deadliest tornadoes in a decade ripped through
Texas from Waco to Austin,
killing 32 people and injuring many others. Xinhua,
calamities, such as whirlwinds, cyclones and hailstorms have killed 34
people and injured 134 others this year in Vietnam
The month of
May ran from a record cold night
of 42 degrees to a record high day
of 97 degrees in Monterey. Herald,
in Northeastern Iran has caused extensive damage to wheat and barley
crops on 320,000 acres of farmland. The damage is estimated at $4.27
million. Reuters, 6/2/97.
epidemic has killed at least 64 people and affected more than 14,000
others in Bangladesh’s cyclone battered region. Reuters, 6/2/97.
that have soaked the mid-Atlantic region for nearly a week subsided briefly,
but a stubborn storm system continued to linger over the region. Reuters, 6/5/97.
thunderstorm in central China
killed 20 people, left 8 missing, destroyed more than 65,000 buildings and
cut the main railway line from southern Guangdong to Beijing. Reuters,
Heavy rains in central and eastern Cuba have ended
a serious drought, but damaged more than 7,000 homes and forced temporary
were flooded and streets closed after 16 inches of rain fell overnight, a
flood watch was posted for much of southern
Florida. Reuters, 6/11/97.
landslide triggered by torrential
rains in China’s mountainous southern province
has killed at least three people and left 147 missing. Reuters, 6/11/97.
could see a 16% fall in production of its staple maize crop due to floods in
some areas, and sever drought in others. Reuters,
snowpack in parts of Idaho and
Montana could continue to threaten low-lying communities along the
swollen Snake and Missouri rivers through July. USA
people have been marooned by floods as a result of torrential rains in
Moscow. Comtext, 6/19/97.
and landslides have killed 12 people and left many homeless in India. Reuters, 6/20/97.
of international business and local government leaders is calling on
world leaders to attend the Denver Summit to reconsider their countries
“carbon-dependent” economies and move towards solar power and other
forms of renewable energy. Denver Business Wire,
At least 23
people die in heat wave in Pakistan.
At least 25
people have been killed by floods caused by torrential
rain in central and southern
Chile since the beginning of June. Comtex,
were killed, over 70 injured, including 30 seriously, roofs were torn away,
trees uprooted and power lines damaged as a result of a hurricane that hit
the Ukraine. Comtex, 6/25/97.
At least 46
people have been killed in the worst flooding in Czech
territory for a century. Reuters,
drenched Charlotte, NC killing at
least 2 people and forcing thousands from their homes. Dams threatened to
burst and a train plunged into a creek. More rain is expected. Reuters, 7/28/97.
already battered by a severe food shortage due to massive floods, has
announced that the drought has caused the loss of 700,000 tons of grain. Kyodo,
The costs of
damage induced by the worst floods in
central Europe in 200 years could run up to nearly 6 billion dollars. Xinhua,
rains brought flash floods to northern
Colorado overnight, killing 5 people, sweeping mobile homes into the
streets and leaving hundreds homeless. Reuters,
Governor of Maryland
formally asked the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture for disaster relief for
Maryland farmers suffering from this summer’s drought.
China province is suffering from a severe drought resulting from an
extended period of abnormally high temperatures. Water shortages are affecting some 30
percent of the city’s total population. Xinhua,
At least 45
people were killed, hundreds injured and nearly 1.7 million affected when
Typhoon Victor swept across southern
China. Reuters, 8/6/97.
over the Sea of Japan dumped heavy rain on western
Japan, resulting in one dead, one missing and wreaking havoc on land,
sea and air traffic. Kyodo,
cataclysmic event greater than Hurricane Andrew, which caused more than
$15.5 billion in damages, could wipe out an investment in catastrophe bonds,
which lose their value if a big natural disaster hits a particular area. NY Times 8/6/97.
threatens coffee, corn and cocoa crops in
Jakarta due to severe drought. Reuters,
storms caused flash floods and mudslides in Chile,
forcing the closure of five of Chile’s largest ports. In other areas,
rescue workers evacuated 122 people from their flooded homes. Reuters, 8/18/97.
El Nino has caused widespread drought in Australia,
Indonesia and the Philippines and a heat wave in Venezuela and other places
in Latin America. These
extreme weather conditions are expected to last as long as El Nino does. Reuters,
At least 140
people died as a result of floods and landslides in the Indian northern state of
Himachal Pradesh. Comtex,
port in Chile has been closed as
a result of severe storms. Hundreds of people were forced to flee their
homes and the main highway was blocked from the flooding. Reuters,
Flooding in Sudan
destroyed 1300 homes when heavy rains hit the northern province. More than
360 families lost all of their belongings. Reuters,
soldiers used rubber boats to
rescue families after floods killed 22 people and forced 60,000 to flee
their homes in the wake of Typhoon Winnie.
One of the deadliest
typhoons to batter China in a decade killed more than 140 people and
injured 3,000, with most casualties in homes that collapsed under the force
of the storm. The typhoon damaged farmland, uprooted trees and knocked down
power lines. Reuters, 8/22/97.
Burma’s worst floods for decades killed at least 13 people and left thousands
homeless. Reuters, 8/22/97.
drought in 2 decades is threatening China’s autumn harvest.
The drought has affected 23 provinces, with dry spells lasting up to
100 days in some areas. Kyodo,
caused by heavy rains hit six counties in Romania,
killing 20 people. Comtex, 9/4/97.
Heavy rains in Japan
caused a train to derail, forcing passengers to flee from flooding and
landslides. There were 20 separate landslides in four cities. Kyodo,
El Nino is being considered as the largest freak
weather condition in the past 150 years, causing problems for the American
The famine in North Koreas is one of the worst the
world has seen since WWII, it
is estimated that 10,000 children are dying of starvation every month.
The most powerful hurricane in history caused flooding along Mexico’s West Coast. Reuters,
The Chicago Transit Authority welcomed the world’s
first zero-emission fuel cell bus.
The bus is powered by compressed hydrogen gas, which does not create
pollution. The CTA is pioneering the exploration of alternative fuel sources
to power its vehicles without
endangering the environment. PR
announced that sales of its electric
“fuel cell” cars powered by methanol
would reach 100,000 by the year 2004. Critics argue that factors such as
cost will lessen the attraction of fuel cell cars as an answer to today’s
air pollution problems. Reuters,
is taking a major step toward addressing local and regional ozone problems
by announcing its intent to make a voluntary reduction in its nitrogen oxide
emission rate from previous levels. Business
Fritz hit Vietnam’s central coast
bringing torrential rain and winds of up to 100 kilometers per hour. Reuters,
More than 75
people have died due to the worst
drought to hit Papua New Guinea
in 50 years. Reuters, 9/26/97.
Floods in Sri Lanka
leave 14,000 people homeless. Xinhua,
Department of Energy claims that the
multi-million dollar cost of cutting greenhouse gas emissions could be
countered, or even outweighed by use of energy-efficient technologies,
low-carbon fuels and a $50/ton carbon tax. Individual,
of drought-related deaths rose to
271 in Indonesia. Most of the
victims died from cholera and other drought induced diseases and food
shortage. Xinhua, 9/29/97.
Tropical storm Nora
caused traffic accidents and killed at least three deaths in Los Angeles. Two of the fatal accidents were in Los Angeles where
it rained for a record 219 days
since last February. Flooding and power outages caused further problems from
Seal Beach to the Mexican border. Reuters,
Rochester, MN and Cedar Rapids, IA recorded their
highest October temperatures today as readings climbed into the low 90’s, while
winds up to 50mph picked up along the coast of Washington and Oregon. Weather
Hurricane Pauline hits Mexico, killing 118 people, canceling flights and causing
power outages. Hundreds of people are injured and missing. MSNBC, 10/11/97.
Japan prepares to host
an anti-global warming plan at a December conference in Kyoto. Kyodo, 10/14/97.
of California voter’s support solar wind geothermal, biomass and other
alternative energy and view it as a god investment in the economy and energy
future. Business Wire, 10/16/97.
Up to 400
people in Acapulco died in the flooding and chaos as a result of
Hurricane Pauline. Many more have died from cholera, typhoid fever and
hepatitis. MSNBC, 10/28/97.
hit the Northern Mariana Islands
with gusts up to 220 mph.
The storm cut off telephone communications, which effected 25,000 residents.
The extent of the damage is not immediately known. AP,
environment advisory groups will ask the government to tighten the energy
law to promote cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. Kyodo,
nation’s nuclear power industry is marketing itself as part of the
solution to global warming and air pollution. AP,
Temperatures soared to 102 degrees in Burbank, CA
breaking records set in 1976. Meteorologists say this heat wave is a normal occurrence in
Southern California and is not related to El Nino. MSNBC, 11/3/97.
officials say that 15,000 cattle died in last week’s snowstorm, about 10%
of the total cattle population. The cost estimate is $7.5 million. The storm
which began on Saturday dumped up to
30 inches of snow across the plains with winds up to 60mph and a wind
chill of nearly 20 degrees below zero. UPI,
At least 132
people were confirmed dead and as many as 4,000 missing after Typhoon Linda hit the southern coast of Vietnam. Thousands were left
homeless by the storm which destroyed buildings, roads and bridges. The
typhoon also sank over 1,000 boats with waves of 49 feet. Reuters, 11/6/97.
Since 1925, hurricanes have caused $355 billion in
damage in the United States, an average of $5 billion per year. Best News,
environment advisory groups will ask the government to tighten the energy
law to promote cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. Kyodo,
use is expected to increase by 27% between now and the year 2020, causing a
rise in emissions of heat-trapping gases. Reuters,
At least 448
people are reported dead as a result of flooding
in Somalia. Hundreds of
thousands are left homeless after more than a month of heavy rainfall. AP,
Death toll in Spain-Portugal floods rises to 33. Heavy rains battered Spain and Portugal for a
week, flooding towns along the border. AP,
NEC Corp says
it has developed a precise way to measure atmospheric levels of carbon
dioxide and methane, the main greenhouse gases responsible for global
warming. Nikkei, 11/20/97.
Flooding and mudslides
caused by torrential rains have killed at least 27 people in Ecuador in the past three weeks. An estimated 10.000 people have
been left homeless or had their homes severely destroyed. AP, 11/24/97.
Famine and disease threatens southern Juba region
of Somalia. About 80% of the area is covered with water after
weeks of heavy rains. At least 5 people have died of malaria, 2,000 people
have drowned since the rains began in October and more than 220,000 people
have been forced from their homes. AP,
The threat of global warming has brought more than
140 governments together in intensive negotiations to try to limit the emissions of carbon dioxide
and other greenhouse gases that trap heat in the atmosphere. AP, 11/24/97.
people were forced to evacuate a town
in Russia’s far east due to flooding. Three bridges and a power line
were destroyed in a river overflowed its banks. AP, 11/25/97.
and wind hit southern California
with winds up to 77mph. The National Weather Service states it is not El
Nino, only a winter storm. MSNBC,
rains caused flooding in Ecuador,
leaving 31 people dead and 15,000 people homeless. Authorities prepare for
evacuations. AP, 11/27/97.
recently found that 75% feel that the
U.S., which releases more greenhouse gases than any other country, should take steps now to cut its own emissions, regardless of what other
countries do. NY Times,
Union will maintain pressure on the U.S. for more ambitious targets to
curb the output of greenhouse gases. Reuters, 11/28/97.
With just 2
days remaining before the start of the
global climate change conference
in Kyoto, Japan, the Clinton administration is still withholding most of
the details on how the U.S. and other nations can cut emissions. The Oil Daily,
may threaten more than the climate in the 21st century, medical
experts say. It may also kill though
heat waves, violent weather and the spread of tropical disease. AP,
negotiators from around the world gather in Kyoto
to discuss greenhouse gas emissions. Reuters,
warming negotiators gave up on assigning targets to individual countries for
reducing fuel emissions based on social and economic formulas. Reuters, 12/5/97
agree that global warming is a real
issue and there is cause for worry.
They must decide how much to cut emissions of greenhouse gases which are
thought to contribute to global warming. Fortune
believes the Global Warming Treaty threatens U.S. economy and consumers. The
treaty, if ratified, would sky-rocket electricity costs. PR Newswire, 12/14/97.
v Drought, caused by El Nino in South Africa will affect about 27 million people. The region is in need of an extra 600,000 tons of emergency food aid, worth $200 million U.S. dollars. Xinhua, 12/23/97.