Harsh Droughts Can Actually Start Over Oceans

Droughts conjure images of vast expanses of hard, cracked soil and parched plants, but new research suggests that disastrous dry spells can develop over the wettest place of all: the ocean. Low-moisture air masses sometimes form and migrate thousands of kilometers over the sea, similar to the way hurricanes behave. These dry-air regions are less coherent, changing shape as they develop, however, and they move much slower. Some take more than half a year before Read more…

We Need a National Institute of Climate Change and Health

If there was any lingering doubt that climate change threatens human health and well-being, this year put it to rest. Wildfire smoke aggravated heart disease and lung disease up and down the West Coast and across the country. A record-breaking hurricane season killed and injured people from North Carolina to Texas, and left tens of thousands homeless and at risk of PTSD and other mental health problems. Oppressive heat across the Southwest imperiled outdoor workers Read more…

Millions of urban Africans still don’t have electricity: here’s what can be done

At least 110 million of the 600 million people still living without access to electricity in Africa live in urban areas. Most are within a stone throw from existing power grid infrastructure. In Nigeria, Tanzania, Ghana and Liberia alone there are up to 95 million people living in urban areas. All in close proximity to the grid. In Kenya about 70% of off-grid homes are located within 1.2km of a power line. And estimates for “under-the-grid” populations across sub-Saharan Read more…

1.1 billion people still lack electricity. This could be the solution

Achieving universal access to electricity is essential for solving many global development challenges. Decentralized renewable energy technologies have emerged as a viable solution. Small, clean energy utilities called mini-grids are a key piece of the puzzle. They are community-based grids that generate and distribute power at the point of consumption. And they could be the most cost-effective way to deliver access to more than a third of the 1.1 billion people across the world who Read more…

Five Pressing Global Water and Sanitation Challenges

The poor bear the brunt of the burden of inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and the link between WASH and health is undeniable. An estimated 842,000 people die each year due to diarrheal disease that could have been prevented by WASH interventions; 361,000 are children under the age of five years old. Health impacts go beyond diarrheal disease: half of global malnutrition and one quarter of stunting in children are due to waterborne diseases Read more…

World Water Day: What happens when you don’t have clean water

Some 650 million people in the world do not have access to clean drinking water. Add that to the more than 2.3 billion without sanitation, and you have a health crisis that every year claims the lives of 315,000 children under five from diarrheal diseases. World Water Day is a time to reflect upon the impact this has, from the moment a child is born until they are grown, with a family of their own. Read more…

Electric Energy Advantages & Disadvantages

Before you lament the price of electricity, imagine life without it. Candles and lanterns would light your way, you’d keep food cold using ice, and every electronic device you ever plugged into a wall socket would no longer work. However, with the immense benefits that electrical power provides come some disadvantages besides cost. TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read) Electric energy is central to our quality of life, and virtually everything we do depends on it Read more…

Power to be: How lack of electricity affects everything – and what you can do about it

Hannah Mottram works in CAFOD’s policy team. She reports from Zambia, where access to electricity can transform lives. “The work that I do is not just work,” says Sr Mathilde Mubanga, trained nurse and national health co-ordinator for the Zambian Bishops conference. “It is a service to the people of God, so I make sure that I do the very best that I can. I am not just there to give an injection, but to Read more…

Increase for 90+ Day Mortgage Delinquencies

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) recently released National Delinquency Survey (NDS) provides seasonally adjusted rates of delinquency on all existing mortgages in the one- to four-unit first-lien residential mortgage market through the third quarter of 2020. The NDS breaks down delinquencies into various buckets: mortgages 30-59 days past due, 60-89 days past due, and 90 or more days past due. Additionally, it provides foreclosure inventory at the end of the quarter as well as those Read more…

How to Navigate High-Performance Home Certification Programs

There are ample benefits to building high-performance homes, as well as certifying them through an independent third party. A few benefits to help explain and highlight the market the value that high-performance homes bring include: Elimination of long-term issues; Financial incentives, both to the customer in the form of tax credits and financing mechanisms available to builders; Increased occupant health and comfort, including allergy and asthma reduction; The potential for a higher resale value; and Read more…