In recent days, now-houseless survivors of Oregon’s Bootleg Fire surveyed their incinerated communities, dozens huddled in a Colorado tunnel seeking shelter from a mudslide, and across the Eastern Hemisphere fires and landslides forced evacuations and took lives. These, and other, impacts of human-caused climate change come as the U.S. Senate considers an infrastructure package largely stripped of its initial ambitions to combat climate change. “West of the Mississippi we have droughts, fires and smoke, and east of the Mississippi there’s flooding,” Anne Golden, whose home was destroyed by the Bootleg Fire, told the New York Times. “It’s biblical. It just feels like the plague and everything else.”
In Colorado, mudslides set off by three days of heavy rainfall cascaded down a mountainside burned by the Grizzly Creek wildfire last year. The compound disaster blocked portions of I-70 with boulders and stranded motorists including more than 100 forced to remain in their cars overnight.
Wildfires, fueled by dry heat linked to climate change, are also raging around the Mediterranean including on the Italian peninsula and in Sicily. In Turkey, “The animals are on fire,” Kacarlar resident Muzeyyan Kacar told CNN; at least eight people have died in the more than 100 fires across the country. Wildfires and extreme heat also prompted closures and evacuations across Greece.
Farther East, at least seven people were killed in a landslide in northern India set off by heavy monsoon rains. “I am 58-years-old and I have never seen such a severe flood in my life,” Ved Prakash, a resident of Rajouri, told Reuters. “Welcome to global warming!” George Papabeis, a Greek-American tourist in Athens told Reuters. (Global climate devastation: NPR; Infrastructure legislation: see coverage below; Bootleg Fire: New York Times $; Mediterranean region: New York Times $; Italy: The Guardian, AP; Turkey: CNN, Axios, AP, The Guardian, AP; Greece: Reuters; India: Reuters; Climate Signals background: Wildfires, 2021 Western wildfire season; Extreme heat and heatwaves; Extreme precipitation increase)
INFRASTRUCTURE DEAL: Senate finishing crafting $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure proposal, setting delicate debate in motion (Washington Post $), climate and energy takeaways from the bipartisan infrastructure plan (Axios), Collins says infrastructure bill could pass Senate by end of week with at least 10 Republicans in support (Washington Post $), bipartisan infrastructure deal begins to address consequences of a warming planet: 3 essential reads (The Conversation)
- POLITICS: Exxon-influenced senators carved climate out of infrastructure almost entirely (Truthout), bipartisan deal would make Biden attack his own agenda (E&E $), Biden officials celebrate infrastructure deal in fuel-cell big rig (Axios), an unlikely pair, Portman and Sinema steer infrastructure deal (New York Times $), McConnell stirs GOP intrigue with support for Biden’s infrastructure bill (Politico Pro $)
- TRANSPORTATION: Deal has progressives plotting for more EV, transit funding (E&E $), infrastructure deal pares back highway removal plan but cracks open door to greener transportation system (Washington Post $)
- DRINKING WATER: Advocates demand ‘stronger package’ on lead water lines (E&E $)
- LEGISLATIVE LOGISTICS: Senators make final tweaks to infrastructure bill, expect passage this week (Reuters), Schumer: Democrats ‘on track’ to pass bipartisan deal, $3.5T budget (The Hill, E&E $), Schumer: Text of bipartisan Senate infrastructure deal close to public release (Politico Pro $), Senate takes next step on infrastructure, after floor drama (Politico Pro $)