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A judge rules that rushing approval for the Dakota Access Pipeline violated the law.

This week, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office announced a new initiative to combat climate change–augmented extreme heat in the city. It comes down to: Plant a tree! Make a pal! Those are actually not bad ideas.

The $106 million package — dubbed Cool Neighborhoods NYC, which, yikes — will largely go to tree-planting across more heatwave-endangered communities in the South Bronx, Northern Manhattan, and Central Brooklyn. Funding will also further develop the unpronounceable NYC °CoolRoofs program, which aims to cover 2.7 million square feet of city roofs with foliage.

But, to me, the more noteworthy component of the plan is Be A Buddy NYC — again, yikes — which “promotes community cohesion” as a means of climate resilience.

“A heat emergency is not the time to identify vulnerable residents,” explains the Mayor’s Office’s report. “Rather, it is important to build social networks that can help share life-saving information prior to such an emergency, and can reach out to at-risk neighbors during an extreme heat event.”

The new policy supports the argument that this whole community engagement thing is a crucial tactic in the fight against climate change.


How are you celebrating Oilfield Prayer Day?

Ravaging crops, drowning goats, and wrecking fishing boats, the Category 4 storm devastated the financial mainstays of an already impoverished people, the Miami Herald reports.

While experts struggle to calculate Matthew’s long-term economic toll, Haitian farmers can see their losses in front of them, in fields littered with rotting fruit and fallen palms. Half the livestock and almost all crops in the nation’s fertile Grand-Anse region were destroyed. Although vegetables can be replanted, it will take years for new trees to bear fruit again. “This was our livelihood,” Marie-Lucienne Duvert told the Herald, of her coconut and breadfuit plantation. “Now it’s all gone, destroyed.”

The farmers, who have yet to receive any relief, are facing threats from famine and contaminated water. Matthew has already caused at least 200 cases of cholera, which could mark the beginning of an outbreak like the one following 2010’s crippling earthquake that claimed 316,000 lives and left 1.5 million homeless.

The death toll from the storm is over 1,000 in the Caribbean, a number that will likely continue to rise as Haitians struggle to find food.