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Unilever and the United Nations
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2014 — the HOTTEST YEAR YET.

Well, SO WHAT?

Here are five not-so-great things we need to get ready for in a warming world:

1. DROUGHT

This won't be news to you, but it's DRY in the west. California has had some rain, but the big dry ain't over yet. And look at the huge areas of the southwest in a "severe" or "extreme" drought.


This means higher fruit and vegetable prices for you and me, no matter where we live. The cost of the drought to California was recently pegged at $2.2 billion, with 17,100 jobs lost statewide.

2. FIRE

7 million to 9 million acres burn each year in the United States (globally it's like 865 million acres). The cost of wildfires every year? $125 billion. But climate change could add as much as $60 billion to the bill by 2050. Ouch.

3. STORMS

Storms with very heavy rainfall have increased a lot since 1958.

Both big storms...

and small ones.

And, of course, a lot of rain in a very short time — especially on land that has been in drought — can bring...

4. FLOODING

Like this:

and this:


Flooding will be worse along the coasts because of sea level rise. About 2.6% of the global population (about 177 million people) will be living in a place at risk of regular flooding. Across the globe, that means about 1 person in 40 live in places likely to be exposed to such flooding by the end of the century.

5. POWER OUTAGES

Bad weather can really mess with the power grid. Check out the increase in major blackouts since 2000:

This is just part of what climate change looks like. Are we all ready? You can explore more at "States of Change," where Climate Central has compiled stories, research, and data about what climate change looks like when it hits the ground.

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HHS Photo Christopher Smith

Bill Gates, billionaire and founder of Microsoft, is pointing the finger at social media companies like Facebook and Twitter for spreading misinformation about the coronavirus.

In an interview with Fast Company, Gates said: "Can the social media companies be more helpful on these issues? What creativity do we have?" Sadly, the digital tools probably have been a net contributor to spreading what I consider to be crazy ideas."

According to Gates, crazy ideas aren't just limited to the internet. They are going beyond that. He doesn't see the logic behind not protecting yourself and others from coronavirus."Not wearing masks is hard to understand, because it is not that bothersome," he explained. "It is not expensive and yet some people feel it is a sign of freedom or something, despite risk of infecting people."


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