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Earthweek: Diary of a Changing World

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Week ending Friday, January 29, 2021

Record Melt

Earth has lost an estimated 28 trillion metric tons of ice due to global heating since the mid-1990s as the rate of melting accelerated at a record pace. This is in line with the worst-case scenarios experts with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have warned of...

New Mexico Oil & Gas Association on Biden leasing moratorium on federal lands

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A federal leasing moratorium is effectively a blockade around New Mexico’s economy, impacting our state more than any other in the country. The message to thousands of New Mexico children, teachers, and first responders who rely on our oil and natural gas industry for basic support is absolutely clear: New Mexicans lose and foreign imports win. A moratorium all but guarantees that unemployment will rise, state revenue will fall, and our economy will come to halt. We share the new administration’s commitment to reducing emissions and combating climate change, but we do not make progress by sacrificing New Mexico communities like Carlsbad, Farmington, or Hobbs.

New Mexicans are eager...


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Schools to reopen to 50 percent capacity in February

“Every school district in the state will be able to welcome all ages of students safely back to the classroom on Feb. 8,” New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said in her 2021 State of the State address, Jan. 26.

She spoke on the issues of grief, funding, economic growth, solar energy, recreational cannabis, and public education.

Proclaiming that there is no substitute for in-person learning, she said, her administration has worked with teachers, school support staff, superintendents, charter leaders, the department of health, the medical advisory team, and National Education Association and the American Federation...

From criticism to praise

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Gallup senator cheers vaccination distribution

After publicly decrying Gov. Michelle Lynn Lujan Grisham for her coronavirus vaccine strategy, a local lawmaker now says the state is doing a much better job getting the shots to one of the cities hit hardest by the pandemic.

Sen. George K. Muñoz, D-Gallup, made the comments to the Gallup Sun earlier this week, saying the situation has “immensely improved.”

“Our death rate was actually triple what it was of everybody else,” Muñoz said. “They were giving out vaccines based on population, so it wasn’t quite fair. We were more vulnerable than other people. That’s why, I think, we needed to get it there.”

When he became...

Local jail not immune from pandemic

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Two COVID waves later, cases decrease at county detention center

McKinley County Adult Detention Center in Gallup has experienced two “waves” of coronavirus infections even as it enlists the help of its inmates to do deep cleanings, according to Tony Boyd, warden of the facility.

The waves occurred in April/May of 2020 and in November/December, but Boyd said as of Jan. 25, there are only two asymptomatic cases and no confirmed symptomatic ones. Fourteen inmates are in isolation “as a precaution,” he added, while three are awaiting coronavirus test results. That all comes after one inmate tested positive for the virus and another died — but only after transferring to...

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