But it has spent less time discussing how to manage the growing effects of climate change, facing criticism fromexperts for not appointing more people who focus on climate resilience. “I am extremely concerned by the lack of emergency-management expertise reflected in Biden’s climate team,” said Samantha Montano, an assistant professor at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy who focuses on disaster policy. “There’s an urgency here that still is not being reflected.” A White House spokesman, Vedant Patel, said in a statement, “Building resilient and sustainable infrastructure that can withstand extreme weather and a changing climate will play an integral role in creating millions of good paying, union jobs” while cutting greenhouse gas emissions. And while President Biden has called for a major push to refurbish and upgrade the nation’s infrastructure, getting a closely divided Congress to spend hundreds of billions, if not trillions of dollars, will be a major challenge. Heightening the cost to society, disruptions can disproportionately affect lower-income households and other vulnerable groups, including older people or those with limited English. “All these issues are converging,” said Robert D. Bullard, a professor at Texas Southern University who studies wealth and racial disparities related to the environment. “And there’s simply no place in this country that’s not going to have to deal with climate change.” Flooding around Edenville Township, Mich., last year swept away a bridge over the Tittabawassee River.Credit...Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images In September, when a sudden storm dumped a record of more than two inches of water on Washington in less than 75 minutes, the result wasn’t just widespread flooding, but also raw sewage rushing into hundreds of homes. Washington, like many other cities in the Northeast and Midwest, relies on what’s called a combined sewer overflow system: If a downpour overwhelms storm drains along the street, they are built to overflow into the pipes that carry raw sewage. But if there’s too much pressure, sewage can be pushed backward, into people’s homes — where the forces can send it erupting from toilets and shower drains. This is what happened in Washington. The city’s system was built in the late 1800s. Now, climate change is straining an already outdated design. DC Water, the local utility, is spending billions of dollars so that the system can hold more sewage. “We’re sort of in uncharted territory,” said Vincent Morris, a utility spokesman. The challenge of managing and taming the nation’s water supplies — whether in streets and homes, or in vast rivers and watersheds — is growing increasingly complex as storms intensify.https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/20/climate/united-states-infrastructure-storms.html
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'South Park' Returns Early With Hourlong "Vaccination Special" It's safe to assume the episode will touch on major events from recent months. South Park is returning early in 2021 — because there has just been too much in the news that Trey Parker and Matt Stone need to address through their beloved Comedy Central show. Another stand-alone hourlong special is set to premiere on March 10, titled "South ParQ The Vaccination Special." The episode will be simulcast on MTV2 at 8 p.m. The series usually runs its seasons in the fall, but due to the pandemic, only a single hourlong "Pandemic Special" aired in 2020. A behind-the-scenes featurette highlighted that crafting the show remotely was no simple feat. "The citizens of South ParQ are clamoring for the COVID-19 vaccine. A hilarious new militant group tries to stop the boys from getting their teacher vaccinated," reads a description of the upcoming special. It's safe to assume the episode will touch on major events from recent months, such as the presidential election (does Mr. Garrison finally return to his old self?) and the COVID-19 vaccination effort. The "Q" in the title is also a hint the special will likely address the QAnon conspiracy theory and perhaps even the U.S. Capitol insurrection. It remains unclear when the show will return with its traditional 30-minute weekly episodes. Before the pandemic struck and the show was forced to go on hiatus, South Park made major headlines around the globe for its sharp critique of the way Hollywood tends to shape its content to avoid offending Chinese government censors. In response, South Park was banned in China, with the country's internet and streaming services totally scrubbed of the show. Parker and Stone found that hilarious. In 2019, South Park was renewed through 2022.https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/south-park-returns-early-with-hourlong-vaccination-special