Currently — June 27th, 2022

The weather, currently.

The primary wheat-growing region of the US — Western Kansas — is now in severe drought, according to the latest data from the US Drought Monitor.

Wheat is the number one cereal grain produced in the United States, and with other major wheat exporting countries like Russia, Ukraine, and India facing conflict and climate disasters, global wheat supplies are beginning to run low. After one of the warmest and driest 12-month stretches on record, the Kansas wheat crop is failing just when the world needs it most.

“There’s nothing out there. It’s dead,” farmer Vance Ehmke told High Plains Public Radio. “It’s just ankle-high straw.”

Wheat yields in western Kansas are expected to be half of last year, with many fields being abandoned entirely. The drought is so bad, some farmers are hoping for weeds just so the soil doesn’t blow away. Climate change caused by fossil fuel burning is making western Kansas drier and hotter, with local climate experts warning that another Dust Bowl drought is possible.

—Eric Holthaus

What you need to know, currently.

In just a few days, a decision in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency will be made. This decision is crucial in the fight against climate change, as it challenges EPA’s authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions.

More than a dozen Republican attorneys general are working with two coal companies to limit EPA’s rule-making in regulating power plant emissions and instead, have this power lie in the hands of Congress. If this happens, it will be much harder to hold powerful producers accountable for their pollution and shift the power sector towards clean energy.

To put it plainly, this case has the potential to fundamentally change the Biden Administration’s ability to mitigate the effects of climate change and prevent it all together.

— Aarohi Sheth