climate resilience


U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Soil Conservationist Garrett Duyck and David Brewer examine a soil sample on the Emerson Dell farm near The Dalles, OR. USDA NRCS photo by Ron Nichols.

Congress Could Help Farmers, Prevent Pollution, and Reduce Flood and Drought Damage. Will They?

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

The news lately has been full of Congressional battles—healthcare, the debt ceiling, and now tax “reform” (ahem)—and it’s starting to seem like Congress is only interested in blowing things up. But a huge legislative effort is gaining steam on Capitol Hill, one that is likely to have general bipartisan support, though you probably haven’t heard nearly as much about it. I’m talking about the next five-year Farm Bill—which really should be called the Food and Farm Bill, as it shapes that sprawling economic sector worth more than 5 percent of US GDP, and which Congress must reauthorize by September 30, 2018.

In this first of a series of posts on the 2018 Farm Bill, I look at how this legislation could do more to help farmers conserve their soil, deliver clean water, and even reduce the devastating impacts of floods and droughts, all of which would save taxpayers’ money. Read more >

Bookmark and Share

Sam Clovis speaks at a Rushmore Political Action Committee luncheon while campaigning for US Senate, Sioux City, Iowa, March 24, 2014. Credit: Jerry Mennenga/ZUMA Wire/ZUMAPRESS.com/Alamy Live News

Is Sam Clovis a Scientist? A Racist? 9 Questions the Senate Should Ask

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

Things are not going so well for President Trump’s nominee for the position of under secretary for research, education, and economics (REE) at the US Department of Agriculture. This job has responsibility for scientific integrity at the USDA, as well as oversight of the department’s various research arms and multi-billion dollar annual investments in agricultural research and education that are essential to farmers and eaters alike. The job also encompasses the role of USDA chief scientist, leading Congress in 2008 to emphasize that the person who fills it should actually be a scientist. But Sam Clovis is not one. And that’s not the half of it.

Read more >

Bookmark and Share

Damage from Hurricane Sandy in Mantoloking, New Jersey in 2012.

An Innovative Way to Encourage Disaster Preparedness: FEMA’s Public Assistance Deductible

, lead economist and climate policy manager

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently outlined a new framework for encouraging states to invest in disaster resilience and thus limit the growing costs of disasters.

Today is the comment deadline for the ‘Public Assistance deductible,’ a concept that can help protect communities and ensure federal taxpayer dollars are spent wisely. The Union of Concerned Scientists is filing comments supportive of this idea, with some important recommendations for improvements. Read more >

Bookmark and Share

Hurricane Matthew: What’s Next for Recovery and Rebuilding?

, lead economist and climate policy manager

Hurricane Matthew carved a path of devastation through Haiti, the Bahamas, and large swaths of the Southeastern US, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. The loss of life and destruction of property is tragic. Slowly, unevenly, places that were hard-hit will be turning to recovery and rebuilding efforts. What can we do to better prepare and protect people and make our rebuilding efforts more resilient going forward?

Read more >

Bookmark and Share

Designing Infrastructure with Climate Change in Mind: Assembly Bill 2800 Becomes Law

, Western states senior climate analyst

It’s no secret that our aging infrastructure is long overdue for a serious upgrade. Recently, this issue received national attention when the presidential candidates from both major parties committed to significant capital investments to improve our infrastructure system. Read more >

California Department of Water Resources
California Department of Transportation
Bookmark and Share