Guest Commentary

Leading experts from a variety of fields bring their insights to The Equation, providing guest commentary on a broad range of issues that connect to our work. Views expressed here belong to the authors, not UCS.

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Art & Climate Change

Noel Kassewitz

Wouldn’t it be bizarre to explore how an artist would go about preparing their artwork for climate change? In a natural disaster scenario, no one says “Grab the passports and the dog… and the Modigliani!” So, the works presumably will have to fend for themselves. This thought launched my most recent series of work. Now, a year and a half later, I will be floating down the Potomac River on top of one of my “climate change ready” paintings as both a demonstration of its capabilities and a symbolic gesture to the government establishments I feel are ignoring the problem.

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Members of the Wishtoyo Foundation who are fighting the proposed Mission Rock gas plant slated for sacred Chumash lands gather with members of CAUSE who successfully fought the proposed Puente gas plant. The proposed site of Puente, the Mandalay Bay gas plant, lies in the background on the Oxnard coast. Photo credit: Chris Jordan-Bloch/Earthjustice

Transition to Renewable Energy: Legislation Puts Clean Air and Vulnerable Communities First

Gladys Limon

A number of California’s natural gas power plants are located in low-income communities of color. For decades, these communities have unjustly carried the burden of powering our state and paid the highest price — their health — for dirty energy. The good news is that, according to an analysis just released by the Union of Concerned Scientists, California can retire a significant amount of natural gas generation because it is no longer needed. The bad news is that as California increases its reliance on renewable energy, an unintended consequence is that existing natural gas plants could get dirtier.

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Photo: Ben Grantham/Flickr

Chronic Flooding and the Future of Miami

Nicole Hernández Hammer

En español > 

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) recently released a report analyzing the impacts of chronic tidal flooding on U.S. coastal properties in the lower 48 states. The number of homes and businesses, their value, along with the amount of tax base and most importantly, people at risk is startling. They found that by 2045, 311,000 homes, worth $117.5 billion dollars by today’s market values, could be at risk of chronic flooding driven by climate change. By 2100, 2.4 million homes, worth approximately $912 billion dollars, and 4.7 million people will be at risk. Nowhere more than Florida, that bears 40% of the risk, are these realities being felt now and will be more so in the future as sea levels continue to rise. Ultimately, the impacts of climate change driven chronic flooding leads to a greater potential crisis for low-income communities.

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Photo: Ben Grantham/Flickr
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Inundaciones crónicas, gentrificación climática y el futuro de Miami

Nicole Hernández Hammer

Esta semana, la Union of Concerned Scientists publicó un informe que analiza los impactos de las inundaciones debidas a las mareas crónicas en las propiedades costeras en los 48 estados contiguos de los Estados Unidos. La cantidad de hogares y negocios, el valor de estos, junto con la cantidad de base impositiva y, lo que es más importante, las personas en riesgo, es sorprendente. Read more >

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My family has owned this home on the Jersey Shore for four generations. Photo: Amanda Devecka-Rinear

The Fate of My Grandmother’s Home: Facing Sea Level Rise in New Jersey

Amanda Devecka-Rinear

I live in my Grandmother’s house. We are lucky. My family has owned this home on the Jersey Shore for four generations. After my parents divorced when I was two, my Grandmother’s home was my home. Read more >

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