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The difference between 4,645 and 64 deceased in the aftermath of Hurricane María is… science

, Climate Scientist

Over the last few decades, we have seen the Puerto Rican populace’s vulnerability to extreme weather hazards increase as the built environment and social services infrastructure decays, Puerto Ricans and their families flee at an increasing tempo to the United States, and the frequency and intensity of hurricanes in the Caribbean increases. Growing up in Puerto Rico, I lived through one hurricane (Hugo, 1989) and a few tropical storms, but nothing compared in ferocity and devastation to Hurricanes Irma and María. Read more >

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What the Failed House Farm Bill Got Wrong About SNAP and Work

, Food Systems & Health Analyst

The House of Representatives voted down a farm bill last Friday. It was a bill that lived and died by its insistence on subjecting participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps) to a slew of unnecessary and misguided work requirements. Had it passed and been signed into law, the bill would have effectively reduced or eliminated benefits for millions of people. And though it promised to channel the resulting “savings” into state-administered job training programs, this proposal, too, was deeply flawed and betrayed serious misperceptions about the populations that participate in SNAP. Read more >

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New House Bill Cuts Critical Climate Research. The Senate Could Stop it

, senior climate scientist

We are keeping close track of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) budget for fiscal year 2019 because President Trump’s budget proposal, released in February, put much of NOAA’s life-saving research on the chopping block. The U.S. House Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations subcommittee recently passed a bill with numbers that we can compare to the president’s proposal (Figure 1)—and not in a good way. Read more >

data provided by the NOAA 2019 budget summary and the U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee report.
NOAA NESDIS
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Now That Xcel Won’t Get Its Nuclear Bill, What’s Next?

, policy analyst, Clean Energy

The fate of Xcel’s nuclear plants is largely unknown. Read more >

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Photo: Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class(SW) James Kimber, U.S. Navy

The US Military, Resilient Energy, and the Zombie Apocalypse

, senior energy analyst, Clean Energy

A recent analysis from my colleagues at the Union of Concerned Scientists showed US military bases aren’t just on the front lines of homeland defense. They’re also, in a lot of cases, on the front lines of climate impacts. Rising seas and storm surges don’t stop for checkpoints and can threaten the energy supplies that military missions depend on. To understand how the pieces all fit together for our armed forces, I checked in with Wilson Rickerson and Michael Wu, cofounders of Converge Strategies, LLC, a resilience and advanced energy consulting company, about the intersection between the US military, clean energy, and resilience. And about how the Zombie Apocalypse comes into play. Read more >

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