climate impacts


Bushfire-Ravaged Australia Is Crying for Climate Action

, climate scientist

I’m writing from Australia with a heavy heart and a growing sense of anger.

Uncontrolled bushfires, sparked in September and raging since October, continue to ravage the southern and eastern parts of the continent. So far, 25 people have lost their lives, thousands of houses have been destroyed, and whole towns have been razed to the ground. Countless native animals and livestock have died. Communities are grieving.  And there are months left to go in this fire season.

While the unfolding tragedy that has captured global headlines highlights our vulnerability in a rapidly warming climate, it also exposes a gaping absence of climate leadership both in this country and globally. Communities have been left shattered, exhausted and looking for answers. As a climate scientist who has been working on these issues for decades, I share below some thoughts on how we got here and the urgent new course we need to set. Read more >

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Environmental restoration employees deploy a containment boom from a boat March 18, 2019, on Offutt Air Force Base. One-third of the installation was flooded and the boom was a precautionary measure for possible fuel leaks. U.S. Air Force photo by Delanie Stafford

Three Reasons why The Pentagon Must Address Climate Change as a National Security Threat

, Climate Resilience Analyst

This morning, Pentagon officials will testify during a Senate Armed Services Committee  hearing on “Strategic Threats, Ongoing Challenges, and National Defense Strategy Implementation.” It has been reported that the hearing will likely focus on how the current Pentagon officials are Implementing the National Defense Strategy, a policy document that is a clear departure from previous administrations in many ways, not least in its omission of climate change as a national security threat. Read more >

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Indigenous People of Louisiana and the Oil Industry: An Ishak Reflection

Jeffery U. Darensbourg, freelance writer, speaker, and editor, , UCS

While doing field research in 2018 for a book, I took a boat to a shell midden in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana, near where the Vermilion River – long home to my ancestors of various sorts – meets up with the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway before spilling into the Gulf of Mexico. My people, the Ishak, also known as the Atakapa (or even the Atakapa-Ishak) once inhabited the nearby Onion Bayou. Our ancient midden is bisected by a ship channel known as Four Mile Cutoff.

Standing there, I watched ships ferrying workers and equipment for oil exploration, going straight through the middle of this remnant of our cultural legacy. In our tribal creation myth, the first Ishak walked out of that very gulf onto our lands. Now something else coming from there is a dominant cultural, environmental, and economic force.

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Economics, Equity, and Climate Change: Back to School on Climate Economics

Dr. Laurie Johnson,

Economists need to make it possible for all teachers, economists or not, to help their students be climate economics literate. And we need to make it accessible and interesting to all students. Read more >

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Photo: Craig Davidenko/Drone Media

My Written Testimony on Transportation Infrastructure and Climate Change

, senior climate scientist

In May of this year, I had the opportunity to provide written testimony to the House Science, Space and Technology Committee’s hearing on “The Need for Resilience: Preparing America’s Transportation Infrastructure for Climate Change.” I focused on how the many impacts of climate change—from increasingly frequent heat waves to rising seas—stand to affect the transportation infrastructure we all depend on and outlined a set of solutions that could limit future disruptions to the system.

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Photo: Craig Davidenko/Drone Media
4th National Climate Assessment
NOAA
NOAA
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