Resilience


Cape Lookout National Seashore, North Carolina. Photo: NPS

If You Can’t Censor It, Bury It: DOI Tries to Make a Stark New Study on Rising Seas Invisible

, deputy director, Climate & Energy Program

A new National Park Service (NPS) report is unequivocal that human-caused climate change has significantly increased the rate of sea level rise that is putting coastal sites at risk. But the study is difficult to find on the web and the report’s lead author, Maria Caffrey of the University of Colorado, says she had to fight to keep many scientific statements about climate change in the final version. Read more >

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FEMA and HUD Budgets are Vital for Disaster and Climate Preparedness

, lead economist and climate policy manager

Last year’s record-breaking disasters—including hurricanes, wildfires and floods—were a reminder of how climate change and faulty development policies are colliding to create dangerous and costly outcomes for the American public. While much attention is focused on post-disaster recovery, we need to invest much more in preparing for disasters before they happen. The good news is that the omnibus budget deal recently passed by Congress appropriated significant funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to help foster community resilience, in many cases undoing steep cuts that had been proposed by the Trump administration. Read more >

FEMA News Photo
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How One Utility Is Using Tax Reform to Hide a Billion-Dollar Climate Problem

, Energy analyst

Picture this: You’ve just completed a decade of investing about $3 billion of your customers’ dollars into keeping the lights on when severe weather strikes. Now Hurricane Irma’s blasted through, 90 percent of your customers were left in the dark, and the restoration and repair costs you intend to bill them are estimated at $1.3 billion.

That’s right. A storm you’ve spent a decade preparing for is looking like it’ll end up costing nearly half as much as the preparations themselves. Worse, there’s no reason to think it won’t keep happening again, and again, and again, as climate change drives the intensity of these storms ever higher.

Bit of a thorny customer relations problem, that one.

Read more >

NOAA 2017
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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 >

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Happy Cow Creamery, a pasture-based dairy and creamery located in South Carolina, produces dairy products processed on farm and sold into regional markets and through an on farm market. Photo: Climate Listening Project

Climate Change, Resilience, and the Future of Food

Laura Lengnick, , UCS

The United States food system has proven remarkably adaptable over the last 150 years, producing an abundant supply of food, feed, and fiber crops for national and international markets amidst dynamic social change, and despite dramatic natural resource variability across North America. Read more >

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