U.S. House Targets Early Government Efforts to Help Citizens Prepare for and Cope With Effects of Climate Change

by Robert Verchick | June 22, 2011

Imagine you are building a beach house somewhere on the Gulf Coast and that I had some information about future high tides that would help you build a smarter structure, avoid flood damage, and save money in the long-run. Would you want that information?

Not if you follow the reasoning of Representatives Steve Scalise of Louisiana or John Carter of Texas. Both are concerned about the Obama administration’s recent efforts to make federal programs stronger and more resilient in the face of climate change. Scalise sponsored an amendment (H.AMDT. 467 to H.R. 2112) that prevents the Department of Agriculture (USDA) from pursuing its plan to assess climate vulnerabilities in its programs. Carter did the same (H.AMDT. 378 to H.R. 2017) for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). And this month the Republican-led House of Representatives, with little fanfare, passed both initiatives (Scalise roll call, Carter roll call). I doubt either proposal will move past the Senate, but these efforts show how far some in the Republican Party have drifted from the geographic realities of their own states. And they underline the point that in the next election cycle Republicans seem likely to oppose any initiative whatsoever intended to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions or help with adapting to a changed world.

Forgive me for saying so, but our climate is changing. In the last 50 years, the ambient temperature in the United States has risen 2 degrees Fahrenheit. Overall precipitation ...

New CPR Report Proposes Strategies for Climate Change Adaptation in the Puget Sound

by Yee Huang | June 10, 2011
The scope of climate change impacts is expected to be extraordinary, touching every ecosystem on the planet and affecting human interactions with the natural and built environment. From increased surface and water temperatures to sea level rise and more frequent extreme weather events, climate change promises vast and profound alterations to our world. Indeed, scientists predict continued climate change impacts regardless of any present or future mitigation efforts due to the long-lived nature of greenhouse gases emitted over the last century.  The ...

Climate Change Adaptation Still Being Given Short Shrift in Local, State, and Federal Government

by Alejandro Camacho | November 09, 2009
Though few agencies or legislatures have begun to actually develop programs for cultivating adaptation to climate change, at least discussions on climate change adaptation are starting to take place. Unfortunately, as I detail in a forthcoming article, adaptation is still being given short shrift at local, state and federal levels of government, and those who are considering it lack the information and tools to engage in proactive adaptation. Some of the key developments on adaptation in the past few weeks ...

The Need for, and Challenges of, Climate Adaptation

by Holly Doremus | August 11, 2009
This item cross-posted by permission from Legal Planet. When it comes to climate change, lawyers and policymakers (and scientists too) have been guilty of emphasizing greenhouse gas emission reduction, almost to the exclusion of everything else. Adapting to climate change has taken a distant back seat, even as it has become increasingly clear that the world is already committed to some pretty dramatic changes. That’s beginning to change. Earlier this summer, the U.S. Global Change Research Program issued a major ...

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