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 ...

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