Earth faces unprecedented environmental challenges. Heading the list of threats is climate change, with its promise of drastic climate and environmental harm planet-wide. Unchecked, climate change, also known as global warming, threatens entire species and ecosystems, as well as large population centers, industries and economies. Other environmental priorities include the persistent problems of air and water pollution, toxic wastes, and the protection of natural resources and wildlife.
The disaster of Hurricane Katrina was made worse by bad policy decisions long before the storm and a miserable response in the immediate aftermath. Similarly, the Massey Mine Disaster and the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico were the product of failed policy. CPR Member Scholars have written extensively about these "unnatural disasters."
The James River watershed in Virginia is among the regions of the country most vulnerable to the consequences of climate change. When climate-driven hurricanes come, many communities in the region will be vulnerable to floodwaters made toxic by chemical and hazardous waste facilities vulnerable to flooding.According to CPR's March 2019 report, more than 1,000 industrial facilities regulated for toxic and hazardous chemicals in the watershed are vulnerable to flooding, imperiling more than 470,000 Virginians living in nearby low-income communities.
Man-made climate change poses a severe threat to the future health of the planet and all that live on it. The good news is that we know what causes it, and know how to slow it down, and even stop it. The bad news is that we have made far too little progress.
CPR Member Scholars work to protect the environment through research and scholarship focuses on the critical policy choices confronting us today, and on devising the environmental policy approaches of tomorrow.
Follow these links to learn more about CPR Member Scholars’ environmental work: