For the past few days we have all been focused—justifiably—on the EPA’s proposed carbon rule for power plants. But that’s not all EPA and the rest of the federal government have been up to recently. Today a federal interagency working group established under Executive Order 13650, Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security (“EO 13650”) issued […]
Nobel-prize winning economist Robert Schiller has a New York Times op-ed about the need for insurance against risks of climate change. Speaking of the latest U.S. climate assessment, he writes: After discussing how to mitigate the coming dangers, the report says, “Commercially available mechanisms such as insurance can also play a role in providing protection against […]
Millions of people are in the path of rising seas. The time for action is now.
The NY Times has run a series of articles in the past few days dealing with disaster issues. Taken together, they highlight the urgency of government action to protect populations in harm’s way. One article dealt generally with the threat posed by sea level rise. Miami is something of a poster-child for these problems, given its […]
Private flood control is no substitute for government action.
Last week, the NY Times had a story about Verizon’s new flood barrier for its Wall Street building, which is a designated landmark. On one level, it’s a pretty cool project — a portable barrier designed to keep out the water during a hundred-year storm (plus 2-feet for storm surge plus an extra foot to […]
Homeowners in coastal Queens, NY are outraged that their home insurance rates are going to rise sharply. Some are threatening not to buy such insurance. Such individuals must be betting that they will be “too big to fail” and that some future benevolent government official will bail them out with FEMA $ when the next […]
Read this WSJ article and you will see some “small ball” optimism about adapting to increased fire risk. Permit me to quote one wise retired professor; “Paul Ohlenbusch, a 73-year-old former professor, lives in a retirement community north of Austin, Texas, an area plagued by drought for several years. To protect his home from possible […]
Responding to the current drought conditions confronting California, state and federal water project officials have announced cutbacks in anticipated water deliveries this summer and fall from both the Central Valley Project (CVP) and State Water Project. It’s with that sobering backdrop that a recent decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit […]
When regulators approve rates for a utility such as Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E), they are making their best guess as to how much money the company will need to cover various kinds of activities. The utility starts out the process by offering its position on how much it will need for things like […]
Everyone knows that life is just a little bit slower in the South; as it turns out, so is ecosystem restoration. On this date three years ago, you likely were continuing to monitor distressing television footage of the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, wondering if the millions of barrels of oil […]
There are uncertainties about climate science such as tipping points and feedback effects. But these pale in comparison to the biggest source of uncertainties: people. Here are some of the major things we don’t know and really can’t know about future society: Will economic growth continue, and if so, how quickly and how uniformly? Richer […]