There’s an increasing bipartisan move to fund climate resilience.
The big news today is the deal with Manchin to provide billions of dollars of funding for clean energy. Manchin’s vote will be needed because no Republican Senator will vote for the bill. In contrast, funding for climate resilience has drawing power even for Republicans. It seems to be true that, in Bob Dylan’s words …CONTINUE READING
Climate change is coming to Chicago and Lake Michigan.
“My kind of town, Chicago is my kind of town.” Or so Frank Sinatra sang. I’m not sure he really felt that way himself, but the song rings a chord with me. I didn’t grow up in Chicago but we visited frequently to see my parents’ families. Chicago is also, as it turns out, ground …CONTINUE READING
There is much to celebrate today. But Mexican climate policy may not be one of them.
This being Cinco de Mayo, it seems like an appropriate time for a look at Mexico’s climate challenges. Mexico’s carbon emissions are about the same as those of Texas, the highest-emitting US state. Per capita emissions, however, are far lower, given Mexico’s much larger population. Mexico is also highly vulnerable to climate change. What’s the …CONTINUE READING
Climate Change and the Insurance Sector
Founded in 1871, the National Association of Insurance Commission represents insurance regulators in all fifty states. It’s not a particularly woke group – the current president is the Director of the Idaho Department of Insurance. However, the group has just issued a new “voluntary” survey for insurance companies about climate risks. “Voluntary” is in quotes …CONTINUE READING
FEMA needs to grow in order to handle its work. The need for growth will only get greater as time goes on.
2021 was a year of disasters, with extraordinary heat waves, fires, a string of hurricanes, a cold snap that left Texas in the dark, winter tornados, and torrential rains. FEMA has been left badly overstretched. That’s an urgent problem, and it’s likely a foretaste of the future. This is not just a problem for the …CONTINUE READING
Help, our energy system screwed up our planet!
A long time ago, in another galaxy far far away . . . . Dear Galactic Governance Collaborative, Those of us who colonized Planet X now find ourselves in dangerous straits. We request urgent assistance due to escalating environmental instability. You’re thinking it’s not easy to screw up an entire planet. You’re right about that. …CONTINUE READING
A scenario exercise on unauthorized use of solar geoengineering
Note: This post is co-authored with Jesse L. Reynolds, who recently completed an Emmett Institute Geoengineering Governance Fellowship As the climate crisis grows more urgent, unconventional technological responses are getting increased attention and controversy. We’ve written previously on Legal Planet about these technologies and their promise and risks. The most high-stakes and controversial of these …CONTINUE READING
If we “beat” climate change, what will we have to show for it?
Suppose we bring climate change under control and deal with its fallout. What will have we achieved? We will have prevented great harm. That, of course, is the main goal. Untamed climate change means an dangerous, ugly future for all of us on “Spaceship Earth.” Preventing that future is surely enough of a reason to …CONTINUE READING
Every year, Congress provides lavish funding for clean energy and climate adaptation. No one notices.
Biden’s green-infrastructure bill is headline news. Republicans are up in arms. Yet every year there’s already a green-infrastructure bill. Hardly anyone notices. Republicans vote for it without a fuss. Why? It’s part of the annual funding bill for the military. The Defense Department remains the biggest single consumer of energy in the country, and it …CONTINUE READING
Disasters are getting bigger, badder, and less predictable. We need to adjust.
Hurricanes Harvey and Maria. California wildfires. Superstorm Sandy. The great Texas blackout. The list goes on. These mega-events dramatize the need to improve our disaster response system. The trends are striking: escalating disaster impacts, more disaster clustering, more disaster cascades, and less predictability. We need to up our game. Lisa Grow Sun and I discuss …CONTINUE READING