Climate Compass Blog
A report released this week by two senior members of Congress notes that the unusual number of extreme weather events in 2012 has cost the country billions of dollars and that the unusual frequency of these events is consistent with what scientists have predicted from climate change.
The staff report, “Going to Extremes: Climate Change and the Increasing Risk of Weather Disasters” is from the offices of Reps. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Henry Waxman (D-CA), the prime movers behind the last attempt at significant climate legislation. It cites information from a variety of sources, including NOAA, the news media and the private sector to show how rising weather risk costs real money.
Their report comes a week after Congress headed home for the elections having accomplished very little to address climate change. Nearly half the bills introduced by the current Congress would block or hinder climate action, though none of these have been enacted into law.
As the nation’s largest landlord, fleet operator, and purchaser of goods and services, the federal government has both the opportunity and the responsibility to lead by example in moving the United States in a more sustainable direction.
Across the federal government, agencies are facing two imperatives: tighter budgets requiring them to find ways to cut costs and increasingly stringent sustainability mandates requiring them to seek out new ways to reduce their energy use and cut greenhouse gas emissions.
A C2ES report released today highlights exciting initiatives across the federal government where agencies are using information and communications technologies to meet these dual challenges.
As Congress heads home this week to campaign for re-election, we thought we’d round up a list of all the bills, resolutions, and amendments so far this Congress that focus on climate change. (For brevity, all legislative proposals are referred to here as “bills.”) This is not a comprehensive list of the more than 1,000 bills touching on energy, environment, transportation, agriculture and other areas that would have an impact on climate change. Rather it’s a list of the bills whose authors thought it was important to explicitly reference climate change or related terms such as greenhouse gases or carbon dioxide – terms that themselves have become political flash points.
I recently responded to a question on the National Journal blog, "How close is the United States to reaching the elusive goal of energy independence?"
You can read more on the original blog post and other responses here.
Here is my response:
As with any single event, Hurricane Isaac doesn’t tell us anything about whether hurricanes are getting worse due to climate change. But Isaac’s impacts should be examined to teach us about our vulnerabilities to the types of extreme events scientists tell us climate change will make more common.