A government scientist who studied dangerous climate change in the Arctic got an ironic reassignment at the Interior Department from the Trump administration: collecting checks from oil and gas companies. Joel Clement, the former director of the Interior Department Office of Policy Analysis, believes he was reassigned because he worked on climate change. Clement joins William Brangham to explain.
I am not a member of the deep state. I am not big government.
I am a scientist, a policy expert, a civil servant and a worried citizen. Reluctantly, as of today, I am also a whistleblower on an administration that chooses silence over science.
Over the last several decades, natural disasters in the United States have become more numerous and costly. Climate change threatens to further exacerbate this trend by increasing both the severity and duration of many natural hazards, ultimately leading to even greater costs in both human life and monetary resources. To prepare for these changes, a handful of local communities have integrated climate change into their Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved hazard mitigation plans. This paper analyzes 30 U.S. local hazard mitigation plans against a conceptual framework for how climate change could be integrated into the requirements specified in the FEMA Plan Review Crosswalk, a checklist used by FEMA to evaluate and approve local hazard mitigation plans. Results show that the majority (23/35) of communities are openly discussing how climate change could affect or already is affecting the occurrence of natural hazards. Additionally, over half also include hazard mitigation actions that are designed to be viable in a climate-altered future. These actions, however, represent only a small portion of the total actions proposed in the plans and are generally focused on researching, planning, and capacity building. In addition, few communities include a formal commitment to adapting to climate change or include clear mechanisms for integrating new climate information as it become available into plan revisions. In general, results from this analysis show that there is little consistency in how communities are integrating climate change into hazard planning. These findings point to both the nascence of this practice and the opportunity to develop more formalized guidance that can steer communities towards holistic integration of climate change into hazards planning.
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump promised to grow jobs by rolling back Obama-era energy and pollution rules. And he's fulfilling his pledge, but not how he intended. In just six months, Trump's policies have resulted in a surge in employment — for environmental lawyers.
Communities, businesses, and individuals are taking action to document their vulnerabilities and build resilience to climate-related impacts. Click dots on the map to preview case studies, or browse stories below the map. Use the drop-down menus above to find stories of interest. To expand your results, click the Clear Filters link.
WASHINGTON — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signed an order Thursday that he said would help speed the permitting process for onshore drilling — particularly in Alaska.
Zinke's new directive orders Interior Department staff to come up with plans to speed and streamline the permitting process and to hold more frequent lease sales for federal lands.
Less than two years after Royal Dutch Shell abandoned its offshore Arctic oil exploration program and triggered an exodus of other companies in the Chukchi Sea off northwestern Alaska, the Trump administration says it's time to open more federal waters in the Arctic and elsewhere to oil drilling.
This national briefing paper examines the interconnections between water management and vulnerable communities in the United States. Too often, when we think of vulnerable communities that struggle with water-related challenges, we think of places like sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, and other developing regions. The overall high quality of water systems in America—one of our most monumental achievements as a nation—obscures the fact that water challenges are a daily reality for some communities.
The US Water Alliance developed this briefing paper to expand national understanding of the water-related challenges that vulnerable communities face. This paper is inspired and informed by the contributions of diverse stakeholders—utility managers, policymakers, community leaders, advocacy coalitions, direct service providers, and more. It spotlights the promising practices that have emerged to make water systems more equitable, and offers recommendations for their implementation.
Oil industry boosters and Alaska politicians are joining President Donald Trump's administration to push for more development in an area of the North Slope that could hold huge oil reserves — over the objections of environmental groups that want existing protections upheld.