White House Looks to Harden Farm Country Against Climate Change

Dave Fendrich (in tractor) helps Bryant Hofer (in combine) harvest a field of corn on October 2, 2013 near Salem, South Dakota. During last year's drought Hofer averaged about 85 bushels of corn per acre. Although he has just started to harvest his fields, this year Bryants corn has averaged 180 bushels-per-acre. According to the Commerce Department, farm earnings nationwide were down 14.6% during the second quarter of the year. Many Midwest states, which are rebounding from last year's severe drought, reported some of the biggest drops. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
National Journal
Ben Geman
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Ben Geman
Feb. 5, 2014, 12:51 a.m.

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion is cre­at­ing sev­en re­gion­al or­gan­iz­a­tions—dubbed “cli­mate hubs”—de­signed to help farm­ers and rur­al areas ad­apt to drought, in­creased fire risks, and oth­er prob­lems linked to glob­al warm­ing.

Wed­nes­day’s an­nounce­ment of the Ag­ri­cul­ture De­part­ment-led hubs is part of the White House’s ef­forts to use ex­ec­ut­ive ac­tions to battle cli­mate change. The White House is pro­mot­ing the ini­ti­at­ive, and Ag­ri­cul­ture Sec­ret­ary Tom Vil­sack will tout the ef­fort at Wed­nes­day’s White House press brief­ing.

” ‘Cli­mate Hubs’ will ad­dress in­creas­ing risks such as fires, in­vas­ive pests, dev­ast­at­ing floods, and crip­pling droughts on a re­gion­al basis, aim­ing to trans­late sci­ence and re­search in­to in­form­a­tion to farm­ers, ranch­ers, and forest landown­ers on ways to ad­apt and ad­just their re­source man­age­ment,” an Ag­ri­cul­ture De­part­ment sum­mary states.

The “hubs” will be in Col­or­ado, Iowa, New Hamp­shire, New Mex­ico, North Car­o­lina, Ok­lahoma, and Ore­gon. And there will be “sub hubs” in Cali­for­nia, Michigan, and Pu­erto Rico.

The hubs are de­signed to provide in­form­a­tion to farm­ers, forest own­ers, and ranch­ers about ways to re­duce risks and help link them “cli­mate fore­cast data,” among oth­er ser­vices.

Ac­cord­ing to the sum­mary, they’re en­vi­sioned as a place that draws to­geth­er vari­ous strands of in­form­a­tion and ex­pert­ise.

“They will … link a broad net­work of part­ners par­ti­cip­at­ing in cli­mate-risk ad­apt­a­tion and mit­ig­a­tion, in­clud­ing uni­versit­ies; non­gov­ern­ment­al or­gan­iz­a­tions; fed­er­al agen­cies such as the De­part­ment of In­teri­or and the Na­tion­al Ocean­ic and At­mo­spher­ic Ad­min­is­tra­tion; Nat­ive Na­tions and or­gan­iz­a­tions; state de­part­ments of en­vir­on­ment and ag­ri­cul­ture; re­search cen­ters; farm groups and more,” the Ag­ri­cul­ture De­part­ment said.

The chan­ging cli­mate is high-stakes busi­ness for farm­ers and the pub­lic they sup­port, of­fi­cials em­phas­ized. Fire sea­sons are much longer than they were 30 years ago, while drought cost the U.S. $50 bil­lion between 2011 and 2013, ac­cord­ing to the de­part­ment.

“If we are to be ef­fect­ive in man­aging the risks from a shift­ing cli­mate, we’ll need to en­sure that our man­agers in the field and our stake­hold­ers have the in­form­a­tion they need to suc­ceed,” Vil­sack said in a state­ment.

The an­nounce­ment fol­lows this week’s con­gres­sion­al ap­prov­al of the massive farm bill.

What We're Following See More »
HE LASTED SIX MONTHS
Sean Spicer Resigns
38 minutes ago
THE LATEST

He resigned this morning, "telling President Trump he vehemently disagreed with the appointment of New York financier Anthony Scaramucci as communications director."

Source:
STAFF IS PUSHING BACK
Trump Wants Scaramucci to Helm WH Communications
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

"President Trump is expected to announce that Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci will be White House communications director, according to two sources familiar with the planning. Trump has left the role open since Mike Dubke resigned in May, and the President has vented frequently to his friends about the performance of his press operation." According to NBC News, Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus are resisting the move.

Source:
NEW GALLUP POLL
Trump’s Approval Rating a Record Low at 6-Month Point
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"President Donald Trump's second-quarter job approval rating has fallen below what any other past president has gotten during the same time frame. A new Gallup poll found that Trump averaged a 38.8% rating between April 20 and July 19. The average approval rating for that time is 62%. President Obama was at the average during this time period, as was President Nixon. President Clinton is the only president who was below 50% by the second quarter, coming in with a 44% approval rating." There is also a large partisan gap. "Just 8% of Democrats approved of Trump's job performance during the second quarter, but 85% of Republicans did. Approval ratings have become increasingly polarized in recent administrations, but the 77-point gap for Trump is a new record."

Source:
ANNOUNCEMENT IMMINENT
Government to Bar Americans from Visiting N. Korea
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The US government will soon prohibit American citizens from traveling to North Korea, according to two tour groups that cater to Western tourists who want to visit the secretive country. The US will announce the ban within a couple of days, said Simon Cockerell, general manager of Beijing-based Koryo Tours. The agency was informed of the development by officials of the Swedish government, which represents America's interests in North Korea, he told CNN."

Source:
NEA AND NEH GET $145 MIL EACH
House Appropriations Ignore Trump’s Proposed Arts Cuts
3 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Federal arts and humanities programs targeted for elimination by the Trump administration would get a lifeline from House appropriators willing to ignore the president’s proposal and keep them running. The $31.5 billion fiscal 2018 Interior-Environment spending bill approved by the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday includes $145 million for the National Endowment for the Arts. While that’s still a 3.2 percent cut from the fiscal year 2017 enacted level, it is more than $116 million above Trump’s budget request. The National Endowment for the Humanities would receive $145 million in fiscal 2018, which is $103.7 million above the White House budget request."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login