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 »
JUST AS SENATE VOTES ITS DISAPPROVAL
Trump Backtracks on Putin's "Incredible Offer"
2 days ago
THE LATEST
ARMS CONTROL, SYRIA WERE DISCUSSED
Russians Refer to "Verbal Agreements" with Trump
3 days ago
THE LATEST

"Two days after President Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin, Russian officials offered a string of assertions about what the two leaders had achieved. 'Important verbal agreements' were reached at the Helsinki meeting, Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, told reporters in Moscow Wednesday, including preservation of the New Start and INF agreements," and cooperation in Syria.

Source:
WAS "GRUDGINGLY" CONVINCED
Trump Was Shown Proof of Russian Interference Before Inauguration
3 days ago
THE LATEST

"Two weeks before his inauguration, Donald J. Trump was shown highly classified intelligence indicating that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia had personally ordered complex cyberattacks to sway the 2016 American election. The evidence included texts and emails from Russian military officers and information gleaned from a top-secret source close to Mr. Putin, who had described to the C.I.A. how the Kremlin decided to execute its campaign of hacking and disinformation. Mr. Trump sounded grudgingly convinced, according to several people who attended the intelligence briefing. But ever since, Mr. Trump has tried to cloud the very clear findings that he received on Jan. 6, 2017, which his own intelligence leaders have unanimously endorsed."

TAKE THAT, HATERS
Trump: High IQ People Loved the Putin Meeting
3 days ago
THE LATEST
"POLICY DIFFERENCES DON'T MATTER"
Comey Says to Vote Democratic This Fall
4 days ago
THE LATEST
×
×

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