The U.S. Committee on Earth and Environmental Sciences
“What federal committee integrates responses to climate change amongst U.S agencies?”
The U.S. Global Change Research Act of 1990 launched federal action on climate change. One of the primary items was the establishment of The U.S. Committee on Earth and Environmental Sciences. This committee analyzes technical problems related to climate change and provides recommendations to federal agencies on how to plan for the future. This includes identifying research needs, understanding how to effectively use scientific applications, and strengthening international technical cooperation.
The U.S Global Change Research Act of 1990
“What jumpstarted the U.S.’s efforts to develop a comprehensive research program to understand climate change?”
In the last decade of the 20th century, the U.S. Congress passed a revolutionary piece of legislation. The U.S Global Change Research Act of 1990 set forth multiple requirements, specifically:
- Establishing the Committee on Earth and Environmental Sciences to carry out global change research.
- Codifying the U.S. Global Change Research Program to create (in its own language) “a comprehensive and integrated United States research program which will assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.”
- Evaluating the scientific content of the plan with the National Research Council and providing advice on future global change research priorities.
- Requiring the Council to submit a global change assessment at least every four years.
- Initiate dialogue on international climate agreements.
- Study the implications and consequences of growth and development in communities and assist state and local planning authorities with managing said growth while preserving “community character”.
Why Water Utilities Need to Prioritize Vulnerable Communities for Post-Disaster Service Restoration
“Why do water utilities need to prioritize vulnerable communities for post-disaster service restoration?”
Vulnerable communities are the ones who need water service the most. Whether it be because of being unable to stockpile water, higher local temperatures because of the urban heat island effect, or having to treat diseases, water service is vital. Logically, water utilities should restore service to these communities soon after disaster strikes. This is Why Water Utilities Need to Prioritize Vulnerable Communities for Post-Disaster Service Restoration.
The U.S Federal Adaptation and Resilience Group
“What is the current working group leading federal adaptation synergy in the U.S.?”
On December 8th, 2021, U.S. President Biden signed Executive Order 14057 to catalyze environmental initiatives by the Federal Government. One of the products of this order includes the launch of The U.S. Federal Adaptation and Resilience Group. This working group draws knowledge and expertise from the various U.S. federal agencies to address climate adaptation. Their current (as of writing) activities include discussing climate data for adaptation measures, modeling economic responses for adaptation, natural resource management, and fostering engagement between federal agencies.
Why Metro Systems Can Increase Their Climate Disaster Resilience by Being Less Dependent on Rider Fees
“Why can metro systems increase their climate disaster resilience by being less dependent on rider fees?”
Climate disasters often force massive amounts of people to leave an urban area. This will cause metro ridership to plummet, decreasing ticket sales. While this will lead to a decrease in system revenue, if the financing model is only lightly dependent on ticket sales then its damage will be minimized. This is Why Being Metro Systems Can Increase Their Climate Disaster Resilience by Being Less Dependent on Rider Fees.
Tax Funding for Metro Systems
“How can we use tax funding for metro systems?”
Metro systems need a revenue stream to operate. One avenue to accomplish this is to leverage a tax and use the money raised to contribute to funding. This is how Tax Funding for Metro Systems works.
The U.S Highway Trust Fund
“What funds federal highway and mass transit projects in the U.S.?”
The U.S. federal government funds highways and mass transit projects. But how exactly does it do this? Well, it leverages a tax on gasoline and diesel fuel to store into a fund called The U.S Highway Trust Fund. The highway trust fund is made up of two accounts, the highway account, and the mass transit account.
Council on Environmental Quality
“What entity coordinates federal environmental efforts in the U.S.?”
Ever since the passage of the U.S National Environmental Policy Act in 1970, every federal agency has to factor in environmental consequences for significant actions. Enforcement of this is granted to the Council on Environmental Quality, a division of the Executive Office of the President. Every year the Council on Environmental Quality produces a report on the state of the environment for the sitting President.
The U.S National Environmental Policy Act
“Why do U.S federal agencies have to evaluate environmental impacts for every major decision?”
Any major action humanity takes can have drastic environmental impacts. For this reason, The U.S National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA was passed by congress in 1970. NEPA binds all federal agencies to factor in environmental impacts during decision-making. Furthermore, federal agencies must warn the public about their actions. NEPA also established the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), a part of the Executive Office of the President to ensure NEPA is implemented in federal agencies.