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Posted inUS

Study shows hazards from recent wildfires disproportionately affect both highest- and lowest-value properties in the American West

Washington, DC—The top ten percent most-valuable homes in the western United States are 70 percent more likely to be in high wildfire hazard areas than median-value properties, measured by county, according to a new study published today in Environmental Research Letters.  Researchers at Resources for the Future (RFF) used granular spatial data to study residential […]

Posted inCalifornia

As Wildfires Change the American West, Social Inequity Persists in Public Response

December 17, 2020 – A new pair of working papers by Resources for the Future (RFF) finds that white, educated, and wealthy communities in the western United States tend to receive disproportionate protection against wildfires. The research, coauthored by RFF Fellow Matthew Wibbenmeyer, paints a picture of inequalities in wildfire management and illustrates how groups […]

Posted inEnviro

How Providing Public Benefits Can Help Safeguard Fossil Fuel Workers and Communities in Transition

November 12, 2020 – For thousands of retired US coal miners suffering from black lung disease, disability benefits from the federal government provide critical support for treatment and health care. As the economy moves away from fossil fuels, other types of public benefits programs could also deliver relief to affected coal workers and fossil fuel […]

Posted inEnviro

Aging Dams Present Hazards to Communities. Removal—Rather Than Repair—Often Provides a Cost-Effective Option

October 22, 2020 – Two new studies analyze the role of state dam safety regulations and policies that incentivize—or disincentivize—dam owners to remove aging dams. They find that a lack of funding and information for dam owners, in combination with many dams falling through the regulatory cracks, is often a barrier to removal. There are […]

Posted inEnviro

State-level Opinions on Climate Change, From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream Waters

October 27, 2020 – North and South, rural and urban—the United States is a complex mix of cultures, mindsets, and life experiences. And, as a new report by researchers at Stanford University, Resources for the Future, and ReconMR illustrates, those state-by-state differences affect climate attitudes and opinions. The report is the latest installment of Climate Insights […]

Posted inEnviro

Climate Insights 2020: Amid Fire and Flood, Americans Are Looking for Action

September 8, 2020 – From wildfires in California to hurricanes battering the Gulf, the United States has been assailed by natural disasters from coast to coast. But how can the United States address, mitigate, and adapt to the widespread destruction from wildfires and floods as they intensify from unchecked climate change? According to a new […]

Posted inSci/Tech

Major New Study Charts Course to Net Zero Industrial Emissions

WASHINGTON, DC, April 1, 2020 – A major new study by an interdisciplinary team of researchers finds that it is possible–and critical–to bring industrial greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2070. Published Sunday in Applied Energy, the study assesses the range of technologies and policies interventions available to enable global industry decarbonization. This paper was […]

Posted inOp-Ed

Matthew Wibbenmeyer: PG&E Power Outages Reduce Just a Portion of Wildfire Risk

Oct. 11, 2019 – Wibbenmeyer is an expert on the management and economics of wildfires and forest resources. This week, a severe off-shore wind event—similar to wind events that drove several of California’s recent devastating wildfire incidents—hit California. In response, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), California’s largest electricity utility, shut down power this week to […]

Posted inEnviro

New Study: “Administration’s Clean Energy Plan May Lead to More Air Pollution, Carbon Emissions”

Washington, DC January 15, 2019 – A new study published today in the journal Environmental Research Letters predicts that the Trump administration’s Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, which aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions at coal-fired power plants, will lead instead to an increase in emissions at 28 percent of coal plants and in 18 […]

Posted inEnviro

How Climate Change Might Affect Outdoor Recreation

WASHINGTON—Recent economic studies have shown that local climate changes can affect the growth rate of national economies, labor supplies, agricultural production, public health, ecological functions, and more. However, comparatively little is known about the effect of changing weather on an aspect of life that is vital to a great many Americans: the opportunity for outdoor […]

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