Obama Launches ‘Climate Hubs’ To Mitigate Climate Change Issues

Obama Launches ‘Climate Hubs’ To Mitigate Climate Change Issues

Feb 05

climate-change

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OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S ‘CLIMATE HUBS’ TO HELP FARMERS AND RURAL COMMUNITIES ADAPT TO EXTREMES
By Jeff Mason
Reuters
February 5, 2014

Original Link

President Barack Obama’s administration will announce on Wednesday the formation of seven “climate hubs” to help farmers and rural communities adapt to extreme weather conditions and other effects of climate change, a White House official said.

The hubs will act as information centers and aim to help farmers and ranchers handle risks, including fires, pests, floods and droughts, that are exacerbated by global warming.

The hubs will be located in Ames, Iowa; Durham, New Hampshire; Raleigh, North Carolina; Fort Collins, Colorado; El Reno, Oklahoma; Corvallis, Oregon; and Las Cruces, New Mexico, the official said.

Additional “sub hubs” will be set up in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico; Davis, California; and Houghton, Michigan.

The hubs are an example of executive actions Obama has promised to take to fight climate change.

The president has made the issue a top priority for 2014 and has the authority to take many measures that address it without congressional approval.

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will make the announcement of the “Regional Hubs for Risk Adaptation and Mitigation to Climate Change” at a White House briefing, the official said.

“For generations, America’s farmers, ranchers and forest landowners have innovated and adapted to challenges,” Vilsack said in a statement.

“Today, they face a new and more complex threat in the form of a changing and shifting climate, which impacts both our nation’s forests and our farmers’ bottom lines,” he said.

Environmentalists want big economies such as the United States and China to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that scientists blame for heating the planet, but they have urged policy makers around the world to take action as well to help communities adapt to rising temperatures now.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the effects of climate change have led to a longer crop growing season in the Midwest, a fire season that is 60 days longer than it was three decades ago, and droughts that cost the United States $50 billion from 2011-2013.

The Obama administration is expected to announce new rules later this year limiting carbon emissions from existing U.S. power plants, a major polluter. The president is also under pressure from environmentalists to reject the Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport crude oil from Canadian oil sands in Alberta to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Climate activists argue the project would exacerbate global warming because of the carbon emissions involved in extracting the oil. Proponents say the project would create jobs and boost U.S. energy security. A State Department report released last week played down the project’s impact on climate change.

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OBAMA LAUNCHES ‘CLIMATE HUBS’ TO HELP FARMERS AND COMMUNITIES
By Laura Barron-Lopez
The Hill
February 05, 2014

Original Link

The Obama administration will announce the establishment of regional hubs focused on mitigating climate change on Wednesday.

The hubs are the first-ever regional centers that will focus solely on risk adaptation and climate change solutions at seven locations across the country.

“On the heels of passage of the farm bill, the administration will take executive action to help farmers, ranchers and rural communities combat climate change and adapt to extreme weather and other damage it causes,” a White House official said in an email ahead of Wednesday’s announcement.

Dubbed “climate hubs,” the new centers will address issues like increasing risks of fires, invasive pests, devastating floods and crippling droughts, the official said. The centers will aim to translate science and research into usable information for farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to adjust their resource management.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will formally announce the new initiative during the daily White House press briefing on Wednesday. Vilsack mentioned his intention to first create the hubs last summer.

“For generations, America’s farmers, ranchers and forest landowners have innovated and adapted to challenges,” Vilsack said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Today, they face a new and more complex threat in the form of a changing and shifting climate, which impacts both our nation’s forests and our farmers’ bottom lines.”

“USDA’s Climate Hubs are part of our broad commitment to developing the next generation of climate solutions, so that our agricultural leaders have the modern technologies and tools they need to adapt and succeed in the face of a changing climate,” Vilsack added.

The seven designated locations for the hubs will service the surrounding region with climate change information and outreach.

The new climate hubs will be established in Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Colorado, Oklahoma, Oregon and New Mexico.

There will also be three sub-hubs in Michigan, Puerto Rico and California.

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RELATED LINKS:

Pulse on Climate Change
NHNE News List Climate Change Archive

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