The Natural Environment

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As scientists learn more about how the environment responds to human activity, it has become an area of increasing concern to the global community. RAND research has helped inform policies and direct further studies of environmental issues, from building efficiency and natural resource management to risk management and decisionmaking in the face of deep scientific and economic uncertainties.

  • City global warming concept art, photo by Kwest/Fotolia

    Project

    WCRC Helps Organizations Plan for Climate Challenges

    Dec 18, 2014

    The RAND Water and Climate Resilience Center conducts policy research and develops innovative tools to support decisionmakers at all levels of government as they confront challenges presented by climate change.

Explore The Natural Environment

  • Report

    Overcoming Obstacles to Advanced Reactor Technologies

    This perspective examines the institutional and technical obstacles to the commercialization of advanced nuclear reactors for electrical power generation in the United States.

    Aug 31, 2015

  • View of the Earth from space

    Essay

    Interdependence Day: Contending with a New Global Order

    A team of RAND experts took a sober look at the threats facing the United States and developed a playbook of strategies to address them.

    Aug 21, 2015

  • Residents do morning exercises at a park on a hazy day in Shenzhen, Guangdong province February 12, 2015

    Commentary

    China at Home: Marrying Prosperity and Well-Being

    As China strives to sustain its upward economic trajectory, it must also address its domestic problems—such as air pollution and the challenges presented by its aging population—if its people are to share fully in the rewards of economic development and expansion.

    Aug 21, 2015

  • Engineer looking at factory emissions

    Commentary

    Climate Targets: Values and Uncertainty

    Policymakers know that the risks associated with climate change mean they need to cut greenhouse-gas emissions. But uncertainty surrounding the likelihood of different scenarios makes choosing specific policies difficult.

    Aug 11, 2015

  • The U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, DC

    Blog

    The 2015 Summer Reading List for Congress

    With Capitol Hill slowing for August recess, this list of must-read research and commentaries will help ensure that policymakers are ready to dive right back in this fall.

    Aug 5, 2015

  • congressional-podcast-teaser-highres

    Multimedia

    Strategic Rethink: Choices for America in a Turbulent World

    In this July 2015 Congressional Briefing, Ambassador James Dobbins discusses the report he coauthored with Howard Shatz and David Ochmanek, Choices for America in a Turbulent World. This is the first paper in the "Strategic Rethink" project, in which RAND researchers examine the most consequential choices that are likely to face this president and the next.

    Jul 24, 2015

  • Glowing globe

    Project

    The RAND Strategic Rethink Project

    The RAND Strategic Rethink project explores important strategic questions facing the United States, producing a guide for policymakers, citizens, educators, and the media on the most critical global choices and challenges facing the country.

    Jul 23, 2015

  • News Release

    With Upcoming 2016 Election, Global Power Shifts Will Face the Next U.S. President

    Chaos in the Middle East, Russian intervention, Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea, climate change, and a decline in U.S. military readiness have raised questions about how America envisions its role in a turbulent geopolitical environment. Nevertheless, the world is not falling apart and these difficulties are not beyond the United States' ability to manage.

    Jul 23, 2015

  • World puzzle

    Report

    Choices for America in a Turbulent World

    Today, the United States faces no existential threat. Rather, it confronts an unusually wide and diverse array of challenges. What strategic choices does it have in dealing with these challenges—and tomorrow's?

    Jul 23, 2015

  • News Release

    Economic Growth Will Be the Main Driver of Mobility in China in 2030

    Continued economic growth will be the main driver of future mobility and automobile use in China, but constraints on vehicle use and environmental regulations will be important issues as well.

    Jun 30, 2015

  • Shanghai Nanpu Bridge at dusk

    Report

    Economic Growth Will Be the Main Driver of Mobility in China in 2030

    Continued economic growth will be the main driver of future mobility and automobile use in China, but constraints on vehicle use and environmental regulations will be important issues as well.

    Jun 30, 2015

  • Testimony

    Critical Materials, U.S. Import Dependence, and Recommended Actions: Addendum

    Document submitted on May 26, 2015 as an addendum to testimony presented before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on May 12, 2015.

    May 27, 2015

  • Tungsten or wolframite ore

    Testimony

    Critical Materials and U.S. Import Dependence

    The United States is vulnerable to export restrictions that limit access to raw materials that are critical to manufacturing. This can hinder the competitiveness of U.S. manufactures and create pressure to move manufacturing out of the country. But there are ways to address the potential for supply disruptions of critical materials.

    May 12, 2015

  • Journal Article

    Why Chinese Discount Future Financial and Environmental Gains but Not Losses More Than Americans

    We examined differences between Chinese and Americans in discounting of future financial and environmental gains and losses.

    Feb 26, 2015

  • A road cuts through a forest on the island of Senja, north of the Arctic Circle in Norway

    Commentary

    Health Benefits of Addressing Climate Change

    Opponents of action to mitigate climate change often suggest that regulation could have a negative impact on jobs, but stakeholders need to consider benefits, too. For instance, lower emissions could produce savings in the form of lower health care costs, reductions in premature death, and greater well-being.

    Feb 4, 2015

  • U.S. President Barack Obama and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the gardens of Hyderabad House in New Delhi, January 25, 2015

    Commentary

    The Afterparade: No Breakthroughs — and That's Just Fine

    President Obama's visit to India last week was hailed in many quarters as a landmark event, perhaps signaling a new era of cooperation. In reality, the concrete takeaways were quite modest: there was no breakthrough on climate change, trade, or civil nuclear liability. But the trip should nonetheless be judged a success.

    Feb 2, 2015

  • nature, water, agriculture, green, garden, sprinkler, land, irrigation, irrigate, organic, system, plant, farm, field, vegetable, growth, crop, farming, gardening, fresh, food, sprinkling, mist, produce, spray, industry, industrial, wet, landscape, moisture, farmer, natural, health, summer, healthy, drop, grass, grow, outdoors, leaf, starch, biology, supply, irrigating, spring, agricultural, outdoor, vegetables, refreshing

    Report

    Developing Robust Strategies for Climate Change and Other Risks: A Water Utility Framework

    RAND researchers and collaborators present a comprehensive approach for water utilities to assess climate risks to their systems and evaluate adaptation strategies.

    Jan 28, 2015

  • U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 20, 2015

    Blog

    State of the Union 2015: Clarion Calls on Terrorism, Cyber, Education, and More

    The agenda President Barack Obama outlined in his State of the Union address can perhaps best be characterized as broad, mirroring the range of diverse and emerging issues facing the U.S. in 2015.

    Jan 21, 2015

  • Forbidden City on a foggy day in Beijing, China

    Commentary

    China Can Fix Its Severe Pollution Problem

    China's economic transformation over the last three decades has produced potentially deadly air pollution its people inhale every day. But an investment of $215 billion annually could substantially reduce pollution, lessen its drag on productivity, spare the lungs of countless people, and save lives.

    Jan 19, 2015

  • A man wearing a mask looks up as he walks on a street on a foggy day in Bozhou, China, January 30, 2013

    Report

    How Can China Reduce Its Air Pollution, and How Much Will It Cost?

    Air pollution has been one of the most harmful consequences of China's last three decades of economic transformation and growth. China must address its air-pollution problem soon, but approaches to improve air quality come at a cost.

    Jan 12, 2015