This weekly recap focuses on why it may be time to consider a peacekeeping operation in northern Ukraine, supporting veterans with traumatic brain injury, a new response to synthetic opioids, and more.
Good citizen science brings a community together and helps it prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. A RAND guide takes non-expert investigators from the early stages of defining their questions and setting their goals, through building their teams, to planning for action.
Geoengineering technologies that could block the sun's rays or siphon huge amounts of carbon from the air are not that far out of reach. Yet the international community has not established the kinds of guardrails you might expect for potentially world-changing technologies.
Los Angeles, once the U.S. capital of smog and sprawl, has vowed to lead the nation into a cleaner, greener future by stamping out carbon pollution. A small array of sensors installed on the roof of RAND's Santa Monica headquarters could help it get there.
A new U.S. emphasis on sustainable environmental conditions is emerging just as budget pressures are increasing. The DoD could use this as an opportunity to develop a systematic approach to addressing its environmental liabilities.
This weekly recap focuses on the potential effects of reopening the economy before the White House's vaccination goal is met, students' learning experiences during the pandemic, competition in the 5G era, and more.
Rising seas create significant risk to the health, safety, and economic vitality of California's coast communities, and we must prepare. A contingency-planning approach would provide flexible action over time and would build capacity that California and the nation need to respond to the many other serious and growing climate-related risks.
The occurrence of a heat wave during the pandemic may be the clearest example of an overlapping disaster in the near term, but we'll likely see more and more overlapping disasters brought about by a changing climate.
Benjamin Preston, a senior policy researcher and director of RAND's Community Health and Environmental Policy Program, specializes in climate risk and adaptation, disaster recovery, and resilience. In this Q&A, he discusses common misperceptions about climate change and how to decarbonize the U.S. economy.
After Superstorm Sandy, residents of Brooklyn's Sunset Park neighborhood cleaned up debris, pumped out basements, and teamed up with researchers to find out what was in the floodwater. They established safety protocols to help local businesses prevent their chemicals from escaping and wrote a guide to help other communities.
Despite years of dire forecasts, the international community has been unable to halt the steady climb in global temperatures, and it is the world's poorest who are paying the heaviest toll. As heat-related risks intensify, those living on the margins—in India and elsewhere—will need help to cope effectively.
Studies suggest that the heat of the future will exceed humans' capacity to cope. But taking advantage of smart technology, inexpensive traditional methods of cooling that require little energy use, and innovative energy-efficient technologies could provide a sustainable path forward in heat-challenged regions.
Climate change is here. Future extreme heat waves are a given and will likely grow in intensity, geographic reach, and duration. Plans must be made now to ensure survival of the poorest, to protect outdoor workers, and to adapt economic planning to what is increasingly becoming a hotter planet.
Federal policymakers have picked up on the concept of red teaming — actively seeking out one's own vulnerabilities. While red teaming may not make sense for climate science, it does offer great benefits when weighing climate policy options.
Poverty, poor sanitation, a precarious water and electricity supply, and limited access to health care make India vulnerable to heat waves. Rural and urban districts could improve their preparedness by developing and targeting local adaptation strategies.
Today, every satellite launch and maneuver is carefully coordinated because some orbits are strewn with the space-based equivalent of blown tires, abandoned vehicles, loose gravel and, of course, other traffic.
When scientists predict extreme weather that never materializes, lay people tend to wonder what went wrong. This is a natural tendency that is not tied to a failure of the science, but rather to differences in the way scientists and lay people view predictions about extreme events.
Despite increasing interest and investments in climate adaptation science, the implementation of adaptation plans through institutional policies or other actions designed to reduce health vulnerabilities has been slow. Institutionalized assumptions are an important roadblock.
This isn't going to be an easy problem to solve because, like spilled petroleum products, debris can spend years lurking in an environment that is foreign to most people's daily lives, write Dave Baiocchi and William Welser.
In case after case, the theory that best fits the data is the one that also leads inexorably to the conclusion that human influence is one of the most important forces currently changing the climate, writes Robert J. Lempert.
If it were really possible to explain millions of years of Earth data with a theory that doesn't also imply a recent human influence on the climate, some ambitious, self-interested team of scientists somewhere in the world would seek scientific renown by doing so, writes Robert Lempert.