News & Events on Climate Resilience

  • A flooded road during Hurricane Sally in Gulf Shores, Alabama, September 16, 2020, photo by Jonathan Bachman/Reuters

    Loose-Fit Infrastructure Can Better Account for Climate Change

    Apr 8, 2021

    As climate change accelerates there is a growing disconnect between what our infrastructure systems can do and what we need them to do. Policymakers should view infrastructure investments as not simply hardware fixes and upgrades, but as efforts to close this gap.

  • Workers on a bridge over the Grand River near Portland, Michigan, February 12, 2021, photo by Kristi Tanner/Detroit Free Press/TNS/ABACAPRESS.COM via Reuters

    Now Is (Finally) the Time to Future-Proof Our Infrastructure

    Apr 1, 2021

    The world is barreling toward a more volatile climate with infrastructure designed for the past. With infrastructure widely expected to be prioritized in Congress soon, every infrastructure bill is also a climate bill. It is critical that we make our infrastructure climate-safe.

  • After losing their home to wildfires, Nick Schumacher and his dog Charlie prepare to move into a FEMA trailer in Mill City, Oregon, January 29, 2021, photo by Abigail Dollins/Statesman Journal via Reuters

    For Americans Uprooted by Climate Change, Mental Health Is the Next Crisis

    Mar 15, 2021

    Across the United States, climate change is leading to migration. The challenges climate migrants face are not limited to basic needs, such as housing and employment. Rather, displacement may also create trauma. It's imperative that policymakers take mental health into account when devising climate change policies.

  • People walk down the street at a camp for displaced people while Hurricane Matthew approaches in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, October 3, 2016, photo by Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

    Climate Change Migration: Developing a Security Strategy for All

    Mar 15, 2021

    Over the past decade, an average of 21.5 million people annually have been forced to move due to the impacts of extreme weather. Building an understanding of the intersection between climate change, migration, and security is crucial and should take into account that many who face the most direct impacts of climate change are already among the most vulnerable.

  • A surfer makes his way to the beach during a King Tide event along the California coastline at Cardiff State Beach in California, November 16, 2020, photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

    California Needs a More Flexible Approach to Sea Level Rise Planning

    Feb 18, 2021

    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.

  • Power lines after winter weather caused electricity blackouts in Houston, Texas, February 17, 2021, photo by Go Nakamura/Reuters

    The Texas Power Grid Failure Is a Climate Change Cautionary Tale

    Feb 18, 2021

    RAND Climate Resilience Center codirector Melissa Finucane spoke to Time Magazine on the failure of the Texas electricity grid during the winter freeze. “The future is not going to be like the past. If we could just plan a little better, we could anticipate some of these problems.”

  • Tongass National Forest, Alaska, <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tongass_National_Forest_17.jpg">photo</a> by <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Gillfoto">gillfoto</a>/<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en">CC BY-SA 4.0</a>

    Local Communities Need a Voice in How to 'Build Back Better'

    Jan 12, 2021

    Long before it was popularized and made its way into political slogans and economic recovery battle cries, the phrase “building back better” was a central tenet of disaster recovery and community resilience. How should community voices be incorporated into “building back better” processes?

  • A woman stands on a ruined building after Hurricane Eta, in Wawa Bar, a Miskito indigenous community in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, November 23, 2020, photo by Katlyn Holland/CRS /Latin America News Agency/Reuters

    Lessons for Central America's Recovery from Hurricanes

    Jan 11, 2021

    As the global community works to assist Central America in recovering from the disastrous 2020 hurricane season, other recent recovery efforts offer helpful lessons, both for the governments of the region as well as outsiders providing resources and support.

  • Joel Martinez takes a photo of Washington Gardens Apartments, which collapsed from winds brought by Hurricane Zeta in New Orleans, Louisiana, October 28, 2020, photo by Kathleen Flynn/Reuters

    Disaster Reporting and Its Impacts on Policy and Inequities

    Nov 16, 2020

    Disaster news tropes may capture audience attention, but they ultimately frustrate progress in mitigating the short- and long-term effects of disasters on communities. It's more important than ever that news stories about disasters frame the effects of environmental phenomena in meaningful ways.

  • A firefighter works on the Blue Ridge Fire burning in Yorba Linda, California, October 26, 2020, photo by Ringo Chiu/Reuters

    Another Record-Breaking Fire Season Shows the Need for a Comprehensive Strategy

    Nov 6, 2020

    Year after year, fires across western U.S. states scorch forests, rangeland, and neighborhoods, wreaking havoc on rural economies and pushing smoke into cities. Policymakers should consider a coordinated and comprehensive effort that brings together the best minds in government, communities, and academia.

  • Children cool off under the spray from an open fire hydrant in the Washington Heights section of upper Manhattan in New York City, July 17, 2013, photo by Mike Segar/Reuters

    What Can the Coronavirus Teach Us About Preparing for a Heat Wave?

    Jun 8, 2020

    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.

  • An aerial view of Joint Base Langley-Eustis and the Hampton Roads area, Virginia, May 20, 2018, photo by SrA Anthony Nin Leclerec/U.S. Air Force

    Civilians and Military Collaborate to Address Climate Change

    May 13, 2020

    The Hampton Roads area in Virginia is home to more than 1.7 million people, a major port, and more military installations than anywhere else in the United States. Its rising sea levels and floods brought together civilian and military officials on a project to mitigate damage and foster resiliency.

  • Scientist taking water samples, photo by Smederevac/Getty Images

    Want to Know If a New Drug Crisis Is Growing? Check the Wastewater

    Mar 26, 2020

    Few people foresaw how quickly fentanyl would displace heroin, doubling or tripling opioid overdose deaths in some pockets of the United States from 2013 to 2017. But we could have been warned—if only we'd checked our wastewater.

  • A local resident works repairing a house roof a year after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, near Barceloneta, Puerto Rico, September 18, 2018, photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters

    What Can FEMA Learn from the Historic 2017 Hurricane and Wildfire Seasons?

    Feb 3, 2020

    When a hurricane comes ashore or a wildfire ignites, most of a community's vulnerability to disaster is already set. Emergency managers including FEMA, states, and localities could do much more to identify statewide risks and build community resilience before an event makes headlines.

  • A firefighting helicopter makes a water drop on the Getty Fire as it burns in the hills of West Los Angeles, California, October 28, 2019, photo by Gene Blevins/Reuters

    A Climate Scientist's Brush with Wildfire

    Dec 18, 2019

    RAND researcher Robert Lempert was evacuated from the path of a wildfire. This experience emphasized for him the challenges of adapting to climate change, not merely because it is hard, but because it makes the familiar become unfamiliar in unexpected ways.

  • Wooden path with dry and lush landscape on either side, photo by leolintang/Getty Images

    How Voters Can Assess New Climate Plans

    Nov 14, 2019

    While the U.S. government has announced its intention to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, most presidential candidates and many states have proposed climate plans of their own. How might voters determine if any of these plans can seriously address climate change?

  • An elderly couple leaves an evacuation center as a wildfire forces the center itself to be evacuated, Poway, California, October 21, 2007, photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

    Turning Off Power to Combat Wildfires Could Harm the Very People Who Need Protection

    Oct 28, 2019

    Intentionally shutting off power may be a practical way to prevent power lines from sparking wildfires. But is it worth the risks? Until more thoughtful and comprehensive decisions are made, planned power outages need to be planned better.

  • A woman walks along a road covered in smog due to a forest fire in Banjarbaru, South Kalimantan province, Indonesia, September 6, 2019, photo by Antara Foto Agency/Reuters

    Uncovering the Links Between Fires and Public Health in Equatorial Asia

    Oct 25, 2019

    Fires in Indonesia, if left unchecked, could cause an average of 36,000 premature deaths annually across Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. Researchers built a tool that models the effect of the fires on public health.

  • Senior Policy Researcher Benjamin Preston, photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

    The Science of Climate Policy: Q&A with Benjamin Preston

    Oct 22, 2019

    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.

  • Pittsburgh Researchers Investigate Some of Climate Change’s Most Critical Questions

    Sep 25, 2019

    How can science help cities respond to the challenges of climate change? Jordan Fischbach, co-director of the RAND Climate Resilience Center, spoke to Public Source for this article on how Pittsburgh researchers are addressing critical questions about our uncertain climate future.

  • Boats on the Musi River which was shrouded in smoke following an increase in fires in the region in Palembang, South Sumatra, Indonesia, September 16, 2018, photo by Antara Foto/Nova Wahyudi/Reuters

    We Built an App to Detect Areas Most Vulnerable to Life-Threatening Haze

    Sep 10, 2019

    Forest and land-use fires are ravaging Indonesia's Sumatra and Kalimantan islands. Haze from these fires is life-threatening; inhaling smoke can cause heart and respiratory diseases, leading to premature deaths. We developed a new tool to provide decisionmakers with information to protect people who live downwind.

  • A man walks among debris at the Mudd neighborhood, devastated after Hurricane Dorian hit the Abaco Islands in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas, September 6, 2019, photo by Marco Bello/Reuters

    Hurricane Recovery in the Bahamas: Turning Good Intentions into Good Decisions

    Sep 6, 2019

    Recovery in the Bahamas will have to be a balancing act. Plans will need to allow for transition toward long-term strategic goals for the nation, but also be mindful of not perpetuating inequities.

  • Car parking with autonomous self-driving parking assistant, photo by vchal/Getty Images

    Bargain-Hunting Robocars Could Spell the End for Downtown Parking: Cities Need to Plan Ahead Now

    Aug 29, 2019

    Imagine a scene from the near-future: You get dropped off downtown by a driverless car. You slam the door and head into your office or appointment. But then where does the autonomous vehicle go? It's a question that cities would be wise to consider now. Self-driving cars may be on the roads within the next decade or two.

  • A man walks through floodwaters to survey damage from Hurricane Sandy in the New Dorp Beach neighborhood of Staten Island, New York, November 1, 2012, photo by Lucas Jackson/Reuters

    How Citizen Scientists Are Protecting Their Communities

    Aug 29, 2019

    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.

  • PG&amp;E works on power lines to repair damage caused by the Camp Fire in Paradise, California, November 21, 2018, photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Reuters

    Allocating Costs for California Wildfires

    Jul 24, 2019

    Wildfires in California have caused and will likely continue to cause substantial losses for residents, businesses, and government agencies. It is important to distribute these losses in a manner that provides incentives to reduce their magnitude over time.