Expert Pitch

Cost of climate change comes due with California wildfires

Cornell University
10-Sep-2020 2:15 PM EDT, by Cornell University

Wildfires continue to rage in California, Oregon and other western states as residents evacuate, while cities like San Francisco face eerie smoke cover and poor air quality.

Kathleen Bergin, professor of law at Cornell Law School, is an expert in disaster and constitutional law whose work in mass evacuation shelters after Hurricane Katrina is used as a blueprint for protecting survivors of natural disaster. She says the cost of climate change is coming due as California and other states tap into disaster recovery ecosystems. 


Bergin says:

“The cost of failing to address the root causes of climate change are coming due. FEMA alone has already spent over $2 billion helping California recover from the 2017-18 wildfire season, and that’s not counting money coming from HUD, the SBA, the USDA and other federal and state programs.

“There’s a whole ecosystem of entities involved in disaster recovery that we don’t always think of, but that homeowners, farmers, and small-businesses rely on when they’re displaced or can no longer operate. This year’s fire season is already blowing past prior records, promising to increase the cost of recovery in both the short and long term.

“But while post-disaster spending is necessary to address housing shortages and environmental clean-up, we’d be better off focusing on mitigation, investing in green jobs, and curbing carbon emissions to reduce the force, frequency and fall-out of future disasters.”

Filters close

Showing results

110 of 6016
Released: 8-Jun-2021 12:45 PM EDT
2021 Gov Race is Currently Murphy’s to Lose
Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Governor Phil Murphy currently has a clear path to reelection victory, according to the latest Rutgers-Eagleton Poll.

Newswise: Political science professors sign statement warning of threats to US democracy
Released: 8-Jun-2021 12:10 PM EDT
Political science professors sign statement warning of threats to US democracy
University of Notre Dame

Five University of Notre Dame professors who specialize in different areas of democracy studies recently signed a strong statement of concern issued by the think tank New America warning of the serious threats to democracy in the U.S.

Released: 7-Jun-2021 2:15 PM EDT
Murphy’s Pandemic-High Ratings Ease; High Marks on Handling of the Pandemic Continue, Taxes Still a Sore Spot
Rutgers University-New Brunswick

– More than a year into the coronavirus pandemic, Governor Murphy’s once-skyrocketing ratings have now returned to pre-pandemic levels, according to the latest Rutgers-Eagleton Poll.

Showing results

110 of 6016