Planning & Growth

South Slow To Adapt to Rising Sea Levels, Other Climate Impacts

Preparations for the inevitable impacts of the climate crisis in the South, the country’s most vulnerable region, have been hit or miss. And one of the toughest challenges — preparing coastal communities for inevitable flooding from sea level rise — is just beginning. More on the region’s climate adaptation considerations in the final entry in our “Covering Your Climate: The South” special report. Plus, a backgrounder, additional tipsheets and a toolbox. 

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Crisis Threatens the Country’s Most Vulnerable Region

As global warming worsens, effects like extreme heat, drought, wildfires, coastal flooding and inland flooding will have an outsized impact in the Southern United States. The latest entry in our ongoing “Covering Your Climate: The South” special report looks at those effects. Plus, read an introductory overview and watch for additional entries on climate mitigation and adaptation in the South.

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Why the South Lags on Staving Off Crisis

Most Southern state leaders are doing the least to fight the climate crisis, despite having the most to lose environmentally and economically. When will that begin to change? The latest entry in our “Covering Your Climate: The South” special report looks at the politics of the climate crisis, the dominance of utilities, and the transportation and forestry sectors, along with the few climate breakthroughs. 

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Is the South Confronting Its Climate Threats?

The South is ground zero for the climate crisis in the United States, yet little is being done to prevent impacts or protect communities. Will the South tap its potential to be part of the solution? Our special report, “Covering Your Climate: The South,” helps reporters cover the region, starting with a backgrounder on climate concerns from Texas to Virginia.

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Searching for Narrative in the Groundwater Where It Happens

A graduate field scientist-cum-multimedia storyteller trains her eye on the confounding challenges of western water, with award-winning student reporting on three family farms that face the draining of critical groundwater basins. Could land that drought makes untenable for farming be restored as habitat for endangered species? That, plus how the “ladder of abstraction” helped her tell the tale. The most recent entry in EJ Academy.

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November 3, 2023

DEADLINE: High Country News Fellowships

High Country News invites applications from early-career journalists for two remote, paid, one-year fellowships, starting in Jan 2024. Applicants must reside in Arizona, Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington or Wyoming. Apply by Nov 3.

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Rebuilding After Wildfire? States Don't Require Fire-Resistant Materials

"After record-breaking wildfires this year, thousands of people across the West are still clearing piles of charred debris where their homes once stood in the hope of rebuilding their lives. ... But most states don't require rebuilding with fire-resistant materials, an NPR analysis has found."

Source: NPR, 11/30/2020

"Disasters: Old Building Codes Put Millions Of Homes At Risk — FEMA"

"Millions of homes are being built in communities with archaic building codes, leaving them vulnerable to flooding, hurricane winds and earthquakes, according to a groundbreaking new federal report that links out-of-date building codes to billions of dollars in property damage."

Source: E&E News, 11/25/2020

How Much Longer Will Insurers Cover Wildfire Loss Near You?

With wildfire exploding across the West this season, it may not be long before insurance companies worried about houses built along the wildland-urban interface try to raise premiums or drop policies altogether. It’s already happening in California, which is pushing back. Will it happen in your region as well? TipSheet has the backstory, plus a range of reporting resources.

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