Climate change

Building Climate Resilience in Urban Vulnerable Populations: A Webinar Series

Multiple dates; Register for one or more here.

Climate change does not impact all urban communities equally. Many factors such as race, income, and age affect individual and community vulnerability and resiliency in the face of climate related impacts.This webinar series will provide participants with the tools and resources needed to integrate various aspects of social vulnerability into their work, and will bring together climate adaptation practitioners with those focusing on environmental and social justice issues.

This program will help practitioners put a regional lens on climate adaptation, and make connections between urban vulnerable communities and rural landscape changes. Water scarcity, water pollution, and flooding are all upstreamclimate impacts that will disproportionately affect those least able to adapt in downstreamurban areas.

In the opening webinar, you will join panelists from the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program and the Gullah/Geechee Nation in exploring the importance of understanding social vulnerability and resilience. The subsequent four sessions will dive deeper into some of the key practice areas for social vulnerability: community engagement, indicators for social vulnerability, conducting social vulnerability assessments, and strategic communications.

Sign up for one or more sessions, and have the opportunity to participate in an online forum for participants, join working calls in between sessions, and connect to other participants working on similar issues.

Sessions will take place on Wednesdays from 3:00 – 4:10 EDT from May 27th through June 24th.

In this short course, you will:

  1. Develop a broad understanding of equity and social resiliency, and the connections between urban climate impacts and upstream landscape changes.
  2. Identify key indicators for social resiliency to climate change, and how they can be applied in urban and regional climate adaptation planning work.
  3. Develop skills and resources for successfully engaging diverse urban and regional communities in your adaptation work, strengthening connections and advancing social inclusion.
  4. Walk through the process of conducting an urban social vulnerability / social resiliency assessment and integrate it into your climate action work; and
  5. Develop an initial communications strategy to reach out and engage vulnerable urban communities.

Session 1: Panel – Building Social Resilience in Climate Vulnerable Communities
Wednesday May 27th at 3pm EDT (2pm CDT / 1pm MDT / 12pm PDT)
Jacqui Patterson, NAACP; Queen Quet, Gullah/Geechee Nation

In this webinar, you will join panelists from the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program and the Gullah/Geechee Nation, in exploring the importance of understanding social vulnerability and resilience, and how to develop partnerships to address those same issues in your work.

Session 2: Engaging Diverse Urban & Regional Communities in Climate Adaptation
Wednesday June 3rd at 3pm EDT (2pm CDT / 1pm MDT / 12pm PDT)
Tanya Harris, Community Outreach Manager, Make It Right, New Orleans, LA

Developing and implementing effective community engagement strategies for vulnerable communities is one of the most rewarding and challenging aspects of climate adaptation and urban resiliency. Hear from Tanya Harris about Make It Right’s successful efforts post-Katrina to engage residents of New Orlean’s 9th Ward in rebuilding their community, and to create a partnership where community members have a seat at the table in making decisions that affect their lives and communities.

Session 3: Indicators for Urban & Regional Social Vulnerability: How NAACP’s Indicators Were Developed, and How to Use Them
Wednesday June 10th at 3pm EDT (2pm CDT / 1pm MDT / 12pm PDT)
Jacqui Patterson, Environmental and Climate Justice Program, NAACP

Learn about the resource for equitable adaptation planning that the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program released late last year. Hear about the indicators and measures of vulnerability and resilience they developed that relate to infrastructure, community and population characteristics, systems, policies, programs and services, protocols, and governance/decision making. Hear about how the indicators are being used in on-the-ground adaptation planning work.

Session 4: Conducting Social Vulnerability and Resiliency Assessments for Climate Adaptation
Wednesday June 17th at 3pm EDT (2pm CDT / 1pm MDT / 12pm PDT)
Susan Durden, Institute for Water Resources, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Learn about the most commonly used tool for assessing social vulnerability, the Social Vulnerability Index (SoVI) developed by the Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute at the University of South Carolina. Hear from the U.S. Corps of Engineers how they have adapted the tool for use in a range of settings, including communities that can’t afford a full time statistician.

Session 5: Effective Marketing & Communications Strategies for Social Resiliency in Climate Adaptation
Wednesday June 24th at 3pm EDT (2pm CDT / 1pm MDT / 12pm PDT)
Ellie Klerlein, Director, Spitfire Strategies

Effective communications strategies are essential in climate adaptation planning. This session will cover the fundamentals of an effective communications strategy, and highlight how to reach hard-to-reach audiences such as low income urban communities.This session will walk through key questions such as who do you need to reach, what do they care about, what are the likely barriers to effective communication, and  who can most effectively deliver the message? You will also learn about several tools and resources that walk you through developing an effective communications strategy, provide guidance on planning a campaign, and more. Spitfire Strategies shares a vision of a better world, and works with nonprofits to make great things happen.

Michigan office prepares for health impacts of climate change

Listen to the full story from Great Lakes Echo.

Since 2009, Michigan officials have been ramping up an effort to address the health consequences of climate change. For example, health experts anticipate greater respiratory challenges like asthma as warmer temperatures intensify smog and fuel more wildfires that emit soot. The Michigan Climate & Health Adaptation Program, MI-CHAP, is participating in a joint effort with the national Centers for Disease Control to create what it calls “climate-ready states and cities.”

The MI-CHAP effort takes place in the Michigan Department of Community Health and Human Services.

Current State speaks with MI-CHAP program manager Aaron Ferguson.

Response to Senator McConnell’s Recommendation That States Refuse to Submit Plans Under Clean Power Plan

Via the Climate Law Blog.

On numerous occasions Senator Mitchell McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, has attacked the upcoming Clean Power Plan regulations that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is scheduled to issue in June of this year. Most notably, on March 19, 2015, he sent a letter to the National Governors Association urging the governors of all fifty states not to prepare state plans in response to those regulations. In that letter he laid out what he termed his “serious legal and policy concerns” regarding the EPA proposal. The letter received wide publicity.

Daniel Selmi has written an essay analyzing legal statements made by Senator Mitchell in his letter. The essay points out that the letter erroneously describes both EPA’s proposed regulations and the agency’s legal authority under the Clean Air Act. It examines how the letter does not fully delineate the consequences that will occur if states follow the letter’s advice and refuse to prepare plans that comply with the EPA regulations. Finally, the essay addresses claims in the letter regarding EPA’s ability to take control of state energy policy.

Professor Selmi is the Fritz B. Burns Professor of Real Property Law at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, and a Visiting Scholar at the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law.

Many Red States May Consider Climate Change Gag Rules

Read the full story in Governing.

While plenty of people found humor in the recent news that officials in Florida and Wisconsin are censoring state workers’ ability to talk about, much less work on, climate change, other states are not necessarily laughing. In fact, several political and environmental experts told InsideClimate News they could use it as a model to imitate.

From Santorum and the EPA’s Mercury Rule

Read the full post at

Rick Santorum misrepresented the Environmental Protection Agency’s impact analysis of a new agency rule that would reduce power plant emissions of mercury and other toxins…

The EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, or MATS, was finalized in February 2012 and takes effect in April 2015.



Obama’s climate change policy appears to survive early court challenge

Read the full story in the Los Angeles Times.

President Obama’s ambitious plan to battle climate change by forcing power plants to reduce their greenhouse gases appeared to survive its first court challenge Thursday, but only because the formal rules are still pending at the Environmental Protection Agency.

EPA, Dems assail bill targeting climate rule

Read the full story in The Hill.

Democrats and an Obama administration official lambasted House Republicans Tuesday for a bill that they say could delay carbon limits for power plants for years.

The bill’s opponents argued at a hearing that the bill is irresponsible and would significantly weaken the Environmental Protection Agency’s climate rule.