Climate Change

Virginia needs to take stronger, proactive steps to mitigate the negative effects of climate change, bolster the Commonwealth’s resilience, and reduce the state’s carbon footprint. That’s the conclusion of an expert panel established by Governor McAuliffe to formulate recommendations that could be quickly enacted. The strategies begin with concerted efforts to educate both citizens and public officials -- and raise the capital that’s needed to fund improvements.

The governor stressed the urgency of the related problems.

New Study Finds Climate Change Means Risky Business

Jul 28, 2015

It took two years for scientists and economists to crunch the numbers based on 40 different climate models, but they’re out this week with a new report called Risky Business – an analysis of what a warmer planet will mean for Virginia. 

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President Obama’s budget revived a debate at the Capitol over energy policy and climate change. 

As lawmakers like to say, “budgets embody values,” and on the Hill there’s no question over whether the president’s budget shows his values in regards to the nation’s energy sector. He wants to hike clean energy spending by seven percent and offer a myriad of states some four billion dollars if they clean up their air at a quicker pace. Virginia Republican Congressman Morgan Griffith says the budget would be another blow to his southwestern district.      

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As the planet gets warmer, Virginia forests will die.  Our coastal cities will see massive flooding, and our weather will be like that of Louisiana or Alabama. 

We could make changes to head off catastrophe, but the state continues to burn fossil fuels while offering no incentives for a transition to solar and wind power. 

Climate change is a global problem, but journalist Steven Nash, who teaches at the University of Richmond, wanted to know what might happen here.  He’s written a book called Virginia Climate Fever, detailing what the Commonwealth can expect in the years to come.  He says the coasts will, of course, see more flooding, inland areas are also in for trouble.