The Obama administration announced Wednesday the creation of seven regional “climate hubs” designed to help farmers, ranchers, and rural communities combat the effects of climate change, including drought, floods, pests, and fires.
New York State will be serviced by the Northeast Hub, stationed in Durham, New Hampshire.
The move is one of several executive actions that President Obama has said he will take on climate change without action from Congress.
According to an article by Think Progress:
…the centers will look into climate forecasting and data, risk assessment, and how to adapt farming and livestock practices to climate change and new forms of extreme weather. They’ll also serve as an information and coordination hub for their particular region, linking farmers and ranchers up with universities, government agencies, scientific research centers, and other groups in an effort to spread the best farming practices and the best climate adaptation strategies.
These hubs are intended to help the federal government synchronize its climate resources with what other entities, such as universities and state governments are doing to prepare for shifting weather patterns.
Response to this announcement has been mixed, primarily because designation as a hub comes with no new funding or resources; rather the centers will focus on “repackaging climate change information… in user-friendly ways and getting it into the hands of the people who need it most.”
Hubs will be located in USDA facilities and will network with on-the-ground public, academic, and private sector organizations, researchers, and outreach specialists in order to disseminate information and guidance on technologies and risk management practices at regional and local scales.
How does this move fit into the President’s larger climate agenda? The New York times analyzes it this way:
In substance, the creation of the climate hubs is a limited step, but it is part of a broader campaign by the administration to advance climate policy wherever possible with executive authority. The action is also part of a push to build political support for the administration’s more divisive moves on climate change — in particular, the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations on coal-fired power plants.
Hubs will be located in Ames, Iowa; Corvallis, Oregon; Durham, New Hampshire; El Reno, Oklahoma; Fort Collins, Colorado; Las Cruces, New Mexico; and Raleigh, North Carolina.
Image credit: USDA