Many Corn Belt states unprepared for climate change

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click image to zoom The Natural Resources Defense Council released a new report ranking states in terms of how their governments have addressed the challenges posed by climate change. The report shows that many Corn Belt states rank in the bottom two categories of four category ranking system NRDC created for the report. Since many Midwestern states don’t have as many water challenges, their governments do not appear to be as focused on setting climate change directives.

NRDC’s report focuses on how state governments across the nation are planning and preparing for the water-related impacts of climate change. These impacts include more severe and frequent storms, intense rainfall, sea-level rise, warmer water temperatures and drought events.

The new NRDC report, “Ready or Not: An Evaluation of State Climate and Water Preparedness Planning,” outlines four preparedness categories to differentiate between the nine best-prepared and most engaged states with comprehensive adaptation plans (including California, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin), from those states that are least prepared and lagging farthest behind (including Florida, New Mexico, Ohio, Virginia and Texas). 

Corn Belt states that ranked in the bottom, Category 4, include Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio and South Dakota. Category 3-ranked Midwestern states included Illinois, Kentucky, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Tennessee. Overall, 29 states have done either nothing at all or very little to prepare for water-related climate impacts.  

Key findings of the report include:

• Nearly nine out of 10 states are poised for more frequent and intense storm events and/or increased flooding.

• While at least 36 states are facing possible water supply challenges, only six of those have comprehensive adaptation plans.

• The majority of states – 29 or nearly 60 percent - have done either nothing at all or very little to prepare for water-related climate impacts.  (See full list below.)

• Six states – Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, North Dakota, Ohio, and South Dakota – have done virtually nothing to address climate pollution or prepare for climate change in the face of growing water risks.

• Water preparedness activities appear to have “slowed or stalled” in four of the nine best prepared states – Alaska, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

• Only 22 states have developed plans and formally adopted targets or goals to cut the pollution that causes climate change, which comes mainly from power plants and vehicles.

The full list of the nine most prepared states (“Category 1”) consists of:  Alaska, California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington and Wisconsin.

The climate crisis poses far-reaching implications for water supply, quality, accessibility and use. More intense rainfall events increase flooding risks to property and health, and can cause devastating economic damages. They also overwhelm often-antiquated infrastructure, leading to increased discharges of untreated sewage in waterways and potentially contaminating drinking water supplies and closing beaches. Drought conditions and warmer temperatures threaten supply for municipalities, agriculture, and industries, and could increase water demand for irrigation, hydropower production and power plant cooling.

NRDC plans to update the map every 6 months to one year as it will continue to monitor changes in each state.

For more information about NRDC’s Ready or Not and to find out how your state ranks, go to

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Detroit  |  April, 06, 2012 at 08:38 AM

Climate change was our Iraq false war and it made fear mongering neocons out of all of us. Climate change crisis believers were bed wetting, drama-queen, baby talk intellectuals, who thoughtlessly condemned their own children to the greenhouse gas ovens purely on a media hyped “they say it’s true” headline. These goose-stepping Greenzis had made fear mongering neocons out of all of us and Bush still laughs at our Iraq-like false war of climate blame. The same world of science that for decades denied the toxicity of their pesticides enjoyed exploiting 26 years of needless panic with their consultant’s wet dream of climate blame. This wasn’t about a changing climate; it was about controlling a changing climate…….pure insanity! Meanwhile, the entire world of SCIENCE had allowed bank-funded and corporate-run “CARBON TRADING STOCK MARKETS” to trump 3rd world fresh water relief, starvation rescue and 3rd world education for just over 26 years of insane attempts at climate CONTROL. “GLOBAL WARMING IS THE GREATEST THREAT FACING THE PLANET TODAY. A warming planet alters weather patterns, water supplies, seasonal growth for plants and a sustainable way of life for us, and the world’s wildlife. Climate change has already started, but it’s not too late to take action. There’s still time for us all to be part of the solution.” This was scientific exaggeration at its worst. Would you have denied climate change was real when you were being paid to study the effects of it?

Minnesota  |  April, 09, 2012 at 12:15 PM

To paraphrase Bill Cosby: Noah! It's the Lord. I'd like to talk to you about climate change. What? No way! That's all just false science. Fine, how long can you tread water?

SD  |  April, 10, 2012 at 01:39 AM

What is Natural Resources Defense Council- A non-profit, with a sole purpose of creating comtributions- Its time to end activist organizations from tax exemopt status- Churches, schools and government entities from Townships to the Federal Govt. shoud be the only tax exempt organizations left. Tax every other non-profit as they should be, a for-profit organization whose only goal is to raise funds. No contribution to such a group should be deductable, its a double drain on the budget. Why do you think we are $1.6 trillion per year short. its all the hand-outs and loopholes for organizations like Natural Resources Defence Council, PETA, HSUS, Mercy fo Animals, etc who have no charitable purpose and don't follow what they told IRS they were going to do when they received their tax exempt status, and have agenda's which are solely based on raising funds.

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