Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Trump Disbands Panel That Helped Cities Respond to Climate Threat

Popular
Trump Disbands Panel That Helped Cities Respond to Climate Threat

Texas National Guard soldiers conduct rescue operations in flooded areas around Houston, Texas on Aug. 27. 1Lt. Zachary West, 100th MPAD

By Jessica Corbett

In the Trump administration's latest attempt to quash any efforts by the federal government to raise awareness or mitigate the effects of climate change, a community resilience panel announced Monday that the president had terminated the two-year-old group.


Chairman Jesse Keenan, a Harvard University professor, told the other members of the Community Resilience Panel for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems on Monday that there would be no further meetings and the panel would dissolve, per President Donald Trump's orders.

"This was the federal government's primary external engagement for resilience in the built environment," Keenan told Bloomberg News.

"It was one of the last federal bodies that openly talked about climate change in public," he added. "I can say that we tried our best and we never self-censored!"

The panel was created in 2015 by former President Barack Obama in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and had more than 350 volunteer members. Its mission to guide municipal governments and local groups to improve buildings, communications, energy systems and transportation in response to climate threats made the panel especially vulnerable under the Trump administration.

Keenan told E&E News that the panel's ability to collaborate resilience efforts across local, state, and the federal government as well as the private sector were especially notable, and described the group's key activities:

We identified gaps in codes and standards, we proposed streamlined communications channels, we vetted best practices in design standards, we created guides for operators of infrastructure facilities, etc. ...

It was a very diffuse effort by virtue of the diversity of infrastructure sectors that we covered, but we built a meaningful entity that served as a direct avenue of engagement with the federal government.

The panel was sponsored by the Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology, and co-sponsored by the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Economic Resilience, the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, and the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as well as its Office of Infrastructure Protection.

The group's members were scheduled to meet again in the spring of 2018.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.

54% of parents with school-age children expressed concern that their children could fall behind academically, according to a poll conducted over the summer of 2020. Maria Symchych-Navrotska / Getty Images

By Pamela Davis-Kean

With in-person instruction becoming the exception rather than the norm, 54% of parents with school-age children expressed concern that their children could fall behind academically, according to a poll conducted over the summer of 2020. Initial projections from the Northwest Evaluation Association, which conducts research and creates commonly used standardized tests, suggest that these fears are well-grounded, especially for children from low-income families.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A teenager reads a school English assignment at home after her school shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic on March 22, 2020 in Brooklyn, New York. Andrew Lichtenstein / Corbis via Getty Images

The pandemic has affected everyone, but mental health experts warn that youth and teens are suffering disproportionately and that depression and suicide rates are increasing.

Read More Show Less

Trending

In an ad released by Republican Voters Against Trump, former coronavirus task force member Olivia Troye roasted the president for his response. Republican Voters Against Trump / YouTube

Yet another former Trump administration staffer has come out with an endorsement for former Vice President Joe Biden, this time in response to President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less
Climate Group

Every September for the past 11 years, non-profit the Climate Group has hosted Climate Week NYC, a chance for business, government, activist and community leaders to come together and discuss solutions to the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less
A field of sunflowers near the Mehrum coal-fired power station, wind turbines and high-voltage lines in the Peine district of Germany on Aug. 3, 2020. Julian Stratenschulte / picture alliance via Getty Images

By Elliot Douglas

The coronavirus pandemic has altered economic priorities for governments around the world. But as wildfires tear up the west coast of the United States and Europe reels after one of its hottest summers on record, tackling climate change remains at the forefront of economic policy.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch