Obama proposes $1 billion climate protection fund

Feb 15, 2014
US President Barack Obama (2nd L) tours a farm in Los Banos, California, on February 14, 2014

President Barack Obama proposed a $1 billion fund to mitigate the impact of climate change in the United States, and unveiled financing to combat drought parching swathes of California.

The president landed in the Central Valley area and met farmers who have lost livestock and seen once fertile lands wither through lack of water.

"The budget that I send to Congress next month will include $1 billion in new funding for new technologies to help communities prepare for a changing climate," Obama said on Friday.

The president also noted that the snowpack in California mountains—which he overflew in Air Force One was less extensive than normal—compounding water scarcity.

"As anybody in this state could tell you, California's living through some of its driest years in a century. Right now, almost 99 percent of California is drier than normal," Obama said.

It is unclear whether the fund has much prospect of advancing past Republicans on Capitol Hill, where skepticism of the science of global warming and Obama's wider political agenda runs deep.

White House spokesman Jay Carney argued earlier that was already having a demonstrable impact on the American climate.

"We've always had heatwaves, but now the worst ones are longer, and they're hotter," Carney said.

US President Barack Obama (2nd L) talks to Rep. Jim Costa while walking to Air Force One, at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, February 14, 2014

"We've always had droughts, but the worst ones are getting longer and drier.

"We've always had severe storms, but instead of 100-year storms that happen once in a hundred years, we're having 100-year storms that happen every other year or every five years."

The new Climate Resilience Fund is intended to finance research into better understanding of projected impacts of climate change and how to better protect communities and infrastructure.

It is also designed to help vulnerable communities plan and prepare for the impacts of climate change and to encourage local measures to reduce future risk and to fund new resilient technologies and infrastructure to combat a warming climate.

The drought emergency has sparked wildfires and prompted Governor Jerry Brown to ask Californians to cut their water use by 20 percent.

California Governor Jerry Brown (L), farmer Joe Del Bosque (2nd L) and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) listen to US President Barack Obama speaking after touring the Empresas Del Bosque, Inc. farm in Los Banos, California, on February 14, 2014

Obama pledged to implement $100 million in livestock disaster assistance for California producers contained in a recently passed agriculture bill.

He highlighted $15 million in conservation funding for extreme drought areas in California, Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

A further $5 million will be provided for emergency watershed protection for California, among other measures that also include a mandate for federal facilities to use less water.

Explore further: US to build regional hubs to fight climate change

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ScooterG
2.6 / 5 (5) Feb 15, 2014
"The new Climate Resilience Fund is intended to finance research into better understanding of projected impacts of climate change and how to better protect communities and infrastructure."

Dream-up doom and gloom scenarios and get paid for doing so!
PluviAL
2 / 5 (1) Feb 16, 2014
It is reassuring that people are talking about solutions, and getting past the politics. Science and industry are way past the point of arguing, they are taking action.
Getting past the do nothing stage, is apparent in Pluvinergy consideration. As more people read about it and learn of its potential, the concept is beginning to get some traction. Hopefully, larger scale prototypes will soon be demonstrated, so that a full scale system can show that indeed we can control the CO2 that we put into the air, and the correct the climate experiment that is rapidly unfolding.
It is great that a Democratic President supports and Democratic Governor; but the work President Obama did with the Republican Governor of NJ is even better news. We have to work together to solve what may be the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced. We are all Americans, and we must face this potential catastrophe together.
antigoracle
1 / 5 (2) Feb 17, 2014
Wonder how much CO2 that flight put into the atmosphere?
But then, we all know CO2 is not the issue, greed is.
Nestle
3 / 5 (2) Feb 17, 2014
The most effective investments of $1 billion into climate protection fund would be their investment into cold fusion research and applications. From the same reason this will never happen.