Climate News

Rural communities in the face of climate change

Climate change can be difficult to fully wrap your mind around. My fear is that more people will engage only after facing a crisis themselves—losing a home due to flooding, markets upended by multi-year droughts, or water shortages.

We know warming trends can accelerate or decelerate quickly depending on emissions and policies. We do not know when we will cross a threshold from which we cannot return. Carbon emissions increased in 2018 to nearly twice the rate seen in 2017 after three years of little to no increases.

A dire opportunity: rural communities in the face of climate change

Climate change can be difficult to fully wrap your mind around. My fear is that more people will engage only after facing a crisis themselves—losing a home due to flooding, markets upended by multi-year droughts, water shortages, etc. We know that warming trends can accelerate or decelerate quickly depending on emissions and policies. Some analysts consider the last few years to be an accelerating period. What we do not know is when we will have crossed a threshold from which we cannot return.

Winds of the past, a farm today

I love the wind. I like to feel it rushing by, rustling leaves. I like to watch birds catch a breeze and take off. My son loves flying kites, and watching bubbles twisting around, showing us just how much our air moves. However, there is a point where it stops sounding like the ocean and starts causing damage. Living next to our corn and bean acres outside Brainard, Nebraska, the wind races across the field unbridled and rips apart my yard. It knocks tree branches down, sends items unsecured across the highway, and causes damage to property and trees.

Making Nebraska’s food system more resilient in the face of an uncertain climate

Ask anyone if they’ve noticed weather patterns becoming increasingly erratic over the last 20 years and the answer is usually a resounding “yes!”

Extreme precipitation events, prolonged periods of drought, and scorching summer temperatures are all on the rise in the United States and worldwide. In the Great Plains region, droughts, floods and rising temperatures are already cutting crop yields. These erratic weather patterns are projected to reduce agricultural yields and livestock productivity even further as we move into the next 40 years.

Hey, South Dakota… Let’s Talk

During the month of September, the Center for Rural Affairs will host a series of farm tours and community conversations to talk with South Dakotans, particularly from rural and small towns. We’ll chat about how the state’s climate and energy future relates to farming and ranching, soil and water conservation, energy efficiency, renewable energy development and many other topics. All of the events are free and open to everyone.

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