President Barack Obama toured drought-ravaged California last week, promising $183 million in aid to farmers and communities devastated by water shortages from the region’s worst drought in more than 100 years. The president also proposed creating a $1 billion Climate Resilience Fund to help communities better prepare for future droughts, heat waves, wildfires, storms, and floods. This valuable fund would invest in research, planning, preparation, and breakthrough technologies to make infrastructure “more resilient in the face of changing climate.” It also would help communities better protect their residents, vital services, and businesses from extreme weather events. Even though the Climate Resilience Fund could help their communities, the key question now is whether congressional Republicans will pass this proposal, as a majority of these legislators deny climate science, according to a Climate Progress survey.
Extreme weather continues to batter the United States. California is just part of the one-quarter of the area in the lower 48 states suffering from drought, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center. This drought could lead to an increase in significant wildfires between now and May, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. The Washington Post noted that officials are worried that “a confluence of factors, including climate change and human development, are conspiring to create conditions ripe for a landmark fire year.”
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