The high cost of California's atmospheric river: $11 billion

The recent atmospheric river in California has resulted in staggering costs, both financially and in human terms.

Heather Souvaine Horn reports for The New Republic.


In short:

  • The atmospheric river in California has caused an estimated $11 billion in damages.
  • This extreme weather event highlights the increasing severity and cost of climate-related disasters.
  • The impact is particularly severe in expensive neighborhoods, but it also significantly affects less affluent communities.

Key quote:

"The reason the sewers and storm drains aren’t built for anything even close to the catastrophe unfolding in California is largely thanks to cost."

— Dave Levitan, The New Republic.

Why this matters:

This situation emphasizes the urgent need for infrastructure improvements and climate resilience planning, especially in areas prone to extreme weather events. The article also points to the broader implications of climate change on public policy, urban planning, and disaster preparedness.

Preparing for and building back after natural disasters should not be a one-size-fits all approach.

LNG gulf coast
Leo Dyson, a retired commercial fisherman. (Credit: Courtney O'Banion for the Louisiana Bucket Brigade)

LNG production comes with a price, Gulf Coast communities warn

US takes the global lead on liquid natural gas production and export, as economic promises and environmental worries collide.

This 2-part series was co-produced by Environmental Health News and the journalism non-profit Economic Hardship Reporting Project. See part 2 here.Este ensayo también está disponible en español
Keep reading...Show less
Senator Whitehouse & climate change

Senator Whitehouse puts climate change on budget committee’s agenda

For more than a decade, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse gave daily warnings about the mounting threat of climate change. Now he has a powerful new perch.
Amid LNG’s Gulf Coast expansion, community hopes to stand in its way
Coast Guard inspects Cameron LNG Facility in preparation for first LNG export in 2019. (Credit: Coast Guard News)

Amid LNG’s Gulf Coast expansion, community hopes to stand in its way

This 2-part series was co-produced by Environmental Health News and the journalism non-profit Economic Hardship Reporting Project. See part 1 here.Este ensayo también está disponible en español
Keep reading...Show less
environmental justice

Agents of Change: New fellows focused on storytelling, policy change and justice

The Agents of Change in Environmental Justice program, a partnership between Environmental Health News and Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, is excited to announce our fifth group of fellows.

Keep reading...Show less
abandoned oil and gas wells economics
Credit: Amelia Martin/BigStock Photos ID: 396427748

The looming cost of unaddressed oil well closures

As the oil industry faces a downturn, unplugged oil and gas wells present significant environmental and financial challenges, potentially burdening taxpayers with the cleanup bill.

Mark Olalde and Nick Bowlin report for ProPublica and Capital & Main.

Keep reading...Show less

Builders resist stricter energy codes for new homes

In a clash over climate and affordability, home builders are lobbying against stricter energy efficiency standards for new houses, citing cost concerns.

Anna Phillips reports for The Washington Post.

Keep reading...Show less

Legal battle intensifies over Antwerp's new mega petrochemical plant

Environmental groups escalate their legal fight against the construction of Europe's largest petrochemical plant in Antwerp, citing severe environmental and climate concerns.

Sandra Laville and Lisa O'Carroll report for The Guardian.

Keep reading...Show less

UK bids farewell to fossil fuel pact

The UK has exited the Energy Charter Treaty, joining a wave of EU countries in rejecting the agreement criticized for hindering climate goals.

Stuart Braun reports for Deutsche-Welle.

Keep reading...Show less
From our Newsroom
petrochemical shell pennsylvania plastic

Tracking petrochemical accidents across the US

A new database monitors fires, flares, spills and other accidents at petrochemical plants.

petrochemical houston gulf coast

Lives “devastated’ by petrochemical industry pollution in Texas: Report

New analysis illustrates the climate, environmental, and human rights tolls linked to petrochemical production surrounding the Houston Ship Channel region.

LNG gulf coast

La producción de gas natural licuado tiene un precio, advierten las comunidades la Costa del Golfo

Entre promesas económicas y preocupaciones ambientales, Estados Unidos lidera la producción y exportación de gas natural licuado.

Ante la expansión del GNL en la costa del Golfo, la comunidad espera erigirse como un muro de contención

Ante la expansión del GNL en la costa del Golfo, la comunidad espera erigirse como un muro de contención

“La gente no sabe qué haríamos sin el petróleo y el gas. Esto nos sale muy caro”.

extreme heat

Op-ed: We are undercounting heat-related deaths in the US

Knowing how many people die or get sick from heat-related causes is essential for the policy arguments to equitably adapt to and mitigate climate change.

environmental justice

LISTEN: Idalmis Vaquero on turning community priorities into policies

“I wanted to find a way to connect the things I was learning in my classroom with the things I was seeing in my community.”

Stay informed: sign up for The Daily Climate newsletter
Top news on climate impacts, solutions, politics, drivers. Delivered to your inbox week days.