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16 Nov 2015: U.S. Cities Vary Widely in Climate
Preparation Due to Politics, Study Says

Matthew Paulson/Flickr
Downtown Tampa, Florida
Portland, Boston, and Los Angeles are further along than many U.S. cities in planning for extreme weather events linked to global warming, according to a study published in the journal Global Environmental Change. The report found that Tucson, Arizona, and Raleigh, North Carolina, are in the middle-to-early stages of planning, while Tampa, Florida — which is at the highest risk for hurricanes in the U.S. and is located very near sea level — largely dismisses climate change and has done little to plan for it. The study is the first to look at societal factors, such as a city's political environment, and how those factors affect action on climate change. Interviews with 65 local policymakers in each of the six cities revealed three factors that play a role in how well city planners prepare for climate change: the risk of extreme weather in a given area, public acceptance of climate change, and how aggressively a city's residents engage in public policy and politics.


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