From the Ground Up | The State of the States on Climate Adaptation for Agriculture | IATP

Download the PDF of the report.

Executive Summary

A relentless series of destructive extreme weather events last year has staggered farmers and taken a toll on state governments around the country. From Hurricanes Harvey and Irma hitting parts of the south to droughts and wildfires in the Midwest to heatwaves in the West, farmers and rural communities are struggling to recover.

It is difficult to attribute any single weather event to climate change, but the rise in the number of extreme weather events, and the increase in their severity, are consistent with what the science tells us to expect from climate change. This year is on track to be one of the costliest in terms of weather-related damage in American history, consistent with the long-term upward trend in the number of extreme weather events costing more than one billion dollars, according to the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA).1

State governments are finding themselves on the front lines of responding to climate change, including the immediate and long-term effects on agriculture. These climate-related effects drain state government budgets and cause enormous financial and emotional harm to farmers and rural communities.

The severity of climate-related impacts will depend largely on how our farming systems respond to changes in local conditions. Climate adaptation plans, when implemented, can lower costs for local governments and lower risks for farmers and agriculture-related businesses—and potentially create new markets for businesses and farmers. The urgency to act on climate change is leading governments and businesses all over the world to develop climate adaptation plans.

At the international level, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recommends that climate adaptation planning be place- and context-specific, with no single approach for reducing risks across all settings. In the U.S., the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL) has been a leader in promoting state-based climate adaptation, because no two states or communities will experience climate change in exactly the same way.

…(read more).


Green Harvard



For over a decade, Harvard has been committed to changing the culture of how we work, live and learn to confront the challenges of climate change and environmental sustainability. Hundreds of students, staff and faculty through the University are dedicated to implementing innovative, economically-viable solutions that reduce waste, cut energy use and conserve resources.

This page is managed by the Harvard Office for Sustainability (OFS). OFS works as a catalyst for a change by partnering with faculty, students and staff at all Schools and administrative units to foster a culture of sustainability and use the campus as a living laboratory for innovation. OFS oversees the implementation of Harvard’s sustainability goals and convenes the community to share best practices and develop new programs and policies that strive to serve as replicable models to inspire our students and future leaders, and seek to influence the higher education, government and business sectors.

Sustainability and Religion: New Directions in Research and Practice

Harvard Divinity School

Published on Aug 17, 2012

Hosted by the HDS Green Team and the student group EcoDiv, this panel discussion featured Timothy C. Weiskel, research director at Cambridge Climate Research Associates, and HDS Professors Susan Abraham, Dan McKanan, and Diane Moore.

Richard Levins – The Two Faces of Science – HSPH Oct 17 2012

Published on Oct 20, 2012

HealthRoots Political Economy of Health Seminar Series Presents

The Two Faces of Science

a talk by
*Richard Levins *
John Rock Professor of Population Sciences
Harvard School of Public Health

Wed. Oct 17th | 12: 30 PM
Kresge 204
Harvard School of Public Health
677 Huntington Ave Boston

See further ist of resources on Richard Levins

Harvard Food+ Research Symposium: Daniel Schrag

Harvard University
Published on Apr 2, 2015

Daniel Schrag, Professor of Geology in the Earth and Planetary Sciences Department in the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Director of the Harvard University Center for the Environment

The Harvard Research Symposium on the Nexus of Food, Agriculture, Environment, Health, and Society (Food+ Symposium) featured twenty-two Harvard faculty members from eight schools and a dozen departments giving seven minute “speed presentations” on their current Food+ research.

The goal of the Food+ Research Symposium was to provide attendees with a sense of the excitement and breadth of the Food+ research underway at Harvard and foster cross-fertilization among researchers. For more information visit: You can also join the conversation at #HarvardFoodPlus.

For individual contributions see:


Presidential Panel on Climate Change

Harvard University

Published on Apr 16, 2015
Experts from the worlds of science, government, economics, business, and history gather in Sanders Theatre for a wide-ranging panel discussion on how society in general and universities in particular can best confront the perils posed by climate change.

Monday, April 13, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. in Sanders Theatre

Charlie Rose
Host and Executive Producer, Charlie Rose, PBS
Co-anchor, CBS This Morning

Joseph Aldy
Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

Christopher Field
Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, Stanford University

Rebecca Henderson
McArthur University Professor, Harvard University

John Holdren
Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, The White House

Richard Newell
Gendell Professor of Energy and Environmental Economics, Duke University

Naomi Oreskes
Professor of the History of Science, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Daniel Schrag
Sturgis Hooper Professor of Geology, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Preparing for Climate Change

Suite Partners
Published on Oct 31, 2014

In light of the new National Climate Assessment, the Preparing for Climate Change panel of experts discuss and explain what the findings mean for the average citizen and provides insight into how we may be able to adapt to our changing world. Moderated by MarySue Barrett of the Metropolitan Planning Council, the expert panel includes: WGN Chief Meteorologist Tom Skilling, the University of Illinois Department of Atmospheric Science’s Dr. Donald Wuebbles, the City of Chicago’s Chief Sustainability Officer Karen Weigert, and Mary Gade of Gade Environmental Group. Click here to learn more: Preparing for Climate Change brought to you by the Association for Strategic Planning/Chicago Chapter, LiveLab Network Chicago, the City of Chicago, the United States Global Change Research Program and the Metropolitan Planning Council.