Earlier this year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) doused a smoldering debate over whether to extend the time wood stove manufacturers have to comply with updated pollution control standards. COVID-19, however, presented industry with just the cover needed to request that outdated regulations remain in place.
Americans' interest in seeking information about the novel coronavirus online spiked the day after the first case of COVID-19 was announced in their state but decreased back to baseline levels in less than two weeks, according to a study by researchers at Indiana University.
We hear a lot about the impacts of climate change in far-flung corners of the world. We are aware of the dangers of flooding along the US coastline. But what about the Midwest?
Researchers at IUPUI say there may be a silver lining to the coronavirus pandemic. Early research shows they are already seeing the effects of limited travel and mobility.
A new study co-authored by ERI affiliates John Baeten and Rebecca Lave describes a novel mapping technique used by the researchers to reconstruct and analyze the Lower Wabash River floodplain. The results better capture how human activity has altered the river dating back to 1914 and can be applied to help restore wetlands or other ecological features.
Two months after rejecting the wood stove industry's bid for regulatory relief, EPA has changed course, accompanied by an unusual written pledge to temporarily downplay enforcement of stricter emission standards that took effect Saturday.
As the COVID-19 pandemic drags into the heart of spring, more Americans are turning to the outdoors to lift their spirits. While activities like birdwatching, hiking, or gardening can help ease the anxiety surrounding one infectious disease, it potentially places people at risk of being exposed to others, such as those transmitted by ticks.
ERI Affiliate Shahzeen Attari published a paper earlier this year that examined how people understand the energy system in the United States and what they hoped it would look like in 2050. She and her team of researchers found that both liberals and conservatives expect the energy system of the future will be dominated by renewable sources, such as solar and wind.
In 2019, the Environmental Resilience Institute (ERI) launched the Resilience Cohort to help local governments in Indiana measure greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Now, a report summarizing the results of the program, including 19 community-wide GHG inventories and nine local government operations inventories across the 14 communities, is available to view.
While saving human lives and re-booting the economy are two utmost priorities for governments to consider when developing their post-Covid-19 Stimulus Package, they must not forget Nature.
By 2030, Indianapolis may need to generate up to 20% more electricity in the summer months based on a worst-case global warming scenario, researchers said in a recent report. In a best-case scenario, the need may be closer to a 12% increase among the June to September months.
Indiana University professors Eduardo Brondizio and Winnifred Sullivan have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Sullivan is a provost professor in the Department of Religious Studies, director of the Center for Religion and the Human and an affiliated professor in the Mauer School of Law. Brondizio is a distinguished professor in the Department of Anthropology and an adjunct professor in the Department of Geography, both in the College of Arts and Sciences, and in the O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs.
ERI Implementation Manager Andrea Webster has been awarded the Staff Innovation Award for outstanding contributions and achievements in advancing campus sustainability initiatives addressing sustainability challenges with overlapping and complex ecological, social, and economic dimensions at Indiana Univerisity Bloomington.
Energy connects to many important issues, including climate change, jobs and economic growth, equity and social justice, and international relations. It would be easy to assume that America’s energy future is a highly polarized topic, especially when the Trump administration is clashing with many states led by Democrats over energy policies. However, in a nationwide online survey, we recently found that broad support exists across the political spectrum for a future powered mostly by renewable energy sources. Our work highlights a consensus around the idea that the United States needs to move its entire energy system away from fossil fuels to low-carbon energy sources.
Thirty five million people get their drinking water from one of the Great Lakes. For years, these glacial reservoirs have been a reliable, safe source of water. But in 2017, the City of Toledo, Ohio had to tell its residents not to drink or even boil water coming from the city taps. The culprit: an enormous algae bloom in Lake Erie that overwhelmed Toledo’s water intake.
While social distancing measures have helped the U.S. ‘flatten the curve,’ they have presented a formidable challenge to vulnerable groups who cannot afford to lose their jobs and quarantine at home. With millions of Americans out of work and unable to pay their utilities—particularly their electric bills— the resulting energy insecurity will have longstanding and negative health effects across the nation unless urgent action is taken, according to a new article in Nature Energy
Learn about a new survey that shows 75% of Hoosiers believe climate change is happening.
Some parts of Indiana that have struggled with pollution are now meeting federal air quality standards. That’s according to three years of data from state and federal environmental agencies. Officials with the Environmental Protection Agency say that’s good news for people with asthma and other lung conditions.
The Environmental Resilience Institute hosted its second data summit on Friday, April 24, giving affiliated researchers a platform to share data-intensive work across multiple disciplines. The online meeting included presentations on Indiana attitudes toward environmental change, topography data captured by drones, and earth satellite imagery.
Janet McCabe has been a tireless advocate for public health, clean air and the environment, formerly as an official in the Environmental Protection Agency before her dual roles as professor of practice at IU McKinney and as director of the IU Environmental Resilience Institute. A go-to expert on environmental issues, she recently has been a leading advocate for Hoosier children impacted by lead poisoning and has been a mentor for the next generation of attorneys with a passion for public service.
EPA's emergency rule issued this month that cited the coronavirus pandemic to temporarily ease requirements to check real-world pollution emitted by power plants had originally called for a broader and potentially permanent rollback. The version released by EPA — which was changed after a White House review — has drawn praise from environmental advocates who have typically been critical of the Trump administration's moves. But that would not have been the case with EPA's original plan.
“Do Not Drink/Do Not Boil” is not what anyone wants to hear about their city’s tap water. But the combined effects of climate change and degraded water quality could make such warnings more frequent across the Great Lakes region.
Indiana University researchers have released results from the first comprehensive study of how COVID-19 mitigation policies affect measures of individual movement and contact in the United States. The results indicate that government mandates that happened late in the sequence of events like stay-at-home orders have very little impact on voluntary quarantine compared to early state actions of a more informational nature such as emergency declarations, and other state and local news.
The Environmental Protection Agency recently announced a change that removes the legal foundation for regulations on mercury and other toxins emitted from coal- and oil-fired power plants. The change, some experts worry, might set a precedent for rolling back pollution standards that have improved air quality in the Great Lakes area.
The Henry Darcy Distinguished Lecture Series in Groundwater Science fosters interest and excellence in groundwater science and technology. It was established in 1986 and named in in honor of Henry Darcy of France for his 1856 investigations that established the physical basis upon which groundwater hydrogeology has been studied ever since.
The coronavirus pandemic is likely to be followed by even more deadly and destructive disease outbreaks unless their root cause – the rampant destruction of the natural world – is rapidly halted, the world’s leading biodiversity experts have warned.
The coronavirus pandemic is amplifying the debate over the relevance of individual behavior in fighting climate change.
Most Hoosiers weren’t worried about an infectious disease outbreak before COVID-19. That was one of several findings from a recent Indiana University survey of Indiana residents.
The garage is humming with the sounds of machinery and ventilation, just a few decibels above normal on an otherwise quiet street. It’s Easter Sunday, and Adam Ward is behind a laser cutter—stabilized on two closet doors serving as makeshift tables—that is churning out plastic face shield after face shield for local health care workers.
Students and researchers at IUPUI are collecting people's personal stories right now for an oral history project about the experiences of COVID-19.
Wednesday is the 50th Earth Day. To mark the occasion, the Hoosier Environmental Council hosted a roundtable discussion with three environmental pioneers who once worked at the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
The same spirit that now forces us to work together to address the COVID-19 pandemic can be harnessed to address the challenge of climate change.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect daily life in Indiana, a major new survey from Indiana University's Environmental Resilience Institute reveals that, as recently as December 2019, only 1 out of 5 Hoosiers anticipated being affected by a major disease outbreak this decade.
Inherent uncertainties make climate modeling an easy target for the president and others who downplay the impact of COVID-19 or deny global warming.
Elizabeth Grennan Browning and the Research Fellows of the Indiana University Environmental Resilience Institute offer three key features of resilience that deserve deeper understanding and greater public commitment in response to the unprecedented moment of environmental crisis.
A growing number of prognosticators expect that global carbon dioxide emissions could fall 5% this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, amounting to the largest annual reduction on record. But climate researchers say there is little reason for celebration, for people or the planet.
By 2030, Indianapolis may need to generate up to 20% more electricity in the summer months based on a worst-case global warming scenario, researchers said in a recent report.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it is not “appropriate and necessary” to regulate emissions of mercury and other hazardous air pollutants from coal- and oil-fired power plants.
The Trump administration on Thursday weakened regulations on the release of mercury and other toxic metals from oil and coal-fired power plants, another step toward rolling back health protections in the middle of a pandemic.
To understand the migration patterns of local robins, Alex Jahn has begun using tiny GPS harnesses—little bird “backpacks”—to gather data on their movements.
Experts at an online policy dialogue on Monday agreed that the air quality across the world has improved due to lockdowns amidst the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and stressed the need for regional cooperation to maintain the air quality in future by sharing data.
With the 50th anniversary of Earth Day approaching on April 22, Indiana University's Environmental Resilience Institute has named its annual list of Hoosier Resilience Heroes, recognizing individuals and groups statewide for their efforts to prepare Hoosiers for climate change and promote safe, healthy communities.
Americans staying home to help flatten the curve of COVID-19 may have found themselves asking a simple question: how can I be more sustainable during these uncertain times? For many, that answer is gardening.
While a lack of rain causes many water scarcities, climate change will most likely bring a different kind of aridity to the Wabash River Basin that occupies most of Indiana. In a few decades, Hoosiers will likely experience rain-filled droughts.
Last December, the outbreak of COVID-19 started as a localized event but quickly spread globally because of lapses in surveillance and preparedness. In this sense, the current pandemic reflects many disasters—such as the oil well blowout on Deepwater Horizon and the aftermath of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami—which typically begin as singular events of limited harm but through a cascade of human and systemic errors end up having catastrophic impacts.
As the novel coronavirus spreads across Central Indiana, Hoosiers are holed up in their homes to wait out the pandemic. And, much like other cities across the world, this has created a particular environmental benefit: Air quality has improved.
Indiana's environmental agency may relax environmental enforcement for industries across the state, citing the difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic. But critics of this policy change — and a similar one at the federal level — fear it has the potential to do more harm than good.
Reversing a long-standing interpretation of its own regulations, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued "guidance" to its regional offices and states and seeks public comment on its intent to ease air-pollution permit rules for facility construction under the federal Clean Air Act.
Reforestation has been shown to cool surface temperatures, and a novel study suggests it may also reduce air temperature up to several stories above the ground.
New low-cost monitoring and mapping techniques can identify multiple pollution sources and reduce related human disease and death.
Local governments need access to relevant data and resources to plan for climate change. That’s why the Environmental Resilience Institute launched the ERI Toolkit (ERIT) in 2018. Since then, ERIT has been updated and expanded to include even more relevant planning information for decision-makers in Indiana and the Midwest.
Rev. Gladden is working under the auspices of the IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute (IAHI) to make inroads into Indianapolis communities through its interdisciplinary research program — called the Anthropocene Household Project— led by IAHI director Jason Kelly. It's part of the Prepared for Environmental Change Grand Challenges Initiative at Indiana University.
Both sides of the political spectrum recognize a need to reduce American dependence on carbon-based energy sources, but how the nation does so remains a divisive issue, a new study from Indiana University researchers has found.
Following a record-long 35-day government shutdown early last year, President Donald Trump's administration was already running short on time to finish high-priority environmental rollbacks before the November 2020 elections. Now the coronavirus outbreak that is sweeping across the nation is also threatening to derail some of the most important pieces of Trump's deregulatory environmental agenda by causing workforce disruptions and court delays.
The proposed rules would be harmful to any person who has benefitted from the cleaner air and water and the government accountability that NEPA has so powerfully advanced. Which is to say, everyone.
To fulfill its charge of preparing Hoosiers for worsening climate change, IU’s Environmental Resilience Institute focuses on six goals: predicting, measuring, motivating, advising, deploying and communicating. The Media School is a key player in the execution of the final goal: communicating. Its initiatives are two-fold: conducting scholarly research on environmental communication and increasing the quantity of environmental reporting in Indiana.
A new study co-authored by Environmental Resilience Institute Fellows Tara Smiley and Pascal Title highlights some of the regional climatic and land use challenges facing animals and ecosystems in North America.
The Trump administration is using the threat of withholding federal money to force communities threatened by climate change-induced flooding to evict homeowners living in flood zones.
In an effort to educate the public about the growing effects of climate change on the local population ahead of the city’s creating a climate plan, Goshen’s Department of Environmental Resilience asked an expert from Purdue University to present findings during the agency’s most recent program.
Indiana environmental regulators have approved a toxic polluting facility in southern Indiana that at least a dozen other states would have either denied or required additional controls.
A new online tool is helping towns in Indiana see how climate change will affect them.
Eleven Indiana cities will develop plans in 2020 to address greenhouse gas emissions as part of the next phase of Indiana University's Resilience Cohort program.
The Environmental Resilience Institute Toolkit was featured in the February Global Environmental Health newsletter from the National Institute of Environmental Health about web-based systems that can help local governments prepare for climate change.
ERI director Janet McCabe and ERI environmental historian fellow Elizabeth Grennan Browning testified to the Indiana Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights about the state’s plans to respond to lead poisoning problems and how barriers like environmental racism have slowed that response.
In a new study, a team led by Irene Newton showed that a bacterium< can inhibit the growth of two common fungal pathogens that infect 70 percent of all known insect species.
Indiana University's Janet McCabe, a professor of practice at the McKinney School of Law, and Elizabeth Grennan Browning, an IU environmental historian fellow, will testify at a Feb. 27 public briefing on lead exposure in Indiana.
Jet fuel from a fiery tanker explosion in Indianapolis has trickled into Pleasant Run Creek, sparking concerns from nearby residents about the effects on wildlife and water quality.
Since 2017, science teachers from across Indiana have been traveling to the Indiana University Bloomington campus to attend workshops on environmental change and its impact on communities.
Increasing temperatures due to climate change are likely to reduce the amount of water in Indiana’s soil and streams over time, despite modest projected increases in average annual rainfall, according to a study by Indiana University researchers.
To promote collaborative research and inform water stakeholders throughout the state, an Indiana University research team has created the Future Water science gateway, a public interactive data portal that shows users a highly detailed model of the Wabash River Basin under a number of different climate scenarios.
The Clean Water Act (CWA), which became law in 1972, is the primary federal mechanism by which streams, lakes, and wetlands are protected from degradation in the United States. On 23 January, the agencies released the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which details how the CWA will be enforced, including which waters receive federal protections under the act. ERI Affiliate Adam Ward and Riley Walsh argue that this rule blatantly ignores established science—including the agencies’ own studies and syntheses—and risks degrading U.S. waters to the point that ecosystems may be permanently harmed.
Shahzeen Attari studies how people respond to information about climate change. As a scientist at Indiana University Bloomington, she also explores other aspects of how people choose to use energy, water, and other resources. Her work is interdisciplinary research. In her case, it involves multiple fields of psychology, engineering, and environmental science.
The rate at which snow has fallen in the United States has changed significantly over the last 50 years, according to a new report. Those changes have forced Hoosiers to adapt to a changing climate over decades.
Global warming and its consequences can provoke anxiety in young people. Educators need to be trained on how best to teach about climate change.
Elected officials and community leaders from across Indiana will visit Evansville this year for an annual leadership summit on climate change. Earth Charter Indiana said the date for the Climate Leadership Summit is yet to be determined but that it will take place at the end of summer.
Bloomington residents are invited to share their experiences, concerns, and ideas related to climate change in an online community survey.
Three individuals will receive the John W. Ryan Award for Distinguished Contributions to International Programs and Studies including ERI Affiliate Gabriel Filippelli.
How well prepared for flooding are Indiana’s communities? And how does climate change affect flood risk?
“When we talk about climate change, biodiversity loss and desertification, we are talking about the symptoms of the insatiable quest for economic growth and inequities that keep people who contribute the least to these problems suffer the most,” said Susan Chomba during her keynote address to the International Society of Tropical Foresters Conference. “We must recognize that human beings are living in an interconnected world.”
On Jan. 20, IU President Michael McRobbie unveiled the Big Red 200 supercomputer, a long-awaited project poised to change the face of research at IU and across the state. The Big Red 200 operates at 5.9 petaFLOPS a measure of computational speed making it the 32nd most powerful supercomputer in operation.
If you want to clean up the largest pollution spill in the country, one unaltered by decades of work and billions of dollars, you need to spend a lot of time making tiny measurements. Most of them will only confirm the depressing trend: More and more contaminants are winding their way from farms into rivers and streams.
The climate is changing. Some still argue over the cause and who or what to blame but as they experience more rain and more flooding there’s more agreement that action is needed.
After six months of celebrations, Indiana University (IU) officially marked its bicentennial on Monday – and it saved the best for last, inaugurating Big Red 200, a new AI-focused supercomputer that joins the ranks of the fastest academic supercomputers in the world.
Janet McCabe is a former assistant administrator of the air and radiation office at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. She once oversaw the nation’s ethanol program. She believes the country will never reach its sustainable-energy goals without major policy changes. But McCabe also has “some sympathy for the agricultural community,” which got drawn into ethanol at the government’s behest.
EPA aims to breathe new life into a climate software program designed to help small and midsize communities prepare for severe weather events associated with climate change.
The Jan. 10 IndyStar article about how the massive DigIndy tunnel project will be undersized for the rain events we can increasingly expect to see as Indiana's changing climate brings more frequent and more severe storms is just one example — a pretty dramatic one for sure — of how much Hoosiers need accurate information about our future and governmental processes that allow that information to be considered when making decisions about infrastructure and other community investments.
A new paper co-authored by IU Assistant Professor Ben Kravitz assesses the body of knowledge related to solar engineering, a form of climate engineering that aims to cool the surface of the earth by reflecting more sunlight back into space, and recommends a systematic effort to support decision-makers who may one day consider techniques to artificially cool the planet.
Climate change in Indiana will mean more rain in the winter and spring. Because there are fewer plants at that time of year to soak up all of that water, that will mean more flooding. As we reported back in May, many Hoosiers don’t have flood insurance. Other than buying flood insurance, how can cities in Indiana and their residents prepare for more flooding in the state?
The Evangelical Community Church and Bloomington synagogue Beth Shalom have paired up to work together on environmental issues. ECC Pastor Bob Whitaker knows the partnership might be considered unusual, because Evangelicals don’t often get involved in interfaith groups.
The Trump administration is working to weaken U.S. environmental regulations in many areas, from water and air pollution to energy development and land conservation. One of its most controversial proposals is known as the secret science rule because it would require scientists to disclose all of their raw data, including confidential medical records, in order for their findings to be considered in shaping regulations.