In the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, many beach houses were wiped out. One building has stood the test of the strongest storm that ever struck Florida's Panhandel since hurricane was first recorded. NYT reported this remarkable building, which highlights the importance of voluntary decision to build "for the big one."
The Department of Geography at the University of Alabama is accepting applications for a one-year research assistantship in political ecology with the possibility of renewal for the pursuit of a doctoral degree. The assistantship provides a stipend plus tuition remission.
The successful applicant will work with me and will be involved in political ecology projects focused on human dimension of climate change, community resilience to climatic hazards, environmental hazards and public health in the U.S. in general and the U.S. Gulf Coast in particular.
Qualified candidates should have a Master’s degree in Geography, Environmental Studies/Sciences, Planning or a related discipline. Candidates should have a strong interest in the intersection of social, political, and physical dimensions of climate change and be eager to work in an interdisciplinary environment. Experience in quantitative data analysis and geographic information systems (GIS) are desired. Strong oral and written communication skills are required.
For more information about this assistantship, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org well in advance of February 15, 2019 (the application deadline). Please include a copy of your CV, unofficial academic transcripts, and a brief personal statement that highlights skills relevant to the position.
For more information about the department, please see https://geography.ua.edu/.
William Nordhaus was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences because of his decades' effort to integrate climate sciences into economic models. His Dynamic Integrated Climate and Economy (DICE) is used to explain how Greenhouse Gases emissions if not tamed could lead to catastrophes down the road. This pioneering effort is not immune to criticism. Using climate-economy integrated models to design and implement specific climate policies is subject to misuses, as Robert Pindyck contended. According to Pindyck, modeler's limited knowledge about climate sensitivity and arbitrary selection of functional forms and parameter values do not make results from complicated models more valid than modeler's own "expert" opinion.
Two events with significance for the climate community took place today. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) just released a special report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C . Half of the Nobel Prize in Economics was awarded to an economist who integrates climate change into economical models and puts a price tag on carbon emissions.
It is widely known that severe air pollution can cause public health crises. A working paper specifically links air pollution with dementia among the aging population. It finds that long-term exposure to air pollution can increase the prevalence of dementia, suggesting the air pollutants' impairment of cognition.
Scholars have long speculated the function of religion as a psychological coping mechanism to mitigate life's unpredictable tragedies and adversities. This paper uses earthquakes, one manifestation of unpredictable tragedy, as a determinant in models explaining variations of individual religiosity. It finds that people all over the world become more religious when struck by earthquakes.
I am featured in this article on hurricane risk perceptions published on Medium today.
When many people thought 2018 would be a relatively quiet hurricane season, monstrous Hurricane Florence is barreling towards the east coast. More than one millions coastal residents are facing mandatory evacuation order. It is now classified as Category 4 hurricane. The Saffir-Simpson scale only considers wind speed. In addition to destructive wind, hurricanes bring heavy rainfall as we witnessed during Hurricane Harvey last year and dangerous storm surge. There will be imminent flooding risks.
A year after Hurricane Harvey, the decisions to rebuild can affect the future. I just published an analysis article on the Conversation. Here is the last paragraph:
"My recent research shows that even with their flaws, FEMA flood maps influence decisions to purchase flood insurance and overall support for flood mitigation. Policy makers need to seriously consider how to accurately communicate increasing flood risks to the public. Reverting to old flood maps and granting variances to promote development is a recipe for more disasters down the road."
Hat tip to Emily Powell at the National Wildlife Federation, who brought this situation to my attention.
Many people were left in bewilderment immediately after the 2016 presidential election. Many attempt to compose a reasonable theory to explain the outcome. Using a panel data from 2012 to 2016, this paper recently published on the PNAS find evidence to support the theory of perceived status threat, suggesting that the increasing anxiety among high-status groups, against the backdrop of America's decrease in global dominance and rise of demographic multi-racial diversity, drove the outcome. This theory resonates with what Hochschild's book Strangers in Their Own Land documents.