Pennsylvania map: rural regions vulnerable to climate change

If you look for communities in Pennsylvania that are most vulnerable to climate change, the picture probably is not going to be one of white families living in large, suburban houses. A study published in Environmental Research Letters earlier this year looked at 18,000 homes in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts and found that typical households in those three states made roughly $100,000. Those living in warm, southern locations had a third of the exposure to climate change as those in northern regions.

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According to this same study, the same 1% of Pennsylvanians who live in the warmest regions had roughly half the exposure to climate change. That same study found that nearly two-thirds of homes in the state are at risk of more severe storms. This is the group the newspaper’s report identified as “essentially unexposed” to climate change, meaning that they are not in rural areas susceptible to climate change.

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Even as the science unfolds with more and more details about the dangers of climate change, the majority of the American people have remained oblivious, or perhaps slightly skeptical, about the signs that it’s happening. This lack of action also extends to leaders like Annamie Paul, president of the Pennsylvanians For A Clean Environment, who has long been a very vocal advocate for strong greenhouse gas limits in the state.

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There are a few factors that account for Annamie Paul’s sudden resignation, including an order by Republican Governor Tom Wolf to freeze the state’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, an interstate cap-and-trade market. (Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative)

Paul said she accepted a $20,000-a-year state position meant to serve as a conduit to address climate change before she was ordered to do anything of the sort. “I accept personal responsibility for that decision and I apologize to my constituents, my fellow legislators, my state employees and staff,” she said in a statement. “Climate change isn’t theoretical to me anymore.”

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