Climate Change

Our planet is in crisis. But until we call it a crisis, no one will listen.

When Senator Kamala Harris was asked about climate change during the Democratic debate in June, she did not mince words. “I don’t even call it climate change,” she said. “It’s a climate crisis.”

She’s right – and we, at Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness, wish more people would call this crisis what it is.

US Remains Ill-prepared for Terror Attacks, Natural Disasters [Part I & Part II]

How prepared is the U.S. to deal with future disasters? The Globe Post asked Dr. Irwin Redlener. In this two-part interview, Redlener reexamines where the U.S. stands today regarding disaster preparedness, taking new factors into account such as up-to-date climate science, the threat of cyber warfare and the election of Donald Trump.

We're dangerously unprepared for the heat crisis from climate change

Hot enough for you?

Well, if you live in one of the many US cities where official heat emergencies have been declared, or if you live in California, suffering the worst wildfires in the state's history, the answer is obvious. Extreme heat creates terrible conditions. And for many vulnerable individuals those conditions can be -- and often are -- deadly.

Climate Change and Health on the U.S. Gulf Coast: Public Health Adaptation is Needed to Address Future Risks

The impacts of climate change on human health have been documented globally and in the United States. Numerous studies project greater morbidity and mortality as a result of extreme weather events and other climate-sensitive hazards. Public health impacts on the U.S. Gulf Coast may be severe as the region is expected to experience increases in extreme temperatures, sea level rise, and possibly fewer but more intense hurricanes.

Can Living With Long-Term Drought Cause Trauma?

Dr. Irwin Redlener spends a lot of time thinking about what can go wrong. For decades, he has advised governments about how to handle the public health consequences of hurricanes, tornadoes, terrorist attacks, earthquakes, and the like. That’s because, as director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at the Earth Institute at Columbia University, analyzing all the various catastrophes that can befall human beings—as well as figuring out strategies for preparing to withstand disaster and recovering when the worst happens—is, quite simply, his job.