Three Things That Will Change Radically With Climate: Drug & Alcohol Use, & FEMA's Budget

FEMA covered flood damages photo

I probably could have listed other things that will increase commensurate with climate change: like doomsday cults, prohibitionist movements and radical political groups, for example. But I wanted to focus on investment and budget control opportunities people are overlooking. Let's start by analyzing the latter. In their 2002 paper, The Political Economy of FEMA Disaster Payments, (pdf file) Garrett & Sobel examined whether congressional and presidential influences affect the rate of disaster declaration and the allocation of federal disaster relief payments made by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). They concluded that...

Federal disaster declaration is open to political influences because there are no established set of criteria the president uses when deciding whether or not to declare a disaster; and the president has unilateral authority to declare a disaster.
Overall, the authors state, that "nearly half of all FEMA disaster relief is explained by political influence rather than actual need." Well 'of course' you are thinking. (Current corollary - Hoped for election year outcomes play into the disaster determinations; and the fact that BP is paying for Gulf gusher disasters, so far with no help from FEMA, is significant - Congress has no role in the recompense and Obama gets all the credit.)

As for the alcohol and drugs, getting blasted is a simply a matter of choosing your poison versus deciding who and what to invest in as a constructive intervention.

Now, on to state by state flood damage assessments and the political economy of FEMA declarations. To be continued...

Hint: oil patch and coal patch states are prominent disaster claimants. Reference:Flood Damage In The USA

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