Obama administration to announce climate hubs

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is expected to announce the executive order creating the climate hubs today.

Today President Obama will announce seven of what the administration's calling climate hubs around the country. These hubs will collect data to help farmers, and others, deal with drought, fires, and floods. Marketplace's David Weinberg joined us to help explain how this is going to work.

"So there's not a lot of details yet on how they will work but basically the seven hubs and 3 sub hubs, will collect regional data on climate conditions and use that data to educate farmers and rural communities on how to deal with things like drought and changes in the growing season. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says that droughts alone, from 2011-2013 cost the U.S. $50 billion. And the creation of these hubs is an example of the president's plan to bypass congress on certain issues, something he promised in his State of the Union speech last week."

And how will these hubs use this data to help rural communities?

We could see initiatives like we're seeing now in California which has been especially hard hit by drought. These are things like storm water capture projects or invasive pest control which have a big impact on the ag business. Data could help communities manage their water use and better develop systems for recycling water. The hubs would also study fire seasons which are getting longer and more severe as temperatures rise. And this is a sort of stepping stone to broader climate change legislation that the Obama administration would like to pass.

About the author

David Weinberg is a general assignment reporter at Marketplace.

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