Environmental Change in the Midwest, with Janet McCabe, Environmental Resilience Institute  artwork
Social Entrepreneur

Environmental Change in the Midwest, with Janet McCabe, Environmental Resilience Institute

  • S2E293
  • 29:47
  • May 19th 2020

The Environmental Resilience Institute helps midwestern communities understand and prepare for environmental change. 

There’s something powerful about understanding how a global trend impacts your local community. For example, it’s one thing to hear about world hunger. It’s another to hear about hunger in your state. But there’s a different feeling when you realize that there’s a hungry kid in your neighborhood. As Tip O’Neill said, “All politics is local.”

It’s the same thing with climate change. You’ve probably heard about the global climate crisis. And, when your state is mentioned, you might pay attention. But, when you notice the impact on the health and wellbeing of your local community, well, there’s something compelling about that.

Climate Change in the Midwest

We hear a lot about the impacts of climate change in far-flung corners of the world. We are aware of the dangers of flooding along the US coastline. But what about the Midwest?

The average annual temperature has been increasing across the Midwest. Warmer air holds more moisture, which changes moisture patterns. That means more frequent flooding, and drought.

For each 1 degree Celsius of warming, the crop yield declines for corn, wheat, rice, and soy.

Warmer, wetter winters have led to higher tick populations. The mosquito season is longer. Mosquitoes and ticks spread diseases.

Helping Midwestern Communities Understand and Prepare for Environmental Change

Janet McCabe is an expert in environmental law and policy. She is the director of the Environmental Resilience Institute at Indiana University.

The Environmental Resilience Institute collects data across all 92 counties in Indiana to predict changes in climate, groundwater systems, vegetation, wildlife, and more. Their goal is to help Indiana understand how a changing climate will affect health, communities, industry, and agriculture.

Before joining the Environmental Resilience Institute, Janet held key positions in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

Learn More About Janet McCabe and Indiana University Environmental Resilience Institute:

·        Indiana University Environmental Resilience Institute: https://eri.iu.edu

·        Janet McCabe on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/janet-mccabe-204b53126

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