Ben Buchwalter

CA Climate Strategy: Learn to Adapt
January 9, 2010, 3:57 pm
Filed under: Environment, Mother Jones | Tags: , , ,

August 5, 2009

Now that we have to get our asses in gear and deal with climate change, there’s some serious disagreement about how to prepare ourselves for what’s coming. When the California Natural Resources Agency released its Climate Adaptation Strategy in August 2009, I expected the debate between adapters and mitigaters to flare up. But my sources said that there’s much more agreement in the environmental community now than in past decades. Most everyone, they said, agrees that we must mitigate and adapt — essentially brace for impact. From MoJo’s Blue Marble:

California’s strategy is one of only seven adaptation-specific plans currently in the works.  But it highlights the transition from a widespread campaign to stop climate change to an effort to brace for the impacts that are nearly guaranteed within the next few decades. “It used to be that you’d get slapped in the face for talking about adaptation,” says Tony Brunello, the deputy secretary of climate change and energy for the CNRA. “It was seen as doing nothing and taking away from mitigation efforts.”

But that view changed once climate change became a hot button national issue, embraced as reality by scientists and most American politicians. Brunello notes that the adaptation strategy has not been bogged down by the usual reluctance toward adaptation becuase California has a reputation as a leader on climate change legislation. But, he says, “we are only playing with half a deck. People have to start paying attention the the effects that are already going to impact California.”


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