CLIMATE ADAPTATION

I want to punch climate change in the face. A blog about the interactions between the built environment, people, and nature.


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Now, we are facing another rise in sea level of 1 to 4 feet. A rise of just 16 inches would be enough to endanger roads, highways and airports in San Francisco and Oakland. It could contaminate crucial groundwater in Los Angeles. Heat is already the leading cause of weather-related deaths, and the expected temperature increase will mean longer and hotter heat waves, like the one that killed 164 Californians during a blistering week in 2006.

That’s the bad news contained in the National Climate Assessment. The good news is we can do something to prevent these dire outcomes.

The report should be a wake-up call for leaders in Washington to overcome gridlock and start working on solutions. For models of how to proceed, they need only look to California and other states and cities that have begun to move forward in a bipartisan way.

The first step for policymakers — and for ordinary citizens too — is to understand the situation we face, which means carefully reading the National Climate Assessment. It may not be as gripping to look at or have the provocative appeal of a raging wildfire or another act of God, but the knowledge in this report is crucial to understanding how to change, to adapt, to prevent and to prepare for future disasters.

It’s our duty to pay attention.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s LATimes Op-Ed on the Obama administration’s forthcoming report on climate change called the National Climate Assessment (NCA).

If you can believe it way back in 1990(!), President George HW Bush signed America’s first climate change law called the Global Change Research Act. The act ordered the Federal Government to study the impacts and issues of climate change in America.

There are several elements of the act, but most important is that every four years, the government is supposed to issue a climate change report called the National Climate Assessment. You can read previous NCA reports, here.

The next NCA is due to be published within the next few months.

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