Many, many thanks to the hardworking and amazing staff at Tumblr for featuring me today in the Tumblr Tuesday: Earth Week Edition! I’m humbled. I hope to work (nearly) as hard as they do.
I’m Michael, a climate adaptation specialist from Massachusetts. You can read a little more about me on my front page, right below my photo. Briefly, adapting to climate change is basically disaster and environmental management with a heavy dose of climate science. I don’t do carbon reduction or other energy stuff, and am not out to save the world a la Al Gore.
I work with, and conduct research for, the feds, Fortune 500 companies, climate scientists, and several universities. I help good folks prevent actual environmental impacts, like floods, fires, and big storms, especially around cities and coasts.
Obviously, I post lots of environmental and climate pieces. But, sometimes I challenge my fellow environmentalists to re-think and question their positions. I try to keep it positive, but I can get a little grouchy, even cynical sometimes…
Below is an excerpt from one of my favorite pieces published on GOOD magazine’s website (thanks Jerves!). I covered Obama’s under-reported/high-impact Executive Order 13514, which he signed into law in 2009. EO 13514 is a law that basically forces all federal agencies to become “sustainable.”
I know, it’s surprising to read that Obama did anything environmentally positive - but he did! And the work that is being accomplished is incredible. I call it a “secret” because his administration doesn’t talk about it with the public, much.
The EO includes a provision that the agencies include climate adaptation plans as part of their efforts to green. Below’s the article, and please tell me what you think!
Obama’s “Secret” Adaptation Plan
"At first glance, President Obama’s little-reported Executive Order 13514 (PDF) is a straightforward, environmentally-friendly one-two punch that boosts the sustainability of our government. The Order aims to lower the amount of greenhouse gases that the Federal Government emits, reduce environmental pollution and waste, and establish a permanent Sustainability Officer in each agency. It also “requires Federal Agencies to set a 2020 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target within 90 days; increase energy efficiency; reduce fleet petroleum consumption; conserve water; reduce waste; support sustainable communities; and leverage Federal purchasing power to promote environmentally-responsible products and technologies.”
But tucked into EO 13514 is a provision that requires all Federal Agencies to also adapt to climate change. The Order’s brief Section 16 (PDF) will have profound and long lasting effects on how our Federal Government responds to climate change. For here, each agency is required, among other things, to:
- Appoint a Climate Adaptation specialist
- Establish an Agency wide Climate Change Adaptation Policy and Mandate by June 2011
- Participate in Climate Adaptation workshops and then educate all employees throughout 2011
- Identify and analyze climate vulnerabilities that would interfere with accomplishing the Agency’s mission by March 2012
- Implement the adaptation plan by September 2012
The U.S. Navy’s Task Force Climate Change created a 5-year climate action plan, called the Navy Arctic Roadmap. The Roadmap is concerned with protecting U.S. interests in the Arctic Circle from impacts that melting ice—to the point of conducting Joint war games with allies. Other agencies are scrambling, as well. The USDA,…”
Read the rest at GOOD Magazine.