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This is what climate adaptation looks like. Partnerships between cities (for the zoning and permits), residents (to protect their property), universities (for the climate science), and private sector (engineering and construction expertize).

Many properties in Boston may have to waterproof their buildings – raising critical electrical systems to higher levels or building barriers against storm surges — as sea levels rise from climate change.

The city is stepping up a campaign to prepare buildings for rising seas that could significantly flood neighborhoods during storms.

The public-private plan comes at the same time a Boston Harbor Association report spotlights high-risk areas, such as Long Wharf and University of Massachusetts Boston, and outlines how property owners can best protect themselves from water.

Hurricane Sandy and last week’s massive snowstorm have added new urgency to the issue, city officials say. This “will help make our waterfront and the rest of Boston better prepared to handle future storms and get the city back in business as quickly as possible,” Mayor Thomas Menino said.

In the next six months, the Boston Conservation Commission will develop new flood-plain maps to take in to account future storm surges atop higher sea levels. A wetlands ordinance will also help guide property owners to prepare for higher sea levels, said Brian Swett, chief of Environment and Energy for the city.

Via Boston Globe

1. Design environmental education programs that can be properly evaluated, for example, with before-after, treatment-control designs.
2. Teach where resources come from
3. Show what “tipping points” are
4. Teach a world view. (US ranks last in geographic and world history)
5. Teach how governments work. (This one is my personal favorite. When was the last time you went to your city’s city council meeting?)
6. Teach the unforeseen effects of conservation legislation.
7. Teach critical thinking skills.

From, The Failure of Environmental Education (and How We Can Fix It) published on PLoS


Tell your senators to keep anti-environment amendments off the transportation bill.

Senate Republicans are trying to use a transportation bill designed to fund highways and public transit as a vehicle to push through an anti-environment agenda. Tell your senators not to hold the transportation bill hostage to unrelated anti-environment amendments.

If you’re a U.S. resident, please send this message to your senators now.

photo: U.S. DOT

"Mayor Bloomberg kicked off Climate Week 2011 with the release of the annual PlaNYC Greenhouse Gas Inventory, which reported a 12 percent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions since 2005.

The success of Bloomberg’s green policies was a key part to the start of the Climate Group’s 3-year Clean Revolution campaign, which calls for global leaders in government and business to take steps to address climate change worldwide, and create a low carbon economy.”

On May 26th, Senators Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Mark Begich (D-AK), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced the “Trash Free Seas Act” (S. 1119) to reauthorize the Marine Debris Research, Prevention and Reduction Act (MDRPRA). The MDRPRA’s term of authorization expired at the end of 2010. The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. The full text is available online at:
Stop scrolling for 15 seconds and email your Senator to support the bill, here. "Dear Senator , I voted for you. Support the Trash Free Seas Act. Sincerely, ___." That’s it

The Tea Party has a powerful voice, and are supremely skilled at getting their message out. More superior than any group on the left, or the environmental advocacy groups, to my mind. If the response to the Tea Party’s rhetoric is dismissive (or the tired liberal moniker “OMG I’m shocked!”), the benefits of sustainable anything will be overshadowed by successive electoral wins.

I believe that environmentalists are underprepared for the strong offensive gaming of the Tea Party. Repeating facts is good. But, at this point repetition comes at the cost of winning the battle. In other words, the left needs to learn to play offense, and avoid perpetually playing defense.

Environmentalists, again in my opinion, need to master rhetorical argumentation. The facts are on your side, so there’s no exposure to be had by your opponent when arguing rhetorically. Indeed, facts are just more ammunition. Can environmentalists speak with a clear, uniform voice? Can they agree on tight, clear, positive messaging? As it stands, environmental messages are lost. There are too many issues to track, and any benefits are obscured or subssumed. “Fight global warming,” doesn’t create in the minds of the listener a direct, positive benefit, for example.  

"Sustainability means socialism," are three words packaged into a clear message, and delivered by one group. The response from environmentalists is a collective mess of goo. So, what’s the game plan? 


Because the American Dream is alive and well?

Pretty sure the “American Dream” died a few decades ago. We have an opportunity to develop a new “American Dream” or “World Dream” as I like to call it. The future of sustainable development will harness this dream by providing innovative jobs that are paramount to an evolving society.

Did you know that the seemingly geeky, mild-mannered profession of urban planning is actually a breeding ground for social engineers — part of a sinister international plot to rob you of your American Dream?

Well wake up already, people!

The East Bay Tea Party is here to tell you all about it. They have the true story behind the Sustainable Communities Strategy in the Bay Area, a planning effort that would encourage transit-oriented development and density.

And it’s scary! You can tell, because in their video about a recent meeting about the plan, they use the theme from “Also Sprach Zarathustra” as this text flashes on a black background:

The ‘New World Order’ is here … and it has many names … Agenda 21 … Sustainable Development … Smart Growth … Social Justice … Green Energy … Carbon Free … Livable Communities … One Global Vision … Designed by the United Nations … To Strip you of Your Freedom … Your Prosperity … Your Privacy … Your Property Rights … Your Choice of Transportation … Your Piece [sic] of Mind … Your American Dream … They’re Planning Your Future … Right here in the Bay Area … ‘For the Greater Good!’

The threat from climate change is serious, it is urgent, and it is growing. Our generation’s response to this challenge will be judged by history, for if we fail to meet it—boldly, swiftly, and together—we risk consigning future generations to an irreversible catastrophe.
President Barack Obama, September 22, 2009. United Nations Summit on Climate Change COP15, Copenhagen, Denmark