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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San Jose Police Department ships their military equipment back to the Pentagon. Not my usual climate-y enviro-y post, just thought this is fantastic.

Governors, Mayors, Business, Insurance, Farm, Military, Youth, Faith, and Other Voices: Enhance The Economy, Improve Public Health, Protect National Security, Safeguard Our Children, Act Justly, and Honor Our Moral Duties By Putting Solutions Into Action

A unique bi-partisan coalition is urging President Obama to follow up his State of the Union commitment to address the climate crises by directly engaging America in climate solutions: www.climatesummit2013.org.

Specifically, the group wants the President to host a kick-off solutions-focused national climate summit linked directly with concurrent action-planning meetings hosted by state and local governments, business, civic, and faith organizations nationwide. The events would be designed to mobilize Americans to implement proven, beneficial solutions to prepare for and build resilience to the impacts of climate change, and reduce climate-damaging greenhouse gas emissions. 

“To achieve the bold climate goals the President described in his State of the Union address, he must reach out directly to and engage Americans where they live, work, play, and pray,” said Bob Doppelt, director of The Resources Innovation Group and a leader of the Climate Summit 2013 Coalition.

The national leaders endorsing Climate Summit 2013 include Governors, Mayors,  business, farm, insurance, youth, faith, civil rights, climate justice, former military, and other leaders, as well as top climate scientists. A growing list of Catholic leaders that support the proposal can be found here.

“Climate disruption is not just an environmental issue. It is a profound economic, health, social justice, and national security problem with deep moral implications,” concluded Doppelt.  “Our proposal is consistent with calls by six scientific societies for a high-level climate summit. It will serve as a springboard to expand existing resilience building and emission reduction programs, launch new ones, and spur tremendous innovation that reaps great near and long term benefits nationwide.””

More at http://www.climatesummit2013.org/

13. Modern society will find no solution to the ecological problem unless it takes a serious look at its life style. In many parts of the world society is given to instant gratification and consumerism while remaining indifferent to the damage which these cause. As I have already stated, the seriousness of the ecological issue lays bare the depth of man’s moral crisis. If an appreciation of the value of the human person and of human life is lacking, we will also lose interest in others and in the earth itself. Simplicity, moderation and discipline, as well as a spirit of sacrifice, must become a part of everyday life, lest all suffer the negative consequences of the careless habits of a few.

An education in ecological responsibility is urgent: responsibility for oneself, for others, and for the earth. This education cannot be rooted in mere sentiment or empty wishes. Its purpose cannot be ideological or political. It must not be based on a rejection of the modern world or a vague desire to return to some “paradise lost” . Instead, a true education in responsibility entails a genuine conversion in ways of thought and behaviour.
Pope John Paul II - WORLD DAY OF PEACE speach, JANUARY 1990. Pope John Paul II was considered the world’s first “Green Pope.” (h/t to ThinkProgress)
I spoke to the president three times yesterday… I said, if you can expedite designating New Jersey as a major disaster area that that would help us to get federal money and resources in here as quickly as possible to help clean up the damage here. The president was great last night. He said he would get it done. At 2 a.m. I got a call from FEMA to answer a couple of final questions and then he signed the declaration this morning. So I have to give the president great credit. He’s been on the phone with me three times in the last 24 hours. He’s been very attentive, and anything that I’ve asked for, he’s gotten to me. So, I thank the president publicly for that. He’s done — as far as I’m concerned — a great job for New Jersey.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie • Lauding President Obama’s attentiveness in the face of Hurricane Sandy, in an interview on Fox and Friends this morning. Christie’s rhetoric on the President’s leadership abilities hasn’t always been so glowing — back in May, he excoriated Obama as “walking around in a dark room trying to find the light switch of leadership.” But now, faced with a climactic disaster in his state, Christie and Obama have made nice, to the vast betterment of the citizens of his state. Obviously, holding off on political rivalries during such a chaotic and traumatic event is the right thing to do, but Christie deserves a major measure of credit for recognizing Obama’s efforts for his state. When asked whether Mitt Romney would tour some storm sites, he went much further than he needed to, showing a sincerity unbound by partisan priority: “…I have no idea, nor am I the least bit concerned or interested. I’ve got a job to do here in New Jersey that’s much bigger than presidential politics and I could care less about any of that stuff.” source (via shortformblog)

Meanwhile, meanwhile, meanwhile, meanwhile, meanwhile (wtf, republicans!).

Senator John Kerry, volunteering at local disaster office here in Massachusetts. Meanwhile, Romney holds a ‘Victory Rally’ in Ohio with a NASCAR race car driver.

I hesitated reblogging this because 1) the sound quality is terrible 2) the presenter is difficult to understand (beyond the sound issues) and 3) she comes from the corporate-greenwashing-side of the resilience/adaptation side of the table, which to my very critical ear means she’s just peddling another widget.

But, her company’s maps help identify environmental and health impacts from regular distribution and resource extraction (e.g., supply chain management). There are a lot of sexy visuals - charts, graphs, maps, and videos - but no people, no case studies, no proof of product.

She doesn’t show how her business helps people, she only states that she does help. Nice try though. Most business people (in my experience) don’t have a basic understanding of their company’s health/enviro impacts beyond the fact that labeling something green increases their bottom line.

What do you think?

poptech:

“We can really start telling a story in terms of predicting risk in the future…We are actually able to engage in policy change to be able to shape the future growth environment and prevent disaster.”

Watch now: Alyson Warhurst is CEO and founder of the risk analysis and mapping company Maplecroft, the leading source of extra-financial risk intelligence for the world’s largest multinational corporations, asset managers and governments. 

Long excluded from traditional power structures, women lead differently than men. Restricted access to resources has made ingenuity a matter of survival for many; frustration with impenetrable oligarchies and inherited bureaucracies has instilled the value of transparency and creative, practical thinking in others. Women have been forced to operate from outside closed networks, which means they’ve had to adapt by creating their own worlds; they’ve learned to unite peripheral, disenfranchised communities into collectively organized and governed microcosms.
They do this because it is good for their economies and good for the health and well-being of their people. In every case, the key ingredient for success is not money or technology, though clearly these can help. The crucial ingredient is leadership.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, urging world leaders for more representative climate leadership.

Source: UN News

Meanwhile, back in reality as Fox questions the need for our National Weather Service.

(via mikehudack)

Awesome. This is leadership. Recognize.

President Barack Obama holds conference call on Hurricane Irene with FEMA Director Craig Fugate, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Chief of Staff Bill Daley, and John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, in Chilmark, Mass., Aug. 26, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The problem is that the policy makers the world over are paying more attention to the fossil fuel lobbyists than they are to the well being of young people and nature, as my colleagues and I have described in the paper “The Case for Young People and Nature”.

Until the public demands otherwise, the policy makers will continue to serve their financiers.

That’s the point of the present action — to draw attention to the inter-generational injustice of current policies — our children and grandchildren are getting shafted by our well-oiled coal-fired politicians who do not look beyond their next election.

The tar sands verdict will show whether he really intends to move us to clean energy or whether he will instead support going after dirtier and dirtier fuels (tar sands, oil shale, mountaintop removal, long-wall coal mining, hydro-fracking, deep ocean and Arctic exploration, etc.).

Top American climate scientist, James Hansen, in an interview on the Alberta tar sands pipeline protest, the Obama Administration and intergenerational justice.

You can read his paper, ‘The Case for Young People and Nature’, here. (via plantedcity)

Cell phone giant Vodafone (which owns Verizon) paired up with Ghana’s EPA to form and lead a Climate Change Adaptation campaign in Ghana. It’s an interesting match.

Vodafone is aggressively expanding cellular coverage throughout Africa, but it seems the company’s intentions on educating Ghanans are purely benevolent. The EPA is tackling climate change, but mostly from an emissions perspective. It has learned that solar panels and clean energy investments do not stop floods or property losses. Currently, Ghana suffers from extreme climate shifts. There are longer dry season droughts, and subsequent cycles of severe flooding. High temperatures force near constant influxes of pests and diseases. Climate change is exacerbating these impacts, which destroy property and takes the lives of thousands every year. Economically, agricultural losses reach into the millions. (btw, if you tool around Google maps, you can see awful scarring from deforestation in Ghana).

Ghana, Africa, is highly influential on international political stage. Kofi Annan, for example, is from Ghana. Formerly the Gold Coast under colonial rule, it’s a natural resource rich country of 25 million people. It has gold, diamonds, and timber (much illegal). It’s a middle income nation, meaning it is not in development (poor) status. But struggles with population health and education attainment.

The Vodafone/EPA partnership will:

  • Educate residents how to use and respond to early warning systems
  • Plant thousands of trees to combat erosion
  • Protect water resources by helping protect river banks
  • Assist economic development, such as increasing agricultural crop yields

The partnership is an example of Vodafone’s corporate social responsibility initiative, and works closely with the Ghanan government.

Source: Ghana Gvt (see also, here)

It is hard to escape the conclusion that the US Congress has entered the intellectual wilderness, a sad state of affairs in a country that has led the world in many scientific arenas for so long. Global warming is a thorny problem, and disagreement about how to deal with it is understandable. It is not always clear how to interpret data or address legitimate questions. Nor is the scientific process, or any given scientist, perfect. But to deny that there is reason to be concerned, given the decades of work by countless scientists, is irresponsible.

~ A paragraph from ‘Into Ignorance’, an editorial published today in Nature, one of the world’s most respected science journals. The article comments on current Republican efforts to prevent the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gas emissions. In 2009, the EPA determined that greenhouse gases “threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations.”

Note, with Japan, Bahrain, and Libya on fire, Republicans held emergency meetings to defund NPR. Today, they’re banning abortion funding. Regardless of opinions on NPR and abortion, it is crystal clear this Congress is completely out of touch.