California Presses On to Raise Awareness About Climate Risks

Written by Alexandra Leumer on . Posted in Extreme weather, Learn, The Wonk Room

Once again, California is taking the lead in addressing climate change. This month, a number of events were held around the state to raise awareness and activism around the issue.

At the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, researchers in several fields gathered at a conference to detail what is known so far about the impact of higher temperatures and how our society needs to prepare. Some of the conclusions there were that research funding is under attack, while winter storms, heat waves, and fire dangers are on the increase throughout the state.

Louis Blumberg, director of the California Climate Change Program at The Nature Conservancy, spoke at a separate event at Berkeley Law School about ways nature can be used to help protect and prepare us economically and more sustainably in the face of climate-related impacts such as sea-level rise, floods, wildfires, and water shortages.

Finally, Governor Jerry Brown convened a conference on “Extreme Climate Risks and California’s Future” that focused mainly on the nature of the risks (links to recordings of conference events are on the site). Click above to view a video on Extreme Weather shown at the conference, and below to check out a video featuring California examples of climate adaptation.

Brown was no-nonsense, saying, “I tell the people in Washington, you don’t need to have any debates, just follow California. I think California’s the perfect example of what subnational governments can do. We’ve got to … not just rely on [the UN global climate talks or federal legislation].”

Blumberg told me, “The Conservancy’s California Climate Change team is active in working closely with the Governor’s office. And we’re looking forward in the coming year to advocating for an increased role for nature itself in all the ways we slow the impacts of carbon pollution and prepare and respond to climate-related risks.”

Alexandra Leumer is a climate change policy associate at The Nature Conservancy California.

Photo by Flickr user Bill Ingalls of NASA (Employees of the Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency (CAFE) Foundation scan the sky for aircraft during the speed competition portion of the 2011 Green Flight Challenge, sponsored by Google, held in Santa Rosa, California in September 2011. The goal of the event was to advance technologies in fuel efficiency and reduced emissions with cleaner renewable fuels and electric aircraft.)

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Planet Change is a Nature Conservancy blog site designed to share stories about actions the Conservancy and others around the world are taking to fight carbon pollution and the impacts of climate change, and to help people feel the connections between climate change and their daily lives and understand actions they can take.

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