Adaptation – What are we going to do when the climate changes?
Climate Change is pretty much an accepted fact in the world of science and politics. The worlds climate zones will undoubtedly change over time no matter what actions we in the U.S. take to reduce emissions of green house gases or change to alternative energy sources. (Doesn’t mean stop trying!)
I was listening to NPR the other day and one of the points I heard was that “One week of China’s economic growth can negate One Years efforts in California to reduce carbon emissions”. Now that’s a pretty amazing statistic.
If you consider yourself environmentally sensitive in any way, i.e. a person who cares what happens to the earth, their fellow man, their environment, the future etc…That statistic is pretty dismaying.
Check out this recent video of a future climate change scenario!
The earth by 2100 is forecast to continue to warm. This video is from the Sustainability Hub website.
“Produced by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme and Globaia and funded by the UN Foundation.
The data visualization summarises and visualizes several of the most significant statements in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) recent Fifth Assessment Report, (Working Group I summary for policymakers, the Physical Science Basis).”
While much of this is based on many different parameters in the future, give a watch to it anyway. It does show what the modeling says might occur at the current rate of warming!
So, what’s a person to do you might ask?
It’s pretty obvious that we must learn to Adapt! Part of adaptation process is to learn how to understand what impacts we will be dealing with in the world of climate change. Not all places on the earth will be affected negatively and not all peoples on the earth will be impacted the same way.
The concepts of adaptation are not new but it seems like they are ones that are not discussed very much in today’s world. You do not hear about Adaptation in the newspapers or on Television shows (either Documentaries or yet to be developed Reality shows i.e. Survivor Phoenix!). Climate change is regularly talked about in the back pages of newspapers but it is still not a popular topic.
Definition of Adaptation
|synonyms:||alteration, modification, redesign, remodeling, revamping, reworking, reconstruction, conversion More|
The Environmental Protection Agency is concerned!
If you google adaptation to climate change, one of the first sites that pop up is the EPA. Yes that’s right our own government is trying to educate us on what the future might bring.
This report touches on the future impacts on Agriculture, Coastlines, Ecosystems, Energy, Forests, Public Health, International affects, Societal impacts, Transportation infrastructure as well as Water Resources. Each area is gone into in depth. Our government has given this a lot of thought.
Impacts to the Southwest
Specifically, this report indicates what struggles each sector of the country might experience. The one link below is for our vulnerable Southwest. Heat and water issues already affecting us will be exacerbated.
Adaptation examples in the Southwest
Adaptation examples are given for every sector of the country. In the Southwest the EPA gives examples of Phoenix including the impacts of climate change on their water policies, the Hualapai Indian Tribe in the far western section of the Grand Canyon studying how they will deal with climate change and the reduction of water supplies and San Francisco looking at what rising sea levels will do to their shorelines among others.
One section states “Executive leadership in California encourages climate change preparation.” Now what the heck does that mean?
Here is the full copy from that section of the website…
“In 2005, the California Governor mandated the biennial production of a Climate Change Impacts Assessment that identifies the potential impacts of climate change and offers adaptation strategies.  Additionally, California has an inter-agency Climate Action Team (CAT) that is responsible for implementing both mitigation and adaptation efforts. In 2009, the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) released a Climate Adaptation Strategy (PDF) that recommends actions state agencies can take to adapt to state sector impacts. Since the release of the Climate Action Strategy, the state formed a Climate Adaptation Advisory Panel that released a report, Preparing for the Effects of Climate Change — A Strategy for California. The report includes adaptation recommendations for sea level rise, water supply, and forest wildfires. The state has also developed Cal-Adapt, an interactive tool that makes climate data, trends, maps, and information about impacts easily accessible.”
The problem is that the examples are fairly large in scale and governmental based. They do not advise you of what you, individually, can do to minimize the impact on you, your family, or your local community!
What they do, at least for the California example is let you know what you might expect by the end of the century. At least California is recognizing that this is preparation that needs to be looked at!
The question is, what individually or as a community can we do?
So as an individual you must think what individually we can do to make our environment and community liveable and sustainable. What are the elements that make your life the way you want it to be? Safe, warm or cool housing. Clean drinking water, ample food supplies and a community that works together to assist those in need. Sound like good sound principles to me. How do we accomplish this? By paying attention to what is happening, by changing the way that we use our resources, by developing safety nets to help one another. By electing politicians that can make things happen.
Adaptation to Climate Change may have Positive Effects
If you think about it the world of adaptation will have some positive economic impacts as well as detrimental ones. New industries, products and consumer needs will spring from innovative thinkers.
Some of the synonyms for adaptation were; redesign, rework, conversion and reconstruction. To me that means we need to develop new industries and retool to meet the changes that may lie in our future.
Like This for Example!
Super-insulation for your home!
The above micrograph of the nanocellular structure of the aerogel shows pores averaging about ten nanometers in size. A quarter-inch (6 mm) sheet of this aerogel would provide as much insulation as three inches of fiberglass.
or like this…
Protect yourself from contaminated water with a Lifestraw!
LifeStraw is a water filter designed to be used by one person to filter water so that they may safely drink it. It filters a maximum of 1000 litres of water, enough for one person for one year. It removes 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria and 99.9% of parasites