Many state governments have devoted a great deal of resources over the past decade to mitigating and responding to climate change through energy and urban planning related efforts. Planners and energy experts are fluent in the language of sustainability, adaptation, resiliency, and mitigation. But ask an economic development official what climate change means to them and it’s possible that they can barely utter the word. Many in the business community have feared that climate change will simply mean more costly equipment upgrades to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In too many communities, time is still spent debating the veracity of climate science instead of recognizing the impacts already occurring. Economic development officials have a responsibility to help businesses understand the greater implications of climate change – how they can protect themselves from the effects of climate change; how they could develop new products or services in response to climate change; and how they should prepare themselves to recover from climate-related events. Continue reading “Preparing your Local Economy for Climate Change”
The news out of California so far in 2014 is raising serious questions about the future of the Golden State.
Strike 1: The most pressing issue is the drought which is widely impacting a state that is home to 1 in 8 Americans. Search California and drought in your favorite browser and you’ll get a long list of articles that should strike fear in all of us and images of what empty reservoirs looks like. Over 17 communities will run out of water in the next 60 to 120 days – 40,000 people left dry. A quick look on the state government homepage Ca.gov seems to disagree with news reports that leaders are taking the issue seriously as not one note on the homepage or the ‘alerts’ tab mentions the situation. In the past year or so climate change or maybe just damn climate has impacted millions (Sandy, AtlantaSnow2014, wildfires and the list grows) yet somehow we are not understanding that these impacts may not be random. And maybe that we should start planning for the worst and celebrating our best. Continue reading “Three Strikes and You’re Out or Still California Dreamin’?”