Adapting to Climate Change

Climate change is happening now and will continue for many years, even if we are successful in mitigating emissions.  In California, temperatures will rise, causing changes in ecosystems.  For example, the Audubon Society reports that we are already seeing birds moving farther north and to higher elevations.   Agriculture will also be affected, as will water availability, fire seasons, and more.  Sea level will rise, but scientists are not sure how far or how fast.  Planning and zoning restrictions will need to change as will insurance requirements.  Because we have never before seen such a rapid change in greenhouse gases, predicting the changes in climate we might expect is very difficult.

But even though difficult, we need to begin adaptation strategies.  This has begun in the Bay Area and many other parts of the state.

Adaptation strategies need to take into account the economic impact of any legislation or requirements and ease the consequence of related hardship to low income households and/or those hardest hit.  The equity of these and all measures needs to be looked at very carefully.