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CA’s Climate Change Trilogy: Research, Reduce & Adapt

moorehouse, erica, edfWith last week’s release of a major climate adaptation plan draft from California’s Natural Resources Agency, the state continues to take bold steps to address climate change and cut pollution using a “research, reduce and adapt” approach.The winning trilogy:

Conduct Thorough Research

As EDF knows, good policy is grounded in science. National and international reports warn us of the dire consequences of climate change, and on the local level, research shows California is particularly vulnerable to its impacts.  The first step in addressing any problem is gathering the facts, which is why reports from the Climate Action Team (CAT) dive into California specific climate impacts and science on mitigation and adaptation.

Another component of climate research is looking at the hard numbers. How much carbon pollution are large facilities in California emitting? This data is released annually by the Air Resources Board and the US EPA. As recent numbers show, emissions at most of these facilities have been decreasing since 2008, but the state still has a lot work to do to reduce its overall emissions, especially after the closing of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Once policy makers are armed with the science and hard data, they must take action. The CAT’s first report led to the passage of AB 32, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, which aims to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The 2008 Scoping Plan gave a broad overview of how California will use different policies to meet this target, and last month EDF and other stakeholders submitted comments to the 5 year update draft of the Scoping Plan.

This update noted that California is on track to meet its 2020 target, and that the state should focus on setting a new reduction target for 2030 that will set us on the path to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. A second draft of this updated Scoping Plan is expected in late January.

Adapt to a Changing Climate

While reducing emissions to avoid catastrophic effects is absolutely critical, climate change is now a reality and some costly and damaging impacts are unavoidable.  That’s why in 2009 California became the first state to develop a comprehensive plan for adapting and living with expected climate impacts including drought, wildfires, rising sea levels and water shortage.

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6 thoughts on “CA’s Climate Change Trilogy: Research, Reduce & Adapt

  1. We deniers demand actual proof of a real scientific consensus not their meaningless consensus of “could be” and NEVER “will be” a crisis. They love to say comet hits are real but they refuse to say their own CO2 comet hit of an emergency is as real as an “eventual” comet hit is.

    Scientists do not work in absolute certainties despite 94.7%
    of them being 95% certain after 30 years (of researching mostly effects not causes) that a crisis could happen, not WILL happen and still nothing beyond “could be” a crisis after 30 years and not one IPCC warning says it WILL be or is “inevitable”.

    Believe all you like but you cannot tell our kids a crisis WILL happen until science does. Respect the science.

  2. You deniers actually ignore already -existing proofs of “a real scientific consensus”; and you yourselves do not “Respect the science.”
    98% of top climate scientists continue to accept that AGW is real and that it represents a fundamental threat (http://www.pnas.org/content/107/27/12107.full).
    Indeed, mememine69 (AKA CO2good, AKA …) is not even self-consistent in the above posting. On the one hand, he (finally) admits that “Scientists do not work in absolute certainties”, but in the very next breath states “not one IPCC warning says it WILL be or is “inevitable”.”
    We are now up to at least the sixth time that mememine69 has cut&paste essentially the same meaningless troll-line into a comment section at this site. Here are some of the other occasions:
    As on the other occasions, I reply that such troll-lines are misleading and incorrect. Such remarks represent the denier fall-back position; when they realize that they are unable to defend their head-in-the-sand position by debating the science. The well-accepted scientific standing of climate change among those who are trained to do the science; stands by itself. Despite the untrained and illogical denialist opinions expressed here and elsewhere.

  3. Imagine for a moment that a doctor told you that you had a heart condition and required immediate surgery. But the operation is scary and expensive, so you look for a second opinion. The second doctor tells you the same thing. You look for a third opinion. Then a fourth. And so on, until you have consulted 100 top heart doctors around the world.
    98 of those top doctors are all in agreement that you need the operation. The other two aren’t so sure, and suggest that you need to wait and see if more symptoms develop.
    OK – what do you do? Do you wait, hoping against hope that the 98 diagnoses are all somehow wrong? Or do you go with the overwhelming consensus and have the operation that will almost certainly save your life?

    Is there really any doubt?

  4. Oh, and by the way – as you have consulted with those top-notch doctors, one or two other non-heart-specialist doctors like your podiatrist have told you that they aren’t so sure about your diagnosis. And a smattering of lay people (the corner dry cleaning lady, the cashier at Wal-Mart, uuuummmmmmmm maybe even mememine69) have likewise expressed their doubts.

    Do you seriously consider the opinions of these non-experts, and allow their untrained opinions to influence your health choice?

  5. The best chance to mitigate climate change is to severely reduce consumption of animal foods. About 1/2 of human induced warming is attributable to animal agriculture. Methane is 24 times more potent than CO2 and takes only 7 years to cycle out of the atmosphere. CO2 takes around 100 years to come out. Human pursuit of animal protein is the leading cause of methane release and a primary cause of CO2 concentrating in the atmosphere. Check the facts and act!

    “A 1% reduction in world-wide meat intake has the same benefit as a three trillion-dollar investment in solar energy.” ~ Chris Mentzel, CEO of Clean Energy

    “As environmental science has advanced, it has become apparent that the human appetite for animal flesh is a driving force behind virtually every major category of environmental damage now threatening the human future: deforestation, erosion, fresh water scarcity, air and water pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss, social injustice, the destabilization of communities, and the spread of disease.” Worldwatch Institute, “Is Meat Sustainable?”

    “The livestock sector emerges as one of the top contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global. The findings of this report suggest that it should be a major policy focus when dealing with problems of land degradation, climate change and air pollution, water shortage and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity. The impact is so significant that it needs to be addressed with urgency.” UN Food and Agricultural Organization’s report “Livestock’s Long Shadow”

    “If every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetables and grains… the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off of U.S. roads.” Environmental Defense Fund

    “It’s not a requirement to eat animals, we just choose to do it, so it becomes a moral choice and one that is having a huge impact on the planet, using up resources and destroying the biosphere.” ~ James Cameron, movie director, environmentalist and new vegan

    “Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” ~ Albert Einstein

    Join the revolution with a 21-Day Vegan Kickstart

  6. To put things in perspective, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) found that current production levels of meat contribute between 14 and 22 percent of the 36 billion tons of “CO2-equivalent” greenhouse gases the world produces every year (source: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-greenhouse-hamburger). So even completely eliminating meat from our diets would only impact GHG emissions to the order of 20% – a nice sized reduction, but it does not even approach a full solution.
    The quote indicating that replacing one chicken meal per week with vegetarian; would be far more truthful and effective if it referred instead to replacing one red-meat meal per week. The GHG impact of raising one pound of cattle meat is vastly larger than the equivalent impact of producing one pound of chicken meat. Furthermore, I believe (but cannot prove) that a greater percentage of the cattle industry GHG emissions are in the form of methane; than is the equivalent percentage of GHG emissions associated with raising chickens.

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