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Posted on January 3 at 12:29 p.m.
This blog link provides some good information based on scientific information about Climate Change with a particular focus on the Gaviota coast and land-use policymaking in Santa Barbara. Highly recommended.
We need to encourage our coastal planners and managers (including private property owners) to start taking seriously the issue of biodiversity loss and ecosystem disturbance in this region. The County and City of Santa Barbara is required by State law to reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The State has also developed a solid range of strategic elements and goals for future climate change adaptation. See: http://www.climatechange.ca.gov/adapt...
Yet, the County has yet to embrace planning tools and new policies in their General Plan and Local Coastal Plan (including the new Plan for the Gaviota coast now under development) that can address the loss of sensitive coastal habitats and species that are increasingly vulnerable to the impacts of anthropogenic climate disturbance along our coastal areas, including coastal watersheds. Let's encourage the County to address biodiversity issues in their Climate Action Strategy and Local Coastal Plan updates. Note, even if we cut greenhouse gases to pre-industrial levels, our oceans and coastal habitats and associated native species diversity will continue to be threatened. Let's be in the forefront across this wonderful State, and encourage progressive, science-based coastal planning. If we can't do it, no other place can.
On Facing Climate Change
Posted on January 2 at 9:56 p.m.
FEMA describes the Sandy catastrophe as a Hurricane - see: http://www.fema.gov/sandy
Science does not take place in a political vacuum. Values, beliefs and perceptions (as expressed in this dialogue) vary, and the knowledge from science and local tradition can be lost in the politics over how we use and abuse nature. The challenge of adapting to a changing climate is part of human and non-human (living) evolution. California indigenous peoples (and there were well over 150 tribes) in the middle ages faced drought, famine, and dwindling food security. But their local knowledge (and an incredible amount of conflict between tribes) led to cultural adaption.
If you doubt that we face a similar challenge today then your children's children will only have our industrialized economies and your blind attachment to the status quo to blame. Ecological insecurity - declines in fish protein, declines in carbohydrates (cereals and grains), ocean acidification and the loss of primary ocean production (phytoplankton that produces 50% of our oxygen), rising seas, a the largest decline in native species diversity in millions of years is on our door step. Government's failure to respond is matched by our green greed that perpetuates ignorance.
My New Year's resolution is as follows: Please let me be free from ignorance. Let the other animals, plants and insects that we depend on for our economies be free from our ignorance. Let the ocean continue to breathe the air that is our shared breath. Let us be more self-reliant and less vulnerable to the ignorance of our past. Let's embrace a new etiquette of freedom.