Monday, February 4, 2008

What communities need to do to survive climate change

The article appeared in Sedona Business, but it originated with the Copley News Service. Envrionmental writer Shawn Dell Joyce has come up with a useful summary of measures that communities can take to adapt to climate change, using Keene, New Hampshire as an example what a single community can do. There were plenty of mitigation suggestions, but I've focused on the measures dealing with adaptation: ...Scientists are predicting more heavy rain for the Northeast's future, and so Keene worked with the council to learn how to avoid future catastrophes. The process brought together all city department heads, medical, social, and emergency personnel. What they discovered is they needed better storm-water management, green building codes and a way to feed the community when all the roads are washed out by flooding. Some of the goals they formed:

- Providing loans to companies that might be harmed by a warming climate, such as the ski industry, snow plowing businesses, and maple sugar industries.

- Supporting local farmers to increase local food production by 20 percent, so that when droughts and floods disrupt outside food supply lines, local farms will be able to feed the immediate community.

- Building stronger roofs to handle wetter, heavier snowstorms than what they are used to.

- Using porous pavement to prevent storm water runoff, and improving storm sewers to handle more volume.

…Here are a few suggestions adapted from the Post Carbon Cities Web site to take to your local government:

Map of New Hampshire with a red dot on Keene from Wikimedia Commons

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