Thursday, October 27, 2011

Californians must adapt to climate change

Anne Louise Bannon in the Pacific Palisades Patch: At a hearing hosted by state Senator Fran Pavley (23rd District) in Santa Monica last week, experts testified that Californians will have to adapt to a drier climate and rising sea levels as a result of climate change.

The hearing was held Oct. 20 in Santa Monica City Council Chambers before a panel that included Pavley, who is the Chair of the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee and the Senate Select Committee on the Environment, the Economy and Climate Change; Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom; state Senators Kevin DeLeon (22nd District) and Ted Lieu (28th District, which includes Mar Vista); and Assemblywoman Betsy Butler (50th District).

"We have a pretty good handle on what's waiting for us," said Dr. Tony Haymet, a director at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. "That's the good news. We're still a wealthy community. We have the resources." Haymet went on to describe a very dry future for the state, including rising sea levels that would seriously harm area beaches. He said such environmental change would negatively impact the local economy, which depends on beach tourism.

Much of the testimony predicted a dire future for the state, with vanishing resources and a growing population, and various solutions were proposed to help the region adapt.

Matthew Heberger of the Pacific Institute said adaptation was “necessary,” and he advocated increasing and restoring coastal wetlands to deal with rising sea levels, while Martha Dina Arguello of Physicians for Social Responsibility encouraged the creation of more green spaces and community gardens in urban areas. "We have to put social equity at the center of our policy," she said....

Santa Monica beach and pier, with Santa Monica Mountains in backround, in Southern California, shot by Daniel Schwen, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license

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