Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Beat climate change and have fun doing it

Great, while I'm rotting in my office, some of my colleagues are having fun and planning strategies to fight the harmful impacts of climate change. Here's a report from Ocean Conservancy's Warner Chabot.

Climate Camp – Solving the challenge of Climate Change requires the initiative and leadership of thousands of people. WWF is providing great leadership on climate change by sharing information and solutions and by collaborating with environmental, science, business and government leaders in many countries.

One great example is what WWF’s calls “Climate Camp.” Being held this week in the urban “campground” of downtown San Francisco, WWF has convened 150 NGO leaders in weeklong series of interactive workshops to compare notes and develop projects to both mitigate climate change (to slow it down), and to adapt to climate change (to protect and strengthen our natural resource legacy from those climate changes already underway, that can’t be reversed).

Resources – WWF provides a great resource library for activists who need information on climate change science and innovative programs.

Climate Witness – WWF recognized that most people understand and talk about climate change in anecdotes or stories about how it is affecting their lives or their community. So WWF has created a bold idea called “Climate Witness” – that will post stories from witnesses around the world. This catalog of stories is just beginning and WWF hopes to have 5,000 of them by next year.

While U.S. leadership on climate change stagnates at the federal level, local governments “get it” and are the hot-beds of innovation. One leader at Climate Camp was the International council for Local Environmental Initiatives www.iclei.org/usa This is an international effort of local government leaders who share and implement ideas on climate change.

One “cool” group is “Cool Mayors” www.coolmayors.org This site lists over 500 U.S. mayors and highlights the local initiatives that are on the forefront of the climate change revolution. Maybe Washington D.C. will get the message to lead, follow or get out of the way.

Humphf...too bad I'm missing out. Oh well, if I can't go, at least I can make fun of it.

1 comment:

Tracy Rouleau said...

HI Mark,

I am happy to say that the federal government is at least making some small steps.

EPA's Ocean and Coastal Protection Division and the Climate Change Division are partnering with the National Estuary Program(NEP) to create "Climate Ready Estuaries".

The purpose, to build capacity in the NEPs to lead efforts in estuaries to adapt to CC. The focus is on local adaptation, and we are working on pilots to include adaptation measures in the management plans for the NEPs. The program also includes a Coastal Community Toolkit for all coastal communities which will aid in coordinating CC adaptation information and available data, provide technical and management assistance and outreach and education products.

The program is in its infancy, but is moving forward quickly (yes - shocking for the feds - we call ourselves nimble, and try to stay under the radar ;-)) - and will be starting the pilot process in the next few months and getting a website up and running in the next 3-6 months or so.

On another front - the theme for this years Capitol Hill Oceans Week (CHOW 2008) is Climate Change, EPA is sponsoring a panel focusing on solutions throughout the watershed...Not much information available now but check http://nmsfocean.org/ for more information on the agenda and panel topics in the weeks to come.