Want To Know What Communities Are Doing?

Cities are acting in lieu of our nation

Because of the failure of the United States government to act on climate change, cities around the country have begun to take matters into their own hands. Some examples:

  • Chicago no longer plants white oaks, but rather plants swamp oaks (hoping to have the climate move into position as their trees begin to flourish). "This year Illinois decided its state tree, the white oak, would no longer be incorporated into Chicago’s future design plans. Climate change projections for Chicago show that if the current warming trend continues, by the end of this century the city’s weather will be similar to that of southern states like Alabama — too hot for white oaks." (source)
  • New York responded to Hurricane Sandy by making structural changes to prevent future flooding from similar storms: "HRO is working closely with the Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency (SIRR), which Mayor Bloomberg announced on December 6 and is led by NYCEDC President Seth Pinsky to develop concrete recovery plans for the communities Sandy hit hardest and a specific and comprehensive action plan to prepare the City for the risks of climate change. " (source — and local source)
  • A regional group in south Florida has actually talked about dividing the state into two parts: the south, which is increasingly concerned about and focused on addressing climate change, and the north, which seems to be following Tallahassee's lead and is ignoring climate change: "The mayor and city commission of South Miami recently passed a resolution calling for the separation of Florida into two states, North Florida and South Florida." (source).

What can we do as private citizens?

  • One thing we need to do is talk about climate change. I am planning on offering some "Climate Conversations" at NKU, and, as I prepare to do so, I think that it's important to lay out my role as facilitator:
    1. Although my positions are probably known, I will attempt to serve as a "neutral" moderator. I will studiously avoid interjecting, unless on a point of fact (see below).
    2. We must maintain decorum as we carry out our discussions. In order to do so, we should observe some agreements for civil discussion.
    3. Finally, my role will be to enforce the use of facts, rather than opinion. Arguments should — must — have substance in order to be considered. Anyone introducing "evidence" must have something to substantiate it. So I will, as needed, ask those providing anything presented as objective information to provide sources for it.
  • We can press for divestment of fossil fuels from our pension funds (both private and governmental, social groups (e.g. churches), etc.

Resources for adaptation



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