IPCC Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability – headlines

•Panel’s Warning on Climate Risk: Worst Is Yet to Come •Conservative Climate Panel Warns World Faces ‘Breakdown Of Food Systems’ And More Violent Conflict •Big impacts: The main messages from today’s big UN climate report

2% solutions

Mitigation or adaptation? It’s usually an either/or choice: either we work on ways to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere or we find ways to adapt to new conditions created by climate change, including reducing society’s vulnerabilities and raising its resilience. Fighting to close a coal plant or developing green energy alternatives, for example, is a different job than translocating an imperiled species or planning for inevitable sea level rise. Same problem, separate responses. Different tribes. Mitigation and adaptation even have separate conferences!

Climate change: the Fiesole example

Fiesole, a small town near Florence, Italy, is being affected by climate change just as every place on earth. Here, I report of an initiative to bring the problem to the citizens’ attention and motivate them to act on it. In this occasion, I tried to use some strategies that I took mainly from a document on climate change by Peter Sandman, a professional risk management expert. Among these strategies, Sandman suggests that you should tell the truth about the situation, but you should not try to make people feel guilty or scare them. You should emphasize concrete measures and actions that bring results which, in the case of climate change, means to consider mitigation as something just as important as prevention (and perhaps more). It is a test but, so far, it seems to be working in Fiesole. Here is an elaboration of the talk I gave at the meeting.

The other job

This is a blog about carbon, and by extension climate change mitigation, but there’s another big job that’s rising fast on a lot of people’s To Do lists. It’s called adaptation, and suddenly everyone’s talking about it – for good reason as I learned last week. And the reason is this: the future is now. Climate-related changes are bearing down on us faster than many scientists expected, requiring action by individuals, communities, cities, and nations to reduce their effects. Inaction (like so much else connected to climate change) will only magnify the challenges, making them much harder to solve later. In other words, our collective To Do list just got a lot longer.