Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Northeast Climate Impacts Assessment

I'm at the University of New Hampshire, where we are getting a report on current situation of climate change. This study is also outlined at ClimateChoices .  Note: this website also looks at California. Cameron Wake is outlining the difference between two futures... one that could be catastrophic and the other, which can be adapted to. Under the high-emissions scenario, New Hampshire's summers will feel like those in North Carolina by the end of the century. 

A range of expected climate features can be predicted. For example, the models all point to more extreme precipitation events. The "100 year" floods might happen every ten years. These events also impact waste water treatment plants around the area.  Under the higher emissions scenario, most of the maple forests in the Northeast will be gone by the end of the century.

In terms of the IPCC (conservative) 17 inch sea level rise, the 100 year flood plain puts large parts of Boston at risk. The current 100 year flood plain becomes the 2 year flood plain. One event like the 100 year flood under the new sea level would cost Boston 70-90 billion dollars in damage.

All of these changes can be, at least in part, avoided if we reduce carbon emissions in the short term.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

SLAP Happy in Ventura: Where the lightblueline has been painted

Last weekend, the lightblueline project was very happy to be invited by the City of Ventura and the Ventura SLAP (Sea Level Awareness Project) effort to paint 100 feet of line on the side of the beachfront parking garage. The main action for the day was the SLAP effort to create ten information poles along the waterfront. These poles contained messages from teenagers about their concerns over climate change, sea level rise, and the need for the community to step up and do the right thing. 

Unlike Santa Barbara, Ventura does not have to deal with a self-appointed media bully masquerading as a newspaper. So the entire public information/art project was performed without lawyers and vitriolic invective against the volunteer artists. Now the public can weigh in on their response to the art as planned and executed. 

It was a day when dozens of school kids came out to tell their peers and their parents to get wise about climate change. That the lightblueline showed up in Ventura before Santa Barbara says much about the problems we face here in Santa Barbara, and the need to keep pushing for a real public conversation about climate change. lightblueline continues to work toward that conversation. We are here and will be back.