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Climate change spurs local action

Northeast, USA
"We can't ask, 'Is there global warming?' We have to ask, 'How can we adapt?' even though IT'S SCARIER THAN HECK." A growing number of communities and states concerned about climate change are planning ways to cope with rising tides, severe weather, less snow and even "climate refugees" from coastal areas. At least five U.S. coastal states — Alaska, California, Maryland, Oregon and Washington — are working on preparedness plans. Many communities focus on cutting emissions and conserving energy, but "if we don't take steps to adapt, we're missing half the picture." A Miami-Dade County task force is developing new standards for buildings, roads, ports, airports and bridges assuming "sea level rise, saltwater intrusion and severe weather." Keene, New Hampshire, released a plan in November that recommends installing larger culverts for rain runoff, burying power lines and anticipating needs for people fleeing rising seas. Homer, Alaska, issued a plan in December that recommends boosting firefighting capability, diversifying its fishing economy and planning for climate refugees. "The most expensive thing we can do is nothing."

LISTEN TO THE FOLLOWING PODCASTS BY MELANIE FITZPATRICK
Climate Scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists
Topic: Migrating Climates Study
NOTE* View the Interactive Climate Map of NE USA

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