State of the Climate 2009 report; Netroots Nation 2010; ‘Mainstreaming’ federal climate change adaptation

Post by Rick Piltz

We’ll save our post-mortem on what to make of the death of the climate legislation, and thoughts about paths forward from here, for upcoming posting – in the works.

State of the Climate 2009: The State of the Climate report, released July 28 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, draws on data for 10 key climate indicators that all point to the same finding: the scientific evidence that our world is warming is unmistakable. More than 300 scientists from 160 research groups in 48 countries contributed to the report, which confirms that the past decade was the warmest on record and that the Earth has been growing warmer over the last 50 years.
More information here.
Full report here.
Also, see the excellent post by Nick Sundt at WWF here.

Netroots Nation 2010: CSW’s Alexa Jay and Rebeka Ryvola attended the annual Netroots Nation gathering, this year in Las Vegas, Nevada, July 22-24. This gathering of progressive voices, working to bring technology to bear in influencing the public debate, is in its fifth year, and has enjoyed enormous success as a forum for thousands of activists to exchange ideas and share strategies. We have posted several items on “NN10” (here, here, and here) and have several more in the works, forthcoming over the next couple of days.

‘Mainstreaming’ federal climate change adaptation: On July 27 I attended a half-day dialogue in Washington, DC,  with presentations by 12 federal agencies on strategies and challenges for ‘mainstreaming’ climate adaptation activities within and across the federal departments and agencies. The dialogue was convened by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change (press release here).  Agencies described their early-stage activities in developing new initiatives and incorporating climate change adaptive preparedness planning into existing programs. The agencies have been engaged for most of the past year in a White House-led Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force, which is scheduled to report its recommendations to the President at the end of September. There appears to be a good deal of activity underway, with a lot of potential for putting in place elements of a prospective federal strategy. The Q&A session for each of three panels raised significant issues, including the question of whether the Administration is actually designating and tracking new resources for a climate change adaptation initiative. The Dept. of Defense representative said “that’s how you know that an organization is serious about something – how closely they are tracking the funding that’s being spent on the initiative.” From our observations to date and the responses of agencies yesterday, we don’t see things having come to this degree of focus yet.  (Report issued in April by the Pew Center: Adapting to Climate Change: A Call for Federal Leadership)

Finally: My article, “Secrecy, Complicity, and Resistance: Political Control of Climate Science Communication Under the Bush-Cheney Administration,” has been accepted for publication in the journal Research in Social Problems and Public Policy (subscription), in a special issue on government secrecy. Forthcoming in some months, and we’ll also post it on this site once it is published.