Symposium: Preparing for Climate Change

Article excerpt

This symposium on climate change represents a collaborative effort to frame the challenges of global warming, environmental degradation, energy dependency, and sustainability and offer a glimpse of how governments are responding at home and abroad. The first four articles emanate from the work of the Emergency Information Infrastructure Project (EIIP). In December 2009, the EIIP Board (of which both Stephen Bender and Frances Edwards were then members) proposed a session on climate change issues to the Natural Hazards Center annual conference. The panel for the proposal included Bruce Binder and Edwards. So, we thank the EEIP and all of these authors for volunteering their wisdom.

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22 | State and Local Governments Prepare for Climate Change

Frances L. Edwards explains how state and local governments are preparing for climate change. She describes how communities should evaluate the threat posed by climate change and determine the level of adaptation that is possible and cost-effective. Community stakeholders developing a climate adaptation plan need to include residents, emergency responders, local infrastructure agencies, scientists, and other levels of government.

27 | Global Lessons on Development Planning and Climate Hazards Reduction

Stephen Bender contends that development planning must consider climate change adaptation and climate hazards reduction. But how can integration of climate change adaptation and disaster risk management into economic development be reflected in planning for economic, social, and natural resource infrastructure, as well as in the public administration and civil society processes that design, adopt, and implement those plans? Information on land use planning, no-regret approaches, transparency, and accountability from the international experience may offer beneficial insights to the United States.

32 | Impact of Climate Change on Public Health

Bruce Binder explains how major alterations in climate affect the public health, including changes brought on by the general rise in temperatures, variations in weather patterns brought on by altered wind and rain patterns, and increased ocean levels. …