Climate Change in California: Risk and Response

Climate Change in California: Risk and Response

Climate Change in California: Risk and Response

Climate Change in California: Risk and Response

Synopsis

California is synonymous with opportunity, prosperity, and natural beauty, but climate change will certainly influence the state's future. Changes will affect the economy, natural resources, public health, agriculture, and the livelihoods of its residents. But how big is the risk? How will Californians adapt? What will it cost? This book is the first to ask and attempt to answer these and other questions so central to the long-term health of the state. While California is undeniably unique and diverse, the challenges it faces will be mirrored everywhere. This succinct and authoritative review of the latest evidence suggests feasible changes that can sustain prosperity, mitigate adverse impacts of climate change, and stimulate research and policy dialog across the globe.

The authors argue that the sooner society recognizes the reality of climate change risk, the more effectively we can begin adaptation to limit costs to present and future generations. They show that climate risk presents a new opportunity for innovation, supporting aspirations for prosperity in a lower carbon, climate altered future where we can continue economic progress without endangering the environment and ourselves.

Excerpt

It is difficult to overstate the benefits humanity has enjoyed from domesticating carbon fuels. Burning wood provided essential safety, food, habitat, and technology services for most of our history. Then, about two centuries ago, we began an innovation process that translated the latent energy in fossil fuels into a miraculous array of productive uses. This Promethean gift of the sun, captive in prehistoric biomass until we began our industrial revolution, has conferred on many living standards beyond what our ancestors could have imagined. the scope of this prosperity remains limited, but it is clear that our energy-driven technology revolution is irreversible and indeed has accelerated in recent decades. Now, however, we are awakening to an unintended and unwelcome side effect of our carbon fuel renaissance, the climate-altering influence of greenhouse gas emissions.

Changing climate processes will ultimately change our lives, and a better understanding of these impacts can help public and private actors adapt more effectively and perhaps even change the behavior that brought this global environmental threat upon us. To support broader awareness of the climate challenge, this book . . .

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