Coping with climate change

Touring Brightwater

I’m not interested in any more stories about Polar Bears. Those stories are just incremental measures of the climate change that we all know is coming. One reporter I spoke with this week called people who want to still debate whether climate change is real “members of the flat earth society. I say the scientists have it right.

Now, we need to figure out how to live with the change that is happening no matter how much we reduce greenhouse gases. That’s the real story.How are ordinary people going to cope with floods, record heat, water shortages, shorelines washed away and even new diseases that will thrive where they couldn’t before? It’s my job to make sure our community is resilient to climate change.

In the coming years there will be winners and losers in the world and the winners will live where governments have looked at how to best cope with the inevitable change. I am determined to make sure we are winners. Our safety, health and economy for the next 50 years depend on the work we do today that will protect us in the future.

I’m thinking and talking about this a lot this week as we host a meeting of nine metropolitan leaders who are all doing the work to provide resiliency and sharing this work to build a model for the rest of the world to use. The work is being led by the Center for Clean Air Policy, a think tank in Washington, D.C., and partially funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. It’s important work, and I’m thankful to have the support of both organizations. Learn more on their Web sites. Or watch a video about the event.

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