Getting Started is Half The Battle
The Climate Adaptation Center (CAC) in Sarasota is the only non-profit in Florida that is fully focused on the Florida impacts of a rapidly warming global climate. Everyone is asking, “What can I do to help protect our Florida way of life? How can I help slow climate warming?” So here are three recommendations for each of the following sectors: local governments, private sector companies, educational institutions, philanthropy and citizens. By taking charge we can help take the steam out of the climate warming express train!
- Begin working regionally on climate issues now instead of working just within your particular jurisdiction. The city of Sarasota, Sarasota County, and the barrier islands should coordinate projects and codes for our climate-changed region.
- Upgrade your processes to include a climate screen for all new regulations, programs and projects so each one improves the risk profile of a local climate threat. For example, when improving a roadway on a hurricane escape route or maintaining it, raise the roadway now. Don’t wait for a mass casualty event.
- Build hardened public dual-purpose facilities that will allow “at risk” citizens to shelter in place during evacuations for hurricane, storm surge and major heat events and provide indoor facilities for outdoor sports so heat doesn’t shut down needed activities.
- Learn about the risks of climate warming in your market and position your products and future products to help mitigate the most negative impacts. As an example, builders/developers should no longer build homes with ground elevations below 5 feet and existing buildings should be climate-proofed with the latest efficient products. Over 20% of our carbon footprints come from existing homes and buildings. This one approach would cut emissions in half and save money too.
- Be entrepreneurial about climate warming. To mitigate and adapt, new products and services will be in high demand. Get in front of this trend and do good and make profits at the same time. Be a climate entrepreneur!
- Set an example within your company about lowering the company’s carbon footprint. Modernize your end to end operation to lower its carbon footprint and the carbon footprint of the products you make and deliver to your customers.
- Teachers need to know the facts on climate warming and ensure their students grow into the climate-educated workforce. Everything students do in their work and private life can help by putting climate knowledge to work — every day.
- Curricula should use climate issues as projects to engage multidisciplinary and cross-disciplinary critical solutions thinking — integrating the skills and specializations of tomorrow’s climate workforce .
- Honor teachers and students focused on climate issues with special recognition. Provide incentives so they want to do noble work, solve problems and lead the emerging Climate Economy.
The USA leads the world in philanthropy. It’s the fourth leg of the stool that enhances and impacts all the others.
- Philanthropy needs to inform its decisions with tailored climate knowledge to help every sector mitigate and resolve climate risks. Bring climate insight to your strategic and tactical processes.
- Develop new measurements of success to track and improve the impacts of philanthropy in the area of climate and the environment.
- Philanthropic organizations should work together to improve a more regional impact just like we recommend local governments do.
- Think about your daily tasks and lower your own carbon footprint. When driving, for example, get in the habit of doing all your errands on one trip with efficient route management.
- Improve wasteful energy use in your home and at your workplace by doing simple things like using energy efficient thought when using hot water, applicances, lights, heating and cooling.
- Invest in making your home energy efficient and take advantage of all the new federal tax credits to do so. Learn about them now so it informs your decisions going forward.
CAC Can Help
The CAC is a unique organization that brings top-notch climate science translated into messages the public and decision makers can use. The first CAC is in Sarasota’s backyard. Whether you are a citizen, business owner, educator, government official or philanthropist, you can learn about the Florida impacts of climate warming and what to do about it through the CAC’s website, the monthly newsletter and our annual conference.
Philanthropy is the CAC’s sole source of funding and that is a purposeful decision on our part. Donate or become a CAC Member and learn how we can all work together to protect our Florida way of life through adaptation and mitigation of the worst impacts of climate warming.
Doing so will spur the emergence of the Climate Economy an economic force and benefit for our citizens. We all know we are personally part of the problem. Now each one of us can be part of the solution!
It’s going to take all of us to solve the Global Grand Challenge of Climate Warming and it has to be a bottom-up approach.
How about it?