Pacific Swell

Southern California environment news and trends

California leads nation in climate change preparation

The Santa Ana winds in Southern California sweep down across the deserts and across the Los Angeles Basin.
The Santa Ana winds in Southern California sweep down across the deserts and across the Los Angeles Basin. NASA/JPL-Caltech

With climate change continuing to create a myriad of new and uncertain weather and water-related issues, no state in America is better at getting ready for our environmental future than California.

As reported by the Hermosa Beach Patch, a recent study by the National Resources Defense Council found that California is one of only nine states (including Alaska and Wisconsin) that has created strategies to deal with the host of predicted situations like water shortages and droughts.

“Because of the significant risks to the state from increasing temperatures, changes in precipitation, sea level rise, and ocean acidification, California has been one of the leading states in the U.S. on climate change action,” states the report, titled “Ready or Not: An Evaluation of State Climate and Water Preparedness Planning.”

By contrast, as many as 29 states (including Texas and Ohio), have done next to nothing to get ready for potential weather-related climate impacts.

"They are not doing anything to cut down on carbon pollution or to prepare for climate change impacts," Said Ben Chou, a water policy analyst for the NRDC and one of the report’s authors to the San Francisco Chronicle. “On the state level it doesn’t seem like climate change exists to them. It’s not on their radar.”

Of the several California programs that earned the top ranking include the state’s Air Resource Board cap-and-trade program (which looks to reduce greenhouse gases), the California Environmental Quality Act and the Climate Action Team.

"Other states have been proactive on water conservation but they don't require a certain level of water conservation in the future," Chou added to the Chronicle. "That's what California is doing here and it will certainly pay dividends if and when California is impacted by climate change."

blog comments powered by Disqus

Enjoy reading Pacific Swell? You might like KPCC’s other blogs.

What's popular now on KPCC