California: Second Line Of Defense Built Against Global Warming


AHN Staff

Sacramento, CA (AHN) – California is going beyond the traditional methods taken by states to minimize the effects of climate change such as setting limits on tailpipe emissions and coming up with renewable energy standards.

This is keeping in line with the leadership role California has maintained in climate-change among the American states, bolstered by Los Angeles’ hosting last week of the two-day Global Climate Summit.

Among the extra measures being pushed by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger are a proposal from the state Transportation Department to move a 3-mile stretch of Highway 1 in Big Sur, which hugs the ocean, up to 475 feet inland to be ahead of the tidal rise. It also includes a triage among state wildlife officials to decide species to be saved from global warming and a plan by the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission to hold an international contest to create designs for edifices that are flood resilient.

The state will ask the National Academy of Sciences to gather an independent panel of experts to come up with a forecast of likely scenarios along the costs through the end of the century and recommend ways to cut damage along the coastal roads, beaches, sewage and water treatment plans, wetlands and marine life to a minimum.

One challenge facing the state, though, is the availability of funds. Nancy Skinner, who was elected recently to the state Assembly, told the San Francisco Chronicle, “We’re in a terrible budget crisis, and this will be a big challenge for climate-related programs… Some of these programs (at risk) are very basic. For example, on the table will be very significant cuts to funding for public transit. This will affect greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. We need to expand transit, not cut it.”


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