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Governing California through Changes in the Climate




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California, the 7th largest economy in the world, has led other world powers through economic instability and innovation booms, and now faces an historic challenge governing in a time of climate change. 

Uncertainty in rain patterns, wildfire activity, sea level rise and daily temperatures, has already begun. Each of these natural phenomena not only holds strong implications for agriculture, air quality, and electricity generation, but also for our real estate values and popular quality of life.  To continue a major role in the global economy, California government must provide stability in our transportation, hospitals, water and sewage, as well as fire and emergency response.

Controlling Climate Change is to control Mother Nature.  There are no guidebooks and little precedent for this new challenge. Developing plans to adapt is more realistic than trying to control Mother Nature.  What works today for planning and buildings will not work when a rising ocean eroding shorelines also erodes the concept of permanent landscape.  Property seaward of high tide is considered public property in our state, so as high tide keeps moving up to people's homes do those homes become public property? 

Adapting to climate impacts requires comprehensive solutions.  Seawalls for example, merely push one city's problems onto its neighbors.  Overlapping local governing agencies with competing interests require California to counter gridlock by providing the best science on climate impact, standardized information and risk assessments tools sophisticated enough for the job in all areas of our state.

California's landmark Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 aims to reduce emissions and yet California contributes merely 1% toward emissions in the atmosphere.  More significant and comprehensive to the protection of our economy and livelihood is managing the effect water and weather will have on California's sea ports and airports.  Flood protection becomes more significant brought on by wild swings from drought to excessive rain, combined with less snowpack - a trend that will continue.

Investing today's tax dollars to protect tomorrow's residents from climate impacts is not a trivial obstacle.  Over the past 5 years, California's governor has begun to focus resources more intently on adapting while the federal government is just beginning to address policy.  The state Legislature has yet to engage in major adaptation policy. 

The Climate Action Team, led by the California Natural Resources Agency, is moving to address longer, slower emerging problems.  This team defined the problem but does not specify what can be done.  Their research relies heavily on state government groups, but lacks input from local governments and citizens.  After all, even though it is called Global Climate Change, it really is a local issue with solutions requiring regional cooperation and plans.

How will government institutions steer California through this new era of uncertainty?  Unique to California, the Little Hoover Commission, a bipartisan watchdog group, lists Climate Change first on its 10 top challenges to governing California.

Included in their recently released Economy & Efficiency Report are five recommendations.

  1. The Governor should establish the best science on anticipated climate change impacts to help decision-makers accurately assess their risks.
  2. State government should incorporate climate risk assessment into everyday public planning and processes.
  3. The Legislature should expand the primary mission of the Strategic Growth Council beyond mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions to include an equal focus on adapting to the changes.
  4. State government should work with counties, private insurers, wild land stakeholders and the building industry to minimize wildfires and property damage by more aggressively enforcing defensible space requirements in state law.
  5. The Governor should work with key state agencies and other public and private coastal interests to clarify the impact of sea level rise.  A legal framework should exist in advance of crisis to prevent litigation and enable stability as a rising ocean begins to condemn private property on the Pacific coastline.

This is the perfect time to let your representatives know what you think.  Newly elected state Senators and Assembly members were recently sworn in with no aggressive legislation in place for this problem. Whether you agree with the Little Hoover Commission recommendations or not, let your opinion be known.





Placer County News Headlines

Rocklin Charts Course for Defunct Sunset Whitney Golf Space The Rocklin City Council is scheduled to consider an opportunity proposed for the former Sunset Whitney Golf Course land at the March 28 Council Meeting.

Spring Eggstravaganza April 15-16 at Fairytale TownSacramento, Calif. - Celebrate spring with egg hunts, puppet shows, hands-on activities and more at Fairytale Town's annual Spring Eggstravaganza

Gardens of the Hills Fundraiser Tour and Crafts FairEl Dorado Hills, CA - The Assistance League of Sierra Foothills presents their 8th annual Gardens of the Hills Fundraiser Tour and Crafts Fair

Carmel Valley: Land of Honey, Wine & ArtCarmel Valley, CA- Just a short scenic drive inland from Carmel-by-the-Sea lies a delightful little village tucked in the hills that sometimes and undeservedly gets overlooked by travelers in favor of its more popular coastal neighbors.

Roseville Moose Lodge Charity Golf Tournament May 20thRoseville, CA- The Roseville Moose Lodge will be holding its second annual charity golf tournament Saturday, May 20 at Whitney Oaks Golf Club in Rocklin

Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital Foundation welcomes new president and board memberAuburn - Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital Foundation announces the appointment of a new board president, Robert Frew and board member, Suzi deFosset.

Lincoln MKZ: Luxury sedan has lots to offerRoseville, CA- We test drove the 2017 Lincoln MKZ recently for a week and came away impressed.

Corky's Corner: Golden Age Mic Pre 73 ReviewRoseville, CA- If you have a budget or bedroom studio and you are looking for a Neve type Pre amp look no further. The Golden Age Pre is for you.

Roseville Gas Prices Cool as Warmer Temps Move InRoseville, CA- Gas prices in Roseville experienced a slight dip this past week. That's good news as the forecast shows warmer spring weather finally returning to Northern California

American Sign Language Bicentennial Celebration at WJUROCKLIN, Calif., - William Jessup University's American Sign Language (ASL) club will host "ASL Day for All" on Saturday, April 8 at 9:30 a.m. at the growing university

Chicago the TRIBUTE to play Opera House Saloon in Roseville(ROSEVILLE, CA) - Chicago the TRIBUTE, a 9-piece tribute to the band with the horns and hits will be playing the Opera House Saloon Roseville on Thursday, March 30

Roseville Criminal Activity Heats UpRoseville, CA- As the weather heats up, so does Roseville criminal activity. The Roseville police log digest update for the ten-day period covering March 10-20, 2017.


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