Thursday, August 16, 2012

How Will Central California Adapt to Climate Change?

Will Merced grow into the next Los Angeles?  This article in the Merced Sun-Star sketches some challenges that this nascent city will face due to climate change.

"The study looked at a number of social-risk factors specifically related to the impacts of climate change, including air conditioner ownership, childhood obesity, percentage of tree cover, income levels and numbers of workers in outdoor occupations.
From Merced to Fresno, an abundance of outdoor workers consistently topped the factors in climate change vulnerability.
"Agricultural workers are at high risk of heat- related illness because they often work long hours in the sun and, in some cases, may not have access to adequate health care," Cooley said."

This looks like a data point for Climatopolis!  Economic development in this region leading to rising income and a sectoral shift towards urbanization and away from agriculture will reduce exposure and increase private adaptation strategies for households.  It is revealing that most discussions of adaptation challenges focus on the poor.  So, how do we help the poor?  We increase investment in basic education and encourage economic growth.  This is the long term adaptation strategy.  

Read more here: