Time to act locally on climate change

  • Thursday, April 2, 2015 7:56pm
  • Opinion

Act locally.

That’s one of the most important takeaways from last week’s Kenai Climate Conference, which brought together scientists, politicians and members of the public to discuss the local impacts of climate change.

Among the presenters at the conference were a number of researchers who have been studying the effects of climate change here on the Kenai Peninsula, including changes in the water temperatures in salmon streams, changes in wildland fire patterns, erosion issues and changes in the peninsula’s flora and fauna.

With changes documented, Kenai Peninsula residents are now faced with two choices — mitigation or adaptation.

That’s where the research intersects with public policy, as local governments and residents will need to make changes to either reduce the potential effects, or adjust to changes in the environment.

Some of those policy changes already are being implemented. For example, state wildland fire crews are gearing up earlier than they have in the past.

Changes aren’t just environmental; communities should be aware that impacts could also affect the area’s economy or threaten infrastructure.

At the conference, Kenai Watershed Forum environmental specialist Branden Bornemann invited attendees to help author a strategic plan to present to borough and municipal governments.

A plan written by the community, for the community, with community solutions is a good idea.

Let’s act now to address issues while there are things we can accomplish at the local level, before decisions are taken out of our hands.

More in Opinion

U.S. Senate candidate Kelly Tshibaka and former President Donald Trump stand on stage during a July 2022 rally in Anchorage. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Tshibaka’s insincere defense of democracy

There are a lot of possible explanations why fewer votes were cast last November

Opinion: Humanism and the billionaire class

Compromise is the right thing to do and they should do it.

Opinion: The challenged truths of 3 elected representatives

“Politicians lying is nothing new.”

This photo shows the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: The wrong way to define demand

And as glaciers go, the Mendenhall is only a minor attraction.

Zachary Hamilton (Courtesy photo)
Borough mayoral candidate: ‘The best is yet to come’

Zachary Hamilton is running for Kenai Peninsula Borough mayor in the special election

Love, INC in Soldotna, Alaska, provides homelessness prevention and housing services to people on the Kenai Peninsula. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Opinion: COVID relief funds help homeless children in Alaska

We need to sustain this kind of investment.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy holds a press conference at the Capitol on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. (Juneau Empire file photo)
Opinion: Alaska must act now to capitalize on carbon markets

Alaska has vast forests and coastlines that can provide natural carbon management

Opinion: MLK Day clinics offered in the ‘spirit of service and advocacy for equality and social justice’

Attorneys across the state will be spending their holiday as “A Day On, Not a Day Off”

The M/V Tustumena comes into Homer after spending the day in Seldovia in 2010. (Homer News File)
Opinion: New federal funding could aid Alaska Marine Highway System

The evidence is clear that the AMHS is in grave danger of failing and moving into Alaska’s history books

(Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: I’ve seen the union difference

As a community we can show solidarity…

(Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Sullivan’s irrelevance in defense of democracy

Two years ago this week, supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol…

People vote in polling booths at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Voices of the Peninsula: What’s on your 2023 schedule so far?

There is a Kenai Peninsula Borough Special Mayoral Election coming up in February