Emphasizing the Importance of Adaptation Planning

June 28, 2012

We know that climate change is happening and that its impacts will affect all of us.  In fact, we may have already passed a tipping point, and we are already seeing the increase in extreme storms, flooding, and droughts that scientists have long expected.

In Edinburgh, Scotland this week, Georgetown Climate Center Executive Director Vicki Arroyo took to the stage at the Global TED conference to stress the importance of planning to help our communities adapt to the climate changes that are coming.  

While she emphasized that mitigating greenhouse gas emissions remains essential, she said we must begin planning for the changes that are now inevitable as well.  She focused her comments on examples related to three areas: adapting to storms and floods, adapting to rising seas, and preparing for heat and drought.

The good news, she said, is that most of the adaptive actions needed are local and community-based, which means that we can all have an impact.

“There are no quick fixes, no one-size-fits-all solutions. It’s all learning by doing, but the operative word is doing,” she said. “Adaptation will not be painless and it won’t be perfect, but inaction — no action — is not an option.”

Once a public video of her talk is available, it will be posted here.  For a full recap, you may also check out this TED blog about her speech.