For Release Saturday, February 20, 2010
“Drought, extreme weather events, catastrophic wildfires, disruption of natural systems” –combined with “longer periods when streams are dry, with serious consequences for wildlife, natural habitats, and water supplies.” That’s the scenario for my region of America in a provocative recent Lincoln Institute of Land Policy report, “Planning for Climate Change in the West.”
And political will to address these challenges? The report notes that the Mountain West “has lagged behind other regions in pursuing aggressive planning strategies to reduce [greenhouse gases],” largely because of a conservative political culture and insufficient political will.
It is true that the region has tended to be politically conservative, and there may well be an above-average level of climate change denial among westerners. But there are also significant historical vectors at work here that could supply the political will this historic challenge demands. Read More