The Time to Adapt is Now. Matthias Ruth and Douglas Foy Conclude Open Classroom Series on Climate Change.
Climate Change Series: Conclusion
by Douglas Foy and Matthias Ruth
As we bring our series Climate Change. Challenges. Solutions. to a close, moderators Douglas Foy and Matthias Ruth offer their reflections on the mounting challenges presented by climate change, and the depth and breadth of the solutions that will be required in the coming years.
Douglas Foy is president of Serrafix Corp. and former president of the Conservation Law Foundation. As a super-secretary in Governor Mitt Romney’s cabinet, Doug oversaw transportation, housing, environment, and energy agencies, with combined annual capital budgets of $5 billion.
Twenty years ago, when I started raising the alarm about the dangers of climate change, I thought of it primarily as a legacy issue. Climate change would affect our children and grandchildren. It wasn’t fair that they would have to suffer the consequences of our greed, profligacy and shortsightedness.
Today, it’s increasingly clear that I was wrong. Yes, climate change is a legacy issue that will affect generations to come, but it is also an issue that directly threatens generationstoday. We’re already experiencing the first wave of its impacts and we can expect increasingly severe effects in the near — not distant — future.
Just in the last year, the U.S. has faced severe drought in the Midwest, brutal heat waves in the Southwest, and the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast. Though coverage was trumped by the Boston Marathon bombings two weeks ago, central Indiana was inundated by up to 5 inches of rain in 24 hours, causing widespread flooding throughout the region.
Going forward, the presumption should be that any extreme weather event is caused or exacerbated by climate change resulting from greenhouse gas emissions. The burden of proof — not mere assertion, but proof based on hard, scientific evidence — should now be on those who would deny the reality and impacts of climate change.
We need to redouble our efforts at mitigation, at rapidly reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and replacing them as quickly as possible, while building a zero-emissions global economy. But even if we could magically eliminate all new greenhouse gas emissions tomorrow, we still face centuries of warming temperatures, extreme weather and rising sea levels.
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, there’s a lot of thinking and talking about adaptation.
For example, how will coastal cities deal with future super-storms and flooding? Will Boston have to build a barrier across the Harbor Islands to protect the city and surrounding coastal and riverfront communities? If fortification is not possible, will we need to retreat to higher ground, abandoning huge tracts of low-lying land like East Boston and the Back Bay to the sea? And, what about cities that don’t have higher ground to retreat to like Miami?
That the questions are being asked is a good sign, but so far there has been little action. Coastal communities will be hammered by the effects of climate change within the next decade. The time to begin adapting is now.
Matthias Ruth is a professor at Northeastern University with appointments in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He is a founder of Ecological Economics and a founding co-editor-in-chief of the journal Urban Climate.
For too long, too much of the climate change debate has focused on silver bullet solutions when what we need are multiple solutions.
Because climate change is a global problem, there is a strong sentiment that it must be solved through a global accord (a silver bullet solution). However, global greenhouse gas emissions have risen 50 percent since the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which recently expired. Monitoring and enforcement of any global accord is difficult — even more so as countries embrace trade globalization, which has its own perverse incentives that increase greenhouse gas emissions.
We’ve had endless discussions about using nuclear power to replace fossil fuels as our dominant energy source. But 60 years after the first experiments, nuclear fission faces ongoing cost and safety challenges. Current estimates suggest that the alterative, nuclear fusion, will not be commercially viable until mid-century at the earliest.
The building of dikes and other hard structures to protect against sea-level rise generates another pair of issues: Physical flood control may undermine emergency preparedness and ultimately leave populations more vulnerable when the barriers fail.
Technological leapfrogging, which would have entire continents transition to using cellphones, is another oft-cited potential solution from the telecommunications sector. But more often than not, new technology results in greater consumption, which in turn increases greenhouse gas emissions.
The fundamental reality is that many solutions are required for a problem that has many sources.
Local and regional action in support of a transition to a carbon-free society is in the best interest of the local environment, local businesses and local communities. It is perfectly consistent with the goal of stabilizing global climate. Significant local and regional actions can be taken even when global agreement is not possible.
Replacing fossil fuels requires an “all of the above” approach that makes greater use of renewable energy sources and makes efficiency a priority.
Adaptation to protect cities is more than building bigger and stronger dikes. It includes more robust emergency preparedness systems, as well as hundreds of minor infrastructure adaptations like sensor-operated lighting, pre-programmed thermostats for reduced night-time energy consumption, siding and roofing materials that serve as solar collectors, and better insulation of buildings.
In contrast to technological leapfrogging, behavioral leapfrogging is little-studied and thus, hard to accomplish. The list of potential changes in default settings and signals for behavioral change is long: Designing buildings with attractive staircases and with elevators out of immediate sight to get people walking up a few flights. Placing energy consumption monitors where, in real time, consumption, emissions and costs are displayed to building users. Certifying the energy performance of buildings much like we do for cars via MPG ratings.
We have barely begun to explore — let alone implement — the many ways that small changes in behavior can result in big changes in energy use.
Instead of waiting for the experts and the powerful to agree, we all can do something about climate change. The sooner we get started — acting where we can with the power we have — the better.
NS4G CELEBRATES FIVE YEARS OF MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Northeastern Students4Giving, the University’s experiential philanthropy education program housed in the Human Services Program at the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, has awarded over $83,000 to local nonprofit organizations since its launch in 2008. This year, students, faculty, and friends celebrated the organization’s fifth anniversary with an awards ceremony on Thursday, April 18.
In her remarks at the ceremony, just days after the attack on the Boston Marathon, Program Director Rebecca Riccio reflected on the students who are involved in NS4G.
“I am especially proud to be part of a program which routinely attracts young people who come to us to learn how to make a difference in their professional lives and in their private lives,” Rebecca Riccio said. “It’s a source of comfort to see the care and intensity with which they take the responsibility of giving this money back to the community. It’s also a source of comfort that they will define the future.”
The program engages in real-world philanthropy, awarding grants to local nonprofits determined by annual funding priorities and a rigorous review process. The undergraduates begin the grant-giving cycle in the course “Human Services Professions” by determining local Boston neighborhoods’ most-pressing needs. This year’s NS4G cohort determined those funding priorities to be community mental health and post-incarceration reintegration. Then, after developing a rubric, conducting site visits, and engaging in rigorous deliberations, the students give real-dollar grants to deserving nonprofits.
At the ceremony, NS4G students Sara Pressman and Carolyn Walker awarded Project Place, an organization whose mission it is to provide career development and peer support for incarcerated women preparing to re-enter their communities, one of the competitive grants because it’s the “innovative, passionate, organized, and respectful organization” for which they had been seeking.
Students Katty Mojica-Martinez and Theresa Park presented the second grant to Bridge Over Troubled Waters for the organization’s creativity, its community ties, its passion, and for its potential in helping individuals with mental illness overcome the economic, social, and cultural barriers to accessing mental healthcare.
Both grants of $10,000 each were made possible by gifts from Learning by Giving Foundation and the Wong Family.
Earlier this year, NS4G also hosted its annual Social Impact Conference where Learning by Giving Foundation announced the national winners of its Decisions with Impact student philanthropy video contest. Two NS4G produced videos profiling past grantees Haley House and Brookview House were finalists in the contest. Haley House and Brookview House, who were also in attendance at this year’s ceremony, received a combined $2,500 in the contest from Learning by Giving.
NS4G relies on donors for these grants, as well as for its lecture series and its conference. These funds have also been provided by the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund, the Arthur K. Watson Charitable Trust, the Charlotte Foundation, and the Sunshine Lady Foundation founded by Doris Buffett, who NS4G honored as a special guest at this year’s ceremony.
Buffett, who proclaimed herself a philosopher rather than a philanthropist, “because that sounds stuck up,” brought the crowd in Raytheon Amphitheater to laughter on several occasions. She answered questions from the students on her giving philosophy, on taking risks with investments, and on drawing attention to marginalized communities who aren’t as easily identified as such.
“I like big issues,” said Buffett, “and then I like to operate on local levels.”
In introducing Buffett, Riccio noted how much of an advocate Buffett is for experiential philanthropy education programs such as NS4G.
“Doris knows the value of money, but she doesn’t think that it’s money that makes the difference,” Riccio explained. “She thinks it’s the people who make the difference when you invest in them. She has invested in us and has made it possible for us to invest in others.”
NS4G students also presented Buffett with a scrapbook which encapsulated the last five years of NS4G and the journey the program has taken with her support.
Diane MacGillivray, Senior VP of University Advancement, wrapped the program up with anecdotes on how philanthropy can affect individuals, as well as her observations on NS4G.
“I’m so very proud as an administrator for Northeastern University to have been affiliated with this program, to have watched it grow, to see what it has become, and what I’m so confident that it will be going forward.”
Pictured above: Philanthropist Doris Buffett, right, was the guest of honor at the 2013 NS4G Annual Awards Ceremony. Photo credit: Brooks Canaday.
Clayton-Matthews predicts short-run economic impact from the Boston Lockdown is similar to a snowstorm
What the Boston Lockdown Might Cost
The manhunt for the remaining Boston Marathon bombing suspect has largely shut down the city and its surrounding areas, as authorities asked residents in Boston and a number of nearby neighborhoods to stay indoors.
Boston Logan International Airport remained open and was operating under “heightened security,” according to the Massachusetts Port Authority, but the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority suspended all public transportation, and businesses large and small told employees to stay home. Utility National Grid closed its facilities in the affected communities and told employees to work remotely, a spokeswoman said, but its crews in the area will work with local authorities to respond to any emergency situations. Schools including Boston College, Boston University, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where authorities said a campus patrol officer was shot and killed by the bombing suspects last night, all cancelled classes.
Not all business activity was shut down. “At the direction of authorities, select Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in the Boston area are open to take care of needs of law enforcement and first responders,” Karen Raskopf, chief communications officer of Dunkin’ Brands, said in an emailed statement.
The Boston metropolitan area had a GDP of nearly $326 billion in 2011, according to data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis released in February. That makes the city and its surroundings the ninth largest metro area in the U.S., with an economy larger than those of Greece, Finland, Singapore, Portugal or Ireland.
It’s far too early to get a complete sense of the economic impact of Monday’s bombings and the subsequent manhunt, but a simple – or simplistic – calculation based on that $326 billion figure suggests that shutting down the area for a day could cost the regions’ economy about $1 billion. That doesn’t account for productivity lost nationally as workers tune into to TV news or other outlets to follow the unfolding events.
But today’s economic activity isn’t necessarily lost – it might just be delayed, similar to the effects from the blizzard that hit the area in February, says Alan Clayton-Matthews, a professor at Northeastern University who studies the region’s economy. “People on salary haven’t really lost any income,” he says. Restaurant and retail workers might not be getting paid for shifts affected by the shutdown, but they could make up for that in the near future. “The short-run impact is pretty much like a snowstorm,” says Clayton-Matthews, “which is kind of odd given how horrific and surreal this situation is.”
The most significant long-run economic impact, if there is any, may come from increased security costs, both in Boston and nationally, particularly for open-air events. “More resources will need to be put into making events secure,” Clayton-Matthews says, “and that takes away resources from other uses that might have led to higher growth in the future.”
On March 22, 2013 Barry Bluestone presented during the final remarks of the three-day Housing Opportunity 2013 conference in Seattle, WA.
Bluestone presented Lessons from Massachusetts during the closing session on Setting Goals for Housing Opportunity.
See video of Bluestone’s presentation below. Click HERE to learn more about the conference and view additional videos.Advance video to 12:50 for the presentation.
Triaging the Train Wreck of Climate Change
Biologist Brian Helmuth has observed firsthand the devastation wrought by climate change, but he’s also seen how ecological forecasting can prepare us.
The coast of Belize is a magical place, and, like the rest of the Caribbean, it experiences its share of problems with tourism and overfishing, but it’s long been a diver’s dream. Diving on a healthy coral reef can truly take your breath away. Fish of every description dart among pillars of corals and waving seafans, and every crevice is filled with life. Seeing a healthy reef is like suddenly being able to experience color after living a lifetime of black and white.
I was fortunate to begin working in Belize as a graduate student at the University of Washington, and in 1991, I made my first trip to the field station managed by the Smithsonian Institution on Carrie Bow Cay. I managed to make a trip almost every year after that, studying the effects of water movement on feeding by corals.
In 1998, something terrible happened.
I returned to one of my favorite sites, in an area known as the Pelican Cays, to find every last bit of coral was dead, and the entire reef, now consisting of ghost skeletons, was a massive farm for oozing algae. Colleagues who had documented the event warned me, but even so I was not prepared for the devastation that I observed. A subtle increase in water temperature caused the corals to “bleach,” a phenomenon in which corals lose the symbiotic microorganisms, known as zooxanthellae, living in their tissues. The life and death of these tiny creatures in turn had a cascading impact on the entire reef ecosystem.
The events of 1998 didn’t raise alarm bells with the general public, but it did stun many of us working in field biology. The death we scientists observed; a change as little as 1 degree Celsius above normal, can cause severe damage to corals and other organisms. In the last decade, coral bleaching events, and other mortality related to climate change, has been documented worldwide.
Climate Change a Fact, Not a Faith
Like many scientists, I didn’t start out studying climate change; it more or less became a fact of life when the organisms I was studying started to die.
Since that day at Pelican Cays, I have been fortunate to travel to many sites around the globe, ranging from the waters of the southern Pacific Ocean to the crashing surf along the Pacific coast of North America, and what I see matches the observations made by what now is an army of scientists: The Earth’s flora and fauna are changing — shifting their geographic locations, altering when they reproduce or dying wholesale — as a result of human-induced global warming.
The question before the scientific community is no longer, “Is climate change due to human activities happening?” Of that we are certain.
Instead, the question is, “Where, when and with what magnitude are effects most (and least) likely to occur?” Most importantly, how can we use science to prepare for, and perhaps minimize, the damage that is on the horizon? While this concept of “adaptation to climate change” in no way negates the challenges before us in terms of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, it does suggest that there are positive, forward-thinking steps that we can take to prepare for a warmer world.
For many Americans, the idea of global climate change seems like a far-away concept, an idea dreamt up by scientists in their laboratories. That some still talk about “belief” — a matter of faith more so than facts — in findings that have long been accepted by the scientific community speaks volumes about the general public’s understanding and acceptance of global climate change.
While considerable uncertainty exists in predicting just how much climate will change in the future, scientists agree that we are committed to at least some change, likely a minimum of 2 degrees Celsius and perhaps much more, over the next 50 to 100 years. In other words, even if we stopped all carbon emissions now, the Earth has sufficient inertia in its climate system that changes will continue to occur, and no one is holding their breath that emissions will be shut off overnight.
Change is much more drastic at some sites than others, and there remain places of refuge. But, the message is clear: Climate change is already altering the world’s ecosystems, and is therefore a threat to us humans. While it may appear as simply a matter of writing off these impacts as the concerns of environmental left-wingers, even a cursory look shows that climate change affects everyone — and in ways that many of us don’t realize. Global warming strikes at the heart of our food supply, it magnifies the rate at which we contract disease and curtails our ability to obtain fresh water.
While climate change will create winners and losers, the overall prognosis is not encouraging. There is good news, however. We now have methods for predicting where some of these changes are most likely, and in doing so, we may be able to better prepare for a warmer world.
The relatively new science of ecological forecasting could be a key to preparing for a world turned upside down by global warming. Rather than simply documenting a list of dead and dying species, we can identify “trouble spots” that demand our attention and, in turn, know how and when it is best to act.
Importantly, global warming is often the “trigger that fires the bullet,” and changes in temperature often interact with other stressors, such as pollution. Sources of stress that affect the health of the environment are in many ways directly analogous to those that impact human health; when a person has poor nutrition, their body is less able to fend off disease and to recover from injury.
Even in cases where temperature increases do not cause wholesale mortality, they often push organisms to the point where they can no longer tolerate other environmental insults. In this same way, we can minimize the effects of global warming by decreasing other factors such as nutrient runoff, overfishing and heavy metal toxicity — but only if we know how to identify the most critical patients. Thus, while forecasting and other forms of “adaptation to climate change” do not rid us of the need to mitigate the underlying problem of greenhouse gas emissions run amok, the method does provide a means of focusing time, energy and money.
Knowing how to “triage” the natural world first requires that we understand how nonhuman organisms see the world. As it turns out, this may be more difficult than we think.
Small Change, Big Trouble
We are wired differently than most other species on Earth in how we experience heat and temperature.
Unlike virtually all other plants and animals, our metabolism (and that of birds and mammals) gives us tight control over the temperature of our bodies. We, therefore, don’t “sense” changes in the world nearly as much as most other organisms.
For humans, air temperature is one of the most familiar indicators of how “hot” or “cold” the weather is, as the difference between air temperature and the temperature of our bodies determines how rapidly we lose (or gain) heat. When the wind blows, increasing heat loss, we add a wind chill factor to determine an “effective air temperature.”
Here in the South, as I quickly learned upon arrival in South Carolina, we calculate a “heat index” to reflect that high relative humidity reduces the ability to shed heat through perspiration. Except for extreme circumstances of heat stroke and heat exhaustion (which are indeed a worry under climate change in many parts of the globe), our body temperatures remain relatively constant at a core temperature of 37 degrees Celsius.
When our bodies start to warm above normal, we slow down cellular metabolism and open up our pores, increasing cooling through evaporation and convection. When we become too cold, our bodies kick up metabolism or, in the extreme, shiver to produce heat.
The average temperature of the Earth’s surface has increased by 1.2 degrees Fahrenheit (0.7 C) over the last century (and much more in places like the Arctic). Does this matter to us as organisms? After all, if we feel a slight temperature increase, we are likely to simply brush it off by cranking up the air conditioning or delighting that spring has come that much earlier.
Slight increases in temperature affect mammals such as humans by forcing us to stay in cool places more frequently. For many people, this is usually not an issue, although recent projections suggest that even moderate physical activity during the summer may push people living in urban “heat islands” close to heat stroke. This was vividly illustrated in France in 2003, when thousands without access to air conditioning died during a heat wave.
Herein lies one of the largest direct effects of climate change on human physiology. While small changes in average temperature may be relatively easy to contend with, climate change is causing a marked increase in the frequency of extreme events — and these can be deadly.
For most other plants and animals, lacking our metabolism and our air conditioning, a shift in environmental temperature means a change in body temperature. For organisms living close to their thermal limits, this can mean big trouble.
Like humans, these organisms gain and lose heat from their surrounding environment. Unlike us, they generally have a very low level of metabolism, and so their bodies get warmer or colder as the surrounding weather heats or cools.
Think about walking barefoot across a parking lot on a sunny summer day. In the same way that short-wave radiation from the sun is converted into heat energy on the asphalt surface, so is it converted to heat in the bodies of animals, including us.
Animals of course have some behavioral control over the amount of sun that hits their bodies and (except for teenagers trying to tan) humans are among the best examples. Such control is important because even a few degrees above normal body temperatures can be deadly. For birds and mammals, trying to stay cool can come at a significant cost; time spent lying in the shade means time not spent hunting for food.
Some of the most severe impacts, however, are not likely to be felt through impacts on human body temperature but through indirect effects on animals and plants around us that serve as our food as well as our nemeses.
We know from decades of studies that the temperature of a plant’s or animal’s body is one of the most important factors affecting its growth, reproduction and survival. Virtually every physiological process is affected by body temperature, and as we have seen, many organisms live very close to their limits of temperature tolerance.
As a result, even small changes in weather and climate can push these animals and plants over the edge as they hit highs during the day or lows at night. Critically, these effects are not uniform across the globe, and there are winners and losers. An animal or crop that may fail miserably due to climate change at home may do well at a new location. Conversely, pests and diseases that are now held in check by weather may suddenly be able to spread.
We Can Do Triage
We have tools that may help us to predict where and when climate change is most likely (or least likely) to affect plants and animals. Scientists have long understood that weather and climate drive the physiology and ecology of organisms. Now, armed with new remote sensing platforms, high power computing to generate models and microchips to measure temperature in even the most extreme parts of the planet, we are gaining new insights into how climate is driving the world’s flora and fauna.
Like everything else, animals obey the laws of physics. They lose heat via convection to the surrounding air (just as we do on a windy day), and they gain heat from the sun. Importantly, each organism has a different interaction with its environment. So, for example, a dark-colored organism will absorb more heat than will a light-colored creature. Depending on the color of their wings, for example, two species of butterflies sitting side-by-side can experience body temperatures that are 2 C to 3 C different from one another.
Likewise, organisms that are more “streamlined” will lose heat more slowly to surrounding air (when they are hotter than the air) or will gain heat more slowly when the surrounding air is hotter than their bodies. Look at the ears of many mammals, such as elephants, which are used to shed heat when it gets warm. In contrast, animals living in colder climes tend to have compact bodies with smaller appendages.
As a result of these varying and interacting mechanisms of heat exchange, two organisms exposed to precisely the same environmental conditions can have very different body temperatures and will suffer or thrive accordingly. Moreover, the organism’s temperature is often much higher than the temperature of the surrounding air.
The end result is that, if we could view the world in terms of temperature (as we can do using a camera that, like a pit viper, is sensitive only to infrared), we see that the natural world is much more variable in terms of the temperatures of organisms than we often assume.
Not only do plants and animals determine their own temperatures through different colors, shapes and surface wetness, but the amount of sun hitting any portion of the ground can have huge effects on temperature; studies have shown that the difference in the temperature of animals living on a shaded surface can be 15 C colder than that of an animal sitting in the sun only a centimeter away.
Using simple physics, we can calculate all of the sources and losses of heat, and we can estimate the temperatures of a range of plants and animals. The results often show patterns of body temperature hidden to the human eye, and so help us to predict where and when climate change is most likely to alter ecosystem function.
Ecological forecasting explores how organisms interact with their world to predict the temperatures of animals and plants or the cost to them of maintaining a constant temperature. Results also show that we can use these models to reliably predict past (and therefore future) changes in patterns of mortality in the field.
For example, David Wethey and Sally Woodin recently studied the role of winter water temperatures in determining geographic distributions of barnacles in Europe, and their discoveries strongly suggest we can reliably predict past shifts due to climate change, and that we can thus use these methods to predict future shifts.
Specifically, they took data from more than 100 years of scientific papers, they compared existing range boundaries with those in the historical record and found that the southern geographic limit retreated by 300 kilometers (or 186 miles) at a rate of 15-50 kilometers every decade. Previous studies show that this species cannot reproduce when winter temperatures exceed 10 C. They compared long-term records of winter temperature against range shifts. The results were a near perfect match.
Work in my lab has shown that the likely locations of damage due to climate change can often occur in unexpected locations. Using a series of microcomputers that match the thermal characteristics of intertidal bivalves, we have measured patterns in body temperature along the west coast of North America since 1998; in some cases, we now have records from every 10 minutes.
These “robomussels” show an unusual pattern. Instead of a steady increase in mussel temperature moving from north to south, populations experience a thermal “mosaic” of alternating “hot” and “cold” spots, and in several cases, populations in Washington and Oregon are as hot or hotter than those in California. While several factors contribute to this pattern, the largest influence is the timing of low tide. In the north, low tides tend to occur mid-day in summer, when conditions are hottest. At many southern sites, animals are underwater during these hot portions of the day.
We have also developed computer models that predict body temperatures to within several degrees using data from weather stations and satellites, and current efforts under way in David Wethey’s lab will eventually allow us to predict patterns of temperature on a global basis.
Nicola Mitchell and co-workers have used physics-based models to predict patterns of survival and reproduction of Tuatara, a rare and ancient lineage of lizards that have what is called “temperature-dependent sex determination.”
As is the case for organisms such as turtles, the sex of a baby Tuatara is determined by the temperature of its nest. Mitchell’s models suggest that in the near future, all of the hatchlings from nests along the coast of New Zealand will be male — and thus, without intervention, these populations are likely to go extinct. However, by knowing where trouble spots are likely to emerge, it may be possible to either shade nests or move eggs to other sites along the coast, saving this species.
Because we know that there will be winners and losers from climate change, in the same way as the Tuatara example, we may be able to use information about stress in organisms such as crops and shellfish to prepare for a warmer world — in short, siding with the winners and cutting losses from the losers.
Thus, while some crops are predicted to decrease in productivity as a result of increased temperatures and changes in precipitation, others are expected to do well under higher levels of carbon dioxide. By predicting where these shifts are likely to occur, we can help farmers pick the best agricultural strategies. Similarly, we can locate regions for protecting biodiversity that are not only suitable as biological hotspots now but will continue to serve as refugia in the future.
Make no mistake, climate change is real, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions remains the top environmental priority of our time. But we are not helpless in preparing for these changes. Scientists, policymakers and members of the business community must create a new paradigm for how we work collaboratively. Only through these partnerships can we creatively and productively plan for a future that we can all live with.