Battle Creek Enquirer
August 17, 2011
In Chula Vista, Calif., new waterfront buildings will be required to have higher foundations because of an expected rise in sea levels.
In Chicago, where flooding is predicted to worsen, residents can get rebates for putting rain barrels, compost bins and native plants in their yards.
And in New York City, where rising tides are also projected, wastewater treatment plants will elevate their pumps.
While some members of Congress debate the scientific validity of climate change, these U.S. cities are going beyond efforts to mitigate it with lower greenhouse gas emissions. They’re at the forefront of an emerging trend: adaptation.
“It’s a new field,” says Brian Holland, director of climate programs at ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA. His association launched a Climate Resilient Communities program last year to help cities study effects of climate change and finance ways to adapt. Nearly 600 local governments, representing one-fourth of the U.S. population, have signed on.