Tail Wags Dog

Just when you thought this whole adaptation-mitigation discussion could not get more absurd comes this document from California’s state government interagency Water-Energy Subgroup of the Climate Action Team (WET-CAT). California faces some potentially serious climate change-related water problems, and the new report suggests some useful approaches to reduce the state’s water consumption. The reason? Reduced water usage will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It’s frickin’ brilliant! We’ll take important steps toward adapting to climate change, while providing the necessary political cover by disguising it as a mitigation effort! I love these guys!

(h/t Aquafornia)

update: Down in the comments, John Mashey offers some helpful links to a number of adaptation strategies being pursued in California. He’s too polite to say it, but it suggests this was a cheap shot, and he’s probably right.


  1. John: there are plenty of reasons to critique CA, but sneering at us without making specific complaints isn’t up to your normal quality.

    CA’s AB32 and the prevailing ethos out here effectively REQUIRES any planning efforts to include GHG-reduction plans, i.e., mitigation. Is that wrong?

    On the other hand, everybody has to do adaptation, They’ve been incorporating adaptation for decades, at all levels of government. The GHG-mitigation emphasis is relatively recent.

    Here’s the Department of Water Resources, a Big Deal here:
    Search the site for “climate change”. Most of what they talk about is adaptation.

    Here’s the CA Dept of Food and Agriculture:
    Search the site for “climate change”. Most of what they talk about is adaptation. The first hit says:

    “Agriculture is a key sector that must prepare for and adapt to climate change in the coming years…”

    Here’s the SF Bay Conservation and Development Commission’s Climate Change Page:
    which is about adaption.

    The issue with water is that it uses a lot of energy ~20% of the state’s use of electricy, I think) here to pump it around. We have to do everything we do with less GHG-emissions, and meanwhile we have to plan to adapt to changes we can’t escape. I’m hoping to attend a meeting in a few weeks about planning for a 1m sea-level rise in the SF Bay, for example.

    Of course, some of us could wish we could stop development cold in CA, but that’s pretty hard, although some places [like the town I’m in] have done so.

    So: please explain the complaint, or give some useful advice, rather than just sneering at somebody who has to plan for both adaptation and mitigation.

Comments are closed.