Talking about adaptation

Digging through some old files, I ran across this fascinating discussion of climate adaptation in a 2009 Las Vegas Sun interview with Pat Mulroy, head of the Southern Nevada Water Authority:

[W]here we have finally begun to look at how to mitigate climate change and what we have to do in terms of changing our energy habits and where we get our energy from and what kind of cars we drive and the overall carbon emissions, we’ve not had a substantive discussions on how we’re going to adapt.

This is a long-term problem. It’s not going to go away overnight and there are fundamental changes that are going to have to happen in this country. They affect land-use planning, they affect water-resource planning, they affect a lot of things that we just almost are … we can’t get our head around them, and we’re not having that conversation.

While the situation regarding mitigation seems to have changed a bit in the two years since she said that, has the situation changed with respect to adaptation?


  1. The conversation not happening that I presume he’s referring to is one of behaviors and habits, right?

    John, given the natural restrictions of the SW landscape and the natural aversion humans have to changing their behavior, what’s the official plan for adaptation out there? Presumably water managers aren’t going to wait for the conversation to start.

  2. Keith –

    I think the problem isn’t the water managers – it’s the disconnect between water manageres (who generally get climate change, though perhaps less than I once thought) and decision-makers at other levels of society who don’t. Mulroy, for example, runs a water agency responsible for delivering water, but doesn’t control land use decisions in Las Vegas.

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