Saturday, December 08, 2012

The long tail of climate change mitigation

Our Water District recently reviewed a draft energy audit on controlling our energy use.  The Board Chair and I had a lot of questions and comments on how we will relate the energy audit to our new goal of achieving carbon-neutrality by 2020.  Some of my general comments are below:

(Nov. 27, 2012 Board Meeting, Item 4.1)

Later on I suggested that we have a "Climate Impact" discussion included in every agenda item just like we currently have a "Financial Impact" discussion with every agenda item.

My point in mentioning this is that these types of actions fall somewhere in the long tail of actions to fight climate change - a program that can affect a lot of people while falling far short of the headline-generating action on a state or national level.  Just as individuals changing their behaviors can make a difference, though, so can these types of institutional changes.  I don't know of a good way to isolate and measure the effects of voluntary actions by local and regional institutions to address climate change, but they shouldn't be ignored.