by Megan Goold
To me, a new year means it’s time to start planning: vacations, doctor’s appointments, summer camps, career development plans…the list goes on and on. Some planning is easy and exciting, and more welcomed than others. For example, I’d rather plan a vacation than a root canal.
However, it’s the difficult issues that tend to need the most planning, the most preparation, and involve the most information. So, as you can imagine, an issue as complex as climate change requires planning and preparation across the board. How will a changing climate impact our town? Our roads? Our electricity? How will it impact my school? My health? My safety?
Understanding our vulnerability to increased risk from flooding, more frequent extreme weather events, and other climate change impacts is the first step in being prepared for these changes. On April 4-6, Antioch University and EPA are co-hosting a conference in Baltimore which is designed to build capacity for local decision-makers to take action on climate change in the face of uncertainty. The conference will include sessions on constructing resilient buildings, conducting vulnerability assessment for flooding and extreme heat, planning for the needs of at-risk communities, and much more.
In addition, a workshop will be held on the third day of the conference to bring together students and educators to focus on the question – how can we build community resilience through education?
As you are starting to plan your 2016, put this one on the calendar. It’s a must for local decision-makers, governments, students, and small businesses alike! While planning for a changing climate is not the easiest of tasks, it’s a necessary one.
Check out EPA’s website for more about climate change impacts on water quality and quantity, and learn more about the Local Solutions: Eastern Regional Climate Preparedness Conference on the conference website.
About the author: Megan Goold is the Climate Change Coordinator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 3 office, where she manages a network of climate change professionals, and has recently launched a Climate Literacy initiative.