C-Change.la and a Sea Change in Climate Change Communication

It has become increasingly clear that in order to address climate change effectively through carbon emissions reduction and adapting to new conditions, we will need new communication tools.

Last week, I blogged about a new, groundbreaking climate impact study that projects the impacts of climate change on southern California’s communities at unprecedentedly high resolution.  What I didn’t focus on there is the important work that has gone into communicating those results, including a dynamic website and related materials that successfully break down the complex science for laypeople and policymakers, place the information from the scientific study in social and policy context, and discuss the potential for adaptation to the impacts.   The website makes it easy to examine the scientific study, synthesis of the information for laypeople (both in general and by neighborhood), policy implications, and strategies for adaptation, and implicitly and explicitly connects all these related subjects.  It provides a model for other efforts to get communities engaged in thinking about climate change, sustainability, and planning for the future at a local and regional level.

The website and other materials that do this so well for the recent UCLA research are the work of the new nonprofit organization Climate Resolve, led by executive director Jonathan Parfrey.  Jonathan has been a leader in environmental protection in Los Angeles for many years; he has led the Green LA coalition and served as executive director of Physicians for Social Responsibility – Los Angeles, and currently is a commissioner for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.  Climate Resolve’s work to communicate effectively about climate change’s causes and impacts will surely do a lot of good for our communities as we plan for our future.

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