Report Underscores Need For Climate Resilience In San Diego Region
Speaker 1: 00:00 As the state braces for another summer of record heat and extreme weather, the need for longterm climate resilience is becoming more and more apparent. A recent report put out by the American planning association and the Scripps institution of oceanography underscores the need here in San Diego in it, the report underlines the potential threat that the region may face due to climate change and lays out a framework for how San Diego might address future climate resiliency challenges. Joining me with more is Carrie lo of the American planning association and Julie, Kolinsky a climate scientist at Scripps institution of oceanography and the co lead author on the report. Welcome to you both. Thank you. So, Julie, can you tell us what are some of the main climate challenges facing San Diego that are laid out in the report? Speaker 2: 00:52 Some of the main climate challenges that we have, and that, you know, we'll start to experience this summer are the extreme heat and heat waves. Also, what we, what we're experienced right now is extreme drought. Along with that extreme drought, we also have the flip side of that and our most extreme rainfall events and storms will actually are projected to become larger. And then in addition to that, what we're seeing is a longterm sea level rise, which will be punctuated by CLL extremes that can also cause flooding and erosion along our shores. Speaker 1: 01:24 Julie, how will these challenges impact everything from infrastructure to public health and safety here in San Diego? Speaker 2: 01:32 When taking combine, as you mentioned, these extremes have, will impact public health. And also that, especially with the flooding and erosion can impact our infrastructure. Uh, and the report also points out that the co-occurrence of these extreme events, which are also sometimes called a compounding events, extreme events can cause even greater stress stressors on public health and infrastructure. Speaker 1: 01:57 And Carrie, from your perspective, what are your thoughts on this? Speaker 3: 02:01 We recognize how vulnerable the San Diego region is to climate change impacts. And we're happy that there's a lot of planning going on to address that. But our concern is that with all the plans that are being prepared at the state level, the regional level, the local city level, that there needs to be much greater coordination among all of that planning, different agents fees have different focuses. Some are more comprehensive than others. A big theme of our report is that, uh, first of all, the different levels of government need to coordinate with one another better. And then within our region, the different agencies, the regional ones, the like the county water authority or SANDAG, as well as the individual cities and other local agencies all need to be talking to one another more, uh, coordinating their activities better, uh, and sharing information. And Speaker 1: 03:01 Carrie following up on that, a key note from the report is that, uh, while there are many existing efforts to address climate change within the region, it's critical to coordinate these efforts together to maximize their effectiveness. Has that kind of coordination been a challenge in the past? Speaker 3: 03:19 Yeah, it has been a challenge, uh, you know, within our region we have of course the county government, and then we have all the individual cities, each of which have their own general plans, their own climate action plans, uh, and various other kinds of plans that relate in one way or another to climate change. So they do have venues in which they can, uh, collaborate like SANDAG, the San Diego association of governments. They're also are agencies that span all of them like the county water authority, and yet it remains a challenge. And we hope that our report will be something of an impetus to all these local government agencies to recognize the value, uh, for all of them in better collaboration Speaker 1: 04:08 And also carry since the city of San Diego already has a climate action plan that was updated last year. How does this report build on what the city is already doing to address the effects of climate change? Speaker 3: 04:20 They shortcoming, if you will, of many of the climate action plans is that while they address reducing greenhouse gas emissions, uh, in various ways, they don't do as good a job of addressing how to make their jurisdictions more resilient in the face of climate change. In other words, on the assumption that we're going to have some amount of climate change impacts, how do we make our cities and the county and individual neighborhoods able to better withstand those impacts and bounce back from them? And that's really the notion of resilience. So what we're advocating is not that they do anything different than what they're doing, but that they do more things. In addition that is focused equally on resilience and adaptation, as much as they are on, uh, on greenhouse gas reduction. And Julie, Speaker 1: 05:20 The report also goes into how certain efforts will play a role in working toward environmental justice for communities that have been historically oppressed, exploited, and neglected. Uh, can you tell us more about that Speaker 3: 05:34 These communities that you refer to, which we should for short and recall environmental justice or EGA communities tend to be either low income areas, um, communities of color, Indian reservations, uh, just some rural areas, uh, areas that are, uh, for various reasons, more susceptible to climate impacts. Uh, they may be, um, located in places that are more vulnerable and more to the point that have historically been deprived of financial and other resources. So they don't have, uh, for example, as much a tree cover for shade, they may be more subject to coastal flooding and a whole host of ways in which they are often more vulnerable to or subject to climate change impacts. So, uh, another big thrust of our report is to, uh, show how all of these plans and actions to address greater resilience should be looked at through a, what I'll call a lens of environmental justice. So that those communities that have historically been deprived of resources, uh, will get the resources they need to catch up and be better prepared going forward. Speaker 1: 06:55 And Julie, is there anything else you'd like to add on this sort of climate challenges that San Diego has historically faced that this report takes into account and what majors need to be taken in the near future to prevent further damage Speaker 2: 07:09 In terms of preventing future damage? I think a lot of this is thinking about incorporating what the possibilities that climate change presents in terms of extreme, extreme events, and then vulnerabilities to that. And so, as I mentioned before, this idea of looking at co-occurring or sequence of events that may happen back to back that add additional stressors. I is increasingly important because these are, I would say some of the most extreme events. And so by planning for some of them the most extreme, it prepares for the events that may not be quite as extreme. I Speaker 1: 07:43 Have been speaking with Carrie lo of the American planning association and Julie Kalinski a climate scientist at Scripps institution of oceanography and the co lead author of the report. Thank you both for joining us. You're welcome. Thank you for having us.