Hearing Topic 2: Resources

Introductory Reading

The Waxman-Markey Bill: A Good Start or a Non-Starter?
Opinion piece in Yale environment 360
This op-ed in Yale environment 360 is not specific to natural resource adaptation, but it introduces the Waxman-Markey bill and gives voice to the different perspectives of various stakeholders.
House bill shifts focus to climate change adaptation
Morello, Lauren & Goodman, Sara. ClimateWire and The New York Times. Apr. 1, 2009.
Focused more specifically on climate change adaptation, this article discusses the bill and includes comments from representatives of the Center for Disease Control, American Public Health Association, World Wildlife Fund, National Wildlife Federation, Nature Conservancy, Local Governments for Sustainability, and Oceana.
Climate Action Toolbox: An Assessment of the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act
from the National Wildlife Federation
In this toolbox, the NWF breaks down the bill section by section, explains what it does, and critiques it. While NWF does not note any criticism of the natural resources adaptation section, it still gives a succinct explanation of the adaptation section (pg. 13)

Natural Resource Adaptation Bill

The American Clean Energy and Security Act
H.R. 2454, 111th Congress, Subtitle E, Subpart C, Sections 471-482
• Click on “Text of Legislation”. Note: Select GPO's PDF Display to download.
• Click on the third version (H.R. 2454. EH). Subpart C (Natural Resource Adaptation) is under Subtitle E (Adapting to Climate Change) which can be found in Title IV. Note: It is out of chronological order—after Titles VII and VIII!!

Testimony

Preparing for Climate Change: Adaptation Polities and Programs
Hearing before the House Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment on March 25, 2009.
Please read the written testimony of the following witnesses:
Tom Karl (NOAA) This testimony explains climate information and services available, what information is needed, what partnerships for adaptation exist and how they can be improved.
John Stephenson (GAO) This testimony establishes the policy and funding context for adaptation efforts, identifies impediments to adaptation within federal agencies, and makes suggestions for improvement.
Larry Schweiger (NWF) This testimony focuses specifically on the natural resources part of adaptation, attempts to put a value on ecosystem services before giving advice for their conservation and calls for various adaptation strategies like land acquisition for buffer zones and restoration projects, monitoring, and land management.
Read parts III When Nature Thrives, America Thrives and V Safeguarding Natural Resources).
David Waskow (Oxfam) While the testimony focuses on the human impacts, or ethical questions regarding adaptation, it does state a need for better agency cooperation, more climate information, and efforts regarding specific natural resources, like wetlands restoration, to mitigate impacts for humans (flood prevention). The second part focuses on other countries and may be less relevant.

Commentary

Principles for Including a Natural Resources Adaptation Fund within Cap and Trade Legislation to Help America’s Fish, Wildlife, and Ecosystems Survive Global Warming
from the Defenders of Wildlife website
Supported by a long list of wildlife advocacy groups, this is a concise list of recommendations for the Adaptation Fund proposed by HR 2454.
Climate Change: Agencies Should Develop Guidance for Addressing the Effects on Federal Land and Water Resources
Government Accountability Office (GAO) report 2007
This report identifies and attempts to address the following challenges of adapting to climate change: a) agencies do not consider addressing climate change a priority b) resource managers have limited guidance about whether or how to address climate change c) resource managers do not have enough site-specific information d) climate change is a complex, global issue.
• Read “Resource Managers Identified Several Challenges in Addressing the Observed and Potential Effects of Climate Change on Federal Resources” through “Agency Comments and Our Evaluation” (pgs 34-50).
• Also consider reading “Results in Brief”, “Background”, and Appendices V-VII (letters from the Services, pages 168-179).
Global Warming and Acidification Coastal and Ocean Resiliency Act
S 2211, 110th Congress
This bill, introduced in the Senate during the last Congress by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, gives some examples of how adaptation could be approached differently.
Beyond Cutting Emissions- Protecting Wildlife and Ecosystems in a Warming World
from Defenders of Wildlife
Read “Assessing Government Actions to Date”, “Adopting a New Conservation Paradigm”, and “Formulating a Comprehensive National Response
Natural Resources Adaptation Provisions of HR. 2454, America’s Clean Energy and Security Act
from NWF
This document critiques the allocation mechanism used and the amount of funding provided for adaptation in HR 2454. (Pages 2-9.)
The Climate Change Crisis and the Adaptation Myth.
Repetto, Robert. Yale University. Fall 2008.
Repetto defends an interesting thesis in this paper; he claims that just because the U.S. can adapt to climate change, doesn’t mean we will.
• Please read “Obstacles to Adaptation” and “Land and Natural Resource Management
U.S. Agencies Responding to Climate Change
from NASA, Army Corps of Engineers, and Army Environmental Policy Institute
This presentation provides lists of agencies that will be involved in adaptation to climate change, legislation regarding adaptation to climate change, and the challenges these agencies will face.
Adaptation 2009 NCSE Conference Website The conference website has fact sheets on adaptation, speaker and panelist information, presentations, and press releases associated with the conference.