24 Jan 12

Taking it to the Streets

Dear Mavens,

We’re working on a community adaptation strategy, which clearly means we need to get the community engaged—otherwise it wouldn’t be a community strategy, would it? We think the idea of “preparedness” will resonate with our community, and want to build on that to get people thinking about, sharing, and taking adaptation actions. This means we need to develop an ad campaign to get people on board. Can you offer any advice? Our local advertising company doesn’t have experience with an issue like this.


Shirley Outside Sheboygan

Dear  SOS ,

What a great idea. You’re all in it together so you might as well make it sexy and enticing to the member audience. We’ve never designed an ad campaign (other than our influential ecumenical series, including our anti-leaf blower effort “For god’s sake buy a rake,” our water conservation effort “Holy moses don’t use hoses,” and our buy local campaign “For the joy of Buddha, buy local gouda”) but we won’t let that stop us from sharing with you our thoughts on the matter.

29 Nov 11

Livin' Large

Dear Adaptation Mavens,

My hypothetical goal is to develop landscape-scale adaptation strategies that will maximize the ability of wildlife and their habitats to persist in upland/inland systems under climate change.  I can imagine numerous adaptation strategies that can be employed at the project & site level in both inland and coastal sites.  I can even tentatively identify a couple of landscape-scale adaptation strategies that may be appropriate for coastal systems, despite the inherent uniqueness of every site.  However, I am having a harder time identifying landscape-scale strategies for inland/upland systems.  

What can one do beyond identifying biologically diverse "hotspots" and conserving large tracts of land that are conducive to movement and include the greatest number of these biologically/geologically rich sites? Are adaptation strategies most applicable at the project or site level?  

Sincerely, No Finger Guns

Dear No Finger,

Here is our hypothetical answer to your hypothetical question. Just as the effects of climate change are experienced differently at different scales, so too must adaptation be approached differently at different scales. Some solutions can only be enacted at the federal or even multinational scale; others can only be effectively enacted at the site or project level. There is useful work to be done at both ends of, as well as all along, the spatial spectrum. If you’re trying to figure out the right scale for your own adaptation action, we suggest that you either focus on strategies that are best implemented at the scale at which you currently work, or find yourself a new position where you can work at the scale necessary to enact the strategies you think are most important.

24 Oct 11

Getting to your point

Dear Adaptation Mavens,

Long-time reader, first time writer. I have seen the light and I know that climate change is a concern for me and my work (I work in a county planning department). What I’m concerned about is that others in my department are less aware/certain of the reality of climate change. How can I engage people on the issue without turning it into a debate?


Quiet Like a Fish

To our Fishy Friend,

People often worry that in today’s political climate it will be hard to get community support for projects related to climate change: the issue of climate change has become very polarized in the United States, and people have a lot of other worries on their plates. Still, there are plenty of examples of communities or organizations building climate change into their work. The way you communicate with people about climate change can make a big difference. Good communication can’t solve the problem of climate deniers and limited resources, but it can go a long way toward increasing your likelihood of success and support. Here are a few key ideas to get the conversation started.

21 Jul 11

Happy Birthday to CAKE!

CAKE just turned one! In celebration, the site launched a new discussion forum this month where you—the reader—can do just what we do every month—share your adaptation insights in writing.

21 Mar 11

Evaluating Adaptation Options

Dear Adaptation Mavens,

Is there some formal method to judge the relative value of different adaptation options? Many conservation tools (acquiring property, restoring it, keeping it healthy) have potential climate benefits, and I see plenty of folks trying to sell their existing work based on a theoretical ability to help address climate change. We all like to get funded.

I suppose it's easy to evaluate among climate projects if they can be compared by CO2 sequestered, as in carbon calculators used in comparing the sequestration value of forest tracts. What I'm talking about are projects with more wildlife-focused benefits, such as habitat connectivity or the implicit value in acquiring additional habitat along an elevation gradient.

How can you judge the value of one versus another from a climate perspective? We have limited resources and want to put our money/energy where it makes the most difference.