[Environment] ENVIRONMENT GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE : COUNTRIES: UNITED STATES: RED STATES: Red State Rural America Is Acting on Climate Change Without Calling It Climate Change

 

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ENVIRONMENT GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE :

COUNTRIES: UNITED STATES: RED STATES:

Red State Rural America Is Acting on Climate Change
Without Calling It Climate Change

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Red State Rural America Is Acting on Climate Change
Without Calling It Climate Change

By Rebecca J. Romsdahl,

University of North Dakota

DESMOG
CLEARING THE PR POLLUTION THAT CLOUDS CLIMATE SCIENCE

By Guest  Saturday, March 4, 201704:58

https://www.desmogblog.com/2017/03/04/ red-state-rural-america-acting-without-calling-climate-change

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/j36ldbe

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President Donald Trump has the environmental community understandably concerned. He and members of his Cabinet have questioned the established science of climate change, and his choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency, former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, has sued the EPA many times and regularly sided with the fossil fuel industry.

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Even if the Trump administration withdraws from all international climate negotiations and reduces the EPA to bare bones, the effects of climate change are happening and will continue to build.

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In response to real threats and public demand, cities across the United States and around the world are taking action to address climate change. We might think this is happening only in large, coastal cities that are threatened by sea-level rise or hurricanes, like Amsterdam or New York.

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Research shows, however, that even in the fly-over red states of the U.S. Great Plains, local leaders in small- to medium-size communities are already grappling with the issue. Although their actions are not always couched in terms of addressing climate change, their strategies can provide insights into how to make progress on climate policy under a Trump administration.

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Deliberate Framing

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My colleagues and I did a survey of over 200 local governments in 11 states of the Great Plains region to learn about steps theyre taking to mitigate the effects of climate change and to adapt to them. We found local officials in red states responsible for public health, soil conservation, parks and natural resources management, as well as county commissioners and mayors, are concerned about climate change, and many feel a responsibility to take action in the absence of national policy.

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But because it is such a complex and polarizing topic, they often face public uncertainty or outrage toward the issue. So while these local officials have been addressing climate change in their communities over the past decade, many of these policy activities are specifically not framed that way. As one respondent to our survey said:

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It is my personal and professional opinion that the conservation community is on track with addressing the issue of climate change but is way off track in assigning a cause. The public understands the value of clean water and clean air. If the need to improve our water quality and air quality was emphasized, most would agree. Who is going to say dirty water and dirty air is not a problem? By making the argument climate change and humans are the cause significant energy is wasted trying to prove this. It is also something the public has a hard time sinking their teeth into.

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In order to address the vulnerabilities facing their communities, many local officials are reframing climate change to fit within existing priorities and budget items.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Sincerely,
David Dillard
Temple University
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jwne@temple.edu
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