The weather is more than the expected heat and precipitation in the four seasons. Record breaking heat over days and weeks, flooding, and unusual storms are becoming more common and intense. We can either ignore the changes or take action toward improved resiliency.
Climate Ready DC is the District’s strategy for achieving this goal while helping to ensure that our city continues to grow greener, healthier, and more livable.
The draft Climate Ready DC plan (PDF) "identifies the impacts that a changing climate will have on the District; the risks to our infrastructure, public facilities, and neighborhoods; and the actions we must take now and in the future to prepare." The Department of Energy and the Environment (DOEE) has consulted with all manner of experts to inform the draft plan. And now it's up to residents to respond with comments.
You don't have to be an expert in the environment or energy or transportation or weather to comment. You just need to be interested and concerned and want to make a positive impact on your community.
Consider, for example, the report section "People:"
Climate change will not affect everyone equally. Individuals who are most vulnerable to climate change are those who are more sensitive to events like heatwaves and those who have less capacity to adapt and respond to the stresses caused by climate change. For example, older adults tend to be more sensitive to heat and more likely to suffer heat stroke or worse. And, an individual who can afford to install and run air-conditioning has greater capacity to adapt to heat waves than someone who cannot afford airconditioning. In order to identify the areas of DC that include the largest number of residents with higher vulnerability, we assessed social and economic indicators, Including unemployment, poverty prevalence, rates of obesity and adult asthma, and age.
The results, shown in the Vulnerable Populations map… demonstrate that vulnerability to climate change is not evenly distributed across the District. Wards 7 and 8 are most vulnerable given high levels of unemployment, poverty, obesity, and asthma, as well as a large elderly population. This is followed by Wards 5, 6, 1, and 4. (emphasis added)
Climate Ready DC describes more than 75 actions the District can take to prepare for the impact of severe weather. This is where the community's perspective is most needed. Are the recommendations workable? Do they address the realities of your community or should they be modified?
The Department of Energy and the Environment is collecting comments on the draft plan through September 2 at 5:00 pm.
Want to spread the word about this important plan and opportunity for the community to have a say in the future of their neighborhood and city? Share the East of the River climate change action flyer (PDF).