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Monday, April 27, 2009

Portland City and Multnomah County Climate Action Plan

The City of Portland and Multnomah County have released a draft Climate Change Action Plan that is now available for public comment. Although the word "adaptation" doesn't actually appear anywhere in the document, there is a page on "climate change preparation", which outlines three adaptation-oriented actions, all of which are designed to address perceived knowledge gaps that presumably must first be addressed before vulnerability can be reduced:

"Actions to be completed before 2012:

  1. Prepare an assessment of climate-related vulnerabilities in local food, water and energy supplies, infrastructure and the public health system.
  2. Analyze the costs and benefi ts of addressing major vulnerabilities identified in this assessment and prioritize preparation actions.
  3. Adopt a climate change preparation plan assigning responsibility to
    appropriate bureaus or departments to address prioritized actions."

Thus, Portland joins a long list of communities that feel sufficiently confident and informed to start reducing carbon emissions, but yet perceive a significant knowledge deficit must be overcome before adaptation can begin in earnest. One can question, however, whether this is in fact the case. . .

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