Preparing your community for climate change is a challenge, but you don't have to start from scratch. Here are resources you can use for discovering how your region is affected by the global climate, what is driving your most significant greenhouse emissions, and who can help you learn more.
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- The Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy, from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, seeks to inform climate-related decision-making. Their collection of publications is a good source for understanding climate change’s impact on Alaska.
- The University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Adapt Alaska collects resources for monitoring and adapting to climate changes. Their long list of regional partner groups may be a good place to seek expert panelists in your area.
- For northern communities, UAF’s Scenarios Network for Arctic Planning (SNAP) projects region-specific climate effects in the Arctic, with the goal of helping adaptation planning.
- Phenology is the study of an ecosystem’s rhythms and timing, which are increasingly destabilized by shifts in global climate. The National Phenology Network may help you connect with biologists studying these impacts in your region.
- The U.S Climate Resilience Toolkit has a search system for local climate experts working for NOAA, the Department of the Interior, and the Department of Agriculture.
- The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation’s Division of Air Quality inventories the sources and quantities of anthropogenic greenhouse gas in Alaska.
- How many tons of carbon dioxide emissions could you avoid by generating 5 kilowatts of renewable energy? The U.S Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator answers such questions by calculating the tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent (CO2e) that your projects can avoid. This is an important metric itself, but the calculator also lets you make comparisons — such as the equivalent impact of taking a car off the road — that can help you communicate the effects of your project.
- The EPA also has specialized CO2e impact calculators for landfills, health effects, renewable energy and energy efficiency, and household changes. Some of these are accessible and useful to non-expert volunteers, while others are targeted at state and local government agencies and require very in-depth knowledge.
- The Alaska Energy Data Gateway shows you where your community’s energy comes from, what fuels it, and how much CO2 it emits. Some of this data is out of date.
- The U.S Energy Information Administration gives a state-level view of prices, consumption, and generation of energy from all sources, allowing state-to-state comparisons.
- North Carolina State University’s Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency catalogues state and federal policies and programs that can aid renewable transition where you live.
- Here’s the database’s Alaska page.
- The Alaska Energy Transparency Project is an Alaska energy news site sponsored by the Alaska Public Interest Research Group which focuses on democratic engagement with electric co-ops.
- The Alaska Renewable Energy Atlas from the Renewable Energy Alaska Project maps the state’s wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, biomass, and tidal energy resources.
- The University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Alaska Center for Energy and Power researches the newest ideas for bringing affordable renewable energy to Alaskans.
- ACEP’s email newsletter is a good way to keep track of the latest developments in Alaska’s renewable energy progress.
- The Alaska Energy Wiki, created by the Alaska Center for Energy and Power, has user-written information on many projects around the state. Many articles are long out of date, but it can be a good source to learn about your region’s energy history.
- The National Renewable Energy Laboratory analyzes data about renewable and efficiency opportunities at the county- and borough-level in its State and Local Energy Data collection.
- Your local Soil and Water Conservation District likely has a history of researching climate effects and adaptations, especially related to agriculture. You can find them through the Alaska Association of Conservation Districts.
- The University of Alaska’s Cooperative Extension Service was created in 1930 to connect the public with the latest practical agricultural research. It may be a good source of expert panelists.
- The concept of middle-out change can be applied to creating change in areas other than climate. This article about "Agriculture of the Middle" explains how a focus on mid-sized, locally-focused farmers and ranchers could mean big wins for agriculture.
- The Environmental and Energy Study Institute’s fact sheet on “Federal Resources for Nature-based Solutions to Climate Change” can help you find funding and technical assistance for land-use climate action projects.
- The U.S Geological Survey’s Climate Adaption Science Centers assemble scientists throughout the country to take a region-scale look at climate impacts close to home. The researchers in these programs could be good local expert panelists.
- Here is the Alaska Climate Action Science Center.
- The Alaska Housing Finance Corporation has done state and regional level studies of energy efficiency, including energy audits of public buildings such as schools. If your local government hasn’t carried out these recommendations, they can be an opportunity to improve your area’s energy use.
- The Alaska Housing Finance Corporation also maintains a directory of local energy auditors who might be potential panelists for your discussion or partners for your project.
- The Alaska Electric Vehicle Association (AKEVA) studies and promotes the adoption of electric vehicles throughout the state.
- Drawdown.org is the website of Project Drawdown, a key tool for our Climate Actionkit.
- This video by the climate activist Will Grant of the Pachemama Alliance informed our ideas about middle-out change and was useful in communicating those ideas to discussion participants.
- The Alaska Just Transition toolkit, from the nonprofit Native Movement, is filled with prompts and ideas for envisioning a transition to sustainability that leaves no one behind.
- The psychologist Per Espen Stoknes observed that “five D’s” in climate discussion create obstacles to action: Distance, Doom, Dissonance, Denial, and iDentity. Here are his recommendations for circumventing those obstacles.
- The Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing are a set of consensus statements to help groups that include a diversity of political positions and cultural backgrounds work together effectively.
- Talk to your local bookstore to see whether they carry Drawdown, and whether they’d be interested in supplying copies to your discussion participants at a group rate.
The First Alaskans Institute dialogue agreements are ground rules for productive conversation on difficult topics. You can find an explanation of the agreements here, and an easy-to-present list here.
Canva is a free web service for making professional looking flyers, social media banners, and other graphics.
The mobile polling service Poll Everywhere allows ranked choice voting with real-time results, potentially useful in discussion and decision meetings.
Multivoting or N/3 is a technique similar to dot voting, and another method that can be used to reach consensus during your group's Themed Discussion Meetings.