The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) created a range of scenarios to explore how different patterns of population growth, energy use, and technological advances may affect future climate. “A1B” is a mid-range scenario (shared above). It assumes a world of very rapid economic growth, a global population that peaks in mid-century and then levels out, rapid introduction of more efficient technologies, and a balance between fossil fuels and other energy sources. “A2”is a more pessimistic scenario. It assumes a world with high population growth, slow economic development, and slow technological change.
CLIMATE CHANGE POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE GOVERNOR
The Climate Action for Alaska Leadership Team was created by Administrative Order 298 on October 31, 2017. The Walker-Mallott Administration tasked the team’s 21 members with creating climate change policy recommendations and a recommended climate action plan for Alaska.
The Leadership team delivered a complete plan to the Governor in September 2018, only to have the entire project swiftly removed from official State websites after the election of Governor Dunleavy on Nov. 6 2018. You can still review the plan hosted with us, here.
Alaska’s average air temperature has increased 4 degrees F over the past 50 years – and winter temperatures have soared 7-10 degrees F - leading mainstream newspapers such as USA Today to label Alaska the “poster state” for climate in the U.S. In Cook Inlet, the effects of climate change have been especially pronounced: a massive spruce bark beetle epidemic, multiple hundred-year floods, and alarming warming trends in local salmon streams.
While Inletkeeper has long-recognized the profound implications of a rapidly changing climate on our economies, communities and environment, the issue has taken on heightened urgency in light of Inletkeeper’s salmon stream monitoring efforts. By deploying temperature data loggers in local fish streams, Inletkeeper has discovered that summer in-stream temperatures now routinely exceed state standards established to protect spawning and passing salmon.
Alaskans stand at a vital crossroads and we have a stark choice: we can move backwards to coal and oil and gas development – with all their well-documented climate change and other problems – or we can embrace a future that includes clean, renewable power and long term, sustainable jobs. The choice is ours, but our children will live with our decision.
Now, Inletkeeper is implementing a multi-pronged strategy that recognizes the importance of salmon to all Alaskans, and works to shift the discussion in Alaska from fossil fuel production, combustion and pollution, to clean renewable energy supplies and long-term sustainable jobs.
Because salmon and salmon protection resonate with Alaskans across political, social, cultural and economic divides, Inletkeeper has now embraced salmon protection as a foundation for pursuing all it’s other research, education and advocacy work. The “Pro-Salmon Project” (right) recognizes the inherent connections between sound science (step1), education and organizing (step 2), pollution prevention and habitat protection (step 3) and clean, renewable energy and long term jobs (step 4).
Inletkeeper pursues these mutually-supporting efforts by embracing the following goals for its climate change work:
- Collect and disseminate credible science on climate change and climate change impacts on Alaska fish resources;
- Utilize salmon science to educate and connect a diverse range of Alaskans on climate change, fossil fuel combustion and renewable energy issues;
- Promote salmon resilience to climate change by challenging short-sighted proposals that harm salmon and salmon habitat, and by developing “salmon refugia” to ensure fish stocks can adapt to quickly changing environments; and
- Support wind, tidal, solar and related renewable energy technologies and projects that produce clean power and long term sustainable jobs.