Adapting to climate change while working to reverse it

A devastated community after a stormEfforts to reverse climate change are not fast-acting enough, so we must take practical steps now to blunt disasters, says a March 2016 report called “Adaptation for a High Energy Planet: A Climate Pragmatism Project.” Co-author Daniel Sarewitz – a sustainability scientist and the director of ASU's Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes – explains that while working toward a reduction in carbon emissions is important, we must adapt to the increased likelihood of extreme weather events in the meantime. This can be achieved through flexible, forward-thinking infrastructure; contingency plans for evacuation and emergency housing; and improved weather tracking, among others. “There’s all sorts of aspects to this; it’s not just a technological problem,” Sarewitz says. “What we’d really like to see is policymakers and the media realize that there is a different, more hopeful way to look at the problem, and it points the way towards solutions.”