HOW YOU CAN TAKE ACTION
- Purchase regionally-produced food or grow your own. By supporting local farmers, you are investing in your own food securing, and growing your own food provides a healthy activity for the entire family.
- Telecommute as a longer-term strategy. If you’ve set up a home work station during the COVID-19 pandemic, consider keeping this as a regular option going forward. See if you can work at home one or more days a week to help reduce your carbon footprint.
- Get to know your neighbors. Having an idea of who in your neighborhood might need support – elderly, disabled, food insecure, or otherwise – can create critical lifelines during times of crisis.
- Pair solar with home energy storage. Solar-paired energy storage is a powerful tool to keep your home or business running when the grid goes down instead of relying on fossil-fuel-powered generators.
- Be informed by science. Participate in community dialogues like the one hosted by the Natural History Museum and Community Environmental Council in January, and learn from our best thinkers from books like the 2020 UCSB Reads selection Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore, a Pulitzer Prize finalist from author Elizabeth Rush.
- Support and engage in local planning efforts. Local land use and infrastructure planning discussions will define our future. As our cities and counties update their general plans, safety elements and hazard mitigation plans, it’s important they include strong adaptation strategies to ensure community resilience. Look for opportunities to engage in public workshops and hearings on sea level rise, climate action plans, general plan updates and more at both the city and county level.
WHY CLIMATE RESILIENCE MATTERS
Climate resilience is community resilience – a whole community approach that ensures everyone’s wellbeing is considered. It requires deep thinking and surfacing of issues such as inequity and inclusion, and long-term planning so we don’t continue to operate the same old ways in a world that has changed.
Consider your own resilience and well-being during climate-related disasters such as fires, floods, and debris flows that close roads, schools and businesses and disrupt the power grid and food supply chains. What do you need to be better prepared and what can you do to ensure less disruption for you and your family in the future? Now consider the needs of your friends, neighbors and the entire community.
Not only do we face disruptions to society from climate impacts, we are also at risk of losing the beaches, open spaces and habitats that support other species and provide us solace. When our ecological system is out of balance, we too cannot survive.
WHAT CEC IS DOING
In recognition of current and future climate impacts, CEC is convening a series of roundtables that address climate resilience and adaptation issues in Santa Barbara County. The roundtables are organized around the identified threats from the Fourth California Climate Change Assessment: sea level rise, heavy precipitation events, temperature increase, increased wild fire, drought, and decreasing snowpack and water supply. Together with community leaders and partners, we are examining these threats through the lens of public and mental health, social justice, economic impacts, infrastructure vulnerabilities, and natural systems and working landscapes.
We are gathering the bold ideas and solutions that emerge from each roundtable. You can view these in the Opportunity Matrix created from each event. From these community-driven solutions, we’ll begin framing a community vision for climate resilience and adaptation for Santa Barbara County with potential actions and strategies. It is our hope that this will serve as an incubator for community-generated climate resilience initiatives and projects. By the end of the roundtable series, we will see more trust, collaboration and alignment to work together toward a more resilient Santa Barbara County.