City Club of Eugene: Can Oregon Adapt to Climate Change?

Mar 20, 2017

Recorded on: March 17, 2017

Air Date: March 20, 2017

Guest Speakers:

  • Kathy Dello, ,  Associate Director, Oregon Climate Change Research Institute
  • Steve Adams, Director of Urban Resilience, Institute for Sustainable Communities
  • Matt McRae, Climate Policy Strategist for Our Children’s Trust

Global temperatures have continued to rise, making 2016 the hottest year on the historical record and the third consecutive record-breaking year, scientists say. Of the 17 hottest years ever recorded, 16 have now occurred since 2000. We have witnessed draught, forest fires, and rising sea levels.  Last month the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute issued their third report outlining the expected acute impact of climate change on the economy and livability of Oregon in the near future.

While some are still denying the existence of climate change, other individuals and communities around the world are taking steps to adapt to the changes.  You will learn about the extent of the problem and the predicted impact on Oregon’s coastal towns, fishing, agriculture, wine industry and population.  You will also hear about steps being taken to deal with the anticipated problems.

Kathy Dello, the Associate Director of the Oregon Change Research Institute is one of the authors of the recently released Third Oregon Climate Assessment Report to the Legislature.  She also serves as the Deputy Director of the Oregon Climate Service.   She will speak about the findings in the report and the impact it is expected to have. Ms. Dello earned her Bachelors and Masters degrees from SUNY at Albany and is a Ph.D. candidate in Environmental Science at Oregon State University

The Oregon Climate Change Research Institute (OCCRI), based at Oregon State University (OSU), is a network of over 100 researchers at universities around Oregon and affiliated federal and state labs.  In 2007, the Oregon state legislature created OCCRI and tasked it with: fostering climate change research; serving as a clearinghouse for climate information; and providing climate change information to the public in an easily understandable form. In addition, at least once each biennium, OCCRI will assess the state of climate change science as it relates to the state of Oregon, and the likely effects of climate change on the state. This assessment will be delivered to the Governor’s Office and the Legislative Assembly.

Steve Adams is the Director of Urban Resilience at the Institute for Sustainable Communities. Steve works to identify, catalyze and scale break-through opportunities to advance urban sustainability and resilience within the United States.  Steve holds a BA in Economics from the University of West Florida and a Master of Public Administration from the Askew School of Public Administration & Policy at the Florida State University.

Steve leads key components of ISC’s U.S. climate change adaptation & resilience programming to build the capacity of local leaders in addressing the impacts of global climate change and providing both strategic and technical assistance. He co-founded the American Society of Adaptation Professionals to serve as a community of practice for professionals working in various sub-fields of climate adaptation.  He is consulting on adaptation issues around the country and the world.  Steve will talk about how various communities are responding to problems similar to the ones faced by Oregon.

The Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) is a nonprofit organization that gives passionate, committed people around the world the tools, skills, and resources they need to make their communities a better place to live.

Matt McRae is the Climate Policy Strategist for Our Children’s Trust where he researches and works with experts to develop and evaluate the climate strategies and policies necessary to achieve a stable climate.

Prior to working for Our Children’s Trust, Matt spent eight years as the Climate and Energy Analyst and Natural Hazards Specialist for the City of Eugene.  In that role Matt developed community and internal climate action plans. Matt graduated from the College of Natural Resources at Utah State University with a B.S. in Environmental Studies.

Matt will speak regional and local vulnerability and possible actions to combat the effects of the changes.

Our Children’s Trust elevates the voice of youth to secure the legal right to a stable climate and healthy atmosphere for the benefit of all present and future generations.

Come out and hear about the future of Oregon.

copyright, KLCC 2017