Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Dep. Commissioner of Natural Resources Says Climate Change Regulations are Biggest Danger of Climate Change to Alaska

Joe Balash is Deputy Commissioner for the State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources.  At the Classrooms for Climate Conference at UAA on May 5, 2011, he talked about the consequences of global warming for Alaskans.  I posted his and the other opening panelists' talks as they gave them.

I got two videos up of that first morning panel, but just didn't manage to get this one up as well.  But I did get rough notes of his talk up (along with the other speakers) here.  So I'm finally getting the Balash video up now.

He began by mentioning that climate change means the ice roads on the north slope are melting earlier and freezing later, so they may need to be rebuilt as gravel roads. 

Then he started talking about how federal regulations to control global warming were a serious threat to Alaska. I only caught a bit of his speech on video, but you get the drift. I didn't edit anything out.  This is just the only video I got. But if you've ever tried to live blog, putting up text of what the speakers are saying, photos, and video as it's all happening, you'll understand that you can only keep up so long. 

 My notes, from the earlier post, have him ending discussing the use of science.
We try to make our decisions as often as possible on the best science.  We also rely on scientists.  Will continue to manage those resources with ever changing climate in mind.
[The more recent developments where state scientists were required to espouse state policy contrary to the science, suggests that what he meant by "as often as possible" was 'only when the science supports the administration's policy.']

Larry Hartig, the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation followed Balash.  Hartig seems to take a related stance, but he was much more sophisticated about it.  He said there were two paths for dealing with Global Warming:  mitigation (trying to slow it down) and adaptation (trying to live with the consequences.)  He strongly defended the Palin administration's work on Climate Change.  My notes on his address are in that same post of the conference.

The fact that we will have to do a lot on adaptation comes from, as I see it, the very strong campaign of the global warming deniers.  They staved off changes that might have minimized the damage by taking stands like Balash who says the regulations to mitigate climate change, not climate change itself, are the problem.  And now that they've done all  they could to prevent mitigation, they blithely jump to adaptation as though they had nothing to do with why the adaptation is going to be so difficult and costly. 

My other posts from the Classrooms for Climate conference are here.

1 comment:

  1. As to how this will all work out, I just don't know. Reading a business story this morning about China planning to add 1,600 passenger jets and another 100 airports in the next 4 years to handle domestic capacity growth.

    It's not just deniers, but also worldwide, catch-up realities that come to play in expanding carbon dioxide percentages and plain, old-fashioned fouling of our planet. But it still comes down to asking just how many people are too many on this good spaceship Earth?

    Critically for our species, it seems that the collapse of ZPG is Malthus revisited. Unfortunately, requiring developing countries to delay their industrialization reminds too many of what was seen as ZPG dictât.

    Good luck to us all. We need it.


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