September 25, 2019

How We Respond: Community Responses to Climate Change, from AAAS

Posted by Laura Guertin

The Global Climate Strike has passed, the UN Youth Climate Summit has concluded, and Climate Week NYC is underway (Sept. 23-29, 2019). Several events took place and resources were newly/recently released that you may have missed. I’ll be calling attention to some of these in a week of blog posts dedicated to climate conversations (see #climateconversations2019).


In case you missed this announcement on September 16 from The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS):


Here is more about this new project:

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) launched the How We Respond project in 2019. This project includes a report and multimedia stories that highlight the ways U.S. communities are actively and effectively responding to climate change, in particular at the local, state and regional levels, and the critical role of science and scientists in their response.

How We Respond profiles 18 communities that are using scientific information to adapt to climate change impacts and/or reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While the impacts of climate change vary, and how communities respond depends on their needs, values and resources, these stories demonstrate what is possible and offer solutions and approaches for communities to consider.  —  About, How We Respond

AAAS has produced a full report (see the executive summary, a 4-page PDF), community profiles, photos, and a collection of videos. View below the introductory video that provides an overview of How We Respond.

There are eight additional videos between five and six minutes in length with community spotlights. View the YouTube playlist to see the stories of flooding (New Orleans, LA), tourism (Whitefish, MT), water management (Sheridan County, KS), wetland restoration (Herring River, MA), biochar (Laramie, WY), sea level rise (Savannah, GA), ocean acidification (Netarts Bay, OR), and methane capture (Dane County, WI).

I appreciate that the AAAS website has links to action-oriented resources prepared by other organizations on How You Respond, such as AGU’s Talk Climate Now, the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, The Carbon-Free City Handbook, Young Voices for the Planet Civic Engagement Curriculum, and the NAACP Climate Change Adaptation Toolkit.

Consider how to you can help your students engage with these resources, and perhaps challenge students to come up with their own community spotlight of how they would respond to local climate impacts.