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Climate Change Committee Reconvenes Despite Lack Of Support From Trump Administration

Davide Cantelli / https://bit.ly/2DYMsAM

New York State has revived a climate science committee that the Trump administration let go last summer. The group’s objective is to help local and regional officials to get the information they need to prepare and respond to impacts like heat waves, droughts, and flooding. And they’re building a network of dozens of organizations to get the job done without the federal government’s involvement.

“We’re trying to create a level of analysis about climate change that sits somewhere in-between the national, and just looking at individual case studies," said Richard Moss is a Visiting Senior Research Scientist at The Earth Institute of Columbia University and he chairs the 19-member committee. 

Moss believes that the group can create a set of common tools and resources that any city would be able to start from, so those cites that don’t have those resources can have a starting point for their work.

The independent advisory committee has eighty-plus partner organizations that they work with, like the American Meteorological Society, Columbia University and the State of New York.

“It’s creating a new kind-of climate information economy that’s going to be able to provide the diversity of information and the level of service that’s going to be required as climate change impacts accelerate," said Moss. "People have to take steps to avoid the worst impacts.”  

But Moss says that this work is not going to replace the fundamental role that the federal government has  with organizations like NASA and NOAA. The federal government is never going to be "all things to all people" but people want their investment in future infrastructure to be able to withstand the conditions that it's going to be confronting, and states and individuals are starting to act.  

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Elsa Partan is a producer and newscaster with CAI. She first came to the station in 2002 as an intern and fell in love with radio. She is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. From 2006 to 2009, she covered the state of Wyoming for the NPR member station Wyoming Public Media in Laramie. She was a newspaper reporter at The Mashpee Enterprise from 2010 to 2013. She lives in Falmouth with her husband and two daughters.