The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

New Episode of #ClimateReady Podcast | Picking Your Climate Battles: When Is Managed Retreat the Best Option?

What happens when climate change renders our homes and communities uninhabitable? Can we maintain our deep place-based connections from afar? As climate change and sea level rise threaten coastal communities, we’re forced to grapple with the fact that not all places will be livable in the not-so-distant future. Following extreme weather events, conversations tend to focus on how to build back. But should we always build back? Who decides? The concept of strategic managed retreat — although controversial — is slowly making its way into the mainstream as a viable, and necessary, adaptation option for many communities threatened by mounting climate impacts.

In this episode of ClimateReady, we hear from Dr. A.R. Siders as she makes the case for strategic and managed retreat as an opportunity to focus on the long-term well-being of coastal and floodplain communities and the lands they call home (http://bit.ly/2RIqRBC). Retreat is not an adaptation solution for every context. But when done in a purposeful, coordinated manner coupled with community involvement, it offers the potential for minimizing risks while avoiding the pitfalls of ad hoc displacement following disasters - a fate that often disproportionately affects poor and marginalized communities with the fewest resources to rebuild or relocate. We discuss the cultural barriers and social justice implications of the approach, and lots more, in this wide-ranging interview.

The show concludes with a “Climate of Hope” story as we hear from our youngest guest ever. Austin Matthews, the son of ClimateReady’s producer, describes what it’s like to be a ten-year-old facing the looming threat of climate change and some of the reasons for his optimism facing the challenge.
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