APRIL 01, 2011
All federal agencies and private companies that deal with the U.S. government must identify their vulnerabilities to the impacts of global warming and develop a climate change adaptation plan, as per an executive order quietly signed by President Obama.The order was actually penned in the fall of 2009 but the president’s Climate Change Adaptation Task Force had to properly investigate the matter and come up with recommendations. Now that the task force has developed a detailed plan on climate proofing the government, yet another Obama advisory committee, the Council on Environmental Quality, has issued instructions on implementation.Under the plan, every government agency must integrate climate change adaptationinto their planning, operations, policies and programs. That means they must appoint a “climate change adaptation specialist,” participate in climate adaptation workshops and educate every employee throughout the year. All agencies must identify and analyze “climate vulnerabilities” by spring of 2012 and execute an adaptation plan by the fall of 2012.The training will also be required at all private businesses that contract with the government, including those that provide any sort of maintenance or logistics. In all, tens of thousands of public employees will be required to participate in Obama’s “green” plan, which will also require federal agencies to create greenhouse gas emissions reduction plans, increase energy efficiency, conserve water, reduce waste and support sustainable communities. No word on what all this will costs U.S.taxpayers.The president asserts that setting these sorts of “sustainability goals” for federal agencies demonstrates his commitment to lead by example. It will ultimately have a huge impact on the nation as a whole. After all, Obama points out, the federal government occupies nearly 500,000 buildings, operates more than 600,000 vehicles, employs more than 1.8 million civilians, and purchases more than $500 billion per year in goods and services. Americans are sure to follow its lead, according to the commander-in-chief.
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