Private Agency vs. Government: Responses to Climate Change

I have been doing some research on government and industry responses to climate change in the Southwest; namely New Mexico. First off, I would like to acknowledge the positive actions that a lot of the community has been taking in order to reduce their industrial impacts on the planet. Groups like the Nature Conservancy has developed a Southwest Climate Change Initiative (SWCCI) that is completely devoted to saving areas of the Southwest that have been particularly hard hit by climate change. One of their main goals is to build resiliency in in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico. The Jemez Mountains have recently been suffering from more frequent and severe droughts, floods, and fires. They are also suffering from less snow and more rain, and because of this stream flows are peaking earlier, as well as extreme post fire and ash deposition, large scale forest die back, and more frequent bark beetle outbreaks.


File:Tent Rocks – Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument – Jemez Mountains –

This is obviously a large amount of problems to deal with but the Nature Conservancy has made some serious effort to improve the atrocities of climate change. The Southwest Jemez Restoration Strategy focuses on rebuilding areas of forest that have been lost and works toward pro-environmental management choices for the future of the forest. The Climate-smart Conservation Strategies for the Jemez Mountains Salamander’s main goal is to research ways to protect mixed conifer forests. Next, the Outreach and Capacity Building for Addressing Climate Change in the Santa Fe and Carson National Forests promotes awareness and intelligence about local climate issues as well as works on securing initiative. Finally, Restoring Trout Streams Damaged by Wildfire and Drought is in fact working on reconnecting streams and reintroducing native fish.url

{{Information |Description=Dry earth in the Sonora desert, Mexico |Source=self-made |Date= |Author= Tomas Castelazo |Permission= see below |other_versions= }}

Not all responses to climate change have been stellar though. I would like to applaud the New Mexico Environment Department for the thoroughness of their regulation on the effects of climate change, and their genuine interest in protecting the lives and safety of all New Mexicans. However, most of what I have found is just regulation, and is not a real attempt to change the way that people are interacting with their environment at a local level. For example, they talk about the how the Safe Drinking Water Act limits both the microbiological contaminants (bacteria, protozoa, viruses) and chemical contaminants (Arsenic, Uranium, Nitrate, and Fluoride). But, there is nothing there stating what they are doing besides regulating contaminants and placing limits on local contaminators. Thus, I have found that the action done through private agency is sadly, but unsurprisingly, the biggest benefactor in creating a real difference for our future here in the Southwest.



3 thoughts on “Private Agency vs. Government: Responses to Climate Change

  1. Wow. After reading this I am seriously having trouble finding something to be critical about. Clearly, you have done extensive research and have followed our guidelines on how to make this very visually appealing. What I would suggest is moving the urls to the end of the paragraph and also looking at the text underneath the 2nd image. Something when wrong there. Overall, this came across as very knowledgeable and very interesting!

  2. A very nice critical look at what companies are doing about climate change. That last paragraph was most engaging to me. I think that it would be interesting to hear your input: how do you think climate change should be dealt with within private agencies and government?
    Nice pictures too, very dramatic.

  3. Very detailed account of what the Nature Conservancy is doing to combat climate change in the Jemez. I am not sure that you have made a strong case that the NM environment department is not doing more than regulation. FOr example – there was a program supported by and perhaps initatied by NMED called Climate Masters, which teaches citizens how to advocate for and begin positive education/action campaigns to address climate change. I took this 8 week long course several years ago. Tent rocks is a beautiful image, but perhaps an image of a bark beetle infestation would have been more effective.

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