14. Carbon dioxide emissions
• 22% of U.S. energy-related CO2
emissions are from the Midwest
• 4 Midwest states rank in “top 10” for
• 70% of electric power sourced from coal
and natural gas
• 5 Midwest states rank in “top 10” for coal
Source: EIA, 2018
Carbon-based fuels = warming world
15. Indiana Climate Trends
Over last century
• Warmed 1.2F
• 5.5” more annual rainfall
• Increased heavy rain
• Streamflows increasing
• Flooding more frequent
Source: Widhalm et al., 2018
20. Help communities and stakeholders implement solutions
based on the information in the assessment
about climate change Network
Build an expert &
i n f o r m a t i o n
No mandate, no funding
100% bottom-up effort
provided in-kind, from
about 100 experts
Paired technical and
Focus on user needs
What’s unique about
the IN CCIA?
22. Engagement Goals & Process
We broadly define stakeholders as anyone
who is interested in, or likely affected by, the
information included in the INCCIA.
Increase awareness about the IN CCIA
Increase buy-in and support of the IN CCIA
Help Hoosiers identify ways climate
change is affecting them & their
PROCESS & TIMING
Duration: Maintain regular
social media, website.
Pre-assessment: Formal and informal
During development: Recruit stakeholder
reviewers, hold community events, media
After release: Community events, media
events, pursue new partnerships
23. IN CCIA Reports
Climate Health Agriculture
Putting global change into local perspective
I’m Melissa w/ the PCCRC. My role, helping promote the diverse research being conducted by our 90+ faculty and overseeing the IN CCIA. So basically I get to spend all day, every day thinking about and talking about CC. Now, as you might imagine, for many reasons, starting and sustaining conversations about CC in flyover county—especially in Indiana, but really in many places across rural middle America-- is difficult. But despite the difficulty, we need to be talking climate change in flyover country. And this is what I will focus on with you here today.
I want to elaborate on HOW people perceive this issue, WHY this is such a relevant issue for the Midwest (despite the misperceptions that abound), and WHAT we’re doing in Indiana to support the conversation about CC at home.
So to begin, like I mentioned, starting and sustaining conversations about CC in flyover county is a challenge. Even just from the first mention of the phrase we struggle. Often when you say the words “climate change” or “global warming,” this is what comes to a person’s mind....
The polar bear – some distant place. Or some time far in the future. The images shown to us for years, and the language used, has made it really difficult for us to see climate change as an urgent local issue.
The bottom line is that climate change in the Midwest looks different, and perhaps less obvious, than it does in other places. We don’t have rising seas, or raging wildfires. And we are pairing long-term changes against a naturally variable climate. But we do have serious and significant impacts stemming from climate change even if those aren’t what makes headlines. Let’s put a pin in that idea of local impact and I’ll come back to it shortly.
Now when so much of the global and national conversation evokes images like this, it just reinforces the idea that CC is happening to someone else, somewhere else in some distant point in time. Our mental image does not include our selves and our families and our communities.
So it’s probably not very surprising then to learn that only 52% of Hoosiers say they are worried about CC.
Note the urban / rural divide in this opinion.
Note the urban / rural divide in this opinion.
Regardless of the low levels of worry and discussion and acknowledgement, this IS an issue of high relevance to Hoosiers. And two specific reasons we need to be prioritizing this issues are 1) Emissions (so the root cause of the climate change we’re seeing) and 2) the impacts that we are already experiencing.
So as scientists discovered back in the 1800s, when we burn carbon-based fuels to power our cities and move our good and grow our food, the gassy bi-products such as CO2 and methane that build up in our atmosphere trap heat and warm our world.
While the Midwest is less populated than the coastal states, we make a notable contribution to CO2 emissions. CLICK. Indiana specifically ranks 8th for per capita emissions. And the Midwest has been slower to adopt cleaner energy sources compared to other locations in the US. CLICK.
So in terms of emissions alone, this is a highly relevant topic for the Midwest.
And we are feeling the impacts of a changing climate, whether we acknowledge it or not. (READ stats for Indiana, and as we heard at the start of our day from Jim Angel, these are similar trends across the entire Midwest. It’s getting warmer and wetter and precipitation is becoming more extreme.)
Flyover country is NOT immune to climate change. And while the impacts look different than in California or Connecticut, they are still affecting our health, the quality of our communities and our livelihoods.
We have multiple lines of evidence that show our climate is changing, and the best available science says the changes will continue and intensify.
So with this context, I want to spend my remaining few minutes sharing with everyone what we’re doing here in Indiana to put global change into local perspective, and to elevate the conversation about climate change here at home.
So about 3-years ago we kicked off what we call the INCCIA, which is collaborative statewide effort being led by Purdue University that aims to provide professionals, decision makers and the public with information about the ways climate change affects state and local interests
We’re doing this by developing a series of plain-language topic-based reports specifically for Indiana, in addition to conducting an active dissemination campaign to increase dialogue in our state. All the while, we’re working to build up a network of experts and stakeholders to help sustain this work over time and build from the connections we’re creating.
Longer term, we want our reports to help support data-driven planning and decision making for a stronger Hoosier State.
Now in many ways, the IN CCIA is similar to other state or federal assessment efforts that have taken place in recent years, but there are a few unique features worth mentioning.
And this last item here is especially important.
Since we knew going into the assessment that dissemination was equally as important as developing the information itself, we put strong emphasis on engagement. We knew that with a topic like climate change it would be essential for us to build trust and have transparency. We also knew that involving stakeholders early and often throughout the process would help us increase buy-in from non-scientists and raise awareness about the work we’re doing. By engaging with our stakeholders, it also helped us learn from them. It helped us understand the topics and issues they were interested in knowing more about.
If you go to the site you’ll see that you can both read the report online or download a pdf. We try to include a lot of easy-to-read graphics, and keep technical details to a minimum since these are aimed at a non-technical audience.
We use a variety of approaches to keep our stakeholders informed and engaged throughout the assessment process. We have a monthly newsletter, we’re active on social media, and we do quite a few speaking events with communities & various organizations.