California's Climate Future Illustrated in Innovative Google Map Tour (Video)

california google tour image

Image via video on CalADAPT

What does California's future look like when it comes to climate change, and what's being done to prevent damage? A Google Map tour lead by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger shows the risks like water shortages and wild fires, and highlights what the state is doing legislatively to focus on preventing climate change, and managing the problems we're already bound to experience due to committed warming. The video is stellar (click through to view it) but it does more than just explain what California has going on. It sets an example for providing relevant information to citizens and politicians so they can make informed choices and decisions to keep moving forward with sustainability measures. The map tour accomplishes this in an engaging way. The Google Map tour is part of the CalADAPT initiative, which hopes to provide a way to visualize changes so that politicians - and everyone - can really see and understand what climate change means to our state and our globe, so that they may take more impactful steps to prevent further warming. "It's a whole new way of communicating research," said Anthony Brunello, deputy secretary for climate change and energy.

The tour was unveiled yesterday at Treasure Island in San Francisco's bay. As reported in the LA Times, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Google CEO Eric Schmidt say this was an ideal location to unveil the program because, "Within a century, Treasure Island, this place where we are right now, could be totally under water," Schwarzenegger said during a late-morning news conference. But when it comes to climate change, "it is technology in the end that will save us."

From the CalADAPT website, "There is a serious bottleneck in delivering relevant information, much of which is map-based, to decision-makers in a manner that allows them to turn climate change research results into effective climate change adaptation decisions and policies. To overcome this problem, the California Energy Commission and co-funded the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) to conduct an exploratory project to develop a Google Earth-based platform to engage the public on climate change impacts and adaptation in California."

WATCH VIDEO: How 3D computer modeling of glaciers are assisting scientists in their quest to understand more about global climate patterns.

The tour is an excellent way for people to learn and understand many of the top issues facing the state, and to hear what the government is doing to be proactive. Hopefully other states are inspired to do the same thing so everyone from citizens to city planners, lobbyists and politicians can have a deeper understanding and do a better job at moving towards low carbon living and planning for a warmer future.

More on Google Maps and Climate Change
Google Earth Ramps Up for Copenhagen: New Layers for Exploring Climate Change Scenarios (Video)
Google Puts Green House Gases on the Map....Literally
Google Maps Earth's Carbon Cycle

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