Extension Climate/Extreme Weather Programming

● “When I came here [years ago], I did my best to go to any agriculture event I could because the focus then was on ‘climate-smart agriculture’. I would set up a table with a display and information, and farmers would walk right by me. This was at a [state] event that probably has about 500 of the top farmers [in the state] and the Governor’s staff… it’s a huge event, and no one really wanted to talk about it .” (R11) ● “There are a lot of people who want to be able to do what they want on their property and they’re not really interested in any regulations… Some folks might have that community sense that we need to protect the [resource] for everyone and some people don’t… It’s hard to come up with different ideas for programming if people aren’t interested and aren’t going to show up. ” (R02) ● “ For most people, they just have enough problems in their life without thinking about ‘well, what are we going to do about climate change?’ I don’t think I’ve broken past any ‘early adopters’ as part of my clientele. I don’t think I’ve gotten anywhere near the mid tier of educating people.” (R07) ● “ Sometimes our work with communities really has traction and continues and works well and other times, we have the meeting, we go over the maps, and it doesn't have traction. And I think there's just so many factors, like timing. Are they [communities with whom we work] ready to take on a specific action? Also the level of risk or perceived risk. Sometimes the maps of specific climate impacts like sea level rise, a community might not have a ton of vulnerability, and so there isn't necessarily as much urgency to act on the information. ” (R01) ● “[Forest] managers really don't see climate change as an immediate thing we're going to be dealing with in two years. It's a farther in the future sort of thing, even though those same researchers’ data ...does not bear that out. It's happening now ...and I think that definitely bears out in our programming. We do certainly talk about it. But a lot of the attitude seems to be, from a managerial side, either that [climate change] is ‘a future issue’, or that ‘yes, it’s an issue, but I don't know what we can really do about it. ’” (R03) ● “...and then we'll have the rug pulled out from under us when concentrations of CO 2 get up over 500 parts per million in 2070, 2080 and 2090. We will have more droughts, more extreme weather events and agriculture will fall and it will fall fast. ” (R16) ● “ I'm hoping that we're seeing a shift that people as a whole are more interested, more aware, more willing , that we have to do this. That that state of mind is coming forward, regardless of what other crises we currently have, which are not insubstantial or inconsequential, is that the climate is changing. And the more we wait the harder it's going to get. ” (R05) Lack of Community Capacity & Resources for Action In addition to the lack of urgency for action, respondents also noted that a lack of community or partner capacity, resources, and investment also places very real constraints on their ability to sustain C/EW programs and meet audience needs.


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