California is building a second line of defense against global warming, one that will prepare the state for a harsher environment while the other continues to cut climate-changing emissions.
The two-front approach acknowledges that rising sea levels, bigger floods, greater loss of species and other harsh effects of warming are inevitable, if not already occurring – no matter the state's success in slashing greenhouse gases.
Unlike the pioneering save-the-planet mandates to tighten automobile exhaust limits and renewable energy standards, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is not loudly trumpeting these defense moves:
• The state Transportation Department is proposing to move a 3-mile stretch of ocean-hugging Highway 1 in Big Sur up to 475 feet inland, to keep ahead of the accelerating tidal rise and bluff erosion.
• State wildlife officials are deliberating plans for "triage," to decide which species should be saved from global warming and which can't be saved.
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