In 2007, Alaska’s then Governor, Sarah Palin, signed an executive order to establish the Alaska Climate Change Sub-Cabinet. This sub-cabinet was tasked with making recommendations on how Alaskans could save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, make recommendations on adaptation strategies, developing comprehensive emergency planning and training for at-risk communities and providing a roadmap for climate change effects and solutions in Alaska.
In 2007, understanding climate science and taking action to prevent the worst outcomes was not politically risky. It was good governance based on defensible, peer-reviewed science and common sense. At the time, Governor Palin correctly stated that: "Climate change is not just an environmental issue. It is also a social, cultural, and economic issue important to all Alaskans. As a result of this warming, coastal erosion, thawing permafrost, retreating sea ice, record forest fires, and other changes are affecting, and will continue to affect, the lifestyles and livelihoods of Alaskans. Alaska needs a strategy to identify and mitigate potential impacts of climate change and to guide its efforts in evaluating and addressing known or suspected causes of climate change."
In 2011, oil lobbyist, come Alaska Governor, Sean Parnell, quietly dismantled the climate change sub-cabinet.
In 2017, we the citizens of Alaska insist that Governor Walker reinstate the Climate Change Sub-Cabinet and appoint a Climate Change Coordinator. In the intervening decade since the Climate Change Sub-Cabinet was formed, climate change has continued to evolve into one of the greatest threats facing our state. It is time we come together as Alaskans to fight climate change, defend our way of life and embolden the industries of the future.