Gov. Bill Ritter named former state legislator Alice Madden as Colorado’s Climate Change Coordinator. I think this is a smart thing to do because of the complexity of plans to address climate change at the state level here in Colorado. What exactly will Madden do? The job description didn’t show up in the Daily Camera article, but I think there is enough information there to get an idea. In a very general sense, she will work to achieve the goals in Colorado’s Climate Action Plan (more on that below). Madden’s comments on the appointment fill out some details for us:
Madden, who was term limited last year, said in the release that climate change is, “taking its toll in every corner of Colorado.”
“Farmers, ranchers and the ski industry are concerned about winter snowpack,” she said in the release. “Citizens are worried about rising energy costs. Commuters are concerned about efficient and affordable transportation choices, and we all are worried about the future of our forests, air and water.”
As I’ve written about, climate change is a very big, very complex problem. It touches every other policy area I can think of, so efforts to address it introduce the need to address how those efforts impact other policy topics. So it’s not very surprising that the job description at the time of announcement is a little fuzzy. I’m sure they’re going to further define her role as they move forward. Much like President Obama, I don’t necessarily envy Madden – both for the reason listed above (complexity) but also because the problem will be seen to grow in scope in the public’s eye as additional scientific evidence of climate change comes forward. Additional, unforseen consequences of climate change will come to the fore as well. Madden and others are going to need to be nimble yet aggressive as they craft climate change policies. I’m not sure how you write that into a description for any job. But I’m glad Madden is doing it.