Venice Floods Again — What to Do When You Can’t Move to Higher Ground?

Venice Floods Again — What to Do When You Can’t Move to Higher Ground?

The historic city of Venice (a UNESCO world heritage site) flooded for the third time in a week, with Piazza St. Mark closed to tourists again on Sunday, and in Pisa and Florence torrential rains threaten to flood there too as the President of the region warned of a “flood wave” on the Arno that threads through both cities. 

Why This Matters:  Venice is a world treasure — it’s a city that floods with millions of tourists each year and is home to about 50,000 residents who depend on them. Its future is very much in doubt given the repeated and devastating floods — its residents are beginning to believe they are fighting a losing battle.

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Investigation By Associated Press Reveals More Than 1600 Risky Dams in the U.S.

Investigation By Associated Press Reveals More Than 1600 Risky Dams in the U.S.

The results of a two-year investigation by the Associated Press (AP) were published this week and the findings were shocking — nearly 1,700 dams located in 44 states and Puerto Rico were rated as “high-hazard” dams that are in poor or unsatisfactory condition.  Experts believe the actual number of risky dams is even higher — […]

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Small Businesses Hit Hard By Climate Change, Struggle To Recover

Small Businesses Hit Hard By Climate Change, Struggle To Recover

The Houston Chronicle published an eye-opening story about how extreme weather events are leaving many small businesses in ruins.  The paper reported that, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, nearly 40 percent of small businesses never reopen following a natural disaster, and another 25 percent fail within months.

Why This Matters:  Big companies can recover from extreme weather events, but small businesses with slim profit margins will struggle to stay afloat.  Red states along the Gulf of Mexico may be ground zero of this phenomenon, along with California.  Helping small businesses recover is another climate impact we will need to deal with in the years to come given the increase in the frequency of extreme weather events.  

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Rich Neighborhoods More Likely To Get Federal Flood Relief

Rich Neighborhoods More Likely To Get Federal Flood Relief

Homeowners in flood-prone wealthy areas have a much better chance of receiving a government buyout than more vulnerable rural areas with lower-income residents, according to a study published last week.

Why This Matters:  As climate change worsens, many areas in the U.S. have increasing exposure to its dangers.  And the study revealed that because “local officials must request federal funds for buyouts — and then successfully navigate a series of bureaucratic requirements.

 

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Climate Change Poses Huge Risks to Housing Markets, Taxpayers Are Covering the Costs

Climate Change Poses Huge Risks to Housing Markets, Taxpayers Are Covering the Costs

  In the last 20 years, the U.S. has seen an average of almost seven natural events per year that each produce damages in excess of $1 billion. In the aftermath, not only are homeowners waiting an average of 5 years for FEMA-backed buyout of damaged homes but there’s growing concern that banks are giving […]

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Mayor Stephen Hagerty: Buttigieg Plan Is What Communities Need to Respond to Natural Disaster

Mayor Stephen Hagerty: Buttigieg Plan Is What Communities Need to Respond to Natural Disaster

  By Stephen H. Hagerty, Mayor of Evanston, Illinois Our nation is facing a heightened risk from natural and man-made disasters. Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires, active shooters. We see it practically every time we turn on the television, pick up a newspaper, or glance at social media. Due to a changing climate, so-called 100-year flooding […]

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