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In order to ensure we are adapting to climate change, E&E News reports that some experts are arguing that the incoming Biden Administration may want to put back in place a requirement that all buildings, infrastructure, and homes funded or backed with federal dollars be flood-proofed.
Why This Matters: Not being flood-proofed is just dumb and really costly in the long run.
The New York Times published a piece by Christopher Flavelle explaining that even though the Trump administration is skeptical of climate change, they are going forward to implement policies begun in the Obama Administration and expanded under Trump that force cities to move their residents out of flood-prone areas or else they will not be eligible for crucial federal flood mitigation funding.
Why This Matters: The evidence of increased flooding due to climate change is overwhelming. Realtors know it, and the latest studies show the problem is bad and getting worse — and it is not just in coastal areas.
Why This Matters: We need to adapt our roads to withstand future conditions, otherwise drivers will experience much worse road conditions and traffic, not to mention the huge expense for taxpayers for repairs due to ineffective design.
The City of Houston has adopted a plan to prepare the city for what is expected to be more of the same for decades to come due to climate change — through a range of actions such as the planting of 4.6 million new trees and the removal of all homes from city floodways.
A new study by the Economist magazine’s Intelligence Unit (EIU) finds not surprisingly that rich countries such as those in Europe and North America are more resilient to climate change, with less impact on their economies than other regions. The EIU used an index and found that the global economy will be 3% smaller in 2050 when analyzed against a new framework they developed, while the U.S. will be 1.1% smaller, according to CNN Business.
Why This Matters: The extent of preparation for climate change impacts is an important economic health indicator for banks, governments, companies, and other institutions as they make investments in those regions — not to mention the citizens of those regions when they consider the effectiveness of their governing institutions.
A New York Times investigation published last weekend found that the National Association of Home Builders was able to prevent changes to “model” building codes that would have made new houses in much of the country more energy-efficient or more resilient to floods, hurricanes, and other disasters.
Why This Matters: The Homebuilders seem to believe that building climate resilience and energy efficiency into homes is extravagant and will price people out of new homes. But these climate requirements generally pay for themselves over time in energy savings and lower insurance costs.
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