Every time I read about more intense precipitation and storm events - - like yesterday's tornado outbreak - - I think back to a US Environmental Protection Agency presentation for Midwestern Mayors in Chicago I attended with Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist at the end of 2003, where scientists told the Mayors to ready their storm water and other municipal services to handle the heavier storms that were coming.
I wrote about this three years ago.
And state-by-Midwestern state, repeated in depth by the Union of Concerned Scientists in 2009.
The Chicago conference was during the Bush years, by the way, so the people from the EPA - - scientists and technical experts - - were not infiltrated into the program by Al Gore.
Note, too, that the insurance industry, long warning about the costs of climate change, also wants local governments - - including Chicago - - better prepared, according to this current report.
According to Nikhil da Victoria Lobo, senior client manager in the Global Partnerships team at Swiss Re, the industry is trying to help local governments prepare for extreme weather to mitigate damage--and insurance liability. "Insurance can put a price tag on climate risk, and help local governments more efficiently prepare for and finance what may happen," he said on the call. If governments know how much money they're going to have to spend on extreme weather, they might be willing to invest more now. And if they invest more at this point, then insurance companies won't have to shoulder as much of the burden when people are taken unawares.
There are a number of ways that cities can prepare for climate change--New York, for example, might need to work on flood-proofing the subway system, while Chicago needs to upgrade its aging sewage infrastructure.