Saturday, February 10, 2018

Ignoring climate change makes projects more costly, less useful

Even if the Trump administration's infrastructure spending gets off the ground, climate science with weather extremes ignored by the administration will make the projects less useful and more expensive, experts are saying: 
“The impact of not considering climate change when planning infrastructure means you end up building the wrong thing, in the wrong place, to the wrong standards,” said Michael Kuby, a professor of geographical sciences and urban planning at Arizona State University and contributing author to the National Climate Assessment, the federal government’s most comprehensive scientific study of the effect of global warming on the United States. “That’s a whole lot of waste.”
I would expect to see the same consequences in Wisconsin, where climate science and facts were scrubbed off the Wisconsin DNR's website, and where the state is poised to direct billions in road-building and other subsidies into the Foxconn site which is located in a flood-prone area - - but exempted from wetlands protections and basic environmental reviews.

And the science-reality disconnect has shown itself in Northern Wisconsin, too, where I am told infrastructure repairs continue slowly.
I've written often on this blog that I attended a US EPA conference in Chicago fifteen years ago when George W. Bush was President at which local officials were urged to line up their municipal infrastructure spending and planning with known climate change science that predicted more precipitation iand thus a need for more dollars into their infrastructure budgets. 

Science and public spending can and should be mutually-supportive, but when ideologues are in charge, they will use and abuse the process to reify their beliefs and reward their special interest donors instead.

Who pays? 

You and I, and the land and water.

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