Climate

AGU Climate Q&A Service won’t answer this Q: “Is current U.S. infrastructure adequate for sea level rise?”

Is that prudent — or lame?

As I reported, two science messaging efforts were launched Monday, amid much misreporting.

One of those efforts, by the American Geophysical Union, has bent over backwards to avoid appearing to have any connection whatsoever to policy.  The question is whether they have bent so far they have broken in two.

Climate scientist and AGU President Michael J. McPhaden, said “AGU is a scientific society, not an advocacy organization” — a distinction that was lost on many, like MJ‘s Kate Sheppard:

I’m troubled by the idea that AGU set up in this press release by creating a delineation between “a scientific society” and “an advocacy organization.” This statement makes it appear that any effort to fight skeptics on climate science would by nature be “advocacy” work, and that a scientific group, by extension, should not then participate in it.

This only serves to affirm the talking point of climate change deniers that scientists who take the time to explain the science and refute lies and misinformation are engaging in “activism.” The repetition of this false association by such an esteemed scientific group is problematic.

The one thing we can be certain about are the grim consequences humanity faces if we take no serious action to restrict greenhouse gas emissions.  That means another thing we can certain about is that future generations will first be baffled and then increasingly bitter that the scientific community did not view themselves as ‘advocates’ for action.

Take sea level rise.  Within a year of the IPCC, even a major report signed off on by the Bush administration itself conceded that the IPCC numbers were simply too out of date to be quoted anymore (see US Geological Survey stunner: Sea-level rise in 2100 will likely “substantially exceed” IPCC projections).

Multiple studies from the past 3 years have convinced the leading scientists in this field (at least the more than dozen I’ve talked to), virtually all of whom are members of the AGU, that we face one meter of sea level rise this century on our current emissions path — see Report from AGU meeting: One meter sea level rise by 2100 “very likely” even if warming stops? And that would followed by SLR of 6 to 12 inches a decade: PNAS Study:  Sea levels may rise 3 times faster than IPCC estimated, could hit 6 feet by 2100 and links below.

Clearly, the nation isn’t prepared for business as usual SLR, let alone the plausible worst-case which is what much if not most planning is based on.  But the AGU apparently will have a “no comment” policy on that.

The AGU has explained what media questions it will and won’t answer in a section in a post titled, “Science vs. Non-science Questions,” which, I’m afraid, raises more questions than it answers (emphasis in original):

The goal of this AGU-sponsored project is to make the science underpinning the Copenhagen negotiations accessible to journalists. To that end, the email exchange forum is designed to answer questions about the current state of scientific knowledge, with a special emphasis on the physical sciences that relate to climate change. Non-science questions such as those relating to policy, ethics, or economics will be returned to sender for refinement. Here are examples of the types of questions that are out of our scope, along with explanations and suggested refinements:

Sample:
How much will it cost to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?
Why not answered: The cost of greenhouse gas emission reductions is a complex and open question dependent on technology, policy, and economics.
Related (acceptable) question: What are the sources of greenhouse gas emissions?

Sample: What are the best ways of reducing carbon dioxide emissions?
Why not answered: Any ranking of abatement options depends on a number of judgments that include economics, ethics, and politics (The word “best” is what makes this question inappropriate)
Refinement: By how much might some proposed activity reduce carbon dioxide emissions?

Sample: Is current U.S. infrastructure adequate for sea level rise?
Why not answered: Judgments of adequacy involve tradeoffs in risk and in policy.
Refinement: What amount of sea level rise might occur this century?

Sample: Is there too much uncertainty in climate models to use them for planning purposes?
Why not answered: We will not evaluate uncertainty or policy processes.  We can, however, describe the level of uncertainty and explain its sources. The words “too much”  and “for planning purposes” make this question inappropriate.
Refinement: What are the main sources of uncertainty in climate models?

First, while I think it is useful to have a way of linking climate scientists to journalists, I tend to think the AGU’s approach is going to be fairly offputting to journalists who typically don’t want to waste a lot of time getting the answers to their questions.

Second, the service that would be most useful to journalists is one that finds the right person to answer all such questions, not one that refuses to answer any interesting question or that demands the question be changed.  If the AGU won’t do that, my guess is they will lose out to some other group that will.

I hope the Climate Rapid Response Team put together by John Abraham of St. Thomas University in Minnesota and others will be smart enough to be a “one-stop-shop” for journalists and know whom to direct journalist to the answer questions that aren’t purely climate science.

Third, the larger point is that it is very hard to draw a sharp line between “science questions” and others.  I think this is a bizarre judgment by AGU:

Sample: Is current U.S. infrastructure adequate for sea level rise?
Why not answered: Judgments of adequacy involve tradeoffs in risk and in policy.
Refinement: What amount of sea level rise might occur this century?

If a journalist gets an answer to the refined question then the obvious follow-up is whether we are prepared.

It is transparently obvious that, based on the latest science, current US infrastructure is wholly inadequate.  If the AGU is going to forbid its Q&A team from answering such questions, then it is applying a form of political correctness that makes little sense.

For the record, I think the answer to the refined question is something like, “The latest science suggests sea levels will rise 3 to 6 feet this century.  The two biggest uncertainties are 1) the degree to which dynamic ice thinning of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheet occurs and 2) the level of emissions.   We don’t have a full picture of dynamic ice disintegration in the great ice sheets, and so the IPCC essentially chose to ignore it in their projections.  But so far, ice appears to be melting faster than our models had suggested in both Greenland and the West Antarctic ice sheet.  Sea level rise in 2100 could be lower than that range, but on our current emissions path, multiple studies sugggest we are risking the higher end of that estimate.”  Then I’d direct them to a few recent studies.

Any AGU scientist who can’t easily answer “Is current U.S. infrastructure adequate for sea level rise?” probably shouldn’t be talking to the media.

If you can find an AGU scientist who doesn’t think we are headed to sea level rise of around one meter (or higher) if we stay anywhere near our current emissions path, please have them call or email me.  I’d be exceedingly interested in hearing their thinking and learning what the scientific basis is for that view.

Here’s some of the recent science:

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33 Responses to AGU Climate Q&A Service won’t answer this Q: “Is current U.S. infrastructure adequate for sea level rise?”

  1. Andy says:

    It is bogus because some scientists who are members of the AGU are coastal engineers who plan and develop infrastructure along our seaboards. They use the projections when planning and designing everyday including retrofitting older structures to deal with rising sea levels. An example I was involved in was a recent stimulus-funded project whose funding guidelines required that sea level rise be taken into account. I don’t know if the coastal geologists and engineers we used were AGU members, but this is likely as not.

    Totally bogus.

  2. Jeff Huggins says:

    I’ll offer one perspective on the answer to the question: It’s nowhere near adequate, nor can it be if/as sea levels rise substantially.

    A few years ago, I happened to be talking to a retired gentleman, an engineer, who had been, at some time, the head of whatever function in the military/navy/etc. it is that manages and maintains the shipyard and port property in the northern part of the San Francisco Bay Area. He was very familiar with the water/land interfaces in that part of the Bay Area, including with the complex and sensitive dynamics in various low-laying places around the Bay and with the dynamics of the delta region.

    We were talking about water level and global warming. I think it was in the context of talking about that first book by that Limborg (spelling?) guy.

    In any case, the outcome of the discussion — and he felt confident and strongly about it — was that it would take an IMMENSE amount of money (I can’t remember the figure, but it was mind-boggling) just to adapt the northern part of the Bay Area to any sizable rise in sea level, unless we wanted to simply abandon all the property and existing assets in those places, and that (of course) would cost an immense amount of money to rebuild them. The idea that, via construction, we could block or effectively mitigate against any substantial sea level rise is simply silly. People who think we could should read the Odyssey and look carefully for the lesson that Homer thought we ought to learn.

    Cheers,

    Jeff

  3. Robert Brulle says:

    The AGU is engaging in evasive answers. In answer to the question about the adequacy of the infrastructure to sea level rise and climate change, why not turn to the National Research Council findings. Rather than punt to a discussion of sea level rise obsessing about one word “adequate” – why not reword the question:

    What are the projected impacts and adaptation needs for the U.S. infrastructure due to climate change?

    Here is what the National Research Council has to say on the transportation infrastructure:

    Finding: Climate change will affect transportation primarily
    through increases in several types of weather and climate extremes,
    such as very hot days; intense precipitation events; intense hurricanes;
    drought; and rising sea levels, coupled with storm surges
    and land subsidence. The impacts will vary by mode of transportation
    and region of the country, but they will be widespread and
    costly in both human and economic terms and will require significant
    changes in the planning, design, construction, operation, and
    maintenance of transportation systems.

    The infrastructure will be affected most by those climate changes that cause environmental conditions to extend outside the range for which the system was designed.

    Finding: Potentially, the greatest impact of climate change for
    North America’s transportation systems will be flooding of coastal
    roads, railways, transit systems, and runways because of global
    rising sea levels, coupled with storm surges and exacerbated in
    some locations by land subsidence.

    NRC 2008. Transportation Research Board Special Report 290: Potential Impacts of Climate Change on U.S. Transportation. NRC: Washington DC
    Available at: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/sr/sr290.pdf

    From this, it is easy to come to an answer about the adequacy of the infrastructure regarding climate change. If the NRC has concluded that
    the impacts will be “widespread and costly”, and will “require significant changes” – then isn’t that a conclusion of the NRC that the infrastructure is inadequate?

    That gives a lot more real information and responds to the question. Rewording it to discuss how much sea level rise there will be changes the topic and is non-responsive. Certainly the AGU has access to appropriate experts that can provide more responsive and relevant answers than to change the subject.

    Dr. Robert Brulle
    Drexel University

  4. Raul M. says:

    If people have radiant barrier paint put on their
    cars then the roads and parking lots would
    have radiant barriers for much of the time.
    If solar panels were integrated to cars etc.
    much power could be gained while the car
    was only parked. If tractor trailers and vans
    had radiant barriers or solar panels on top
    much could be said of the improvements.

  5. Dean says:

    The AGU should seek cooperative relationships with other professional societies, including engineering ones, to help answer these questions. Maybe there are some people in AGU with that expertise, but it might be better if they worked with a civil engineering association to get answers to these kinds of questions.

  6. Kota says:

    I vote that it is prudent. There are already too many journalists asking for ‘opinions’ outside the scope of those being interviewed as it is. It’s lazy and sometimes disingenuous. Of course most everyone knows or should know that the US is woefully ill equipped to handle a sea level rise of a foot well enough 6 feet. The actual story is in how or even if there are any plans to handle it. I say if you are a journalist, you get the projected sea rise from the scientists, you look at the structures and towns etc. that will be in standing water or have their ground water contaminated (there are maps that let you plug in different amounts) and you ask the towns, the airports, the museums, farms and businesses their plans or resources to handle it. It wouldn’t take long to find out just how woefully inadequate things really are. Right there under those coming new feet of ocean (and unlikely to go away for centuries) is where the real story is. Journalist’s could be getting those stories right now. Thousands of stories are there for the asking. That’s just sea level rise. What are the Kansas farmers going to do? What happens when the water stops coming out of the faucets in the west? There are ground zero stories all over the US. Indeed all over the planet.

  7. john atcheson says:

    When the scientific method itself is under attack, is it advocacy to counter it? I think not. If you can’t take on misinformation; if you can’t address obvious consequences of a teleological world view; then you are worse than useless.

  8. Mark says:

    The Geological Society have produced a good summary this month, with conclusions well worth reading

    http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/climatechange

  9. Lou Grinzo says:

    Clearly, the AGU is putting values on two events:

    1. The cost of answering the kind of questions Joe mentions. They percive that they will be attacked for “getting political” or “delving into policy” or who knows what. Also, there’s the chance they’ll get some de facto prediction wrong and suffer an even bigger embarrassment, albeit years or decades from now.

    2. The benefit to them of answering those questions and getting it right, and therefore helping, in some small way, to promote a rational response to the climate mess we’ve created.

    Clearly they see the cost of (1) to be greater than the benefit of (2). Perhaps they’ve convinced themselves that others will take care of the tough questions, so there’s no point in their becoming mired in a PR mess, etc. But the inescapable conclusion is that they’ve made this assessment and acted accordingly.

    I expect us to struggle with this kind of self-compartmentalization — for which, read: cowardice — from groups of experts and individuals for a long time. People are incredibly resourceful when it comes to finding excuses for not taking action. Call it the tragedy of the info-commons.

    Perhaps the people involved need to spend a few minutes looking a photo of Jim Hansen’s grand kids, Joe’s daughter, my three nieces, etc. to recalibrate the way they measure such things.

  10. Leif says:

    A taste over 200 years ago Lewis and Clark wintered on the shores of the Columbia River. Today I can still go to their camp sights and view their views. Sit where they sat. Ninety years from now most of that will be under water. A hundred years more, yet another ten feet of sea level will have erased all but the highest points of encampment. Ninety years is within the life span of the youngest of today’s youth. One hundred more, the age of their great grand children. Even then sea level rise does not stop… A foot per decade, year upon year… Is our infrastructure adequate? You do not need a scientist, take a ruler and see for yourself…

  11. Solar Jim says:

    Science questions:
    Is petroleum a form of energy or a state of matter? Is oil a carbon-sequestering material found in the lithosphere, like coal? Does the (evolutionary) development of the planet’s lithosphere, including its “black rock,” allow for current conditions of the biosphere to exist? Does this include all global economies, including grain crops?

    Political questions:
    Is the term “petroleum is an energy resource” a statement of scientific fraud, based on confused jargon, linguistics or agendas? Is such defining language ultimately supported by national policies of “cheap fuel,” affected by robust fiscal, economic and strategic policies? Does combustion efficiency perversely define matter as energy? Was this “fuel” not created through the efficiency of photosynthesis? What was that efficiency? Are not the materials of hydrocarbons and uranium the basis for the physical power of explosive devises (including trinitrotoluene and plutonium), and therefore the foundation of militarism as well as centralized power of mineral-mining wealth and plutocratic influence?

    (Note: Pluto is god of the underworld, of wealth; Latin, from Greek Plouton, “the rich one”)

    The “scientist” can limit his or her public thoughts to the extent they feel morally obligated not to be citizens.

  12. paulm says:

    OK. Now the president has to form a task group on this issue of Global Warming.

    There needs to be a similar body of Civil Engineers formed to the AGU to tackle the obvious questions stemming from the science, like is the infrastructure adequate. This is already happening on a local basis….
    South Florida water managers weigh costly consequences of sea level rise

    Risk Assessors and the military also should have a public group available to the media and to the task group.

    Then we need to get going and start to plan and implement the action required to adapt to the expected changes – SLR, food shortages, peak oil etc

    The president needs to get this task force together now. And he needs to start addressing the climate warming and peak oil issue via this umbrella work force using an extraordinary state of emergency.

  13. Robert says:

    Does anyone know what to expect as regards to the potential rate of sea level rise in the short term (10-20 years)? I live in New Orleans and I want to move out while I am still able to sell my house.

  14. paulm says:

    #14, Yes Robert, I also live below high tide and am monitoring this closely. I think the time is very near now if you want to escape before the masses. Its the awareness of this outcome rather than when the SLR starts to rise.

    You can see in San Diego, Some places on the East Coast and Auz that planning permissions are being affected by the projected sea level rise (and thats just the official wrong IPPC level).

    A more realistic rise of sea level is at least a meter and probably more. Have a look at Hansens 2007 paper…
    http://www.facebook.com/note.php?saved&&note_id=162758007090297&id=139434822741700

    My real-estate agent recently volunteered information to the effect that her customers are worried about coastal erosion already due to recent intense and increased storm activity over the last couple of years. Some are actually selling up.

  15. William P says:

    This AGU position is extremely common. Call it the “Weenie Position”.

    Any debate where powerful establishment forces take a strong defensive stance is met by the Weenies with statements like “…its just to controversial – we won’t be drawn into a political debate.”

    If you want a classic example look at the fifty year debate over whether tobacco is or is not harmful to health. By getting that one classified as “controversial” and something pushed by one side of the political spectrum, the debate got distorted, muted and ignored – meanwhile millions of people died of lung cancer.

  16. paulm says:

    #14 Robert, Heres the latest on the nightmare at the poles….

    Meltwater from glaciers could be accelerating ice melt
    Water that flows through crevasses in the Greenland ice sheet has a greater warming effect than scientists previously thought, causing warming on the order of decades instead of centuries.
    http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2010/1110/Meltwater-from-glaciers-could-be-accelerating-ice-melt

    “A small change in temperature can really have quite a large impact in the increase of flow and speed,” Phillips said, adding that changes would happen on the order of decades, instead of over millennia as previous models indicated.

  17. MarkG says:

    I’m going to defend the AGU here. Right now we aren’t talking about solutions to CO2 release and we’re not even talking about mitigation (building sea walls) because sadly we’re still debating with denialists that AGW is real. Having AGU go out of their way to avoid questions of policy means that politically I can point to their studies and say “see, these guys aren’t trying to take away your SUV”. Unfortunately the Koch brothers and the rightwing punditry have a storyline that climate scientists are all just a bunch of commies trying to take away freedom. We can’t begin the conversation about what to do until we get people to understand it’s real.

  18. Robert says:

    #17 paulm, Thank you for your response. My thinking is I would like to stay in New Orleans for another ten years or so, by then I will have paid off my mortgage by 2016. I would like to move the mountains of Southern Colorado or Northern New Mexico (no more worries about hurricanes or hurricane evacuations). What obviously concerns me is while the sea may be starting to rise at a faster rate, New Orleans continues to subside at a rate of half an inch to a inch each year (there is nothing that can be done about this particular problem). At some point in the future, the residents of Southeast Louisiana will realize what is happening and start to move out en masse. This will cause the real estate market to collapse when people cannot sell their homes because no one will be wanting to buy them. I have read here on this blog that the prediction is for at least a one meter rise in sea level by 2100, I just want to get an idea as to what to expect in the next 10-20 years.

  19. dp says:

    i think i agree that scientists should make their unique contribution to the debate before advancing more generic causes. we pay them to learn AND REPORT. that’s their job in our highly specialized civilization and it’s a big one.

    why is there a missing link between information & decisions, though? why no job class charged first & foremost w/ double-checking the empirical basis of decisions, the way courts check constitutionality?

    because in an open system all you need is a list of opportunities, and there are big economic incentives against accepting that the earth is a closed system.

  20. Paulm says:

    #19 Robert, my estimate would be around the next 5yrs most people will reialize what SLR means for coastal communities. Regardless of the actual rise over that period. Thus coastal property values will begin to diminish starting around this time. Could happen a little earlier if large ice sheets start to calve. But certainly within 10yrs your property will probably not be worth much.

  21. Mitch Golden says:

    While I don’t think that the AGU has explained itself clearly, I think there is something to be said for their approach.

    Suppose a city is surrounded by a seawall which, by the year 2100 could be expected to protect them in the case of a one-in-50-year flood tide. Is that “adequate”? This could be considered a gray area and the cost-benefit analysis comes in.

    Instead, they can simply state that that the one-in-50-year number and leave it at that.

    OTOH, if the seawall is expected to fail in 5 years, or won’t work at all, there’s no need to be shy about saying so, as it implies no value judgment whatsoever.

  22. Robert regarding sea level rise “as to what to expect in the next 10-20 years”: You might want to keep an eye on the studies now going on at the Antarctic Pine Island Glacier… that area is getting an overflight – the same as last year… and so soon there will be a clear measurement of ice decline that is carefully measured.

    This concerns the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) and is thought to account for about 10% of total sea level rise. Parts of it was getting ice thickness (off top and bottom) reduced by 15 feet per year. So figure that the strong data for a full year will soon be better known… and should give you a nice idea for the rate of sea level rise.

    BTW – I once asked an oceanographer – if there was an huge mass of ice that suddenly plunged in… how long would it take to propagate a rise across all oceans?… he guestimated about a month or so.. but would not let me quote him on the time.

    The more we measure, the more we know. Great issue.

  23. Arjen says:

    I work for a Dutch coastal engineering firm and for us the recession has ended. We are hiring and will be in full swing again in 2011. We also think that we will not get a slump in our line of work for at least 30 years. A combination of sea level rise, population growth, people moving to large cities, resources like oil and gas that have to be brought in from remote places and such.

    The amount of money, time and work to protect current low lying cities and ports in case of even a relatively small SLR will be quite astounding. And a lot will depend on the rate of SLR.

    Joe, a few weeks back you mentioned that you were preparing a post on a revised SLR prognosis. I am very much interested in that.

  24. Mike says:

    Try to imagine any new sequestration process which would take place on a scale remotely approaching all the carbon combustion currently occurring in the world (including the carbon combustion required for the sequestration). It’s not gonna happen.

  25. David B. Benson says:

    The AGU position strikes me as completely correct. As climatological specialists they’ll offer some projected range of SLR. Now go ask the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) the questions about coastal infrastructure; they are the organization of specialists regarding building and maintaining infrastructure of all kinds.

    The ASCE already issued a report card on American infrastructure, grading it D as I recall. So fairly clearly they’ll give coastal infrastructure a resounding F in the face of significant SLR.

  26. Dave E says:

    I don’t understand this perception that scientists shouldn’t make policy suggestions and shouldn’t be involved in policy decisions. The alternative seems to be lawyers making policy decisions (after all, probably a majority of our representatives are lawyers). I see no reason to suspect that lawyers are any more competent at making decisions than scientists. In any case, scientists, in addition to being scientists, are also citizens and certainly have as much right to make inputs into the process as any other citizen after all, their children will have to live with the results of inaction along with everyone else’s children.

  27. dp says:

    david benson #26: “The ASCE already issued a report card on American infrastructure, grading it D as I recall. So fairly clearly they’ll give coastal infrastructure a resounding F in the face of significant SLR.”

    maybe not so clear. after all the military graded the worst case future a big fat ‘ERR’ for being too far beyond manageable. if the engineers were any good, they’d want to catch the problem upstream, at points of pollution, where it was still cheap & containable.

  28. BillD says:

    On first reading this post I thought that the AGU should be willing to comment on a wider range of topics. Then I thought of what my own response as a scientist would be. There is a narrow area where I can comment with confidence as an expert scientist familiar with the scientific literature. In other areas I have strong and confident opinions, mainly based on my understanding of the positions of experts in those field. In these areas I would be happy to express my view of facts, theory and scientific understanding. However, despite being confident, I would not be comfortable being viewed as an expert in those fields. My comments would need to be labeled as those of a nonexpert who follows the public debate. Of course, our problem is that many denialists seem completely confident when expressing opinions that are based on a nearly complete lack of understanding and/or misinformation. This comment also explains why scientists are not likely to become politicians. The AGU is willing to give expert scientific comment, but is not willing to provide answers outside of their scientific expertise.

  29. Adrian says:

    I listened to Science Friday on NPR yesterday and several scientists were discussing this issue, with pretty much the range of responses posted here. I think the line between information provision and advocacy is of necessity blurred, since a person’s internal cultural and moral belief structures will, willy-nilly, affect how they respond to questions of information as well as ethics and policies. No examples needed, I think.

    Of course the AGU, as an institution, is setting up rules–but that does not prevent its members from speaking out on their own or in groups and/or working on mitigation projects. As a non-scientist, I believe that if you are in possession of information that would help your fellow citizens mitigate while adapting to climate change, then it is your moral obligation to help in whatever way you can, wherever you can. Start at the community level (e.g. the community where you live), where people really are trying to do something concrete while waiting for our national legislature to catch up. Move on from there.

  30. George A says:

    It seems to me that the AGU is struggling with two types of uncertainty. The first is the uncertainty that goes with any scientific pronouncement, that is usually quantified by confidence intervals, margins of error, etc. The second is the uncertainty inherent in any human non-deterministic undertaking, which includes politics and policy. This type of uncertainty is difficult to quantify mathematically.

    The AGU is comfortable with the first type of uncertainty. It has little experience with the latter. The denial-o-sphere is replete with people incorrectly using the latter type of uncertainty in their attempt to undermine the science.

    The AGU’s appears to wish to avoid giving the critics of science any opportunity to undermine the science in this manner. They are doing this by placing such strict boundaries on their questions that it is nigh impossible to use the non-quantifiable type of uncertainty against their statements.

    Ultimately, the AGU’s self-limitation may serve the deniers as it will limit the AGU’s relevance in almost all public discourse.

    The guy who fights with one arm tied behind his back usually doesn’t win the accolades of the ladies. He usually gets his a** kicked.

  31. dbmetzger says:

    Benin Battles Rising Sea Levels
    Rising sea levels in the Gulf of Guinea are swallowing up large partions of Benin’s coastline. The United Nations says the West African country’s coast has retreated by 400 meters in the last 40 year. http://www.newslook.com/videos/265947-benin-battles-rising-sea-levels?autoplay=true

  32. K Nockels says:

    According to the the latest report card on U.S. infrastructure as a whole, not just coastal areas we received a D across the board. This is the grade we have had for the last 10yrs. If there is anymore stress added to the systems that are already about to fail we all know without much effort to the brain cells used in the endevor that we are in bloody bad shape.
    It has only become worse in last couple of years as budgets for state, county,and city maintance has fallen through the floor. We have been on the Patch and Pray plan of infrastructure maintance for years already, even when the economy wasn’t in the toilet. So now with even a moderate amount of sea level rise or flooding from big storms we are in big trouble. If we can’t even maintain what we have right now how in the world are we going to ajust it to Climate Change events.