Year 4, Month 5, Day 1: Suck On This

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, on preparations currently underway:

In August, Tropical Storm Isaac flooded neighborhood roads in central and western Palm Beach County, dumping a historic 15 inches of rain in a few hours. In November, Hurricane Sandy washed out a portion of State Road A1A in Fort Lauderdale.

South Florida transportation planners think these examples are the beginning of the impact that rising sea levels, strong storm surges and flooding are going to have on the region’s transportation infrastructure.

“It’s going to happen more often,” said Roger Del Rio, a project coordinator with the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization.

To prepare, they’re urgently moving to see which roads, highways, railroads and other parts of the transportation system are vulnerable to climate change. And for the first time, they’re looking at factoring in climate change when determining future transportation projects.

It’s being done as part of a $642,000 tri-county pilot project with some of the funding coming from a $300,000 federal grant.

The collaborative effort includes Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Broward transportation planners, the Florida Department of Transportation and the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority, which runs Tri-Rail.

But you know that Rick Scott is going to pull the plug on this, because Freedom. April 19:

When it comes to our own homes and our own neighborhoods, climate change has become a lot less abstract. For decades we have sustained the comforting thought that the impacts of the accelerating greenhouse effect will only be felt by future generations — that melting Arctic ice is too far away to affect our lives directly. This illusion is crumbling now under a factual onslaught, and regions throughout America and the world are waking up to the fact that planning for a climate-changed future is simply sensible policy.

It should be clear even to the stubbornest denialist: if you know it’s going to be a dry year in the Colorado pine forests, prepare your firefighting equipment. If you know disease-carrying tropical insects will be moving North into your state, prepare your public health infrastructure. If you know a drought is coming, you prepare your irrigation systems. And, of course, if you know rising seas are going to cover your highways, you strengthen your infrastructure accordingly.

Only to the ideologically-driven mind of the movement conservative could such obvious common sense be in any way controversial.

Warren Senders

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