We live in an uncertain world. Scenario planning can help.
When Shell Oil produced a sophisticated scenario of the path to a carbon neutral world in 2070, a lot people took notice. Shell concluded that the “relevant transformations in the energy and natural systems require concurrent climate policy action and the deployment of disruptive new technologies at mass scale within government policy environments that strongly …CONTINUE READING
Standards for levees, seawalls, and other infrastructure urgently need attention.
The federal government is responsible for responding to major floods and runs the federal flood insurance program. It also has millions of dollars of its own infrastructure at risk from floods. Yet the government is failing to deal effectively with flood risks before the fact. Let’s begin with the levees that are the main defense …CONTINUE READING
It’s not really an infrastructure plan. It’s a plan for toll road and local tax hikes.
The initial response to Trump’s infrastructure plan has been justifiably critical. Jennifer Rubin, my favorite conservative columnist, says the plan doesn’t pass the straight-face test. A good deal of it is designed to encourage privatization of infrastructure or to eliminate environmental safeguards for new projects. I want to focus on a different aspect of the …CONTINUE READING
Park Overcrowding, Crumbling Infrastructure, Changing Constituency Top the List
(This is the third in a series of posts this week commemorating the 100th anniversary of the creation of the National Park Service.) To be sure, the National Park Service has much to celebrate as it observes its 100th birthday. The Park Service oversees a stunning and diverse set of national parks, monuments, historic and …CONTINUE READING
Critics of subways often argue, correctly, that they are very, very expensive. They argue much less correctly that they aren’t worth it from a cost-benefit perspective. (I’ll believe when they add in the subsidies for roads and automobiles, price auto traffic like they do with rail, and stop using tendentious examples to criticize high-speed rail). …CONTINUE READING
The New York Times supplies another excellent installment on its series about an often-overlooked environmental problem: outdated and overwhelmed municipal water and sewage systems. State and federal studies indicate that thousands of water and sewer systems may be too old to function properly. For decades, these systems — some built around the time of the …CONTINUE READING
Resources for the Future, one of the least partisan of Washington think tanks, has issued a new report entitled Adapting to Climate Change: The Public Policy Response – Public Infrastructure by James E. Neumann and Jason C. Price. The report makes three major recommendations for how to improve infrastructure planning in light of climate change: …CONTINUE READING
Seawalls as typically constructed are smooth, vertical structures, beautiful to an engineer’s eye but unappealing to tidal creatures looking for the more complex physical structure typical of a rocky shore. A new paper (Oecologia, subscription required) out of the University of Sydney shows that engineering and ecology need not be at odds, however. The authors …CONTINUE READING
Holly referenced the Chamber of Commerce’s hysterical claim that regulating carbon dioxide would stop all the infrastructure projects in the stimulus. Not only is that not true, but it might in fact be exactly the opposite. The reason is pretty straightforward: to the extent that the government places caps on carbon dioxide, such a policy …CONTINUE READING
New York City’s climate change task force report was released today. This report, which discusses how climate change will affect the city’s infrastructure and residents, has attracted some media attention. Notably, the New York Times has an article on the report. This is important, given how little attention the impacts of climate change on cities’ infrastructure have received to …CONTINUE READING