As we watch in horror while Hurricane Harvey swamps the fourth largest city in the US and surrounding regions, this is a time to reflect on the need to harden infrastructure against climate impacts and double-down on efforts to reinvent our energy system to combat climate change.
Climate experts have long warned about our infrastructure's exposure to climate effects. Major highways are at risk of floods and storm surges, rail lines too. The oil refineries in Texas may be able to reopen soon except that workers won't be able to get to them or have a place to live near them.
It's going to take years to rebuild what Harvey wrought. So let's make these commitments:
...Build renewable energy systems, not rebuild 20th century ones. It will be healthier for the communities and the environment.
...Harden infrastructure against extreme weather events. (Unfortunately, the Federal government is weakening those requirements when they should be strengthened.
...Rebuild communities using Smart Growth principles, making them walkable, with robust alternative transportation options, fit for people, not cars.
Architects Speak Out Against Trump’s Latest Executive Order - Fast Company