Keeping the lights on these days means planning for climate change

Read the full post at the Climate Law Blog.

Due to damage from Hurricane Irma, the lights are out in much of southern Florida—an inconvenience to many and fatal to some. Meanwhile, in Texas, power still has not been restored everywhere in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. As the Wall Street Journal headline says of both states, “Power Outage Pushes Limits.” Utilities and utility commissions in those states and others must learn the lesson these storms have to teach. It is one that New York City and the State’s Public Service Commission (PSC) learned following Hurricane Sandy: as the climate changes, electricity grids designed to deal with historical weather and temperature patterns will become less resilient and, consequently, less reliable.

Rethinking the ‘Infrastructure’ Discussion Amid a Blitz of Hurricanes

Read the full story in ProPublica.

Several experts on climate and resilience talk about the role of government. “Viewed correctly, sensible safeguards are part of freedom, not a retreat from it.”

How Global Warming Could Push Hurricanes to New Regions

Read the full story in Pacific Standard.

Shifts in hemispheric weather patterns may steer tropical systems toward the poles—bad news for New York, New England, and Western Europe.

Taking the Long View: The ‘Forever Legacy’ of Climate Change

Read the full story at e360.

Climate change projections often focus on 2100. But the geological record shows that unless we rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we will be locking in drastic increases in temperatures and sea levels that will alter the earth not just for centuries, but for millennia.

Coastal Cities Are Increasingly Vulnerable, and So Is the Economy that Relies on Them

Read the full story in the Harvard Business Review.

There was a time a decade or two ago when society could have made a choice to write off our massive investment in a fossil fuel-based economy and begin a policy driven shift towards a cleaner renewable infrastructure that could have forestalled the worst effects of climate change. But the challenges of collective action, a lack of political courage, and the power of incumbent pecuniary interests to capture the levers of power meant we did not. The bill is now coming due.