The simple reality is that we need to have more climate resilient infrastructure and we need to stop climate change from getting any worse. — Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg
The simple reality is that we need to have more climate resilient infrastructure and we need to stop climate change from getting any worse. — Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg
Extreme weather events put spotlight on climate change's toll on US infrastructure
With roads buckling in the Pacific Northwest, a deluge drenching a New York City subway station and fatal flooding across Europe, scientists say climate change is here and immediate action is needed. The country's crumbling infrastructure has commanded attention as the US has faced the unprecedented heat, drought and wildfires and the Biden administration has pushed costly proposals to address it.

"I think people see it, but I'm not sure they realize how much worse it's going to get and how quickly," Josh DeFlorio, head of climate resilience for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, told CNN.

On the West Coast, there is concern over the extreme heat that melted some of I-5 in Seattle last month and claimed the lives of hundreds in the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia. Western states have also faced an unprecedented, multi-year drought and as of Sunday, the US was grappling with 80 fires and complexes that had burned 1,157,976 acres so far, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has called for improving infrastructure that can endure the effects of climate change.

"The simple reality is that we need to have more climate resilient infrastructure and we need to stop climate change from getting any worse," he said last week while in Oregon to promote President Joe Biden's infrastructure framework.


Shane Underwood, who researches asphalt at North Carolina State University, told CNN that with the world getting hotter, road crews should start laying down asphalt that is more heat resistant.

"If temperatures are greater than we presumed they would exist when the pavement was designed, this can happen more frequently," Underwood said.

But while officials and scientists are calling for an infrastructure overhaul and swift action on climate change, the overlying issue is how to pay for it.
Read the full article: https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/23/politics/infrastructure-extreme-weather-climate-change/index.html