As the White House aims to stifle climate science, cities cooperate globally and plan locally
In 2011, one of the worst blackouts in U.S. history left seven million people across the Southwest U.S. and into Mexico without power. The cities of San Diego and Tijuana were paralyzed for more than 12 hours, leading to sewer spills, water contamination, and a shutdown of the San Onofre nuclear plant. The blackout was determined to be exacerbated by extreme heat the region was experiencing at the time—something that the Southwest is going to be seeing much more of in the future.
Cities used to frame a situation like this blackout as a local emergency: Assess the impact, repair the damage. But in an age of climate change, this is an outdated way to think about risk. “What we’ve found is that protocol assumes that things are going to be back on track in a very short amount of time,” says Susanne Moser, a social science research fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University. “Twenty to 40 years out, the heat wave will be worse. When the heat wave lasts an entire week, and the electricity is not coming back on for a whole week, all of a sudden plans for a blackout don’t work as well.”
The job of imagining this kind of nightmare scenario for cities has fallen to scientists like Moser and her colleague Juliette A. Finzi Hart, who study the far-reaching repercussions of climate change-related disasters. Moser and Hart’s emerging field of climate research explores what are called teleconnection patterns, looking at the “cascading effects” of these disasters on humans, from the short-term interruption of the movement of goods to the long-term impact on public health.
Read the Full Story HERE >>>> Source: How cities can stand up to climate change – Curbed