Climate Change Makes Imperative the Building and Repairing of Infrastructure in the US

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Climate Change Makes Imperative the Building and Repairing of Infrastructure in the US

The MIT Technology Review article discussed the infrastructure issues that the United States is facing to withstand climate change.

The US needs to build new infrastructure, while its ageing infrastructure, many of which were built half a century ago needs maintenance and repair. Both are very costly endeavours.

For instance, completion of 500-mile-high speed rail line that would connect San Francisco to Los Angeles has been delayed for more than two decades now, with the finish date nowhere in sight.

Then there are forces and political systems that delay or impede necessary developments or adaptation measures.

For example, political consultants, union, and community groups would either use some “well-intentioned environmental rules” or their personal or collective rights to slow down or speed up the process depending on whether these decisions or actions will serve their purpose.

So, what US infrastructure needs to be renovated or rebuilt for climate adaptation?

The article mentions the water systems, stormwater systems, reservoir, power systems, dams, pipelines, airports, train tracks, and all infrastructure.

Repairing these infrastructures would reach up to several hundred billion dollars in costs. For example, the majority of the nation’s storm drains were designed based on the rainfall data before the 1960s.

Many regions in the US have pipes that are too narrow for current rainfall patterns, not to mention future precipitation trends

One trillion dollars worth of the coastal real estate is exposed to rising sea levels, storms, floods, and erosions. And some 97 thousand km of their roads and bridges are in the area vulnerable to coastal floodplains.

The article, explains what the country needs to do to address these issues.

It is not only the poor and developing countries that will grapple the consequences and impacts of climate change but wealthy and large economies like the United States as well.

Mentioned in the article is the 2016 study of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate that says, $90 trillion is needed to replace ageing infrastructure in wealthy nations and build new ones in emerging economies within 15 years.

CLICK on the link below to read the full article:

Sources citation:

Temple, J. (2020, January 15). Climate change means the US must start building big things again. MIT Technology Review. Retrieved from


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