Flood risk assessment for homeowners

Remember energy audits?  Soon you could benefit from a flood audit.

Newport, RI property risk from sea level riseAn expert came to your home, measured how your much energy you were wasting and how, with a few simple fixes, you could save on heating and electricity bills.

Now a RI state commission wants to offering flood audits. An expert would visit a property or business, do a flood risk assessment of the land, assets, and structure, and give the owner an evaluation, including risk and preparedness, plus specific resiliency measures available.

Of course, RI is more exposed than most states. In Newport alone, over 50% of the city’s parcels lie within or touch today's flood plain, a total value of $3.8 billion.

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Another tax cost of warming hanging over us

To climate-proof our nation's assets and security,
the longer we wait the more we pay.

America's one and only 40-year-old US icebreakerWe all know our highways and bridges are deteriorating faster thanks to warmer weather and sea-level rise. Now consider America’s deteriorating seapower. Warming is rapidly opening the Arctic Ocean, with its time-saving shipping lanes, fisheries, and oil, gas and mineral deposits. But America can’t get to it. More than 40 icebreakers support Russia’s shipping, drilling, mining and other operations. The US has one, yes one, icebreaker and it’s 40 years old. It takes up to 10 years and $1-2 billion apiece to build new ones.

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Climate-proofing your home with above-code retrofits

Climate-proof construction standards changing

Building codes are out-of-date in many weather-threatened areas. A new iPad applet helps homeowners upgrade to minimize damage from increasingly severe weather. Videos, animations, and technical specifications for building and retrofitting single family homes, from Munich Re and the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety.

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Another Food Hub helps climate-proof local supplies

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 10.43.29 AMBy sharing and strengthening marketing, small farmers like these in Waterloo, IA can compete against Big Ag in supplying local restaurants, schools, even supermarkets. By helping make our local farmers stronger, we can better climate-proof our food supply from dependence on America's drought- or terrorist-threatened breadbaskets. (Yes, the FBI is worried about terror threats to America's food supply.)

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Armor (the right kind) against sea-level rise, storm surge

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 9.26.43 AMSoft defenses (think wetlands, vegetation) defend the shore more cheaply and effectively from storm surge and sea-level rise than concrete structures. That sturdy wall in front of your place may protect you but "dramatically alter what’s going on next door. Local erosion rates seem to just skyrocket,” according to Northeastern University. For cost-effective projects: municipal and state officials take note.

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Me, part of the grid?

Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 9.47.49 AMGreen Mountain Power will make it worthwhile for you to store their electricity in your house.

Unpredictable and intermittent sources - like solar and wind - are a whole lot more valuable to your power company if they can be stored for when needed. Let them borrow power from time to time, and they'll sell you the battery cheap.

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Sacramento cuts landfill costs, sells natural gas instead

Collecting methane created from organic garbage not only reduces greenhouse gases, it reduces your municipal budget. Many towns are running out of landfill, with expensive expansions ahead. Check out the list of advantages of better digestion in Sacramento.

 

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Excuse to do nothing #9:    They’ll invent something.

Arizona State CCS invention could remove CO2A new material that's a thousand times more effective than trees at taking CO2 out of the air. Wow! Sounds great until you hear that we'd need to deploy 100 million of these container-sized systems around the world just to offset current emissions.

So maybe we shouldn't postpone other actions to climate-proof our families and communities in the meantime.

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Historic buildings could be swept away

"Some historic buildings are not saveable in their current locations."

FloodedHistoricHomeSo says John Englander, author of High Tide on Main Street, at the recent conference, Keeping History Above Water. This charette comes up with some ideas about what to do to prevent this.

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The courts: our best defense against impacts of warming?

The best tool to protect us against warming may be a hammer.
A gavel, to be precise.

MassSupremeCourt looks at global warmingAs we begin to feel, not just fear, the effects of warming, and we watch our legislatures and administrators do little or nothing, many are turning to the courts for protection. Current laws may provide much of the protection we need.

Watch these straws in the wind from Massachusetts and Oregon.

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