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Infrastructure, Climate Change and the Economy: Part 2 - The Cost of Climate Change
| 02.11.2011 | 08:19:1333815 |

February 11, 2011: With the global climate shifting, national, state and local governments and communities are beginning to feel the effects of catastrophic weather (Australia's flooding and the rise of global food prices). In 2009, the University of Oregon released a study looking at the cost of environmental change to the communities in state of Washington. The report found that "If nothing is done to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Washington is likely to experience some $3.8 billion in associated annual costs -- including $1.3 billion in health related costs alone."

Compiled by the University of Oregon's Climate Leadership Initiative's Program on Climate Economics by ECONorthwest and guided by a steering committee of 19 academic and private economists from the Pacific Northwest and other west coast states, the report, based on an earlier 2006 report said that "under a 'business-as-usual' approach to climate change" the cost of environmental, economic and health costs to the region "would jump four-fold to $12.9 billion by 2080."

The report's lead author Ernie Niemi said the impacts of doing nothing to prepare for and to addresses changes in the climate and the rise of greenhouse gas emissions "will be seen as an increase in illness, lost productivity and increases in premature deaths."

Furthermore, to begin to understand some of the changes and effects on infrastructure, the Department of Transportation released a first phase report in 2008 looking at the effects of climate change to the communities in the Gulf Coast region and the impacts of rising water levels and rising air temperatures. In addition to that report, the DoT's Transportation and Climate Change Clearinghouse has a resource page with reports on the effects of climate change to coastal communities.

And in 2008, the University of Maryland's Center for Integrative Environmental Research released a report which found that "In the West and Northwest, climate change is expected to alter precipitation patterns and snow pack, thereby increasing the risk of forest fires. Forest fires cost billions of dollars to suppress ... The Oakland, California fire of 1991 and the fires in San Diego and San Bernadino Counties in 2003 each cost over $2 billion. Every year for the past four years, over 7 million acres of forests in the National Forest System have burned with annual suppression costs of $1.3 billion or more."

Recently in a story in the BBC which reported that a study by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) found rising sea levels would hurt the United Kingdom's economy. And because there are questions about the cost of adapting to climate change and the implications of inaction, the University of Minnesota's Heller-Hurwicz Economics Institute held its premier event "Addressing Climate Change: Economic Perspectives on Pricing Environmental Risk".

Founding HHEI Director and Professor of Economics V.V. Chari said, "Climate change is perhaps the seminal issue that will confront the world in the 21st century. ... Solving this problem effectively and efficiently will require us to harness the power of markets in channeling private incentives towards socially beneficial ends."



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NCORP Update

NCORP and the Kennedy School of Government Collaborate on the National Blueprint for Secure Communities
Working in partnership with the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, the ReadyCommunities Partnership is reaching out to first responders, local officials, the private sector and citizens throughout the nation to develop the National Blueprint for Secure Communities. The Blueprint will be the focus of the first National Congress for Secure Communities in November and serve as a roadmap for any community striving for resiliency during the first hours of a national or large-scale crisis.  Click Here to read more...

National Press Club Briefing on National Blueprint June 20th
In partnership with the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and it's non-profit, government and corporate partners, NCORP is reaching out to first responders, local officials, the private sector and citizens throughout the nation to develop a National Blueprint for Secure Communities. The Blueprint is a project under the ReadyAmerica Initiative, and was the focus of the National Press Club briefing at 11:30 a.m. on June 20, 2006.  The Blueprint will serve as a roadmap for any community working to reach a level of excellence in their preparedness.

Preliminary Report from Midwest Summit

The Midwest Summit Police Chiefs Association met May 3rd and 4th in LaCrosse, Wisconsin to develop public/private partnerships that augment and multiply community preparedness, response and recovery capabilities. NCORP joined the Summit to incorporate the output of the May 3rd Summit sessions into the National Blueprint for Secure Communities. Click Here to download the draft draft preliminary report of the Summit.

More Press Items:

Homeland Security Journal coverage

Speech at the Harvard Forum

The First 72 Hours Meeting Agenda

ReadyAmerica: The First 72 Hours

Photographs of the November 16th Meeting

Draft Transcript of Preparedness Congress

Richmond Times-Dispatch

December 17-18, 2007...
National Congress for Secure Communities  at the Capitol Hill Hyatt, Washington, D.C.

May 31, 2007...
Initial meeting in Hamilton County, IN with county/city stakeholders on the 5-community pilot project.

May 7, 2007 ...
Planning meeting in Charleston, SC with community stakeholders on the 5-community pilot.

April 25, 2007...
Meeting in Pontiac, Oakland County, Michigan for the 5-community Pilot.

January 18, 2007...
Southwestern Regional Meeting  of the NCORP Advisory Committee in Galveston, Texas

August 10, 2006...
Code Red for international flights to the U.S. originating in the UK: Code Orange for commerical U.S. domestic flights; Code Yellow for the U.S.

July 7, 2005...
Code Orange for metropolitan transportation and rail systems

January 18, 2005...
Code Yellow is in effect

Why Your Membership in ReadyCorps Will Help Strengthen Homeland Security

September 11, 2001 has not only changed the way communities view their preparation and response to crisis, but also redefined the role that citizens and corporations have in helping their communities prepare for and respond to threat and crisis. Though local, state and federal governments are responsible at one level or another, there just are not enough resources to protect all communities and property at all times, nor to respond equally or quickly. The threat and the country are too open and large.

ReadyCorps' Role

The National Council on Readiness and Preparedness has formed ReadyCorps to bring corporations together with communities, responders and governments to increase community surge capacity during incidents of mass casualty or destruction. ReadyCorps members will establish a corporate Crisis Response Officer (CRO) for each corporate facility, to serve as a contact point between responders and corporations to share information and assets, create preparedness response strategies and generally develop simple but effective ways to train and prepare employees for threat or crisis as resources to the responder sector during community response.

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