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  • Translator: Thu-Huong Ha Reviewer: Morton Bast

  • This is the skyline of my hometown, New Orleans.

  • It was a great place to grow up,

  • but it's one of the most vulnerable spots in the world.

  • Half the city is already below sea level.

  • In 2005, the world watched as New Orleans

  • and the Gulf Coast were devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

  • One thousand, eight hundred and thirty-six people died. Nearly 300,000 homes were lost.

  • These are my mother's, at the top --

  • although that's not her car,

  • it was carried there by floodwaters up to the roof --

  • and that's my sister's, below.

  • Fortunately, they and other family members got out in time,

  • but they lost their homes, and as you can see,

  • just about everything in them.

  • Other parts of the world have been hit by storms

  • in even more devastating ways.

  • In 2008, Cyclone Nargis and its aftermath

  • killed 138,000 in Myanmar.

  • Climate change is affecting our homes, our communities,

  • our way of life. We should be preparing

  • at every scale and at every opportunity.

  • This talk is about being prepared for, and resilient to

  • the changes that are coming and that will affect our homes

  • and our collective home, the Earth.

  • The changes in these times won't affect us all equally.

  • There are important distributional consequences,

  • and they're not what you always might think.

  • In New Orleans, the elderly and female-headed households

  • were among the most vulnerable.

  • For those in vulnerable, low-lying nations,

  • how do you put a dollar value on losing your country

  • where you ancestors are buried? And where will your people go?

  • And how will they cope in a foreign land?

  • Will there be tensions over immigration,

  • or conflicts over competition for limited resources?

  • It's already fueled conflicts in Chad and Darfur.

  • Like it or not, ready or not, this is our future.

  • Sure, some are looking for opportunities in this new world.

  • That's the Russians planting a flag on the ocean bottom

  • to stake a claim for minerals under the receding Arctic sea ice.

  • But while there might be some short-term individual winners,

  • our collective losses will far outweigh them.

  • Look no further than the insurance industry as they struggle

  • to cope with mounting catastrophic losses

  • from extreme weather events.

  • The military gets it. They call climate change

  • a threat multiplier that could harm stability and security,

  • while governments around the world are evaluating

  • how to respond.

  • So what can we do? How can we prepare and adapt?

  • I'd like to share three sets of examples, starting with

  • adapting to violent storms and floods.

  • In New Orleans, the I-10 Twin Spans,

  • with sections knocked out in Katrina, have been rebuilt

  • 21 feet higher to allow for greater storm surge.

  • And these raised and energy-efficient homes

  • were developed by Brad Pitt and Make It Right

  • for the hard-hit Ninth Ward.

  • The devastated church my mom attends has been

  • not only rebuilt higher, it's poised to become

  • the first Energy Star church in the country.

  • They're selling electricity back to the grid

  • thanks to solar panels, reflective paint and more.

  • Their March electricity bill was only 48 dollars.

  • Now these are examples of New Orleans rebuilding in this way,

  • but better if others act proactively with these changes in mind.

  • For example, in Galveston, here's a resilient home

  • that survived Hurricane Ike,

  • when others on neighboring lots clearly did not.

  • And around the world, satellites and warning systems

  • are saving lives in flood-prone areas such as Bangladesh.

  • But as important as technology and infrastructure are,

  • perhaps the human element is even more critical.

  • We need better planning and systems for evacuation.

  • We need to better understand how people make decisions

  • in times of crisis, and why.

  • While it's true that many who died in Katrina did not have access to transportation,

  • others who did refused to leave as the storm approached,

  • often because available transportation and shelters

  • refused to allow them to take their pets.

  • Imagine leaving behind your own pet in an evacuation or a rescue.

  • Fortunately in 2006, Congress passed

  • the Pet Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act (Laughter)

  • it spells "PETS" — to change that.

  • Second, preparing for heat and drought.

  • Farmers are facing challenges of drought from Asia

  • to Africa, from Australia to Oklahoma,

  • while heat waves linked with climate change

  • have killed tens of thousands of people

  • in Western Europe in 2003, and again in Russia in 2010.

  • In Ethiopia, 70 percent, that's 7-0 percent of the population,

  • depends on rainfall for its livelihood.

  • Oxfam and Swiss Re, together with Rockefeller Foundation,

  • are helping farmers like this one build hillside terraces

  • and find other ways to conserve water,

  • but they're also providing for insurance when the droughts do come.

  • The stability this provides is giving the farmers

  • the confidence to invest.

  • It's giving them access to affordable credit.

  • It's allowing them to become more productive so that

  • they can afford their own insurance over time, without assistance.

  • It's a virtuous cycle, and one that could be replicated

  • throughout the developing world.

  • After a lethal 1995 heat wave

  • turned refrigerator trucks from the popular

  • Taste of Chicago festival into makeshift morgues,

  • Chicago became a recognized leader,

  • tamping down on the urban heat island impact

  • through opening cooling centers,

  • outreach to vulnerable neighborhoods, planting trees,

  • creating cool white or vegetated green roofs.

  • This is City Hall's green roof, next to Cook County's [portion of the] roof,

  • which is 77 degrees Fahrenheit hotter at the surface.

  • Washington, D.C., last year, actually led the nation

  • in new green roofs installed, and they're funding this in part

  • thanks to a five-cent tax on plastic bags.

  • They're splitting the cost of installing these green roofs

  • with home and building owners.

  • The roofs not only temper urban heat island impact

  • but they save energy, and therefore money,

  • the emissions that cause climate change,

  • and they also reduce stormwater runoff.

  • So some solutions to heat can provide for win-win-wins.

  • Third, adapting to rising seas.

  • Sea level rise threatens coastal ecosystems, agriculture,

  • even major cities. This is what one to two meters

  • of sea level rise looks like in the Mekong Delta.

  • That's where half of Vietnam's rice is grown.

  • Infrastructure is going to be affected.

  • Airports around the world are located on the coast.

  • It makes sense, right? There's open space,

  • the planes can take off and land without worrying about

  • creating noise or avoiding tall buildings.

  • Here's just one example, San Francisco Airport,

  • with 16 inches or more of flooding.

  • Imagine the staggering cost of protecting

  • this vital infrastructure with levees.

  • But there might be some changes in store

  • that you might not imagine. For example,

  • planes require more runway for takeoff

  • because the heated, less dense air, provides for less lift.

  • San Francisco is also spending 40 million dollars

  • to rethink and redesign its water and sewage treatment,

  • as water outfall pipes like this one can be flooded with seawater,

  • causing backups at the plant, harming the bacteria

  • that are needed to treat the waste.

  • So these outfall pipes have been retrofitted

  • to shut seawater off from entering the system.

  • Beyond these technical solutions, our work

  • at the Georgetown Climate Center with communities

  • encourages them to look at what existing legal and policy tools are available

  • and to consider how they can accommodate change.

  • For example, in land use, which areas do you want

  • to protect, through adding a seawall, for example,

  • alter, by raising buildings, or retreat from,

  • to allow the migration of important natural systems,

  • such as wetlands or beaches?

  • Other examples to consider. In the U.K.,

  • the Thames Barrier protects London from storm surge.

  • The Asian Cities Climate [Change] Resilience Network

  • is restoring vital ecosystems like forest mangroves.

  • These are not only important ecosystems in their own right,

  • but they also serve as a buffer to protect inland communities.

  • New York City is incredibly vulnerable to storms,

  • as you can see from this clever sign, and to sea level rise,

  • and to storm surge, as you can see from the subway flooding.

  • But back above ground, these raised ventilation grates

  • for the subway system show that solutions can be both

  • functional and attractive. In fact, in New York,

  • San Francisco and London, designers have envisioned

  • ways to better integrate the natural and built environments

  • with climate change in mind.

  • I think these are inspiring examples of what's possible

  • when we feel empowered to plan for a world that will be different.

  • But now, a word of caution.

  • Adaptation's too important to be left to the experts.

  • Why? Well, there are no experts.

  • We're entering uncharted territory, and yet

  • our expertise and our systems are based on the past.

  • "Stationarity" is the notion that we can anticipate the future

  • based on the past, and plan accordingly,

  • and this principle governs much of our engineering,

  • our design of critical infrastructure, city water systems,

  • building codes, even water rights and other legal precedents.

  • But we can simply no longer rely on established norms.

  • We're operating outside the bounds of CO2 concentrations

  • that the planet has seen for hundreds of thousands of years.

  • The larger point I'm trying to make is this.

  • It's up to us to look at our homes and our communities,

  • our vulnerabilities and our exposures to risk,

  • and to find ways to not just survive, but to thrive,

  • and it's up to us to plan and to prepare

  • and to call on our government leaders and require them

  • to do the same, even while they address

  • the underlying causes of climate change.

  • There are no quick fixes.

  • There are no one-size-fits-all solutions.

  • We're all learning by doing.

  • But the operative word is doing.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

Translator: Thu-Huong Ha Reviewer: Morton Bast

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B1 US TED climate climate change orleans vulnerable sea level

【TED】Vicki Arroyo: Let's prepare for our new climate (Vicki Arroyo: Let's prepare for our new climate)

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    Zenn posted on 2017/09/12
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