A major climate change report released Friday by over a dozen U.S. federal agencies outlines the potential for significant economic and environmental damages in the coming years. The report included a chapter on the potential for impacts on roads, bridges and other infrastructure.
Paul Chinowsky, a co-author of that chapter, is the director of CU Boulder's Program in Environmental Design and a professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering. His research focuses on costs, adaptations and infrastructure impacts related to climate change.
As part of the release of the report, Dr. Chinowsky was quoted in the New York Times this weekend:
Nevertheless, despite the satisfaction at seeing their scientific work made public, many of the authors expressed disappointment that Mr. Trump’s strategy appears to be to ignore the findings and move forward with plans to undo climate change policies.
“It’s incredibly frustrating,” said Paul Chinowsky, a professor of civil engineering at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a co-author of the report’s chapter on the effect of climate change on roads, bridges and other infrastructure. That chapter concludes that more extreme storms, flooding and heat waves, along with rising sea levels, will damage the nation’s roadways, leading to dangerous infrastructure collapses and up to $21 billion in damage by the century’s end.
“I’m watching these arguments between politicians and scientists, but I’m on the ground with public works officials who say that argument’s irrelevant,” Mr. Chinowsky said. “People are going to get hurt and die if we don’t change the policy.”