Global warming is costly, devastating to infrastructure in Alaska

Thu, 2007-06-28 09:02Bill Miller
Bill Miller's picture

Global warming is costly, devastating to infrastructure in Alaska

The study by the Institute for Social and Economic Research at University of Alaska is the first of its kind in Alaska, and it does not project costs for things like moving villages, protecting the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, fighting wildfires or protecting private property that may be affected.

Temperatures have risen by an average of two to five degrees in different parts of the state in recent decades, and the changes have already been linked to problems like coastal erosion in remote Alaskan villages and wildfires. The researchers who wrote the report said their estimates for increased costs were based on “middle-of-the-road” forecasts for warming in a place where projects were designed to endure the cold.

“There are a million other issues related to climate change,” said Peter Larsen, lead researcher for the report. “This is just one component, but it’s a critical piece because this is where all the goods and services come through the state’s economy, is through the infrastructure.”

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California Governor Jerry Brown used the occasion of his fourth inaugural address to propose an ambitious new clean energy target for the state: 50% renewable energy by 2030.

“We are at a crossroads,” Brown said in announcing the proposal, according to Climate Progress. “The challenge is to build for the future, not steal from it, to live within our means and to keep California ever golden and creative.”

Already the leader in installed solar...

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