As a local weather scientist, it’s fascinating to look at evolving narratives and views on local weather change. Though the subject continues to be sometimes tainted by pockets of contrarian pondering and misinformation, I imagine society is lastly coming round. A 2020 Pew Research Center study discovered that two out of three individuals surveyed thought that the federal government ought to do extra for local weather. The identical examine additionally discovered bipartisan help for sure mitigation methods. Even because the U.S. made ill-advised coverage steps in recent times just like the momentary exit from the Paris Climate Agreement and questionable decisions within climate-focused agencies, a vibrant spot for me was exercise within the company sector. AT&T’s Climate Resiliency Challenge is an ideal instance of why I remained optimistic.
AT&T is a number one world telecommunications, cell phone service, and mass communication company and might be considered one of America’s most iconic manufacturers. Ok, Dr. Shepherd, “What does AT&T and climate change have to do with each other?” The reply is the AT&T Climate Resiliency Project. The company big partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory to leverage shared assets of each organizations to organize for the inevitability of local weather change and its affect on infrastructure, companies, and financial well-being. According to the undertaking web site, “This has led to AT&T developing a Climate Change Analysis Tool that will help anticipate potential impacts of climate change on our network infrastructure and business operations 30 years into the future.” AT&T introduced that the instrument is being piloted within the southeastern United States. This brings me to the AT&T Climate Resiliency Community Challenge.
In 2020, the corporate gave $50,000 to investigators at 5 universities (University of Georgia, Georgia Institute of Technology, Appalachian State University, University of Miami, and University of South Florida). Each establishment obtained funding, according to the website, to “assess local climate risks and help local governments with climate adaptation and resilience planning” utilizing knowledge and instruments with the aforementioned partnership with in partnership Argonne National Laboratory. Activities from these initiatives embrace:
University of Georgia: A quantification of flood vulnerability in Athens-Clarke County, Georgia, which revealed that Black, Hispanic and low-income communities had 38% to 185% larger flood danger in comparison with the typical danger. The examine additionally highlighted flood-prone areas not acknowledged by localities as flood zones.
Georgia Institute of Technology: An evaluation of communities of colour in Georgia and their vulnerability to flooding and methodologies for mitigating floods or speaking hazard threats.
Appalachian State University: Evaluation of danger from wildfires, landslides, and flooding in rural western North Carolina the place communities have much less mobile entry and enter in local weather adaptation and mitigation coverage selections.
University of Miami: Assessment of future hyper-localized flooding in two susceptible neighborhoods in Miami-Dade County.
University of South Florida: A examine, utilizing a group resiliency info system (CRIS), of communication gaps between a St. Petersburge group and native officers regarding post-hurricane assets and support.
For further particulars on outcomes to date, click on this link.
I spoke with Professor Brian Bledsoe in regards to the work on the University of Georgia. Bledsoe is the Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor within the College of Engineering and director of the Institute for Resilient Infrastructure Systems. He instructed me, “Our work adds to a growing body of evidence that people of color and low income households are much more likely to reside in flood prone areas across the region.” Bledsoe stated that such vulnerability is amplified not solely due to the place they reside but in addition as a result of these communities are inclined to face inequities throughout flood restoration efforts.
“AT&T understands that rich, neighborhood-level data enables researchers and decision-makers to better assess the risks from climate change and keep communities safe. That’s why we decided to make the climate projections that we’re using internally available to the public,” stated Charlene Lake, AT&T SVP, Corporate Social Responsibility and Chief Sustainability Officer. She went on to say that outcomes from the Climate Resiliency Community Challenge would help policymakers within the South and essential decision-making about local weather change.