Texas blackouts point to coast-to-coast crises waiting to happen

Source(s)
New York Times, the

By Christopher Flavelle, Brad Plumer and Hiroko Tabuchi

Even as Texas struggled to restore electricity and water over the past week, signs of the risks posed by increasingly extreme weather to America’s aging infrastructure were cropping up across the country.

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The crisis carries a profound warning. As climate change brings more frequent and intense storms, floods, heat waves, wildfires and other extreme events, it is placing growing stress on the foundations of the country’s economy: Its network of roads and railways, drinking-water systems, power plants, electrical grids, industrial waste sites and even homes. Failures in just one sector can set off a domino effect of breakdowns in hard-to-predict ways.

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While it’s not always possible to say precisely how global warming influenced any one particular storm, scientists said, an overall rise in extreme weather creates sweeping new risks.

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“I am extremely concerned by the lack of emergency-management expertise reflected in Biden’s climate team,” said Samantha Montano, an assistant professor at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy who focuses on disaster policy. “There’s an urgency here that still is not being reflected.”

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