But there’s a divide among climate change experts about whether fortifying infrastructure against the impact of climate change detracts from the larger fight: stopping climate change.
Much of our current infrastructure is already past its prime and should be repaired so that it can withstand extreme weather, said Constantine Samaras, director of Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Engineering and Resilience for Climate Adaptation. When aging roads and bridges get washed out in a flood, rebuilding them amounts to a sort of climate tax. It’s better to upgrade things ahead of time, he said.
Even if lawmakers and the administration don’t want to admit it, much of the spending on roads and bridges and transit and waterways is a climate bill in disguise, he said. “The infrastructure we have right now was generally designed for the weather and climate of the 20th century,” Samaras said.