One of the most overlooked needs of this country is preparation for ongoing climate change. The value of the nation’s infrastructure has been estimated to be about $37 trillion, which of course exists largely on the coasts.
If sea levels rise 3 feet, 20 feet, 30 feet, much or all of that investment will be unprotected and utterly destroyed. The only practical defense will be to move the coastal population centers away from the current coastlines.
If the $37 trillion of infrastructure is 80 percent along the coasts, then maybe something between $30 trillion and $100 trillion would be required to relocate our coastal communities.
Due to increased storm activity, we are already losing this infrastructure at a rapid rate. For example, the five Atlantic hurricanes of 2017-2018 collectively caused about $340 billion dollars of damage, most in the U.S., the destruction being only partially repaired.
The first billion dollar hurricane was Betsy in 1965, and look how far we have come. If anyone has a better approach for defending us from the certain ravages of climate change, they need to take action now.