Importance of Natural Resources

Vicki Arroyo: Let’s prepare for our new climate


Translator: Thu-Huong Ha
Reviewer: Morton Bast This is the skyline
of my hometown, New Orleans. It was a great place to grow up, but it’s one of the most vulnerable
spots in the world. Half the city is already below sea level. In 2005, the world watched as New Orleans and the Gulf Coast were
devastated by Hurricane Katrina. One thousand, eight hundred and thirty-six
people died. Nearly 300,000 homes were lost. These are my mother’s, at the top — although that’s not her car, it was carried there
by floodwaters up to the roof — and that’s my sister’s, below. Fortunately, they and other
family members got out in time, but they lost their homes,
and as you can see, just about everything in them. Other parts of the world
have been hit by storms in even more devastating ways. In 2008, Cyclone Nargis and its aftermath killed 138,000 in Myanmar. Climate change is affecting
our homes, our communities, our way of life. We should be preparing at every scale and at every opportunity. This talk is about being
prepared for, and resilient to the changes that are coming
and that will affect our homes and our collective home, the Earth. The changes in these times
won’t affect us all equally. There are important
distributional consequences, and they’re not what you
always might think. In New Orleans, the elderly
and female-headed households were among the most vulnerable. For those in vulnerable,
low-lying nations, how do you put a dollar value
on losing your country where you ancestors are buried?
And where will your people go? And how will they cope in a foreign land? Will there be tensions over immigration, or conflicts over competition
for limited resources? It’s already fueled conflicts
in Chad and Darfur. Like it or not, ready
or not, this is our future. Sure, some are looking
for opportunities in this new world. That’s the Russians planting
a flag on the ocean bottom to stake a claim for minerals
under the receding Arctic sea ice. But while there might be
some short-term individual winners, our collective losses
will far outweigh them. Look no further than the insurance
industry as they struggle to cope with mounting catastrophic losses from extreme weather events. The military gets it.
They call climate change a threat multiplier that could
harm stability and security, while governments
around the world are evaluating how to respond. So what can we do? How can
we prepare and adapt? I’d like to share three sets
of examples, starting with adapting to violent storms and floods. In New Orleans, the I-10 Twin Spans, with sections knocked
out in Katrina, have been rebuilt 21 feet higher to allow
for greater storm surge. And these raised
and energy-efficient homes were developed by Brad
Pitt and Make It Right for the hard-hit Ninth Ward. The devastated church
my mom attends has been not only rebuilt higher,
it’s poised to become the first Energy Star
church in the country. They’re selling electricity
back to the grid thanks to solar panels,
reflective paint and more. Their March electricity
bill was only 48 dollars. Now these are examples of New
Orleans rebuilding in this way, but better if others act proactively
with these changes in mind. For example, in Galveston,
here’s a resilient home that survived Hurricane Ike, when others on neighboring
lots clearly did not. And around the world,
satellites and warning systems are saving lives in flood-prone
areas such as Bangladesh. But as important as technology
and infrastructure are, perhaps the human element
is even more critical. We need better planning
and systems for evacuation. We need to better understand
how people make decisions in times of crisis, and why. While it’s true that many who died in Katrina
did not have access to transportation, others who did refused to leave
as the storm approached, often because available
transportation and shelters refused to allow them to take their pets. Imagine leaving behind your own pet
in an evacuation or a rescue. Fortunately in 2006, Congress passed the Pet Evacuation and Transportation
Standards Act (Laughter) — it spells “PETS” — to change that. Second, preparing for heat and drought. Farmers are facing challenges
of drought from Asia to Africa, from Australia to Oklahoma, while heat waves linked
with climate change have killed tens of thousands of people in Western Europe in 2003,
and again in Russia in 2010. In Ethiopia, 70 percent, that’s 7-0
percent of the population, depends on rainfall for its livelihood. Oxfam and Swiss Re, together
with Rockefeller Foundation, are helping farmers like this
one build hillside terraces and find other ways to conserve water, but they’re also providing for insurance
when the droughts do come. The stability this provides
is giving the farmers the confidence to invest. It’s giving them access
to affordable credit. It’s allowing them to become
more productive so that they can afford their own insurance
over time, without assistance. It’s a virtuous cycle,
and one that could be replicated throughout the developing world. After a lethal 1995 heat wave turned refrigerator
trucks from the popular Taste of Chicago festival
into makeshift morgues, Chicago became a recognized leader, tamping down on the urban
heat island impact through opening cooling centers, outreach to vulnerable
neighborhoods, planting trees, creating cool white
or vegetated green roofs. This is City Hall’s green roof, next to Cook
County’s [portion of the] roof, which is 77 degrees Fahrenheit
hotter at the surface. Washington, D.C., last year,
actually led the nation in new green roofs installed,
and they’re funding this in part thanks to a five-cent tax on plastic bags. They’re splitting the cost
of installing these green roofs with home and building owners. The roofs not only temper
urban heat island impact but they save energy, and therefore money, the emissions that cause climate change, and they also reduce stormwater runoff. So some solutions to heat can
provide for win-win-wins. Third, adapting to rising seas. Sea level rise threatens coastal
ecosystems, agriculture, even major cities. This
is what one to two meters of sea level rise looks
like in the Mekong Delta. That’s where half
of Vietnam’s rice is grown. Infrastructure is going to be affected. Airports around the world
are located on the coast. It makes sense, right? There’s open space, the planes can take off and land
without worrying about creating noise or avoiding tall buildings. Here’s just one example,
San Francisco Airport, with 16 inches or more of flooding. Imagine the staggering cost of protecting this vital infrastructure with levees. But there might be some changes in store that you might not imagine. For example, planes require more runway for takeoff because the heated, less dense
air, provides for less lift. San Francisco is also
spending 40 million dollars to rethink and redesign its
water and sewage treatment, as water outfall pipes like this
one can be flooded with seawater, causing backups at the plant,
harming the bacteria that are needed to treat the waste. So these outfall pipes
have been retrofitted to shut seawater
off from entering the system. Beyond these technical solutions, our work at the Georgetown Climate
Center with communities encourages them to look at what existing
legal and policy tools are available and to consider how they can
accommodate change. For example, in land use,
which areas do you want to protect, through adding
a seawall, for example, alter, by raising
buildings, or retreat from, to allow the migration
of important natural systems, such as wetlands or beaches? Other examples to consider. In the U.K., the Thames Barrier protects
London from storm surge. The Asian Cities Climate
[Change] Resilience Network is restoring vital ecosystems
like forest mangroves. These are not only important
ecosystems in their own right, but they also serve as a buffer
to protect inland communities. New York City is incredibly
vulnerable to storms, as you can see from this clever
sign, and to sea level rise, and to storm surge, as you can
see from the subway flooding. But back above ground, these
raised ventilation grates for the subway system show
that solutions can be both functional and attractive.
In fact, in New York, San Francisco and London,
designers have envisioned ways to better integrate
the natural and built environments with climate change in mind. I think these are inspiring
examples of what’s possible when we feel empowered to plan
for a world that will be different. But now, a word of caution. Adaptation’s too important
to be left to the experts. Why? Well, there are no experts. We’re entering uncharted
territory, and yet our expertise and our systems
are based on the past. “Stationarity” is the notion
that we can anticipate the future based on the past, and plan accordingly, and this principle governs
much of our engineering, our design of critical
infrastructure, city water systems, building codes, even water rights
and other legal precedents. But we can simply no longer
rely on established norms. We’re operating outside the bounds
of CO2 concentrations that the planet has seen
for hundreds of thousands of years. The larger point I’m
trying to make is this. It’s up to us to look
at our homes and our communities, our vulnerabilities
and our exposures to risk, and to find ways to not just
survive, but to thrive, and it’s up to us to plan and to prepare and to call on our government
leaders and require them to do the same, even while they address the underlying causes of climate change. There are no quick fixes. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions. We’re all learning by doing. But the operative word is doing. Thank you. (Applause)


Reader Comments

  1. I got it the first time, but that was just you repeating someone else. And unlike yourself I am able to think for myself. That affords me the ability to look through multiple lenses at will. It also allows me to understand the reason you are so hostile is due to your conditioned self defending your own conditioning. It’s a common thing that happens to people that are conditioned to believe things that don’t hold up under scrutiny.

  2. I appreciate your comments. Where we do part company is what is something useful to do and what the problem really is. If we assume global warming we go along with things like carbon tax, which is an elite club that will have the net effect of harming the most vulnerable (that’s my view). If we look at the bigger picture we connect with each other and we take effective action. From my perspective the problem is the social structures we support, including the business model we use.

  3. I don't disagree with you about that. I don't know what the solution is, but I appreciate that people at least recognize that there's a problem.

  4. I presume you can provide statistics regarding the cutting down of trees. It is my understanding that most forest is lost due to subsidence farming. Also houses require timber in their construction. And paper pretty generally comes from sustainable forestry these days. Where do you get your facts from?

  5. It does not matter, timber for construction also comes from sustainable forrests and we will hardly run out of trees sp ur point don't hold water anyway. The REAL problem on this planet is the unsustainable management of OUR COMMON resources and the twisted distribution of it today. Those who have the biggest pile of money seem to think it's ok to grab what ever they can many times more than they need. It's from here the overpopulation myth has come.

  6. What's wrong with yt or google. I know there's a lot of crap on it, but now you suggest that all education and books reveal the truth. Don't base your knowledge on what you were told at school. Watch this docu complete /watch?v=ooy2LTJoMVM

  7. Each star moves 1 degree in 72 years. To make a full cycle of 360 deg. it takes up to 25920 years. According to the mathematics 2012 is a changeover period from the 'dark' period the 'enlightment' period. This cycle takes 12960 years. You want to learn some REALLY interresting stuff go to p a t e o . n l its in 9 languages.

  8. 1:00 "In 2008 Cyclone Nargis… killed 138,000 in Mynamar". That's a lot of people. I don't think I even heard of it which is pretty bad. Obviously watching the wrong news sources.

  9. Yes! WOW! I am so moved – I am going to put aside 4 of my 17 euros a day TOTAL income to prepare for a big rise in temperature, and a big fall, in case that happens.

  10. Except for local floods or storms, significant changes will take a generation or more. At national level the changes will mostly unpredictable, and preparation for growingly expensive energy is going to occupy the world – at least that portion of the world still not struggling to survive. What a non-talk.

  11. Doing what is best for yourself, your family, friends and those around you is draconian? I'd say that's being small minded and short sighted.

  12. Look up UN Agenda 21. Forcing your 'what's best' idea is usually not good for everyone.

    Protestants fleeing England to North America was 'best' for them, but not so good for the Natives. Get my point?

  13. *Facepalms* Guess you just can't explain reality to some people.

    What do you think frost action is?
    Have you the ability to conduct basic scientific experiments? Melt an ice cube in a glass of water and see if the level rises or falls.
    Not reference Al Gore? Who do you think started this nonsense?
    Forget what you learned at school? WTF?

    Yeah buddy… You've totally disproved the laws of physics.
    Maybe you should have stayed in school.

  14. What about ice on land, i.e. Antarctica, Greenland, glaciers around the world. Also water expands as it is heated as almost all materials do. Bet you didn't think about that did you? Smartass.

  15. If you honestly believe that the there is 180 feet of global tidal rise in the entire liquid masses of what is current solid state H20 then I have a bridge in San Francisco that you'd like to buy.

    I'm done with you bud. The only thing you've proven is that you're willing to believe what you're told without fact checking. You've proved the age old scientific axiom: "The only thing more common in the universe than hydrogen is stupidity."

    Listen hard. The rest of the world is laughing at you.

  16. Reducing the population is not good for everyone? It'd lead to there being more space, more water, more energy. more etc for everyone and raise the value of each individual.
    Yes, I do get your blindingly obvious point that what is good for SOME is not good for SOME others which has sweet fuck all to do with this.
    So, what you're saying is that minorities should have the right to fuck over the majority including themselves?

  17. First of all, I didn't say anything about the numbers because I didn't know them. I was just mentioning things that your "common sense" approach didn't factor in. Second, I doubt that even if the earth warmed significantly, that ALL of the landlocked ice, will melt, particularly in Antarctica. Third, this is about competing processes so assuming that the globe is heating, what process will nullify the melting of ice?

  18. "If you honestly believe that there is 180 feet of global tide rise…". How the fuck would you know whether this is true or not? Have you done the math? Or do you have some kind of extrasensory intuition about the topology of the globe. Finally, the rest of the scientifically literate world is actually lauging at the mentally defective, i.e., creationists and smug conspiracy theorists who deny GW. Give me some quantitive analysis or fuck off, because your reasoning skills are pretty sad.

  19. The rise in sea level comes from land ice and thermal expansion. The Greenland and Antarctic ice caps rest on land, are kilometers thick and cover continents. To use your ice cube analogy, place the ice cube in a second glass and melt it, then pour the meltwater in the first glass, and heat the result.
    Best estimates for the year 2100 are in the range 0.5-2m, well over twice the amount projected by the IPCC in 2007 (due to better understanding of glacial dynamics). And it won't just stop there.

  20. I still fail to see how denying that anthropogenic climate change is real gets us anywhere. Even if science is wrong on the matter, which it is not, we need to change our ways. Our dependence upon oil is damaging to the environment no matter which way you look at it. Deforestation is not helping the planet in any way. The human population, which is spiriling out of control, is damaging to the environment. And yet, we still sit here and debate whether or not global warming is real. It is real.

  21. Are you kidding me? So by your argument you are also saying that ice is also suspended under the water or the same density. Have you not taken into consideration that ice floats? And that regardless of whether or not it has greater volume alot of that volume is above the water line. Therefore if it melts the sea-levels will rise significantly. Also it is freshwater. Therefore if it melts it disrupts the Gulf stream which creates significant climate changes across the globe. School taught me this

  22. typical alarmist nazi bitch, spewing BS, this bitch needs long leather boots and a brown shirt with swastika arm bans, the only rise around here is not from the ocean but from my old fella because I still would bone her, who knows I might fuck some sense in the silly bitch

  23. Why don't you do a video on the weather modification abilities of the varies HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research) installations? Rapid heating of the Ionosphere might just have a connection with the increase in storms we are seeing. .
    This woman seems to be another product of the American indoctrination system. How can she say we need to look at our vulnerabilities and exposure to risk without any mention of Wall St capturing the US Government and the TSA groping children?

  24. What you say is very true but the real Green agenda is being hijacked by the likes of Al Gore (Mr I buy beach front properties and fly a private jet) and the Rothschilds profiteering from carbon trading. It's also being used to guilt trip the middle class into accepting austerity and not rebelling against the bank bailouts and home repossessions. Agenda 21 is another program to shred democracy and consolidate power masking as environmentalism and socialism. The UN is playing the same game.

  25. It's not humanity, just the people taken aback that running 18mpg trucks around with abandon has been evil on top of whatever else, hoping they can bunt off the yawning maw of secular cause and effect and other disruptive realism they do not yet have on board. Plus, we want to have coping mechanisms, so hold off tossing it right into spam.

  26. I know that. She's a well trained drone. Why don't you have a look at the Nation Defence Authorisation Act, Obama signed last New Year. If you like what's in store for you that's your choice but try to think about how many Goldman Sachs' exec's have moved directly into government and taken your money to prop up their own corrupt industry. Again if you like that, it's a bit weird but it's up to you.

  27. @ 6:30, "the emissions that cause climate change"

    As above, so below… Elenin.
    Our Sun's sister. We only have two more months until just the start of our great celestial event.

  28. please read my comment before replying… its changing climate on mars also; this isn't man made, unless you have something to say about suv's on mars.

  29. ice caps on mars are melting also, the real science has shown that its not just limited to our planet. Now think about that one, unless of course this has nothing to do with the actual cause and more about politics.

  30. look at photographs of icecaps on mars- they are melting also.

    I am not denying that there is a process in which the climate undergoes changes, and if you look at other planets- its happening there also… which my brain tinkers that it must not be caused by something on this planet aka the sun's solar cycles.

  31. Good presentation. Yes, even the military gets it. Climate change is happening now. We caused it. Now we need to prepare for the changes that this will bring to our children.

  32. Are you kidding? You probably just watch local news, I recommend BBC world news.
    Just google it, 138,000 people really did die in Burma

  33. Wow. This is a tough message to deliver, thanks for your courage. Tough pill to swallow but it's so important to think about! On the bright side people across the globe are working to make a difference. For instance over 100 orgs from 20 countries are shown taking a stand in Melodeego's new music video featuring Tim DeChristopher. Click our channel if you're curious!

  34. Climate Scientist, or paid activist? You decide.

    "She holds a B.S. in biology, high honors, from Emory (double major in philosophy); a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard (top honors in program), and a J.D., Magna Cum Laude, from Georgetown Law, where she was Editor-in-Chief of The Georgetown International Environmental Law Review."

    The science says no change in any weather has been observed.

    This talk was poorly researched.

  35. There has been no change in weather or climate that justifies the speculative rhetoric of this video.
    Entertaining, but misinformative.

  36. "Does it really matter if the premise of the argument is true or not?"

    prem·ise (prms)
    n. also prem·iss (prms)
    1. A proposition upon which an argument is based or from which a conclusion is drawn.

    False premise equals false conclusion, doesn't it?

    No wonder bogus hypotheses like CAGW get so much play. The masses are dull.

    Are you really that malleable? OMG.

    You're having me on aren't you? If you're not, I'm very concerned for the future of civilization..

  37. Name a country that shows no net significant warming since the 1960's, I dare you to try?
    p.s. The number of hot records broken is almost double that of cold records since the 1980's

  38. Explaining Extreme Events of 2011 from a Climate Perspective Amer. Meteor. Soc., 93 2012 Peterson et al "Comparing climate model simulations with and without human factors shows that the cold UK winter of 2010/2011 has become about half as likely as a result of human influence on climate, illustrating that some extreme events are becoming less likely due to climate change."

  39. Science is not about certainty, it is about what theory is most likely to be correct based on the available evidence at the time. p.s. New Zealand warmed by 1.16C ± 0.28 since 1960

  40. The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature study has not been taken to court. Their results are conclusive and even WUWT's primary author said he would accept their results. Ha ha indeed!

  41. How you made that leap I'm sure I'll never know. New Zealand's (MET office equivalent) was taken to court over it's adjustments. I believe the court ruled that they were allowed to alter actual temperatures as they saw fit, which they did, and do.

    There is very little improvement in funding prospects by admitting that incidental warming, or cooling for that matter, is natural.
    Hence the apparent conformity in denying the obvious, such as the lack of GAT increase for the past 16 years.

  42. 1) Met office: linear trend from Aug 1997 (in the middle of an exceptionally strong El Nino) to Aug 2012 (coming at the tail end of a double-dip La Nina) is about 0.03°C/decade, amounting to a temperature increase of 0.05°C over that period, but equally we could calculate the linear trend from 1999, during the subsequent La Nina,and show more substantial warming 2) Observed changes in top-of-the-atmosphere radiation and upper-ocean heating consistent within uncertainty. Nature Geoscience (2012)

  43. 1) There has been zero statistically significant (there's that word again, hahaha) GAT increase in the past 16 years according to UK MET Office data
    2) So they're saying they don't know. That's a good start.

  44. Lol new climate, what a joke we can't even get the temperature to increase no matter how much co2 we pump into it. What a rip off.

  45. At some point you have to account for the fact that previous climate predictions have failed and begin to modify the theory to suit the evidence. Unfortunately the politics on CAGW are so think that they theory has not evolved.

  46. GHG Theory is valid. On the other hand CAGW by CO2 is merely a hypothesis, invented by political activists with the general goal of trying to create a "Green" utopia, at ANY cost. Human lives are inconsequential, and truth is irrelevant.

  47. 100% agreed. Basic radiative physics have been known for over 100 years and for the most part have paned out. However the mild warming caused by that alone is inconsequential. As a result tipping points we're created to induce a false panic.

  48. And the expectation that all feed backs are positive, and cumulative, belies the lack of scientific integrity in the CAGW by CO2 movement.

  49. Her claim that the church is selling tis electricity back into the grid is a full on lie at 3:22. The energy companies in this country have a lock on the law that says excess energy produced goes back into the grid at zero cost. The energy companies have manipulated the law so that the only thing that church gets from the power companies is recyclable energy credits. These credits are only good for paying your electric bill not for translating into cash.

  50. Whether, or not we are the cause, this is to be expected. Scientists have said we are coming out of an ice age.

  51. More global warming – well after this cold spring I suppose we are supposed to deemphasize that and say "climate change"…smh…-hysteria. Very tiresome. This talk rests solely on the premise that we can actually do something about the alleged global warming. Far better TED talks to spend time watching.

  52. Well, New Orleans is fucked. It'd be nice if we had the technology to build bigass seawalls around our major coastal cities. Take a page out of the Netherlands books…

  53. Nonsense. We came out of the last ice age 10000 years ago and according to Milakovitch cycles we are heading towards a new one. The planet was actually cooling for the past 8000 years until we discovered coal and then oil and the industrial revolution started.

  54. Someone please tell me why this winter has been so cold if it is getting warmer? Please not for those in the southern hemisphere were I live it has been colder then the North Pole (at times) while it has been summer for you.

  55. I agree with someone below me. Population control is what we need. Way to many people. 3-4 billion should have been the max number of people allowed.

  56. How very sad that the best government has done is save the pets. Some day maybe elected "officials" will be saying these kinds of things before, during, and after elections. Let's hope the entire sea coast of every country in the world isn't under water by then.

  57. Her mouth sounds are pissing me off for some reason =) is that dry mouth making the horrid clicky sounds?

  58. climate change bullshit! insurance companies lose money because they do not save enough money out of what they collect! they pay themselves massive salaries and then when a disaster comes they declare themselves bankrupt because the companies have no money saved to pay off their customers! 

  59. I didn't like this talk. Why is it that data from government sources is so hard to believe?? She doesn't seem sincere..just vaguely referring to all the insurance we have to take, and all the supposed help that goverments are doing..

  60. I didn't like this talk because a lot of the problems with climate change are because of what humans are doing to the environment. Why do we prepare for the worst when we could be preventing it?

  61. 5:09 , are we talking about THE Rockefeller ?? if we are. sweet heart, that is not a good thing to try promote them from a good view . that family with 129 others ,(world most rich families).Have done more harm to this earth at just 200 years , then the "99%" could not have done  on 1000 years. Just saying. sorry my bad english grammar.

  62. It takes quite a few traffic deaths before a crossing gets traffic lights. The same goes for climate change. Humanity will only start to react once it already hits us hard. We're dumb like that.

  63. I hate to be that guy trying to sell a cause on the internet, but if this talk has inspired you to take action.  Groups from around the world are petitioning right now for better laws to stop global warming.  here is the link.  https://secure.avaaz.org/en/100_clean_final/?copy

  64. Oh that's a new approach ! An emotional explanation of climate change ? Climate change is real and it is constant BUT it is NOT driven by human activity !! The SUN affects out weather through the electrical circuit which connects all the planets in our solar system.. We would be wise to spend out time and money trying understanding how our Universe really works rather than spending our resources chasing a funding dollars. Air polution and poisoning our environment is way up on my agenda and should be of paramount importance ~ the miniscule impact of CO2, which has been blown out of all proportion, its order and effect on the environent have been overexaggerated and the funding that the subject attracts is depriving genuine research. The stupidity of all this CO2 research will all become apparent in the future, I just hope that we see through this CO2 scam before it is too late to investigate the true nature of our environment.

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