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The good news is that forward-looking leaders in Peru have begun to see the need for a paradigm shift that would ensure a sustainable and resilient water supply for its people. Even before Kuczynski was elected, as result of a series of new laws and regulations passed in and put into effect in , funding for green infrastructure, climate change adaptation, and disaster risk management was set aside by diverting a portion of water tariffs.
The goal is to develop a year plan for implementing green infrastructure to guide the long-term use of tariff funds as well as develop a research agenda to answer several important questions, including: What kind of green infrastructure would be best-suited to mitigate the risks of floods and landslides of the kind we have just seen? How much of an impact could green infrastructure have on addressing these risks, and how could it support better functioning of gray infrastructure under such extreme pressures?
The latest flooding and landslides bring into focus the paradox of extreme rainfall in a desert city — where the overabundance of water is as much a danger as the shortage — and the limitations of existing gray infrastructure to address those challenge. Climate change and the expectation of more frequent extreme weather events such as those recently experienced in Peru makes it even more imperative that SEDAPAL and other water utilities find smarter solutions — and quickly. The affluent invest their money in such places because real estate is where the big returns lie as people move into cities — 60 per cent of global wealth, he claims, is in real estate — and because under capitalism investments must grow in value.
City planners are then compelled to protect these growing investments, which gives speculators confidence that the city is a safe harbour for yet more investments, and thus overall risk creeps up with the tides. The Eko Atlantic development on a peninsula off the coast of Lagos is patrolled by heavily armed guards and surrounded by shanty towns built on stilts where the chefs and nannies live.
Built into an Arctic mountainside to safeguard key crops — rice, wheat, sorghum, maize, beans — from climate change or terrorist attack, the vault holds almost , seed varieties from almost every country in the world. He describes his first visit to Svalbard, where he ate polar bear carpaccio in an old hotel in the coal-mining town of Longyearbyen.
To make the vault impregnable it was decided to tunnel into solid stone and permafrost rather than repurpose an old mining shaft.
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Fowler explains why this all matters. One problem is the need to grow more food for more people with less water and land and phosphorus. The other problem is climate change: warmer average temperatures, warmer extreme temperatures, warmer nights, longer heatwaves, variable rains. Global warming will give us climates that are pre-rice, pre-wheat, pre-potato, pre-agriculture. Soil and pests will remain different, and so too will the length of the days.
What plant breeders and farmers will need is a stockpile of heat-tolerant traits so they can produce new crop varieties, and this is what the seed vault was designed to be. Jenny was still stuck in class in Ashland in the smoke. Now she drove an air-conditioned car to and from the university with the windows rolled up, and her bike sat idle.
I kept checking my AQI app.
follow url Smoke was still choking the Rogue Valley, and haze spread from other fires to the rest of the Pacific Northwest as the summer dragged on. The boys and I stayed away from Ashland until the end of August, when the AQI edged more frequently into the yellow zone and their school year began and I dressed them in smoke masks and new shoes and took them to meet their teachers. There was no distinct moment when the smoke stopped.
We went outside with sunglasses on. We kept waiting for the hills to disappear again, for our fragile string of yellow and green days to turn orange, but eventually we realised it was over. Now we could assess the damage. The knock-on effects on hotels, shops and restaurants amounted to many millions more, and a few businesses closed down. But the day before we were meant to leave, a wildfire just south of the state border jumped over Interstate 5, the major north-south artery.