Texas Tech University

Harvey's Toll on Texas Will be Predictably Immense - But Will We Learn the Lessons?

Andrew Dessler, Katharine Hayhoe and Daniel Cohan

September 9, 2017

San Antonio Express News - Hurricane Harvey has taught us many lessons, but the most valuable may be the oldest lesson of all, one we humans have been learning - and forgetting - since the dawn of time: how much we all have to lose when climate and weather disasters strike.

Today, wind and solar power prices are now competitive with fossil fuels across Texas. Across the country, these industries already employ far more people than coal mining. Electric cars may soon be as affordable as gasoline ones and be charged in ways that help balance the fluctuations in wind and solar power. Only someone profoundly pessimistic would bet against the ability of American ingenuity to repower our economy.

Hurricane Harvey exemplifies the risks we all face - and a more dangerous future if we don't take actions now. More people and vulnerable infrastructure exposed to more frequent and intense hazards equals even greater risk for us in the future.

The time to rethink the equation is now.

Andrew Dessler is a professor of atmospheric sciences and the Earl F. Cook Professor of Geosciences at Texas A&M University. Katharine Hayhoe is a professor and director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University. Daniel Cohan is an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Rice University. This article was first published in "The Conversation."

Read the story here.