During his election campaign, Donald Trump had promised a revamp of the aging infrastructure which would need funds to the extent of nearly $1.5 trillion. He has outlined his plan in his State of the Union address and it envisages the building of new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways.

According to New York Times, the administration must ensure that the plan takes into consideration risks from Global warming and climate change, because these can have disastrous consequences and ruin the best-laid plans. The devastation caused by hurricanes in large cities is proof.

Plans must not ignore global warming

There is no doubt that the aging infrastructure must be upgraded to accommodate changing needs of the people and their lifestyles, but the planners must ensure that adequate priority is given to environmental factors like global warming. President Donald Trump has withdrawn from the Paris accord on climate change but it has to be considered when planning for the future.

The United States has faced the fury of three hurricanes this year within a short period, and the disasters have wreaked havoc that will take time to recover. In case the blueprint is drawn up to cater to locations that are vulnerable to rising waters and other threats from a warming planet, care must be taken to formulate designs keeping this aspect in mind.

In the opinion of Michael Kubyw, who is a professor of geographical sciences and urban planning at Arizona State University, the impact of climate change must be an integral part at the planning stage itself.

Long-term effects of climate change

A report of the Environment Protection Agency in 2017 has cautioned that nearly 6,000 bridges in the country could face the risk of damage from the effects of a warming climate.

Many regions have already faced drought conditions, and wildfires have destroyed thousands of acres in California. Studies have predicted a difficult future when rising sea levels will erode coastal highways in Florida, heavy rains will flood the rivers in Iowa, and heat waves will melt asphalt across the Southwest. All these would be attributed to global warming.

A spokeswoman of the White House has indicated that President Donald Trump’s team has been working on the infrastructure project for the past year and have taken into account all relevant scientific data. It must be borne in mind that climate change is a major factor that cannot be ignored because it can lead to increased flooding of airports, harbors, and tunnels and disrupt the reliability of the transportation systems.