Climate Change and how it will affect Boston

Today’s New York Times Magazine focuses on climate change and it’s potential impact on coastal communities. We now have a president who calls climate change a hoax. I’m seriously concerned that government in general is largely in denial about the very real consequences that we will soon be facing. I live in Back Bay and recently began to consider selling my home and moving out of the area. What is Beacon Hill doing to address this or are they still just kicking the can down the road?

Response from Will

Actually, we’ve done a lot and I’m personally focused on it.

There is a good group of professionals about one or two levels down in most of the major infrastructure agencies in the region who talk regularly and have been building out a set of models to fully understand the vulnerabilities.

A couple of years ago I put money in the budget to develop an assessment of exactly what the models really say about Back Bay — there has been a lot of confusion about what we should expect. While the study has been delayed, I’ve been promised results in June.

Once we have a realistic assessment, we can go to work on building a plan of action — I’m very committed to following through on that over the coming months and years.

You can read back through the history of my work on this here.

3 replies on “Climate Change and how it will affect Boston”

  1. I think a sea wall / barrier across Boston Harbor will be the best way to protect the most densely populated areas of Boston plus the towns in the Charles and Mystic River watersheds. However, this would interfere with navigation by large ships, and cost a lot of money upfront (rather than spending that money later in flood relief). Is the legislature considering building a barrier across the harbor, and if so who would pay the cost, and how to handle the navigation rights issue? Perhaps it is now time to institute a carbon tax which would contribute to solving the climate change problem, and provide part of the revenue stream that will be needed to cope with the consequences of climate change?

  2. With all the facts and predictions of rising sea levels, why do we continue with major developments on the Boston waterfront? Elected officials seem to allow expansion along the waterfront without any acknowledgement of rising sea levels. Accident waiting to happen?

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