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FROM THIS EPISODE

Rising tides already threaten major cities and military bases around the country. Now it's predicted that sea levels will increase ten times faster than estimated before. Are public officials playing down the danger? Is there any way to prepare?

Also, Puerto Rico's debt crisis deepens with a missed payment. On today's Talking Point, judges in Pennsylvania may soon be sentencing convicts not just for crimes they've committed…but for crimes they might commit in the future. Should "risk assessment" determine how long they go behind bars?

Photo: Significant flooding in New Orleans as a result of Hurricane Katrina and the failure of the city's flood protection systems (US Coast Guard, Petty Officer 2nd Class Kyle Niemi)

Producers:
Andrea Brody
Christine Detz
Charlotte Duren

Puerto Rico's Debt Crisis Deepens with Missed Payment 6 MIN, 30 SEC

Puerto Rico has "taken the first move to commit financial suicide." That's according to a credit analyst in Florida after Governor Alejandro García Padilla suspended deposits into a fund that pays general-obligation bonds. Michelle Kaske covers the Commonwealth for Bloomberg News.

Guests:
Michelle Kaske, Bloomberg News (@MichelleKaske)

A Wake-Up Call for Slow Moving Disaster 33 MIN, 25 SEC

Rising sea levels already cause flooding in many American cities. Increasingly high tides at coastal military bases pose a threat to national security. Now the timetable for disaster has been speeded up by a shocking prediction: sea ice will be melting ten times faster than previously estimated. Sea levels will rise by ten feet in just 50 years, according to James Hansen, who warned that climate change was caused by human behavior when he was working for NASA. How much of civilization will be under water? We talk with Hansen and others.

Guests:
James Hansen, Columbia University (@Columbia )
John Englander, oceanographer and author (@johnenglander)
Joseph Bouchard, US Navy (retired)
Daniel Zarrilli, New York City's Mayor Office of Recovery and Resiliency (@dzarrilli)

More:
Hansen on ice melt, sea level rise and superstorms
Hansen's 'Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity'
DOD report, 'National Security Implications of Climate-Related Risks and a Changing Climate'
Army Corps of Engineers' report, 'North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study'
New York City Panel on Climate Change 2015 Report
One NYC

Predicting the Future: Using Risk Assessment for Criminal Sentencing 9 MIN, 36 SEC

It's often said that justice demands that the punishment fit the crime. Now judges in Pennsylvania may be passing sentence based on crimes that have not yet happened. The Pennsylvania legislature has voted that judges should use "risk assessment" in determining what a criminal sentence should be—basing punishment not on a crime that has been committed but on the likelihood that the same convict will commit another crime in the future. Ben Casselman is chief economics writer for FiveThirtyeight, working in collaboration with the Marshall Project.


Photo: Chris Yarzab

Guests:
Ben Casselman, FiveThirtyEight (@bencasselman)

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