Can US invest in better infrastructure to protect against fires and floods?

People collect belongings from their damaged property in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida in Golden Meadow, Louisiana, U.S., September 1, 2021. Photo by REUTERS/Adrees Latif.

The Caldor Fire has burned more than 200,00 acres in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and 53,000 residents of South Lake Tahoe have evacuated. Hurricane Ida in Louisiana is leaving residents without electricity for weeks.

“What we're realizing with every passing day is how expensive it is to not act on the climate crisis,” says Leah Stokes, energy policy researcher at UC Santa Barbara. “Look at what's happening with entire towns burning down across the West Coast. Look what's happening with these hurricanes wiping out power lines for weeks on end.”

She adds, “And when we think about something like the infrastructure bill in Congress, it's really an investment in stability. We have to be acting on climate change in order to be saving money at the end of the day.”

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