Flood maps, coastal issues, and climate change

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Guests: Lisa Auermuller, Erin O’Neill, and Bryan Walsh

Several important reports surrounding the issue of climate change, flooding and risk to coasts were released last week. A leaked draft of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report says, with even more certainty, that human activities have been the main cause of climate change since the 1950s. On Monday, the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force findings were released outlining 69 policy recommendations on how to rebuild after Hurricane Sandy. Among its gravest warnings was surrounding the dangers of rising seas and more intense flooding.  And finally, there have been increasing criticisms directed at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) latest round of flood maps. Given the prediction of higher risks related to storms, accurate flood maps are crucial for planning. We’ll explore these three stories starting off with LISA AUERMULLER of Rutgers University who explains FEMA’s mapping process. Then we’ll hear from journalist ERIN O’NEILL of The Star Ledger about the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force’s findings. We’ll round out the hour with BRYAN WALSH of Time Magazine who will deconstruct the leaked IPCC draft report.

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