A Change of Climate: Houston, Texas and Adaptation Planning Paul Martin Suckow Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs Urban Planning and Environmental Policy Ph.D. Program TSU Research Day, April, 2007
Abrupt climate change More heat in atmosphere, More humidity, drier land , greater floods, Gulf Stream slowing, Climate zones advancing northward, Greatest changes always in past 5 years.
Uncertainty not “if” but “how bad?” Approximate heat imbalance at Earth’s surface: +2 W/Sq M.
24 hour and year round use of public and quasipublic facilities, including those in the built environment and on the internet, should enable more of the free association that empowers democratic governance.
Maximizing available structural and energy resources should encourage stimulating educational/recreational gatherings as well as quiet refuge for those of all interests.
The clearly unsustainable oil infrastructure east of Houston poses environmental and health threats, and should be mitigated when it is intentionally retired.
These threats include water contamination by spills of oil and oil products, air contamination by volatile organic compounds, explosive hazards, radioactive scaling inside the pipes, and decreasing integrity under saltwater intrusion .
The use of both private and public automobiles should continue, but be increasingly limited to shorter-ranged fully electric vehicles refueled from on- or off-site solar electro voltaic panels, wind or tidal/wave power.
Decentralized alternative power sources should be planted throughout the power grid.
All new electrical power plants should be developed to use 100% closed loop systems with complete carbon sequestration.
Stack emissions should become a thing of the past.
Such non-emitting oil/coal processing plants could safely form the core of future urban development, providing organic material processing and production employment close to residences that maximize human values and human powered transport options.
Increasing mobility by use of light personal electromagnetic flying rigs should be encouraged, along with general aeronautical education.
Trans-city shipment and transport options should use electromagnetic power trains.
Air and ocean transport options using fossil fuel technology currently only emits about 5% of global CO2 gasses. These should be allowed to double those emissions to expand capacity, safety and redundancy.