Remember all the talk of Atlanta running out of water? Turns out the culprit is too many people using too much water. Check out this NY Times article about the 2005-2007 drought in the Southeast.
Turns out it was a fairly typical drought– but more people using water overwhelmed the ability of area reservoirs to provide it.
When I get asked my thoughts on climate change or global warming, I redirect the discussion to land use instead.
I think population growth and development are more of an immediate threat to our society than climate change is. As we build more roads and houses, using more water, we’ll see the magnified effects of weather events.
Less “natural” area means less ability of soil to absorb excess rainwater in times of flood and release it in times of drought. Plus, pavement and buildings artificially raise the temperature of an area, causing bigger spikes in high temperatures during heat waves.
My opinion: The challenge of the next 20 years will be how to keep the economic engine of this country going while at the same time developing in a way that lessens the impact on the environment.
-Posted By Andrew Freiden