Slashes to environmental protection funding add unease to coastal areas

Global Business

Flooded streets are a fact of life for the coastal city. Norfolk, Virginia ranks only behind New Orleans for areas most threatened by rising sea levels in the U.S.

CGTN’s Kevin McAleese reports.

The slashes of environmental protection funding add unease to the coastal areas

Flooded streets are a fact of life for the coastal city. Norfolk, Virginia ranks only behind New Orleans for areas most threatened by rising sea levels in the US.

For Norfolk native Bob Parsons, life here is all about adapting to extremes.

“We get our high-water boots on and deal with it. A lot of people have canoes and kayaks to get around,” said Parsons.

Bob’s home has been flooded numerous times. The last resort is a major construction work to raise his property out of water’s reach.

Norfolk has the unwanted title of ground zero for flooding on the U.S. East Coast due to an unfortunate combination of conditions.

The land is slowly sinking, and with the ice caps melting the water-levels are rising. Thrown into the mix the occasional storm, the flood defenses here are being regularly put to the test.

“The planning is for at least 3 feet rise by the end of the century. It’s so flat here that it’s pretty serious. That means flooding major highways at every high tide,” Larry Atkinson, the professor of Oceanography, Old Dominion University said.

And Professor Atkinson, like other climate scientists, is uncertain just how committed the new administration is to reducing greenhouse gases.

“I think they’re still appointing people who are climate deniers to a lot of positions. I suspect most of those people understand what’s going on, it’s just the politics of it,” he added.

While the U.S. Defense Secretary recently stated his belief that climate change is both real and a threat – President Trump’s budget would slash environmental funding by nearly a third and do-away altogether with several climate change programs.


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