Municipal Planners all around the state are teaming up with a University of New Hampshire Scientist to plan for Climate Change.
With funding from the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, Climate Scientist Cameron Wake has put together a new climate model that predicts more summer heat and bigger rain storms for many individual New Hampshire towns. On Monday, Wake presented the predictions to planners from the central part of the state, having already shown the findings to similar groups in the Upper Valley and the Monadnock Region.
“There’s planners around the state looking at how they can write master plans for regions and towns that deal with the realities of a changing climate and a changing population,” says Wake.
Many in the audience seemed to feel that this type of planning and investment is long overdue. “Back in the 1950s if instead of looking at the potential for the Soviet’s dropping bombs on us as their major emergency, if they were looking at it from the perspective of climate change and how we are going to start seeing natural disasters we’d be in a much better place,” quipped Justin Kates, Emergency Management director from Nashua.
Carl Quiram Goffstown’s Public Works Director says the problem is that even after major weather events, like the 2006 Mother’s Day floods, voters at town meeting aren’t always willing to invest extra in bridges and roads that will withstand higher flood waters. “People have a very short memory, a very very short memory,” he says.