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  • Dylan D’Agate

Surviving the New Climate

Updated: Jan 15, 2022

New York Times bestselling author and CBS News Sunday Morning correspondent David Pogue talks about his newest book, How to Prepare for Climate Change: A Practical Guide to Surviving the Chaos. It is the first of its kind to discuss not how to mitigate climate change but rather how to adapt to and prepare for it.

First Step in Adaptation?

To acknowledge that the climate has changed, a complicated issue according to Mr. Pogue. Many people feel that accepting and planning for climate change is akin to being defeated. Others display what he calls "eco-anxiety" and "climate despair," having great difficulty discussing adaptation for a changing climate.

But, says Mr. Pogue, "even if we stop burning fossil fuels tomorrow, the land ice would not suddenly stop melting, the seas would not immediately stop rising, and weather systems would not promptly stop going crazy." Why? Because 93% of our planet's heat has gone into the oceans, which take many decades to heat up or cool down.

First Step in Preparation?

"Look over your insurance policy," Mr. Pogue advises, paying attention to the fact that homeowner's insurance does not cover flooding. In 1968, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program to reduce future flood damage through floodplain management and to provide people with flood insurance through individual agents and insurance companies.

Currently the reference book for climate change preparation, How to Prepare for Climate Change makes practical recommendations that are applicable to all of us. For instance, since hurricanes and fires may cause cell towers to lose power and cell service to be disrupted, families should designate meeting spots in advance. Mr. Pogue also recommends stocking up on water and familiarizing yourself with the drinkable emergency water that's already in your home, such as the 50 to 100 gallons in your hot-water heater.

A "Shakily Reassuring Fact"

Among the "shakily reassuring facts" that Mr. Pogue cites: The same corporations responsible for millions of metric tons of emissions are starting to embrace adaptation even earlier than the public. Why? Public outcry, investor demand, and pressure from their own employees. General Motors is one example, announcing that it will become an all-electric-car company by 2035. Other examples of corporations trying to reduce their carbon footprint can be found at the Carbon Disclosure Project website (see below), a nonprofit organization that reveals how companies are addressing climate change.


Carbon Disclosure Project

● National Flood Insurance

How to Prepare for Climate Change: A Practical Guide to Surviving the Chaos


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