On The Carbon Copy podcast this week:
As the cost of living with increasingly intense hurricanes skyrockets, coastal cities across the U.S. are starting to ask the trillion-dollar question: What can we build to protect ourselves, and how much are we willing to pay?
This week, producer Alexandria Herr takes us to Texas, where the largest civil-engineering project in U.S. history may soon put those questions to the test. The Houston area is a sitting duck for a future hurricane that scientists say could cause an environmental and economic catastrophe. But the $31 billion coastal barrier project known as the “Ike Dike,” approved this summer by the U.S. House and Senate, would help protect the region. Will it be enough to prevent a major calamity?
Kiah Collier is a Peabody-Award-winning investigative reporter for ProPublica and The Texas Tribune. (Check out an interactive deep dive into the potential impacts of a major hurricane on the Houston area she worked on.)
Bill Merrell is a professor emeritus of marine sciences at Texas A&M University at Galveston.
Jim Blackburn is a professor in the practice of environmental law at Rice University and co-director of the Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disasters Center.