Parts of Metro Detroit got as much rain in five hours as they’d normally get in two months, overwhelming our aging sewer and drainage system.
I-94, as of this recording, is still flooded. The Fisher Building sits dark without power due to a substation being out. Thousands of basements were filled with water, and countless personal items lost across Detroit, Dearborn, the Grosse Pointes, and elsewhere.
There’s a lot to this story, and with such a catastrophic failure, there’s no one answer. But a big part of this is climate change. Our infrastructure, in some cases built as much as a century ago, wasn’t designed for this new climate we find ourselves in today.
So not only do we need to update our aging infrastructure, to help stop this happening again we need to think better. And do that, we need to understand climate change and how it plays into everything and why organizations like the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department as well as residents need to be aware of it and prepare for it.
To give us a bigger lens, Sheril Kirshenbaum.
She’s a scientist who through her work at Michigan State University, PBS, and other places helps increase the understanding of science and improve communication between scientists, policymakers and the public.
She’s also the co-author of Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future.
We’re gonna talk about not just the flooding, but how it all works together. Our food. Our health and safety. Economy. And that not all hope is lost, but action is needed.
Listeners have been asking for ways to help. Here’s a link to volunteer with the City of Detroit to clean out the basements of the elderly and disabled. The city will provide protective gear: https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/4a7bc7eb369b41f9a0edd71d63c0cbb6
Here’s a link to Sheri’s work: http://sherilkirshenbaum.com
And her Twitter: https://twitter.com/Sheril_
Of course, thanks to our members who make this show possible. Thanks to Erin and James who signed up over the break: http://www.patreon.com/dailydetroit