Media Reactions: Climate Risk in Southeastern U.S. and Texas

On July 28, the Risky Business Project released a new report, Come Heat and High Water, highlighting the severe economic risks from climate change to the economies of the Southeastern U.S. and Texas.

Over 150 print and broadcast media outlets covered the report, including front-page stories in the Miami Herald and San Antonio Express-News.

Speaking to the Dallas Morning News Risky Business Project Co-Chair Hank Paulson said: “The Southeast is ground zero for climate change because you’ve got the heat and the sea rise on the gulf.”

In a widely syndicated front-page news story, the Miami Herald highlighted that Florida leads the nation in property at risk from climate change. “By 2030, $69 billion in coastal property in Florida could flood at high tide that is not at risk today… That amount is projected to climb to $152 billion by 2050.”

Writing in the Texas Tribune, Henry Cisneros and Annise Parker warned of “serious consequences for sectors like agriculture, construction, utilities, and manufacturing, which employ almost two out of every five Texans,” and cautioned business owners and managers, “about the risks posed to their employed as well as to their bottom lines.”

WABE in Atlanta, one of 12 radio stations that conducted interviews about the report, highlighted the threat rising sea level and coastal storm surge would pose to the Savannah Port, infrastructure essential to Georgia’s economy.

The report also received extensive Spanish language media coverage in outlets including Univisión, Las Americas, and El Mañana.

Mitchell Schnurman, a business columnist for the Dallas Morning News, emphasized the importance of having “business leaders push for strong, consistent public sector action” as a response to these risks.

“Business leaders, acting in unison and on a nonpartisan basis, can influence government in a way that special-interest groups can’t,” agreed the Miami Herald’s editorial board in a piece that endorsed the approach of the Risky Business Project. It continued, “The worst effects of climate change are rushing toward us. At least, thanks to efforts like the Risky Business Project, we can’t say we weren’t warned.”

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