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Jul 7, 2023

In episode 188 of America Adapts, Doug Parsons hosts Susan Crawford. Susan is a law professor at Harvard Law School, focusing on adaptation and public and the author of a new book, Charleston: Race, Water, and the Coming Storm. We discuss the intersection of race and climate change in Charleston's infrastructure planning. We highlight the city's reliance on tourism, the impacts of climate change on marginalized communities, and potential solutions such as buyouts and managed retreat. Learn terms like raging politeness and benevolent paternalism and their relevance to race relations in the city. The conversation emphasizes the importance of inclusive approaches, government intervention, and interdisciplinary collaboration in addressing climate challenges. It’s a riveting discussion about one of America’s oldest cities and how it plans to adapt to climate change.

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Topics Covered: 

  • Introduction to Susan Crawford and her new book
  • Charleston: Raging Politeness and Benevolent Paternalism
  • The Racist Symbolism of the Calhoun Statue
  • Charleston sea wall: Aesthetic Concerns and Construction Details
  • Disparities in Adaptation Planning and Community Engagement in Charleston.
  • Lack of Strategic Communication and Community Outreach
    Skepticism and Challenges of Community Relocation Efforts
  • The Netherlands' Approach to Retreat and Planning for Sea Level Rise.
  • Federal Leadership and Funding for Buyout Programs.
    The need for government intervention in infrastructure planning
  • Planning for extreme scenarios in sea level rise adaptation.
    The role of the public sector in infrastructure planning.

Social media image credit:  Leonel Heisenberg, Bre Smith and Andrew Shelley

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