“Climate Vulnerability” Beacon Hill Seminar – 2018 – One Walnut Street, Boston


The Engineering Center, One Walnut Street

This is where we will begin our lectures & discussions on 7 March 2018 as part of the “Climate Vulnerability” course in the Beacon Hill Seminars series.

The world is beginning to witness new and alarming weather events in our daily lives: extended heat waves, droughts, supersized hurricanes, massive downpours and record-setting wildfires driven by gale-force winds. These extreme weather events cause us to pause and reflect about the ways in which we are both personally and collectively vulnerable to any sudden changes in weather.

As we learn more about the patterns of climate change that may well be underlying these extreme weather events, we have good reason to start thinking about the general problem of climate vulnerability. In the wake of experiences like Hurricane Sandy, individuals, institutions, municipalities, corporations and entire states like New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are now beginning to make plans for contingencies that they never previously considered. They are beginning to realize that both their short-term safety and long-term well-being may well depend on their understanding of the particular nature of their climate vulnerability.

Just what is climate vulnerability? How is it currently understood? Who – if anyone – is monitoring it? Who is analyzing what needs to be done in response to changes in climate that have already been observed and can reasonably expect to continue? What ought we do about evident vulnerability in the face of uncertainty?

These are the questions that participants will be invited to investigate and discuss in this course. Members of the course will get access to up-to-date news, authoritative documents, important climate and planning reports, and timely interviews with key scientists and policy figures who address our climate vulnerability. Further, members of the class will engage collectively in discussions about devising their own strategies to keep informed on these topics to enable them to act as responsible citizens, concerned parents, or informed public advocates in the years ahead through Climate-Boston.info


Some topics to be touched upon include:

All participants should have access to the course support materials available through:

climate-boston.net and

What are the climate change implications for public policy that supports something like this, for example?

Has there been a “cost-benefit analysis of this mega project?   Who pays the “costs” and who reaps the “benefits” from the public support of these kinds of projects in the long run?  Profits are usually obtained in the short-run, but the tax payer is left with having to “bail out” or “clean up” when the bubble of enthusiasm for sea-side projects bursts in the face of the rising sea.

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