My first serious exposure to Roger Pielke Jr.’s work was at an American Meteorological Society meeting in Albuquerque in 2001. He gave a talk laying out the basic thrust of his hurricane vulnerability argument: that societal changes (essentially building stuff on the beach) are the dominant variable in the societal hurricane risk equation. It’s an argument he and Dan Sarewitz lay out here.
New Mexico’s population is projected to increase 33 percent by 2030— an extra 650,000 people, all needing water to work and live.
In addition, scientists say that even if we slash greenhouse gas emissions now, Earth’s climate will keep changing for decades as it catches up to what we have already put into the air.
“No matter what greenhouse gas reduction policies the world agrees to, those policies will not have an effect on the climate for decades,” Pielke said.
That means residents of the West must focus as much on how we use our water as on what we put out our tailpipes, Pielke said in an interview.