Is the U.S. government paying for cities' bad climate behavior? Last week the New York Times’ podcast The Daily spoke with reporter Jim Tankersley about this and the chapter in the Economic Report of the President that prompted this question.
The short of it is that federal disaster relief dollars bail out cities that keep choosing to build in risky areas. While the government can’t tell cities what or where to build, it can give them a reason not to.
“So what the report suggests is... We’re going to give money to the places that don’t build on flood plains, that don’t build in fire zones, that are more careful about what and where they build,” said Tankersley on The Daily.
The larger challenge? There's enormous pressure on the U.S. government to adapt, but implementing those policies mean making hard choices for current and future administrations. "That's the real tension driving the economics in this report," Tankersley said on The Daily.