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Experts weigh in on climate change impacts in the Valley

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Valley experts are speaking out on how climate change can affect residents locally, as Congress remains in a stalemate over how much of President Biden's trillion-dollar infrastructure plan should be used to fight the climate crisis.

Alan Moore, general manager for Cameron County Drainage District 5, says the volatility of the climate makes it hard to create flooding infrastructure. 

"If we have 15-16 inches [of rain] in less than 4 hours again— yes, people are going to flood," Moore said. "There is no system that can handle that intensity." 

The Valley's current situation is a climate catastrophe, said UTRGV Climate Scientist Dr. Christopher Gabler. 

According to Gabler, the Valley is immediately and severely impacted by climate change for four reasons:

  • It's susceptible to storms
  • Many residents rely on agriculture
  • It affects the wildlife, which hurts ecotourism
  • It causes water scarcity

"Poorer areas, families with lower socio-economic index are much more susceptible to climate change impacts, Gabler said. "People on the lower-income bracket tend to be without power, without water, without phone service, for longer periods of time than wealthy people."

Gabler urges everyone to be mindful of how much energy they use to keep their carbon footprints to a minimum.

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