NARRAGANSETT – Convincing businesses and homeowners to look at the long-term perspective, not just the immediate cost of investment, is one of many challenges communities and governments face as the impact of climate change becomes an increasingly pressing issue, economist Howard Kunreuther told environmental experts, area residents and a group of international journalists Friday at the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting.
“We are in a new era of catastrophes with climate change,” said Kunreuther, a professor of decision sciences and public policy and co-director of the Wharton School’s Risk Management & Decision Processes Center at the University of Pennsylvania. “The challenge is in terms of the framework of dealing with extreme events.”
A high degree of urbanization and growing populations in high-hazard areas create increasing risk, said Kunreuther, whose presentation, “Managing Risk for an Uncertain Future,” wrapped up a series of five public lectures sponsored by Metcalf that coincided with the annual weeklong science immersion workshop for international journalists at the University of Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay campus.
Other topics covered during the June 2-6 series included covering climate change in the digital age, the challenge of oceanic acidification, building resilience, and using big data to understand the Earth’s future.
The weeklong public events included an exhibit of marine art in Studio Blue at the URI Narragansett Bay Campus’ Coastal Institute. The art exhibit will continue on Friday until 8 p.m., and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with sales benefiting the URI Graduate School of Oceanography.