‘Geography of risk’ calculates who pays when a storm comes to shore

Ocean City flooded by winter storm, jersey shore

FRESH AIR / NPR – Journalist Gilbert Gaul says Americans have chosen to build $3 trillion worth of property in some of the riskiest places on earth – the barrier islands and coastal flood plains of the Atlantic and Gulf Coast. In an era of rising seas and increasingly destructive hurricanes, Gaul says an array of government subsidies encourage homeowners and developers to keep building on vulnerable shorelines, and when disaster strikes, taxpayers end up picking up much of the cost of rebuilding, leaving overdeveloped coastlines and wetlands that are much more vulnerable than ever to the tidal surges and heavy rains that come with modern storms …

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