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Remember Long-Lived Facilities and
Preservation of Heritage
When long-lived facilities are being planned or infrastructure
is being renovated or replaced, investment in anticipatory
adaptation is most likely to be justified. The method presented in
Chapter 33, the section ''Making Decisions in an Uncertain World,"
illustrates the thinking needed for decisions about incorporating
the possibility of climatic change into design. Such methods need
to be elaborated.
It is not only functional facilities such as airports and water
supply systems that may warrant modification or protection for the
contingency of climate change. Every culture treasures buildings,
neighborhoods, monuments, and other features of its heritage that
may be affected by changing climate or rising seas. These
structures in some cases have survived hundreds or thousands of
years. Climate change joins a long list of threats to conservation
of our physical and cultural heritage. Studies need to be
undertaken in this area. It can be expected that investments will
be justified to assure the longevity of our cultural heritage in
the face of climate change.
People in industrial countries with diversified economies are
best equipped to cope with the vagaries of climate change. By
developing the necessary technology, they have found how to survive
and flourish in almost all climates. By contrast, people in poor
and small countries often have difficulty in adapting to even minor
environmental hazards. Their primary need is for the development of
strong and diverse economies when this can be done. But this cannot
be achieved quickly. As we share a global interest in adaptation to
climate change, we need to help others by finding means and setting
conditions in which to transfer resources, knowledge, and
technology and to ensure that the recipients can make good use of