78 faculty in Civil and Environmental Engineering or related disciplines across the University of California, including 6 National Academy of Engineering members, have penned a letter to President Elect Donald Trump

Friday, December 16, 2016

78 faculty in Civil and Environmental Engineering or related disciplines across the University of California, including 6 National Academy of Engineering members, have penned a letter to President Elect Donald Trump, on why climate change considerations are critical to our nation's infrastructure:

*NOTE: The views expressed in this letter don't necessarily reflect the views of AEESP.

December 15, 2016

Dear President-Elect Trump,

As faculty in the civil and environmental engineering disciplines at the University of California, we urge your administration to continue sensible measures to address climate change.  Our academic disciplines vary widely, but we share a common aim to ensure that the infrastructure supporting our society is safe, efficient, and dependable and that all citizens have access to a healthy environment.  Climate change is a current and rising threat to these goals that requires mitigation for the sake of the safety and security of the citizens of the United States.

There is no legitimate scientific debate about the reality of climate change or the anthropogenic influence on creating this problem. The mechanism behind this is no mystery—the heat trapping effect of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases has long been known.  As we have been steadily and dramatically increasing the levels of these gases since the start of the industrial revolution, we have seen a concurrent rise in the Earth’s average temperature, as expected.   Regional variations in response to climate change are also expected and that is indeed what has been observed—some regions have gotten colder and some warmer.  These variations apply also to changes in the water cycle that have been occurring due to climate change.  Unfortunately, many areas that are already dry are projected to get even drier.

As engineers, we are concerned about the staggering human suffering and great economic burden that climate change presents.  We have seen a pattern of increasingly intense storms that batter our citizens and infrastructure. Rising sea levels already adversely impact coastal groundwater resources and will continue to do so.  Heat waves have cost lives among our most vulnerable populations.  Across the globe, storm surges that overwhelm protective structures will threaten greater numbers of people.  Animals and plants rely on indications from the climate for the timing of budding, mating, etc.—already climate change has disrupted healthy ecosystems in a multitude of ways.

Shifts to greener infrastructure--such as improvements in energy efficiency and increasing renewable energy--also present great opportunities for U.S. jobs that already represent growth sectors in the global economy. Green technologies developed in the United States can satisfy international demand for new, lower carbon approaches as the world confronts climate change.

In their recent report, “Climate Change: Evidence and Causes,” the United States National Academy of Sciences and the United Kingdom’s Royal Society laid out the evidence behind the consensus that climate change is occurring due to human activities and will cause increasingly significant consequences.  In addition, the American Society of Civil Engineers recognizes the hurdles that climate change poses to civil society and encourages policies, research, and shifts in practice that address this issue.  The United States must be a leader in the fight on this most important global challenge. You can shape your legacy by embracing this challenge. You have the opportunity to ensure continued forward progress in reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, including methane and nitrous oxide, through domestic policy and international cooperation, including the Paris Agreement.

Sincerely,

Authors:

Jonathan P. Stewart, Ph.D., P.E.
Chair and Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Los Angeles

Jennifer A. Jay, Ph.D.
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Los Angeles

Co-signers:

Lisa Alvarez-Cohen, Ph.D., NAE
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Berkeley
Member, National Academy of Engineering

Fotini Katopodes Chow, Ph.D.
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Berkeley

Armen Der Kiureghian, Ph.D.
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Berkeley

Allen H. Goldstein, Ph.D.
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Berkeley

Baoxia Mi, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Berkeley

William W. Nazaroff, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Berkeley

Kara L. Nelson, Ph.D.
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Berkeley

David L. Sedlak, Ph.D., NAE
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Berkeley
Member, National Academy of Engineering

Nicholas Sitar, Ph.D.
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Berkeley

Iris D. Tommelein, Ph.D.
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Berkeley

Colleen E. Bronner, Ph.D.
Lecturer, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Davis

Christopher D. Cappa, Ph.D.
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Davis

Ann M. Dillner, Ph.D.
Associate Research Engineer, Air Quality Research Center
University of California, Davis

Jonathan D. Herman, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Davis

Alissa M. Kendall, Ph.D.
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Davis

Veronica L. Morales, Ph.D.
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Davis

Anthony S. Wexler, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Land, Air and Water Resources, and Director, Air Quality
Research Center University of California Davis

Thomas M. Young, Ph.D.
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Davis

Amir AghaKouchak
Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Irvine

Kristen Davis, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering &
Earth System Science
University of California Irvine

Russell Detwiler, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California, Irvine

Efi Foufoula-Georgiou, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
President, Hydrology section of the American Geophysical Union
University of California Irvine

Stanley B. Grant, Ph.D.
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Irvine

Sunny Jiang, Ph.D.
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Irvine

Mo Li, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Irvine

Ayman S. Mosallam, Ph.D., P.E., ASCE Fellow
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Irvine

Farzad Naeim, Ph.D., S.E.
Adjunct Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Irvine

Wilfred Recker, Ph.D.
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Irvine

Diego Rosso, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Irvine

G. Scott Samuelsen, Ph.D, P.E.
Professor of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Environmental Engineering
Director of the Advanced Power and Energy Program
University of California Irvine

Brett F. Sanders, Ph.D.
Chair and Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Irvine

Jean Daniel Saphores
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Economics, Planning, Policy & Design
University of California Irvine

Soroosh Sorooshian, Ph.D., NAE
Distinguished Professor, Departments of Civil & Environmental Engineering and Earth System Science
University of California Irvine
Member, National Academy of Engineering

Lizhi Sun, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
University of California Irvine

Jasper A. Vrugt, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Joint Appt. with Earth System Science
University of California Irvine

Richard F. Ambrose, Ph.D.
Professor, Environmental Health Sciences and Institute of the Environment and Sustainability
Environmental Science and Engineering Program
University of California Los Angeles

Scott J. Brandenberg, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Los Angeles

Timu W. Gallien, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Los Angeles

Phillip Gedalanga, Ph.D.
Lecturer, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Los Angeles

Saeedreza Hafeznezami, Ph.D., P.E.
Lecturer, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Los Angeles

Eric M.V. Hoek, Ph.D.
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Los Angeles

Jiann-Wen Woody Ju, Ph.D., P.E.
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Los Angeles

Dennis Lettenmaier, Ph.D., NAE
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Joint Appt. with Geography
University of California Los Angeles
Member, National Academy of Engineering

Shaily Mahendra, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Los Angeles

Catalina Marambio-Jones, Ph.D.
Lecturer, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Los Angeles

Stephen A. Margulis, Ph.D.
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Los Angeles

Michael J. McGuire, Ph.D., P.E., `
Adjunct Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Los Angeles
Member, National Academy of Engineering

Sanjay Mohanty, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Los Angeles

Jayathi Y. Murthy, Ph.D.
Dean, Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
University of California Los Angeles

George Mylonakis, Ph.D., P.E.
Adjunct Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Los Angeles

Issam N. Najm, Ph.D., P.E.
Adjunct Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Los Angeles

Daniel E. Pradel, Ph.D., G.E.
Adjunct Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Los Angeles

Deepak Rajagopal, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Institute of the Environment and Sustainability
University of California Los Angeles

Michael K. Stenstrom, Ph.D., P.E.
Distinguished Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Los Angeles

Keith D. Stolzenbach, Ph.D., P.E.
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Los Angeles

Mel Suffet, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor, Environmental Health Sciences and Institute of the Environment and Sustainability
Environmental Science and Engineering Program
University of California Los Angeles

Mladen Vucetic, Ph.D.
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Los Angeles

William W.-G. Yeh, Ph.D., NAE
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Los Angeles
Member, National Academy of Engineering

Jian Zhang, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Los Angeles

Roger C. Bales, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor of Engineering
University of California Merced

Marc W. Beutel, Ph.D., P.E.
Associate Professor of Engineering
University of California Merced

Martha H. Conklin, Ph.D.
Professor of Engineering
University of California Merced

Thomas C. Harmon, Ph.D.
Professor and Associate Dean of Engineering
University of California Merced

Thomas W. Peterson, Ph.D.
Professor, Provost, and Executive Vice Chancellor
University of California Merced

Wolfgang Rogge, Ph.D.
Professor of Engineering
University of California Merced

Samuel J. Traina, Ph.D.
Professor of Engineering
University of California Merced

Roland Winston, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor of Engineering
University of California Merced

Kelley C. Barsanti, Ph.D.
Professor, Chemical and Environmental Engineering
University of California Riverside

David Jassby, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Chemical and Environmental Engineering
University of California Riverside

Sharon Walker, Ph.D.
Professor and Interim Dean, Chemical and Environmental Engineering
University of California Riverside

Kelly K. Caylor, Ph.D.
Director, Earth Research Institute and Professor of Ecohydrology
Bren School of Environmental Science and Management
University of California Santa Barbara

Jeff Dozier, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor of Environmental Science and Management
University of California Santa Barbara

Patricia Holden, Ph.D.
Professor, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management
University of California Santa Barbara

Arturo A. Keller, Ph.D.
Professor, School of Environmental Science and Management
Co-Director, UC Center for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology
University of California Santa Barbara

Sangwon Suh, Ph.D.
Professor, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management
University of California Santa Barbara

Naomi Tague, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management
University of California Santa Barbara