Increased Environmental Urgency: Weighing Potential Climate Change Effects on Disaster Impact

Eliot Evans

Puerto Rico

As part of my Glynn Family Honors Program thesis on economic response to natural disasters in Puerto Rico, my Sustainability capstone will be delivered in the form of the overall thesis along with an executive summary for those focused on the sustainability issues it discusses.  

Climate change issues form much of the basis of my economic research and will help to shape my policy prescriptions, so the first couple chapters will essentially define this aspect of the issue and develop its weight.  My first chapter will feature background on the impacts of climate change on the island before the second delves into why they are even more potent in Puerto Rico than in other places before delving into a more technical analysis of future trends of disasters in the region.  

I think that this is a very important topic because Puerto Rico has already consistently had the cards stacked against it, and my past research indicates that climate change may only increase the economic and social disparity between the island territory and the 50 states.  I believe that greater awareness of the territory’s struggle could potentially help push for action in favor of the sometimes forgotten island, especially as discussions of its opportunity for statehood reach a national stage.