EEMI Hosts Preview Screening of Global Climate Change Film “Tidewater”

Hamptons Roads Flooding
Hamptons Roads Flooding
February 05, 2020
On October 1, 2019, the Environmental and Energy Management Institute held a preview screening of the global climate change film “Tidewater” in the Lehman Auditorium. EMSE Professor Jonathan Deason gave a welcoming address and EMSE Research Professor Joe Cascio coordinated a discussion panel after the screening. 
 
Panelists included Melissa Deas, Climate Program Analysts, Government of the District of Columbia; Dr. Stephen Dornbos, AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow, US Department of Defense; Kristiane Huber, Resilience Fellow, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions and Shana Udvardy, Climate Resilience Analyst, Union of Concerned Scientists. 
 
The film explores the challenge of sea level rise in the Tidewater region of Virginia and North Carolina, encompassing Hampton Roads, arguably the region whose vulnerability most affects our overall national security. An area rich in diversity and historical significance, it is the second most vulnerable community in the U.S. to sea level rise, after New Orleans.
 
FIlm PosterThe Hampton Roads area of Virginia is relatively unknown nationwide, but it is the region whose vulnerability to sea level rise most affects military readiness and our overall national security, where 1 in 6 residents are associated with our nation's defense. Their homes, schools, hospitals, and families are increasingly struggling to keep up with the effects of rising waters, and the military and all the surrounding municipalities are working towards solutions in the name of strengthening national security and enhancing economic prosperity.
 
Hampton Roads requires $1 billion in urgent infrastructure repairs with 900 miles of its roads and electric grid threatened by permanent flooding. Faced with these unprecedented challenges that can only be tackled by a wide range of stakeholders, from ordinary citizens to the U.S. Navy to local businesses, Tidewater demonstrates that an innovative whole-of-government problem-solving model being attempted by local and military leaders is the only way to ensure the continued strength of our national security, along with the continued prosperity of the region and the nation.
 
The film strikes a positive tone, highlighting the outsized capabilities of Hampton Roads to show the nation and the world how it can be done. If Hampton Roads succeeds, it will mean success on several levels.  They'll save their homes, schools, businesses, the bases, and that's no mean feat.  But they'll also create a powerful template for success, a model other regions can use to prepare for and deal with disaster – and more: a model that can demonstrate how people, businesses and government can pull together to solve any complex problem. 
 
The American Society of Adaptation Professionals co-hosted the event and provided dinner for the attendees. More information on the film can be seen at https://www.amresproject.org/tidewater-film/.