As part of the Institute for Historical Studies’ “Climate in Context” events, Planet Texas 2050 has teamed up with the digital magazine “Not Even Past” to release a series of articles highlighting how history and archaeology are key to our understanding and mitigation of the devastating effects of climate change. “Climate in Context” is a year-long program of talks and workshops that look at how human interaction with the natural world has changed over time and what valuable information that can provide for addressing our current conditions. Here is a look at the first installment of the series, which lays out our grand challenge.
In Texas, change is inevitable.
Roughly 1,000 people are moving to the state every day, according to U.S. Census Bureau numbers. The large majority are clustering in cities, and that affects housing, transportation, and the way people access education and social services in already dense urban areas. At the same time, because of climate change, the state is growing hotter and dryer, meaning some of these high-density areas will suffer longer and more sustained droughts in the future. Add to that the devastating effects of new and worsening storms, and Texas is on course to face major difficulties.
Planet Texas 2050 is a university-wide initiative that aims to address some of those difficulties over a 10-year period, bringing together researchers from a variety of disciplines to combine their shared knowledge and arrive at solutions.
Historians and archaeologists are key to the project. They are exploring the ways humans in the ancient past survived and adapted to droughts and floods in order to understand how people in our state’s urban centers will respond to similar changes today. Read more of the first installment of the “Not Even Past” series to learn more about this work.
Please join us on this journey.
Planet Texas 2050 is a research grand challenge at The University of Texas at Austin. We’re a team of more than 150 researchers across all disciplines working together over the next decade to find ways to make our state more resilient in the face of extreme weather events and rapid population growth. Follow us on Twitter, visit our website, and come back to our blog for updates.