Climate Change to Worsen L.A. Traffic, Says NPR President

Talk about finding every reason to push the war on climate change. National Public Radio President Kevin Klose found a way to get at the sensibilities of southern California commuters - by telling them global warming will make driving even worse.

Klose was a panelist at the forum "Covering a Changing Climate: The Media Challenge" held at Harvard University in Boston, Mass., on April 30. He said the effects of climate change will include migration from the south and cause a U.S. population boom of 100 million people. Klose told the audience this would be the subject of a series on NPR.

"We're going to do a unique one-week series called ‘The Next Hundred Million,' because in the next 30 years, absent of anything else, there will be another hundred million people living inside the United States of America," Klose said.

According to Klose, the melting of icepacks in the Andes Mountains in South America and icepack melting elsewhere will draw immigrants into the United States. He also warned the infrastructure in the United States wasn't prepared to handle an additional 100 million people and pointed to traffic in Los Angeles as an example.

"[A]nd we're going to look at the entire set of infrastructure questions we face as Americans and try to focus - I don't know how many of you have been on the 10 or the 405 [freeways] in L.A. I think it is about 18 lanes across and it stops dead at any time of the day or night. What more is coming?" he asked. "We're going to try to get at this issue."

Klose, a former reporter for The Washington Post, was named president of NPR in 1998.