The Geography of Risk with Pulitzer Prize Winner Gilbert Gaul

May 25, 2021

Why do we continue to repeat coastal development mistakes?

On this rebroadcast of the Ship to Shore podcast from May 2019, host Robert Frump is joined by Gilbert M. Gaul to discuss his (then) new book, The Geography of Risk, Epic Storms, Rising Seas, and the Cost of America's Coasts.  Gaul reveals what he characterizes as the confounding array of federal subsidies, tax breaks, low-interest loans, grants, and government flood insurance that shift the risk of life at the beach from private investors to public taxpayers, radically distorting common notions of risk. Gaul argues that these federal incentives have resulted in one of the worst planning failures in American history, and the costs to taxpayers are reaching unsustainable levels.

Gaul twice won the Pulitzer Prize and has been short-listed for the Pulitzer four other times. For more than thirty-five years, he worked as an investigative journalist for The Washington Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and other newspapers. He is the author of three previous books and lives in New Jersey.

Show Transcription
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Robert Frump

Robert R.Frump is a nationally recognized journalist who won several major awards while a journalist and investigative reporter at The Philadephia Inquirer. He grew up in the small farm town of Paxton, Ill, graduated from the University of Illinois and received a master's degree from Northwestern University -- all in journalism. He received, with Tim Dwyer, the George Polk Award, for his reporting on unsafe U.S. ships, and the Gerald Loeb Award for National Business Reporting. He was also a member of an Inquirer task force that won the Pulitzer Prize. He is married to Suzanne Saxton-Frump. They have two daughters, Sarah, a student at Brown University, and Caitlin Dean, a software engineer. He is the former managing editor of The Journal of Commerce.