The NYTimes rebukes Bloomberg’s climate efforts as weak and slow. With countless people’s lives and livelihoods and billions of dollars in property at stake, adaptation projects need higher priority, the author argues.
Officials in New York caution that adapting a city of eight million people to climate change is infinitely more complicated and that the costs must be weighed against the relative risks of flooding. The last time a hurricane made landfall directly in New York City was more than a century ago.
Many decisions also require federal assistance, like updated flood maps from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that incorporate sea level rise, and agreement from dozens of public agencies and private partners that own transportation, energy, telecommunications and other infrastructure.
“It’s a million small changes that need to happen,” said Adam Freed, until August the deputy director of the city’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability. “Everything you do has to be a calculation of the risks and benefits and costs you face.”
And in any case, Mr. Freed said, “you can’t make a climate-proof city.”
So city officials are pursuing a so-called resilience strategy that calls for strengthening the city’s ability to weather the effects of serious flooding and recover from it.
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