Climate Adaptation

CLIMATE ADAPTATION

I want to punch climate change in the face. A blog about the interactions between the built environment, people, and nature.


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Huffington Post (yes, HuffPo) published an excellent article on how U.S. cities are not even closely prepared for hurricanes, sea-level rise, or strong storms.

They point out that these vulnerabilities are our own doing. NYC’s Mayor Bloomberg admits to assisting businesses and people build in harms way.

Bloomberg has in general been skeptical about actually limiting development on the water. “People like to live in low-lying areas, on the beach; it’s attractive,” he told a reporter after Sandy. “People pay more, generally, to be closer to the water, even though you could argue they should pay less because it’s more dangerous. But people are willing to run the risk.”

The city’s progress on adapting to storm surge risk has so far consisted mainly of smaller steps, like working with private and public players to harden the electrical grid and seal off the subway system against the threat of flooding.

In other words, city officials are too scared, too weak, or just too ignorant to warn citizens that their lives, investments, or families are at high risk from obliteration. This is not an exaggeration. Even local officials shrug their shoulders when it comes to developing along risky ocean fronts:

Larry Ragonese, a spokesman for the state’s Department of Environmental Protection, argued that development along the Jersey Shore has been ongoing for decades, even before there was a coastal permitting program. He said it is not the state’s role to dictate how redevelopment should occur.

“People who live along the shore always live with a risk, and they know that. That’s understood,” he said. “We at the state are not going to tell these towns you can or cannot rebuild, but we will work with them to make sure that whatever comes back will be done in as smart or protective a fashion as possible.”

Telling.

What’s worse is that these cities and towns claim they are “vital” pieces of the U.S. economy. Yet, they’re not willing (or capable) to pay for clean up and rebuilding after a storm hits - that’s forced upon the American tax payer…

A rare, great read at HuffPo: Hurricane Sandy Damage Amplified By Breakneck Development Of Coast

digg:

Looking for something to distract you from what you should really be doing? Play around with this interactive map and see the difference between 1836 NYC and present-day NYC.

NYTimes Editorial Board: "Wanted: Another Green Mayor"

trendd:

Pretty impressive numbers.

"Citi Bike, the country’s largest bike sharing program, is funded by a $41 million sponsorship from global bank Citi. For more about the program, you can visit its website.”

(via Mayor Bloomberg Releases CitiBike’s One Month Report Card [Infographic] - PSFK)

Wow. In one month! I use the bike share in DC. Was skeptical at first, because daily bike riding in Massachusetts was pretty dangerous. Drivers would swear, swerve, and even throw soda cups at you. Not in DC. The bike lanes certainly help! But drivers and cyclists just co-exist. Fingers crossed for NYC! 

In his 1992 book “Earth in the Balance,” Gore compared talk of adapting to climate change to laziness that would distract from necessary efforts.

But in his 2013 book “The Future,” Gore writes bluntly: “I was wrong.” He talks about how coping with rising seas and temperatures is just as important as trying to prevent global warming by cutting emissions.

Like Gore, governmental officials across the globe aren’t saying everyone should just give up on efforts to reduce pollution. They’re saying that as they work on curbing carbon, they also have to deal with a reality that’s already here.

NY beaches open despite Superstorm Sandy scars

I’m sure you heard that the spire was added to Freedom Tower this week. They stuck a GoPro camera on it. Here’s the video. Warning: A bit queasy.

wnyc:

Cool project to revisit news stories that made a big splash back in the day. First up: a giant floating barge of garbage from 1987.

-Jody, BL Show-

Imagine revisiting a big scandal from the past in video form. That (seems) to be what Retro Report is all about. Fantastic! Want more!