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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Thank you Vice Mag for covering climate change and storms!

vicemag:

Humans built a frankenstorm factory, and now we’ve got to live in it.

I want an upper-back dog.

transportationnation:

When your dog is too big to ride in the basket.

(Seen on Charlton Street near WNYC.)

Perfectly cute for this rainy stormy Friday in New England.

This short is an exploration into the Clouds. The idea of clouds singing and performing their duties in a joyful manner show us that everything in our world has a role and a purpose. A sweet visual soundscape that takes the viewer through a personal journey into the sky. Sing, dance and relax as you follow a sweet cast of clouds and raindrops through an entrancing adventure you’ll wish to take over and over again.

citymaus:

Repainting The Bike Lane On Bedford Avenue, NYC 2009.

I know I’ve posted “renegade bike lanes” videos before, but I’m always so impressed by badass-ery.

THIS SUMMER. somehow.. $$$, paint, new cyclist friends..

Cool.

This may be the most important advancement in climate adaptation in U.S. history. Military bases, power plants, turtle nesting grounds, etc., are being affected by rising seas. Whenever there is a new project that will affect these areas, developers have to ensure that the environment is not significantly harmed (this is why the right hates the EPA).

They have to file what’s called an Environmental Impact Statement, aka an EIS. Want to build a new road? File an EIS to show the public if any animal habitat will be disturbed or if human health will be impacted from pollution. Want to build an oil pipeline from Alberta Canada to Texas? File an EIS and post it online for the public to review it.

Build a new high-speed train? File an EIS. Dump mercury pollution into the Great Lakes? EIS. New coal mine? EIS. Fix an old bridge? EIS. Cut down a forest? EIS. There are federal EISs and state EISs (and sometimes there are local EISs, which makes the process to build something very expensive, but they’re all relatively good for the environment.) 

The Federal Highway Administration builds and maintains our nation’s highway system. It has to file boat loads of EISs every year. It characterizes an EIS as a federal regulation required by the National Environmental Protection Act, which was signed by Nixon around 1970:

NEPA requires Federal agencies to prepare environmental impact statements (EISs) for major Federal actions that significantly affect the quality of the human environment. An EIS is a full disclosure document that details the process through which a transportation project was developed, includes consideration of a range of reasonable alternatives, analyzes the potential impacts resulting from the alternatives, and demonstrates compliance with other applicable environmental laws and executive orders. The EIS process in completed in the following ordered steps: Notice of Intent (NOI), draft EIS, final EIS, and record of decision (ROD).

The NOI is published in the Federal Register by the lead Federal agency and signals the initiation of the process. Scoping, an open process involving the public and other Federal, state and local, agencies, commences immediately to identify the major and important issues for consideration during the study. Public involvement and agency coordination continues throughout the entire process. The draft EIS provides a detailed description of the proposal, the purpose and need, reasonable alternatives, the affected environment, and presents analysis of the anticipated beneficial and adverse environmental effects of the alternatives. Following a formal comment period and receipt of comments from the public and other agencies, the FEIS will be developed and issued. The FEIS will address the comments on the draft and identify, based on analysis and comments, the “preferred alternative”. Read more here.

Writing for Columbia Law School’s Climate Law Blog, sharp student Patrick Woolsey found that the U.S. Military and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are at the forefront of filing EISs that include sea level rise impacts from climate change. In a recent post, Woolsey wrote: 

The U.S. military addresses sea level rise in its EISs for coastal bases and installations with particular urgency. In a 2010 EIS, the Navy analyzes the effects of SLR on the expansion of a naval base on the island of Guam and the construction of a deepwater docking facility for aircraft carriers. The Guam EIS recognizes the island’s extreme vulnerability to climate change and SLR. The EIS also discusses SLR in the context of broader security concerns, noting that “in 2008, the National Intelligence Council judged that more than 30 U.S. military installations were already facing elevated levels of risk from rising sea levels.”

It’s not just the military who is concerned with rising seas - the Nuclear Regulatory Commission filed EISs for new reactors on the coasts; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration filed EISs for fishery management, coral reefs, and sea turtle habitat; and the Navy is concerned with expanding an island military base in Guam.

EISs are made up of many parts, but the do not have to include sea-level rise. And they certainly do not require developers to include climate change impacts! Politically, climate change is a toxic issue. But, the agencies are showing that they do have the individual power and mandate under the NEPA to manage environmental impacts regardless of the source. 

I have no doubt this turn towards adapting projects for climate impacts will hit the Supreme Court within the next few years.

WUUUTTTTT!!!!!

barackobama:

think-progress:

Obama sings! He sings Al Green!

In the office late tonight, we all just took a break to huddle around someone’s computer and grin like idiots at this.

Plushie Julian Assange is jealous of my hot chocolate.

Zooborns

These are a few of some 45 hatchlings from the Linton Zoological Gardens in the UK. They are African Sulcata Giant Tortoises, also knowns as Spurred Tortoises — the third largest tortoise in the world, second only to the Galapagos and the Aldabra Tortoises.

[via 22 Words]

Good news! New York State Acquires 1,200 Acres of Forest in the Catskill Mountains.

Moving smartly to protect drinking water, conserve wilderness and control flooding, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced the acquisition of a 1,200 acre forested parcel in the heart of the Catskills, just east of the state-owned Belleayre Ski Center in Ulster County.

Read more

(via nrdc)

xkcd’s epic chart trumps all epoch charts ever. Click for more ftwsauce. One factoid that blows my mind is that Qatar is spending more money building stadiums and roads for the FIFA World Cup 2022 than it cost to build the International Space Station - in fact, nearly double the amount! What a fucking waste of money.

Cost of Electricity, Money Chart

(via thegreenurbanist)

OK, this is the quote of the year. She’s got my vote here in Massachusetts!

(via andrewgraham)

If any American traffic engineers, city mayors, or MPO board members would like to visit Copenhagen to see its cycling infrastructure and effects firsthand, I will personally see to it that they are housed, fed, and given a first-rate tour through the city. 

Please, let me do this for you.

Source: Secret Republic

Shark fin ban in California passes. The efforts to make this bill happen should serve as the premier model for modern environmentalists. Policy advocacy works, partnerships need to be nurtured. Protesting, unfortunately, does not work.