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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Posts tagged "new hampshire"

Warmer, shorter winters in the north no longer killing as many pests, like ticks. More ticks = devastated mammal populations.

This is nowhere near Katrina’s death toll of over 1800 souls, but the damage to scores of towns, businesses, houses, and basic civic armature is going to be very impressive as the news filters in later this week and the disaster is still very much ongoing Monday, even with the sun shining bright. Towns all over Vermont and New Hampshire are still drowning. The Hudson River is still on the rise. The Mohawk River is at a 500-year flood stage and is about to wipe the old city center of Schenectady, New York, off the map. Bridges, dams, and roads are gone over a region at least as big as the Gulf Coast splatter-trail of Katrina.

That story is still developing. A lot of people will not be able to get around for a long, long time, especially in Vermont and New Hampshire, where the rugged terrain only allows for a few major roads that go anywhere. Even the bridges that were not entirely washed away may have to be inspected before people are allowed to drive over them, and some of these bridges may be structurally shot even if they look superficially okay. There are a lot of them. If you live in a flat state, you may have no idea.

The next story is going to be the realization that there’s no money to put it all back together the way it was. The states don’t have the money. The federal government is obviously broke, and an awful lot of the individual households and businesses will turn out to not have any insurance coverage for this kind of disaster where it was water, not wind, that destroyed the property. I don’t know what the score is insurance-wise along the mid-Atlantic beachfront towns - but remember, insurance companies were among the biggest dupes of the Big Bank mortgage-backed securities racket, and when the new claims are toted up they may find themselves in a bail-out line.

This is a warning to America that the converging catastrophes of climate change, energy scarcities, and failures of capital formation add up to more than the sum of their parts in their power to drive a complex society into a ditch - no matter what a moron like Rick Perry might say. But, of course, political ramifications will follow. There will be a lot of pissed-off people in the Northeast USA. Maybe they’ll even start giving the grievance-bloated folk of Dixieland some competition in the politics of the bitter harvest. Oddly, the Siamese twin states of Vermont and New Hampshire are political polar opposites. Vermont, the land of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, and other squooshy culture tropes from the attic of Hippiedom, is about as Left-progressive as it gets. New Hampshire’s license plate says, “Live Free or Die,” and that same draconian mood defines the state’s politics: hard Right. It’s like a few counties of Georgia shook loose and drifted north somehow. My guess is that the political rage will be about equal on both fronts, as folks are left stranded, or homeless, or without a going business they thought they had only a day or so ago. And my further guess is that their mood will afford some insight into the extreme impotence, incompetence, and mendacity of both major political parties. As I’ve said before in this space, think of these times as not unlike the convulsive 1850s, preceding the worst crisis of our history.
James Howard Kunsler, Katrina in Vermont

(via underpaidgenius)

New Hampshire Reconsiders Efforts to Withdraw from RGGI
Climate Law Blog. This is a big win for RGGI.
I don’t speak for the scientific community, of course, but I believe that the world is getting warmer, and No. 2, I believe that humans contribute to that. And so I think it’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and the global warming that you’re seeing.
~Mitt Romney June 2, 2011. He spoke to locals at the first town hall of his campaign, University of New Hampshire, Manchester N.H. 

Republican majorities are scrubbing hard-won climate change programs throughout the US

The New Hampshire House of Representatives has voted to leave the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. But that doesn’t mean the Granite State actually will be abandoning the Northeast’s landmark accord. The House voted 246-104 to quit RGGI, the nation’s first cap-and-trade system to control greenhouse gas emissions, the Concord Monitor reports. That margin is large enough to suggest that the House might have enough votes to override a veto from Governor John Lynch, a RGGI supporter.

Read the rest, here.

I live in New England and anecdotally people have been saying that the foliage season is shorter. Factually, however, maple sugarers are seeing less sap in the spring. Some have even sued because their businesses are being impacted by the government’s failure to regulate, as I wrote about here. Now, UNH is producing data showing that maples are indeed in decline. Interesting that the research is being quantified into tourist dollars, impacting state budgets - now that will get their attention!

Barrett Rock, a botanist and forestry professor at the University of New Hampshire’s Complex Systems Research Center in Durham, has been studying spectral satellite imagery of New England’s forests for decades, and said he’s seen a pattern of maple tree decline.

Maple trees are being affected by climate change…he said.

One way in which the changes he’s seeing via satellite imagery are beginning to manifest to the naked eye is that foliage seasons are more often becoming less spectacular, he said.

Global warming in New Hampshire also has meant warmer springs, a time that is typically the height of maple sugaring season, with March of 2010 being the warmest in recent memory.

The New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development estimated some 7.7 million visitors came to the Granite State during foliage season this year and spent roughly $1.1 billion. According to the New Hampshire Maple Producers Association, some 90,000 gallons of maple syrup are produced annually, bringing more than $3 million to the state.