Protecting Latest York City from the Impact of Climate Change
Hurricanes Henri and Ida didn’t directly hit Latest York City, but each left us soaking wet. Ida’s rain was so intense that the town experienced a deadly flash flood. This was extreme weather without the impact of sea level rise, but still, our subways became inundated, and other people died in basement apartments. Our pathetic Mayor blamed the weather forecasters and tried to kick the can down the road once more. While funds can be found and plans have been developed, what’s been missing in Latest York City government has been a way of urgency about climate adaptation. A city with about 600 miles of coastline, billions if not trillions of dollars of infrastructure and built environment is a sitting duck for damage from extreme weather events. We’d like to get on a wartime footing and focus massive attention on protecting our city from wind, heat, cold and water. While my focus here is on the five boroughs of Latest York City, it is a regional problem that can require solutions coordinated across political jurisdictions.
Throughout the Blitz of London in World War II, residents knew that as soon because the air-raid sirens sounded, it was time to rapidly head for shelter. Last week, a lot of us heard our cellphones wail through the storm, but none of us knew what to do or what the sound meant. So, the primary line of defense against extreme weather is to coach the general public about what to do when floods, winds, heat, or blizzards are coming or have arrived. A more sophisticated system of warning ought to be developed using GPS and other tools that give specific instructions to the general public in specific locations. Police and other first responders should develop and implement mobilization plans to be put in place when weather emergencies are predicted. A few of this already exists. Clearly, more is required.
Next, we’d like to develop a system to enhance the upkeep of our drainage system. The rubbish that accumulates on sewer grates have to be cleaned recurrently. Other potential stormwater blockage points must even be cleared with greater frequency. Third, we’d like to enhance the town’s drainage system. An excessive amount of of the town consists of impermeable surfaces, and more green infrastructure is required. After all, this past month, there was a lot rain that even the bottom was saturated. There’s a limit to what green infrastructure can accomplish. That implies that holding tanks and pumps have to be designed and installed throughout the town. A multi-billion-dollar five borough drainage system have to be constructed. Just as the town built an enormous water system and a mass transit system within the twentieth century, we must improve those older pieces of infrastructure to address 21st-century challenges, and we must construct a system and set of engineered structures of wetlands, green spaces, dunes, sea partitions, pipes, and pumps to maintain our shorelines and streets from flooding and to be certain that sewage is treated before released into our waterways.
A few of my Earth Institute colleagues have been discussing the necessity for a managed retreat from our climate-vulnerable places. There are definitely some homes that ought to be abandoned because they’re doomed to flooding from sea level rise. But that could be a rare exception, not a norm. If water was the one danger we face, retreat might make sense, but we also have to confront winds and forest fires. Where would we retreat to? Higher elevations often have streams and forests, and so they are vulnerable to drought-induced forest fires and storm-induced floods. In any case, Latest York City is just too useful to desert. Our communities are priceless, and our built environment is price extra money than we are able to afford to lose. For Latest York City, our approach can best be summarized by the words of Bruce Springsteen: “No retreat…no give up”. Now we have nowhere to go anyway.
While we invest massive resources to adapt to climate change, we must also work to mitigate its causes. We’d like to decarbonize Latest York City after which export our technologies, policies, and organizational capacities to other cities on the earth to assist them reduce greenhouse gasses. Climate change is an issue that’s created in every single place and can’t be addressed by any single nation or community. Humanity is on this together. COVID-19 has demonstrated the interconnectedness of our global society and our have to combat shared threats together. Climate change is an analogous problem.
COVID-19 might be fought with vaccines and latest treatments now under development. These have to be shared globally, and if this virus is to be brought under control, wealthy nations must pay for vaccines and coverings for poor nations. Climate change might be fought with renewable energy and rapidly developing technology for generating and storing energy. This too have to be shared with the developing world, and nations like China must resist the temptation to fund coal-fired power plants and other fossil fuel technologies within the developing world. Climate change have to be addressed globally- by everyone.
But climate adaptation can and have to be addressed locally. Latest York City is an expensive place to live, but we Latest Yorkers put up with the price because we’re hooked on the town. We love the pace, the range, the energy, and the craziness. It’s a place where great ideas, art, technologies, and wealth are created and now a few of that wealth have to be spent on defense from the acute weather that has clearly begun and can worsen before it gets higher. But we’d like latest and modern ideas to deal with the issue of climate adaptation.
Our latest mayor should recruit essentially the most creative engineers at Latest York City’s universities and skilled engineering firms to give you some modern, cost-effective ideas to deal with these growing threats. Some ideas and plans were already developed through the post-Sandy period when the issue was high on the political agenda. Those ideas and latest ones have to be brought along with a greater sense of urgency than the present Mayor dedicated to climate adaptation. Along with an engineering plan, we’d like a financial statement that identifies dedicated revenues to fund what’s going to have to be a project that can take at the least a decade to finish. Let’s enlist a few of the city’s great financial minds to the duty of developing a practical marketing strategy to design, construct and maintain our system of climate protection.
Within the mid-Seventies, Latest York City was on the verge of bankruptcy, and then-Governor Hugh Carey brought together the unions, Wall Street, real estate developers and elected officials to develop a city-saving financial statement. Everyone worked together, and inside a decade, the town was on a sound financial footing. We’d like Erik Adams to bring key stakeholders together to figure this out. He must appoint and empower a highly visible “Climate Czar” to guide the hassle at each decarbonization and climate adaptation. Latest York City has the brainpower to unravel this problem. It might probably find the cash to construct whatever we’d like. The missing element is political leadership and a deep commitment to keeping climate adaptation near the highest of the political agenda throughout the subsequent decade.
The choice is more disruption, destruction, and death. Just as property owners pay periodic bills for water and sewage treatment, I’d be surprised if a user-based tax structure couldn’t emerge here. Climate adaptation is pricey, and the cash is not going to fall from the sky together with the rain. The town has many problems: homelessness, poverty, crime, and education, to call a number of. But none of those problems might be addressed if we are actually underwater. The past few weeks were only a sample of what’s prone to come. The climate crisis and the acute weather it brings will worsen before it gets higher, and Latest York City’s very survival will depend on our ability to finally reply to the climate adaptation crisis before us.