Never one to gather moss, Mayor Michael Bloomberg told it like it is today about climate change and America’s largest city. Climate change is coming to New York—and to us. We must learn to manage climate change.
No, wait. Change is already here and there’s more on the horizon for the Big Apple, predicted to be the Big, hot, wet Apple with rising temperatures and sea levels—like the rest of the globe. As a midlife woman, I never thought I’d live to see such dire warnings. Away from partisan discussions about climate change, it’s impossible to ignore the scientific evidence.
More severe weather
By 2050, 800,000 people in the huge northeastern city will reside in a flood zone with temperatures on the steady increase. Today the mayor proposed a $19.5 billion initiative—just what Hurricane Sandy cost New York—after releasing a 400-page report entitled “A Stronger, More Resilient New York.” You can read the entire document here, and it’s both fascinating and frightening.
Bloomberg is proposing new sand dune protections, wider beaches for areas in danger, surge barriers, bulkheads and restored natural wetlands. (Sound like New Orleans?) He’s also taking on better flood insurance and methods to prevent power, telecommunication and fuel blackouts and interruptions.
The time is now
The New York City Panel on Climate Change predicts mid-century temperatures will be almost 4 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit higher and that local waters will rise nearly 2.5 feet more than at present. That water will encroach into the city. It will flood.
So if we don’t live in New York City, why should we care? Because that city’s problems are the tip of the melting iceberg, magnified due to the city’s proximity to water and because of its huge population.
The Environmental Protection Agency says: Temperatures are rising, snow and rainfall patterns are shifting, and more extreme climate events—like heavy rainstorms and record high temperatures—are already affecting society and ecosystems. Scientists are confident that many of the observed changes in the climate can be linked to the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, caused largely by people burning fossil fuels to generate electricity, heat and cool buildings, and power vehicles.
We must manage climate chnage
We can’t just leave this to the EPA—or anyone else. Bloomberg’s not waiting for the federal government. Each of us has to help reduce our carbon footprint and reduce emissions. Here’s a personal Carbon Footprint Calculator and here are ways to help the earth at home, in the office, on the road and at school.
Tomorrow is here, and we need to leave an earth our descendants will want to inhabit.