The Next Storm: New York Prepares, but the Rest?
Re “$20 Billion Plan to Shore Up City as Climate Shifts” (front page, June 12):
New York City’s Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency report recognizes the importance of nature and natural defenses as part of a comprehensive strategy for a more resilient future in the face of a changing climate.
The report promotes the use of natural solutions — like wetlands, dunes, trees, parklands, living shorelines and oyster reefs — to help protect the city from climate-related disasters like storm surge, flooding and heat waves. A mix of natural and built solutions is essential, and the report’s balanced approach is right for the city.
Natural defenses not only help protect lives and property, but they also provide other benefits like cleaner air and water, increased property values, wildlife habitat, access to our shores, recreational opportunities and an improved quality of life in any community.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg clearly understands this, and as his final term comes to an end, we need to ensure that future city leaders, most especially our next mayor, continue this work. Whoever leads New York City next must appreciate the value that nature provides in protecting us all.
To the Editor:
I applaud Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg for working to prepare New York City for the rising risk of extreme weather, but who’s looking out for the rest of the country? As the climate crisis builds, President Obama and other national leaders are doing disturbingly little to address the greenhouse gas pollution driving this dangerous problem.
Extreme weather threatens much of America. New York, for example, is hardly the only coastal city menaced by storm surges. These devastating walls of water could become 10 times more frequent as the world warms, according to a recent study in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The president could help protect all Americans from such dangers just by getting serious about wielding the Clean Air Act against heat-trapping gases. But his administration has yet even to finalize a plan for regulating greenhouse pollutants from new power plants. That must change for the sake of every community threatened by climate chaos.
© 2013 The New York Times Company.
This article originally appeared here.
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