Climate Preparedness and Resilience

Shelter from the Superstorm; How Climate Preparedness and Resilience Saves Money and Lives
The full text of  25 page report for Center for American Progress is here.

This is a thoughtful, well-written report. It remains to be seen if the federal agencies responsible will heed the recommendations.

Update on July 3. New report (22 pp.) out from the World Meteorological Organization, titled The Global Climate, 2001-2010; A Decade of Climate Extremes.


3 thoughts on “Climate Preparedness and Resilience

  1. Personally, I like the recommendations but hate the rhetoric. Sandy wasn’t even a hurricane when it made landfall – “Superstorm?” You want a Superstorm – look at 1938’s Long Island Express. That caused more deaths and irretrievably reshaped the Long Island Sound.

    The incidence of landfalling hurricanes has actually diminished, and we’ve seen no real change in their intensity, either. The costs of hurricanes and other disasters have gone up because more and more of us have chosen to put ourselves in harm’s way.

    Climate change? Too soon to tell whether the impacts will be net positive or negative. Sea level rise – best projections based on most recent data are about 8-10 inches per century – hardly justifying any panicky action. Subsidence of cities like New Orleans is a much more serious problem; it’s at a rate 2-5 times that of sea level rise. The recommendations could improve that situation – but climate change has nothing to do with it.

    New York’s infrastructure does need to be upgraded – as does everyone else’s – but this has nothing to do with climate change. Across the nation, our infrastructure is old, designed for other times and other uses, and we have spent the money needed for maintenance and refurbishment on other things. Our imprudent stewardship over the years has nothing to do with climate change.

    It is interesting, though, that while New York will “rebuild its resilience,” it will do it with someone else’s money. In the aftermath of the storm, it was relatively easy to get the money from the federal government. A while back, you pointed to free articles offered by Taylor and Francis (thanks for that, by the way!). One of these was Craig Colton’s article that pointed out how quickly people forget the lessons of disaster. The cynic in me expects to hear even the lip service paid to resilience in New York fade away within five years (But then again, a cynic is simply a frustrated idealist – so my heart hopes my head is wrong!). The fault is not in our stars but ourselves: don’t blame the climate for our sins of omission.

  2. There’s some good stuff in here, but it saddens me to continually see confusion between climate and weather. A tornado is not a climate event. A hurricane is not a climate event. Those are weather events…

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