climate change Tag All blog entries tagged as climate change Sun, 10 Aug 2014 20:06:16 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb WATCH: Bloomberg's Speech On A More Resilient NYC #AdaptNY #SIRR ]]> (Administrator) City Tue, 11 Jun 2013 18:29:58 +0000 Introducing AdaptNY: Join The Conversation On Climate Change Adaptation As Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveils his administration's vision for making New York City more resilient to climate change, Gotham Gazette is working to help democratize the public debate on the issues.

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Gotham Gazette is partnering with veteran journalists and technology pioneers to bring you AdaptNY, which aims to "curate, document and foster conversation about how New York will adapt to the coming challenges of climate change."

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The project will be edited and curated by Glenn, and Gotham Gazette will be providing content and editorial guidance. We'll also be promoting AdaptNY's efforts on Facebook and Twitter, and encourage readers to visit the project site.

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We are also proud to be partnering with DocumentCloud to develop an online tool for stimulating public policy discussion around key reports on climate change.

That tool will be made available to the general public in a few weeks.

Questions about the project can be sent to

]]> (Administrator) City Tue, 11 Jun 2013 18:20:49 +0000
Today's Lead: New Climate Predictions For NYC

Increased flooding, more rain and storms, and higher temperatures are all predicted in a new report by the Bloomberg Administration. Over 800,000 residents are expected to live in flood plains by 2050, more than double the number currently estimated at risk. By that time, 90 degree days could become as regular as they are in Birmingham, Ala. Heat waves kill more people than storms. Sea levels are anticipated to rise four to eight inches by 2020. Bloomberg will give a speech today about how the city will begin preparing for this new climate.

Other Stories We're Following

Vote To Be Forced On NYPD Bills (Politicker)

Cuomo Bill Eyes Public-Financed Elections (Albany Times Union)

Federal Cuts Trim City Housing Vouchers By As Many As 8,000 (Daily News)

City Enduring Diabetes Crisis (NY Post)

Russian Flood Barrier A Model For New York City (Scientific American)

Community Colleges Produce Few Graduates (Albany Times Union)

City's Boom Spurs Need For Housing (Wall Street Journal)

White Powder Sent To FDNY Headquarters (Wall Street Journal)

Cuomo Bill Details Plans For Tax-Free Zones (Associated Press)

Silver In Crosshairs Of Senate Bill Term-Limiting Leadership Posts (Daily News)

Little-Known Guide Helps Police Navigate A Diverse City (NY Times)

]]> (Mike Muller) The Eye-Opener Tue, 11 Jun 2013 12:12:04 +0000
#Sandy Roundup: Rockaway Peninsula Residents Still Reeling

Some residents in the Rockaway penninsula of Queens remain literally disconnected after Hurricane Sandy.

The 1,800-unit housing project Ocean Bay Apartments was one of the last two New York City Housing Authority buildings to regain power in late December, but local Councilman Donovan Richards says hundreds of his constituents are still waiting for phone service to return.

Despite the lack of landline service, Richards said that many of the residents have told him they are still receiving bills from Verizon. What they're not getting, he added, is any notice about when they can expect their phone lines to work again.

"This is a communication company," he said. "They should be able to communicate."

Richards said that a few of his constituents have continued to pay for the last five months of nonexistent phone service, including elderly residents who don't have access to wireless technology.

A Verizon spokesman told The New York Daily News that any customer can reach out to the company for a full refund. The company added that it has already started working on the units between 51st and 53rd streets, and hopes to begin restoring power between 54th to 59th streets before April.

Revitalization of Rockaway Beach Rail

Leaders from federal and state government want to infuse the Queens neighborhood with some renewed economic energy.

Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder has joined forces with U.S. Congressmen Gregory Meeks and Hakeem Jeffries to bring the three-and-a-half-mile Rockaway Beach rail line back to life.

The three representatives sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood requesting that a portion of the federal aid for Sandy recovery be designated to restore the abandoned rail line.

"It became evident after Sandy that we need to increase public transit options and improve our infrastructure for our neighborhoods in Southern Queens and Rockaway," Goldfeder wrote in a statement on Sunday. "Restoring the rail line will help prepare our communities to become more resilient for our future and allow our local economy to thrive for many years to come."

Goldfeder has also delivered a petition about the rail line, with almost 3,000 signatures to Governor Andrew Cuomo, the Port Authority and MTA.

However, Goldfeder's proposal is only one idea being floated around as an option for the rail line. Closed in 1962, the railroad could turn into Queen's answer to Manhattan's High Line park. Nicknamed the QueensWay, the project is being promoted by national parks group the Trust for Public Land and the recently established local group Friends of the QueensWay.

Questions About Bloomberg's Post-Sandy Buyouts

Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plans to buy out Sandy-damaged homes may have came out last week, but there are questions about its differences from Governor Cuomo's proposal.

WNYC reported last week that Bloomberg's program, unlike Cuomo's, allows for redevelopment on the properties in question. In terms of immediate effects, that means homeowners can only receive the post-Sandy value under the city's plan.

Long term, some critics argue that the Bloomberg proposal is too short-sighted and doesn't take climate change into account. Capital New York interviewed Columbia University professor Klaus Jacob, who warned against ignoring rising sea levels and increased storm surges.

"You don't want to, in the long run at least, invest new assets into areas that ultimately will be doomed," Jacob said. For more on Jacob's views on the matter, see our extensive interview with the expert.

Bloomberg himself has previously linked the spike in severe weather to climate change. The mayor raised eyebrows last year when he endorsed President Barack Obama specifically acknowledging climate change as a national issue.

"Our climate is changing," Bloomberg wrote days before the presidential election. "And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it may be — given the devastation it is wreaking — should be enough to compel all elected leaders to take immediate action."

Image of Rockaway Rail Line courtesy of Sean Eric Carlson.

]]> (Administrator) City Wed, 27 Mar 2013 19:39:23 +0000
Today's Lead Story: Bloomberg's Post-Storm Plan

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said yesterday that the city would rethink evacuation zones, electrical infrastructure, telecommunications networks, hospitals and transportations systems after Superstorm Sandy caused billions of dollars in damage, paralyzed communities and killed dozens of people.

But Bloomberg said that his administration would not abandon the waterfront and dismissed the possibility of building sea walls to hold back the ocean. Instead, he said the city would look at "coastline protections" such as berms, dunes, jetties and levies.

"No matter how much we do to make homes and businesses more resilient, the fact of the matter is we live next to the ocean, and the ocean comes with risks that we just cannot eliminate," the mayor said.

Bloomberg outlined the post-Sandy plan, his first major address since the storm, at a Lower Manhattan event, where former Vice President Al Gore also made an appearance and praised the mayor's previous efforts to respond to the effects of climate change.

In the Press...

State Senate Power-Sharing Agreement Criticized For Lack of Diversity (NY Times)

New York Civil Liberties Union Files Lawsuit Challenging Solitary Confinement (Albany Times Union)

NY's Transportation Infrastructure Suffered $7.5B In Damage Because Of Storm: Senator (Associated Press)

UFT president to help all 4 seeking Democratic mayoral nomination (Gotham Schools)

Small Historical Society Tries To Recover From Sandy (MetroFocus)

NY Comptroller Warns Fiscal Cliff Could Cost NY $43B (Crain's)


Image courtesy of the mayor's office.

]]> (Administrator) City Fri, 07 Dec 2012 03:16:32 +0000
Headlines: Damage and Recovery From Sandy

Superstorm Sandy left at least 2 million homes and businesses across the state and about 800,000 customers in the city and Westchester remained without power yesterday. More than half of Staten Island is without power, and over a quarter of Manhattan is in the dark. In Manhattan there are no streetlights South of 25th St. on the Westside. The substation in the East Village that exploded was designed to withstand a 12.5 foot surge but was hit with a surge of 14 feet. Customers served by underground lines in Brooklyn and Manhattan are likely to have their power restored within four days. Bloomberg promised "a very heavy police presence" in the darkened neighborhoods. Thirteen people have been arrested for crimes that included looting.

The death toll for the city is now 22. Untreated sewage is flowing into waterways from more than a dozen locations around the city. A crane still dangles from a skyscraper in Midtown and could be there for weeks. The World Trade Center is flooded. Sand is piled up to 2 feet high on the Coney Island boardwalk. At least 111 homes were destroyed by fires in Breezy Point, Queens in a blaze among the worst residential fires in New York since the Fire Department was established in 1865.

Much of the Tristate region has been declared a major disaster area, and FEMA will distribute billions of dollars in aid, which will be a test for the troubled agency. Many homeowners who thought their insurance policies covered floods are likely to have been mistaken - a common error - while others' policies have lapsed or won't cover all the damage.

The MTA is unaware of any permanent damage to the system but is still offering no estimate for when service will be restored. Buses have started running on some routes and could return to full service by sometime today.

Many are hoping the storm will finally push New York to prepare for climate change. “Three of the top 10 highest floods at the Battery since 1900 happened in the last two and a half years," Ben Strauss, director of the sea level rise program at the research group Climate Central in Princeton, N.J. "If that’s not a wake-up call to take this seriously, I don’t know what is." Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said the state should consider a levee system or storm surge barriers, although Mayor Bloomberg says he is focusing on recovery for the city. Some individual parts of Sandy and its wrath seem to be influenced by climate change, several climate scientists said, but its not clear that can be said for the storm itself. Sandy broke coastal flood records for New York City by more than three feet above the previous record and more than double the range between the previous top ten.


View from below of the Brooklyn Bridge in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Image by Barry Yanowitz, used under Creative Commons license.

]]> (Mike Muller) City Wed, 31 Oct 2012 12:38:52 +0000
Cuomo Says NY Must Learn to Adapt to Extreme Weather

After witnessing historic flooding and coastal surges caused by superstorm Sandy, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says it is time for New Yorkers to examine how to adapt to more destructive weather events associated with climate change.

“Going forward we are going to have to anticipate these types of extreme weather patterns,” Cuomo said at a news conference earlier today. “And we have to think about how we redesign the system so that this doesn’t happen again.”

And on Albany's Talk 1300 AM radio show, he said this: "The construction of the city did not anticipate these kinds of situations ... We are only a few feet above sea level. You now have a whole infrastructure under the city that fills. The subway system, the foundations of buildings."

But, as reporter Peter Moskowitz points out in his story for Gotham Gazette this week, there are few public policies creating incentives for public or private developers to invest money in adapting buildings for extreme weather events that could become more frequent with climate change.

Of course, it's unclear how much climate change can be blamed for Sandy or even Irene, or any particular extreme weather event — as The New York Times' Andrew Revkin says on his Dot Earth blog:

There remains far too much natural variability in the frequency and potency of rare and powerful storms — on time scales from decades to centuries – to go beyond pointing to this event being consistent with what’s projected on a human-heated planet.


Image of flooding on Eighth Street and Avenue C in Manhattan as Sandy's storm surge was near its peak. Photo courtesy That Hartford Guy, used under Creative Commons licence.

]]> (Administrator) City Tue, 30 Oct 2012 20:25:20 +0000