Dissecting Sandy with the New Yorker

December 26, 2012

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How can New York prepare for the next Hurricane Sandy? This was the question put to expert panelists at the New Yorker’s latest Big Story event: Gathering Storms. The New Yorker’s editor, David Remnick, moderated a panel of experts, including Stony Brook University’s Malcolm Bowman, the New York City Deputy Mayor for Operations Cas Holloway, Columbia University’s Klaus Jacob, and the New Yorker’s staff writer Elizabeth Kolbert. The springtime weather in December set a perfect stage to talk about climate change.  The discussion centered around how Sandy was an example of how the shift is affecting us now. Some highlights from the discussion:
  • In a century, people may have to walk around Wall Street on raised metal sidewalks!
  • New York City is actually doing a good job of energy efficient.
  • Instead of asking “are we doomed?” it’s more productive to talk about “managed retreat” from vulnerable coastal areas and (taking cues from other cities) accommodations for keeping new construction above sea level.
Managing and stabilizing the carbon dioxide emissions of the developed world is something all of us can participate in. Some tips for lightening your own carbon footprint:
  • Turn off lights when leaving a room
  • Recycle whenever possible
  • Completely shut off computers at the end of the day
  • Unplug your cell phone when it’s done charging
Watch a complete video of the panel on the NewYorker.com and follow @newyorker on Twitter.