As the general public should be aware, this weekend Hurricane Irene struck the eastern coast, affecting many areas never before ravaged by hurricanes. The author of this blogpost offers a caveat to future task forces: adaptation to climate change might just be a good initiative… Novel idea, right?
The effects of climate change in this century are far-reaching, and include much more than glacial melt and temperature increases. When Irene headed for the Big Apple this Sunday morning, subways were shut down and many people heeded advice to seek higher ground as the impending storm approached. In cities like New York City, lifestyle is too fast-paced for an entire metropolis worth of subways to close. Unfortunately hurricanes are not known to be partial to time-conscious business hubs. So this is where “Climate Change Adaptation Planning” comes into play. As natural disasters become more frequent in various regions, cities must be ready to face these trials and tribulations, preparing to minimize injuries to persons and business. This era calls for sustainable architects, engineers, developers, economists, and businessmen to create emergency protocol in compliance with the effects of climate change: including both temperature changes, and severe weather activity. The spectrum of sustainable development ranges from storm walls such as the Dutch Sea Wall to the rather futuristic-looking “Floating Ecotopia.” I have a hunch that New York’s super-hero Task Force on Climate Change Adaptation, is equally important as the NYPD, the Bomb Squad, or the F.B.I. Other cities have, and will, follow suit and actively plan for everything the fiend, Climate Change, has up its sleeve.