Even as we act immediately to curtail short term vulnerability, every exposed coastal city needs a risk assessment that takes global warming scenarios into account…Scientists at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York have been studying that city’s vulnerability to hurricane impacts in a changing world, and calculated that with 1.5 feet of sea level rise, a worst-case-scenario Category 3 hurricane could submerge “the Rockaways, Coney Island, much of southern Brooklyn and Queens, portions of Long Island City, Astoria, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens, lower Manhattan, and eastern Staten Island from Great Kills Harbor north to the Verrazano Bridge.” (Pause and think about that for a second.)
We knew well ahead of time that this could happen, and we knew global warming was already making it worse. We knew, but we did virtually nothing. (Well, New York did empanel a sea level rise task force, which put out a report—and you can see how that turned out.)
But it’s not just about what we knew—it’s also what we know going forward. We know that if you think this is bad, well, global warming will make it still worse in the future.
Americans have learned little from the years (decades, really) of marketing lies bought and paid for by the tobacco industry in the attempt to stave off regulation and losses of profits from the general realization that their product, when used properly, kills people.
How many decades will we tolerate the same marketing lies, bought and paid for by the fossil fuels industry for the same reasons, that will continue to cost Americans billions and billions of dollars each and ever year?
Katrina was the wake up call, but she happened to mostly poor black folks in Louisana. Hurrican Sandy hit our Center of the Universe and will cost the 1 Percent much more than they want to pay. Will Sandy make a difference?