Building a New Metropolis in an Age of Global Warming

We are all horrified by the tragic events that have befallen so many people and communities in New York and New Jersey.

While the region recovers, we must not forget that this kind of event will happen again. We have glimpsed the future. It is time to take the global warming issue out of the political arena and work together to develop sound energy and planning policies that can dramatically curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Not possible, you say? Please watch this work in progress clip with Carl Anthony about some of the steps communities in California are taking.

Through the hard work of non-profit organizations and policymakers, California is leading the way in making concrete efforts to build sustainable communities and curb CO2 emissions through a variety of state led programs. While the policies are far from perfect, they are something of a model for the rest of the country.

I grew up in New Jersey, and the Jersey shore symbolized a place of freedom, fun, and an experience with nature that is rare in the rest of New Jersey.

The lovely summer cottage that my family rented last year in Lavallete, NJ is gone. Lifted off of its foundation, smashed to bits.

Fifteen years ago I worked with a team of climatologists and produced one of the first films about global warming called Rising Waters. Back then, the scientists I interviewed predicted that sea level would rise in the New York Metropolitan area by about 2-5 inches. In this clip here, climatologist Pennehuro Lefale predicts sea level rise (SLR) and its effect on Manhattan.

Now, 15 years later, with better science data and faster computers, the estimates of SLR has increased to 7-12 inches. Here are some other startling statistics (from NOAA).

Of the 11 most intense North Atlantic hurricanes ever recorded, five have occurred in the last eight years (Wilma, Rita, Katrina, Dean and Ivan).

With more than $100 billion in damages, Hurricane Katrina remains the costliest weather-related disaster on record. Super Hurricane Sandy will exceed this record.

The number of category 4 and 5 hurricanes has increased by nearly 75% since 1970.

Let’s turn this tragedy into an opportunity to get solid policies and programs to curb global warming before it’s too late.

I am starting a new film and community education project about how communities can respond to global warming. If you are interested in joining in this effort, please contact me.

Andrea Torrice

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