Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Are Cities Prepared for Climate Change Impacts?

Also quoted here: Pound Foolish - Federal Community-Resilience Investments Swamped by Disaster Damages(15 page pdf, Daniel J. Weiss and Jackie Weidman Jun. 19, 2013)

And here:A Stronger, More Resilient New York (445 page pdf, PlaNYC, The City of New York, Jun. 21, 2013)

And here: Climate Change Adaptation: A Priorities Plan for Canada (150 page pdf, B. Feltmate and J. Thistlethwaite, Climate Change Adaptation Project(Canada), University of Waterloo, August 2012)

And here:
(4 min You-Tube, CBC, Jun. 21, 2013)

Today we review reports from the US and Canada that raise concerns about the lack of preparedness to the increase in extreme weather events in the last year (e.g. Hurricane Sandy and New York in October 2012 and heavy rainfall and flooding in Calgary and Toronto in June/July 2013) and, in broader terms, disasters that accompany climate change which particularly affect cities and their infrastructures. In the US, only $6 for disaster recovery is spent for every $1 to increase general community resilience and the costs for disaster cleanups have reached $110B over the last three years. The leadership shown by Mayor Bloomberg in his plan for the future (PlaNYC) to mitigate climate impacts is one that other Mayors could emulate. 

clikmate adaptation-cities

Key Quotes:

“In the wake of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s announcement of a $19.5 billion plan to make the Big Apple better prepared for future extreme weather events on the scale of Hurricane Sandy, dozens of other cities and counties in the U.S. are showing increased interest in pursuing so-called “climate resilience” plans.”

“Based on those figures, federal taxpayers spent nearly $6 for disaster recovery for every $1 spent to increase general community resilience over the past three years,”

“there were 11 extreme weather and climate events during 2012 that each topped $1 billion in damage costs, for an estimated total bill of $110 billion.. the federal government spent a total of only $22 billion on general resilience efforts from fiscal year 2011 to fiscal year 2013.. federal taxpayers spent nearly $6 for disaster recovery for every $1 spent to increase general community resilience over the past three years.

Human-induced climate change is projected to continue and accelerate significantly if emissions of heat-trapping gases continue to increase … with more climate-related impacts over the next few decades … Many [climate-related changes] will be disruptive to society because our institutions and infrastructure have been designed for the relatively stable climate of the past, not the changing one of the present and future”
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