Political leadership on Climate Change

After the disaster of Hurricane Sandy, Mayor Bloomberg of New York commissioned a study of the effects of climate change on the City. The Study, now just released, is entitled “A Stronger, More Resilient New York”. The Study recommends spending $19.5 billion dollars to reduce the effects of a potential re-occurrence of a climate-change enhanced hurricane.   The reaction to Mayor Bloomberg’s leadership has been favourable, although commentators recognize that New York needs financial support from other levels of Government.

Admittedly Toronto will not have to face the consequences of extreme weather events such as New York has experienced.  So this blog compares attitudes of Toronto municipal politicians towards adaptation to climate change with the vision of Mayor Bloomberg.

Several years ago the City of Toronto commissioned its own study prepared by Senes Consultants Limited at a cost of $250, 000.  Completed in December 2011, the Weather and Climate Driver Study has been on the agenda of various civic committees.

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Fall out from Hurricane Sandy

The message in a recent Globe & Mail column by Eric Reguly was simple: ignoring the cost of climate change is bad business.  Richard Bloomberg, the Mayor of New York City, obviously agrees.  When following Hurricane Sandy the New York launched an inquiry into the costs of climate change, Mayor Bloomberg said:

“The biggest challenge that we face is adapting our city to risks associated with climate change. And meeting that challenge will require us to take a leap into the future. . .the good news is, compared to any other American city, we’ve got a running head start.”

The result of the inquiry was a recent report, entitled  “A Stronger, More Resilient New York.”

The cost of implementing the conclusions in the report will not be small.  They are estimated to be $19.5 billion.  Like all cost estimates the actual cost could well be much greater, particularly if implementation is delayed.  (For the full report follow this link.)

Mayor Bloomberg commented:

“As bad as Sandy was, future storms could be even worse. . . . In fact, because of rising temperatures and sea levels, even a storm that’s not as large as Sandy could, down the road, be even more destructive.”

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Low Water Levels again!

This summer we gave an account of our personal experience with low water levels in the Great Lakes.  To no one’s suprise, the Great Lakes are not the only waterway in North America seriously impacted by low water levels.  The Mississippi river, a major industrial artery, is between 15 to 20 feet lower than normal.  That … Read more

Yes, Climate Change contributed to Superstorm Sandy

Our first blog on Sandy observed that based on wind strength it was classified as a Category 1 Hurricane.  There have been many Category 1 hurricanes over the last two centuries, and a number of these hurricanes have come ashore in the North Eastern United States. So it would not be correct to say that … Read more

Election Déjà Vu!

Most Canadians welcome the re-election of Barack Obama.  Why?  Is it because most Canadians are liberals at heart, and viewed Governor Romney as a social conservative?  Or did Governor Romney’s platform to repeal Obamacare jar our own political preferences? Or did we recognize that President Obama thinks green and acknowledges the seriousness of global warming … Read more

Modern day Canutes!

North Carolina has a wonderful seacoast.  Miles of sand beaches and dunes shelter the large number of substantial houses built with an ocean view. There is a problem: the state is often the location on the Atlantic seaboard where hurricanes make a landfall.  When that happens the damage is severe, particularly because of the storm … Read more

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