Further to yesterday’s post about Nanny Bloomberg’s municipal priorities (regulating carbonated beverages), here’s a sharp piece by Roger Pielke Jr. on what he could have been doing:
A few excerpts from the New York City Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan (April, 2009, here in PDF) will indicate that absolutely nothing about Sandy and its impacts should have been a surprise to anyone. It would be fair to ask NY politicians why the city was not better prepared for a disaster that it saw coming.
The report more or less laid out Sandy’s roadmap:
New York City is particularly vulnerable to storm surge because of a geographic characteristic called the New York Bight. A bight is a curve in the shoreline of an open coast that funnels and increases the speed and intensity of storm surge. The New York Bight is located at the point where New York and New Jersey meet, creating a right angle in the coastline.
Professor Pielke asks:
What is he going to do about the fact that his city was less prepared than it should have been for a disaster that was expected and one of a sort will certainly recur, climate change or not?
A flood barrier is too prosaically municipal for a man of Bloomberg’s grand vision. “Saving the planet” is a whole lot easier than saving Staten Island.