US Cities vs. Climate Change: Time to Adapt

What can US cities learn from Europe when it comes to climate change? And how can the federal government help make a difference here? EPA policy analyst Abby Hall provides perspective on how to handle the climate issue before it's too late.
Friday, December 20, 2013 07:00 EST | 10
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12/23/2013 6:42:55 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Climate Changes around the globe
Nicole, ive heard the theory several times from various scientists from around the world. Ive also heard the UN said the Earth has stopped warming for the past 10-15 years now. Regardless, the data from various institutions is not coming together to form a clear picture of what is really going on. You have global warming people on one side, cooling on another, solar theorists on another, independent scientists on another and they don't all agree, nor do they come to an agreement as to whats going on. I may be wrong but i do know that not everyone in government believe in warming as being 100% truth.

Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
12/23/2013 6:22:21 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: Low Lying Cities Most At Risk?
Good questions, kq4ym. First of all, I think we need to work out what the risks are that inland communities face... the urban heat island effect and heat waves, as well as droughts, strike me as the most obvious ones. So in my view, these cities need to be thinking about green rooftops and the like, as well as ways to capture and reuse water.

Funding is the tricky part -- I'd toss in a third option: the private sector.

Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
12/23/2013 6:20:13 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: Climate Changes around the globe
The idea that we're cooling down just doesn't strike me as real at all. Who is pushing that theory? I've certainly heard that much less than the idea that we're warming up.

12/23/2013 5:22:09 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Climate Changes around the globe
I think the problem with climate change is that no one really understands if we are warming up or cooling down as the two camps cant agree on which. However, we can all agree something is going on with the climate. I also think part of the problem is that we have two many agencies, companies and universities etc. all with various forms of data that it all gets mixed in to a big mess that no one can tell the truth from fiction.

Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
12/23/2013 12:53:23 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: Climate Changes around the globe
What little research I did on salaries in Europe, piratejulie, turned up lower pay than in the US. I think one big European city manager made $116K.

Anyone here on the board familiar with this topic?

12/23/2013 11:59:29 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Climate Changes around the globe
@Mary:  What value does Europe give to a Federal official ?  Particularly with Hurricane Sandy and New Orleans as recent domestic examples.

Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
12/23/2013 10:53:13 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: Climate Changes around the globe
My hope is that the US federal government can actually assess the risks and take action to meet cities' needs. I am sometimes skeptical about the government's ability to do this with agility and in a timely fashion. The crash of the new healthcare program websites demonstrated how bloated and ineffective US government projects can be. Not to take anything away from Ms. Hall's assessments; at least she went to Europe to check things out. But I hope there's followup and follow through that goes beyond the observation/study stage.

12/22/2013 10:58:27 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Low Lying Cities Most At Risk?
The countries and cities near the sea or river seem to be the ones who are taking most heed of climate change. The question of how inland and higher elevation communities need to prepare and plan will be an ongoing conversation. And how to fund projects; federally or locally?

12/20/2013 1:37:07 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
The Data Challenge
Hall notes that Europe's data is much more "scaled down" than the United States.  She thinks that as a matter of planning / funding, the US should be more 'regional' in its analysis and readiness efforts.  

I note the irony present in the Environmental Protection Agency [her vantage] needing to spend time in Europe to conclude what strikes me as obvious.

And then there is that small matter of [as she says] everyone needing to recognize "Climate Change."

12/20/2013 10:24:51 AM
User Rank Village Voice
Climate Changes around the globe
You summed up the topic really well but I'd like to add a few things from other cities as well. Ajax, Canada was chosen as best site for putting up an ammunition depot during war because it was not struck by the earthquakes for many years. And when the researchers measured the polarity of the area it was positive. So, researchers concluded that a little difference in polarity can cause a big change. Moreover with the increase in rainfalls around the globe hurricane rate has gone up tremendously. And in case of temperature extremities in case of Pakistan we had snowfall after a long long time in lahore a couple of years ago. And even in present winters the fog is so thick that the visibility is less than 5 meters these days..

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