Planet Earth

The Hurricane that Left its Mark

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorNov 2, 2012 8:29 PM

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Well, this was some week. Not so much for me and my family. We were among the lucky ones--we never lost power where I live in NYC. But nearly all my relatives on Long Island and New Jersey did and some of them are still without power. Thanks to readers who sent their thoughts via email and this blog. I haven't been blogging or tweeting because I've been distracted by everything that's gone on around me in the city. Plus, with schools being closed, my two kids have been home all week. And when I was on the computer, I was using that time to work on some pieces that will be out shortly. I have followed various threads of the climate debate that are playing out in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. I have some thoughts on climate-related posts, articles and ensuing discussions, but will hold off until next week before putting them into some kind of bloggy perspective. Meanwhile, I will say this: It remains to be seen how much the hurricane will impact U.S. climate politics, but I'm fairly certain the storm was a big wake-up call for New York City. By that, I mean its toll on the city's infrastructure. For example, my wife works for a big company in a big modern skyscraper in downtown Manhattan--near Wall Street. That part of the city is not returning to normalcy anytime soon. The latest she's hearing is that the building will be shut down until January. That's incredible. And I'm pretty sure her situation is not unique. Several weeks ago, when I attended a panel discussion on urban resilience, I wondered how long it would take for officials to make NYC more resilient to weather-related disasters like Hurricane Sandy. I'm guessing they're going to be moving pretty fast from this day forward.

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