13. As State Officials in Wisconsin Advance Requirements for Ultrasounds for the Unborn and Vouchers for School Children, New York City Plans for Global Warming
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today (6/11/2013) presented “A Stronger, More Resilient New York,” the comprehensive and ambitious report that analyzes the city’s climate risks and outlines recommendations to protect neighborhoods and infrastructure from future climate events. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Mayor Bloomberg launched the Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency and charged it with recommending steps the City should take to protect against the impacts of climate change. The Special Initiative produced a 430-page report, “A Stronger, More Resilient New York,” with more than 250 specific recommendations to further fortify the city against climate events. The Mayor released the report Tuesday in an extensive presentation to elected officials, business and community leaders and leading climate experts at the Duggal Greenhouse – which was damaged during Hurricane Sandy and has since reopened as one of the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s 330 businesses.
“‘A Stronger, More Resilient New York’ is the result of a massive effort by the Bloomberg Administration with the active involvement of an array of City agencies and expert advisors,” said Marc Ricks, Chief Operating Officer of the Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency. “We also benefited from a close partnership with State and Federal agencies, and from extensive input from elected officials, community groups, and over a thousand New Yorkers who participated in our public workshops. With this level of collaboration, I am confident that this report represents the very best thinking about how to make New York safer in the years to come.”
“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… We have to look ahead and anticipate any and all future threats, not only from hurricanes but also from droughts, heavy downpours and heat waves – which may be longer, and more intense, in the years to come.”
New data from the report shows: Sea levels could rise at a faster rate than forecast just four years ago – potentially by more than 2.5 feet by the 2050s; By the 2050s, the city could have three times as many days at or above 90 degrees – leading to heat waves that threaten public health and the power system, among other infrastructure systems; The number of days with more than two inches of rainfall will grow from three in the last century to five in the 2050s. The Panel’s full report, complete with detailed insight of their methodology and findings, is available on http://www.nyc.gov. Proposals to protect city residents are outlined in the report “A Stronger, More Resilient New York.”
The analysis shows that the costs of storms will increase: Sandy totaled $19 billion in damage and economic loss; in 2025, that cost grows to $35 billion and by 2055, $90 billion.
Meanwhile, Wisconsin state governmental officials finalized a state school voucher plan that allows state money to be used for private school K-12 enrollment in Wisconsin, at the expense of public school funding. Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker said he’d sign the school voucher bill after it passed both Republican dominated houses of the state legislature, as well as a bill that passed the State Senate today which requires pregnant mothers to have an ultrasound performed and shown to them before they may legally having an abortion. The same Wisconsin legislators and the governor claim to be doing what’s best for Wisconsin’s children, over the objection of multitudes of mothers, school teachers and many other citizens of the state. And yet at the same time, Wisconsin’s state officials – predominantly Republicans – continue to ignore the growing scientific evidence of global warming, which now undeniably threatens the world of every child and newborn, regardless of which state they live in, to grow up in a world much less hospitable than the one at present.
While global warming grows from bad to worse, the State of Wisconsin, which had once prided itself as an environmental leader (which it was), continues to do nothing substantive to reduce its contributions to global warming or to advance protection measures aimed at helping Wisconsin’s future citizens adapt to the changing climate.