Welcome to the New York Resilience System

The New York Resilience System will be the clearinghouse for information on resilient recovery and reconstruction efforts from Hurricane Sandy, as well as a place to discuss the goal of improving the health, well-being, and prosperity of New York citizens and their communities by fostering a resilient response to change both now and in the future.  Please register to participate.

What Did the U.S. Learn from Ebola? How to Prepare for Bioterrorist Attacks

FOREIGN POLICY  by Siobhán O'Grady                        April 13, 2015
When the Ebola virus spread from Guinea to Sierra Leone and Liberia last spring, the initial international response was labeled a failure. By the time President Barack Obama ordered troops to the affected countries in September, more than 2,400 people were dead.

But in the United States, where major hospitals prepared for an outbreak, there were only four in-country diagnoses, one of which resulted in a death. And some see the urgency of that response as a lesson in how the government can prepare for another public health hazard: a bioterrorist attack.

Arizona Rep. Martha McSally chairs a House subcommittee that will examine over the next few months the threat of bioterrorist attacks and U.S. preparedness to respond to them. She told Foreign Policy that even if a disease outbreak and the use of a biological agent in a coordinated attack are not completely analogous, the response strains similar systems.

“We can learn lessons from other outbreaks that are naturally occurring,” she said. “We can identify weaknesses in our response and even if it wasn’t terrorism, it presses the system at the same level....”

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Assessing Resilience Planning: Is the City Preparing Smartly for the Rising Risks of Climate Change?

      

Rooftop greenery is part of the plan (photo: PlaNYC via flickr)

gothamgazette.com - by Sarah Crean - April 16, 2015

. . . Problems like localized flooding will become all the more urgent as climate change progresses. But the threat to each neighborhood is different, depending on where it is located relative to the city's 500-plus miles of coastline, and factors like socio-economic conditions, building stock, and critical infrastructure.

City officials are far from indifferent. Its strategy, in a nutshell, is to gradually strengthen the coastline, upgrade building stock, and protect critical infrastructure. Next week on Earth Day, April 22, the city plans to release a major progress report, the first in four years, on its multi-pronged sustainability framework, known as PlaNYC. As in the past, the report is expected to include discussion of climate resiliency, that is, the city's ongoing and developing preparations to manage for the effects of climate change.

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The White House Wants to Explore How Climate Change Makes You Sick

whitehouse.gov 
washingtonpost.com - by Juliet Eilperin - April 7, 2015

President Obama launched an initiative Tuesday aimed at highlighting the connections between climate change and public health, bringing both medical and data experts to the White House this week.

As part of the effort, the White House will hold a Climate Change and Health Summit later this spring, featuring Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. The administration is expanding its Climate Data Initiative, which it launched a year ago, to include more than 150 health-relevant data sets.

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Reducing Climate Change Would 'Create One Million Jobs'

Workers walk among newly installed solar panels at a solar power plant in Zhouquan township of Tongxiang, Zhejiang province December 18, 2014. A new report highlights the co-benefits of renewable energy sector. REUTERS/Stringer

Image:  Workers walk among newly installed solar panels at a solar power plant in Zhouquan township of Tongxiang, Zhejiang province December 18, 2014. A new report highlights the co-benefits of renewable energy sector. REUTERS/Stringer

newsweek.com - March 31st 2015 - Luke Hurst

As the March 31 deadline for countries to submit their proposals for tackling irreversible climate change passes, a new report claims lives could be spared, the climate could be saved from catastrophic and irreversible change, and one million jobs could be created if green policies are initiated.

The report from the New Climate Institute (NCI) - a green pressure group - says more ambitious action to reverse climate change would yield even greater economic and social co-benefits in the form of job creation and a healthier climate.

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Northern Manhattan Climate Resilience Workshop - April 11, 2015

                         (TO VIEW PHOTOS FROM THIS WORKSHOP - CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW)

      

On April 11, 2015 a climate change planning workshop was held for East Harlem and Central Harlem. The workshop brought local stakeholders together to develop community-based responses to climate related events including heat waves and hurricanes, among others.

The "Northern Manhattan Climate Change Resilience Project" is a collaborative planning process for ensuring that New York City's response to climate change meets the needs of low-income and other marginalized communities in Northern Manhattan and beyond. In additon to advocating for public policies that reverse the city's legacy and trajectory of socio-economic inequality, participants will work to develop systems of local cooperation that can support social resilience in the face of climate change.

(FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION SEE THE LINKS BELOW)

http://climateresil-weact.nationbuilder.com/about

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Northern Manhattan Climate Resilience Workshop - April 4, 2015

                         (TO VIEW PHOTOS FROM THIS WORKSHOP - CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW)

      

On April 4, 2015 a climate change planning workshop was held for West Harlem, Washington Heights, and Inwood. The workshop brought local stakeholders together to develop community-based responses to climate related events including heat waves and hurricanes, among others.

The "Northern Manhattan Climate Change Resilience Project" is a collaborative planning process for ensuring that New York City's response to climate change meets the needs of low-income and other marginalized communities in Northern Manhattan and beyond. In additon to advocating for public policies that reverse the city's legacy and trajectory of socio-economic inequality, participants will work to develop systems of local cooperation that can support social resilience in the face of climate change.

(FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION SEE THE LINKS BELOW)

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CDC - MMWR - Ebola Virus Disease in a Humanitarian Aid Worker — New York City, October 2014

cdc.gov - April 3, 2015

In late October 2014, Ebola virus disease (Ebola) was diagnosed in a humanitarian aid worker who recently returned from West Africa to New York City (NYC). . . .

. . . In NYC, the public health response to one Ebola case was resource intensive for a local health department, with participation of more than 500 DOHMH staff members and expenditures of more than $4,300,000 in DOHMH funds. These figures include not only the direct costs of the local public health response (e.g., contact tracing, environmental issues, and health care worker monitoring) but also the indirect costs of increasing citywide preparedness after identifying the one case (e.g., enhancing hospital preparedness, active monitoring of returning travelers, and community outreach).

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Building the Knowledge Base for Climate Resiliency: New York City Panel on Climate Change 2015 Report

      

Report Contents

Documents observed climate changes and provides climate projections for the first time through 2100 for temperature, precipitation, and sea level rise

Presents new maps for the coastal flood risks through 2100 for the current 100-year (1% annual chance of occurrence) and 500-year (0.2% annual chance of occurrence) coastal flood events

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Center for Climate Systems Research - Earth Institute | Columbia University

                         

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Interaction of Atlantic and Pacific Oscillations Caused 'False Pause' in Warming

Ocean and sky (stock image) / Iakov Kalinin / Fotolia

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - Atlantic and Pacific multidecadal oscillations and Northern Hemisphere temperatures

sciencedaily.com - February 26, 2015

The recent slowdown in climate warming is due, at least in part, to natural oscillations in the climate, according to a team of climate scientists, who add that these oscillations represent variability internal to the climate system. They do not signal any slowdown in human-caused global warming.

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(ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLE HERE)

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Ebola Doctor: Media, politicians fueled the public's fears

ASSOCIATED PRESS   by Tom McElroy                                                             Feb. 25, 2015

NEW YORK — A doctor who contracted the deadly Ebola virus and rode the subway system and dined out before he developed symptoms said the media and politicians could have done a better job by educating people on the science of it instead of focusing on their fears.

 "When we look back on this epidemic, I hope we'll recognize that fear caused our initial hesitance to respond — and caused us to respond poorly when we finally did," Dr. Craig Spencer wrote in an article published Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine. (See link below.)

Spencer, an emergency room physician, was diagnosed with Ebola on Oct. 23, days after returning from treating patients in Guinea with Doctors Without Borders. His was the first Ebola case in the nation's largest city, spurring an effort to contain anxieties along with the virus. He was treated at a hospital, recovered and was released on Nov. 11.

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Report Slams U.S. Ebola Response and Readiness

NBC NEWS  by Maggie Fox                                                                               Feb. 26, 2015

The United States fumbled its response to the Ebola epidemic before it even began, neglecting experiments to make vaccines and drugs against the virus, and cutting funding to key public health agencies, a presidential commission said Thursday.

Americans focused on their own almost nonexistent risk of catching Ebola from travelers instead of pressing to help the truly affected nations, the scathing report from the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues says.

They've been acting against their own best interest, the commission said in its report.

"Both justice and prudence demand that we do our part in combating such devastating outbreaks. Once we recognize our humanitarian obligations and the ability of infectious diseases to travel in our interconnected world, we cannot choose between the ethical and the prudential," it reads.

"Ethics and enlightened interest converge in calling for our country to address epidemics at their source."

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Rethinking the Grid

A 1.6 MW wind turbine installed at Mount Wachusett Community College. (Photo credit: Mount Wachusett Community College)

Image: A 1.6 MW wind turbine installed at Mount Wachusett Community College. (Photo credit: Mount Wachusett Community College)

nesea.org - February 17th 2015 - Karl Rabago

For more than 100 years, taxpayers, ratepayers, investors, and policymakers have supported the growth and operations of the electric utility industry. The ratemaking formula, under which capital investment is recovered and healthy profits are guaranteed, has helped make electric service in the United States nearly universal and relatively cheap. For much of the last century, the model leveraged increasing economies of scale to enable the provision of electricity as well as profits and dividends.

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With Little Warning, Agency Aiding New York’s Most Vulnerable Crumbles

Faced with a budget shortfall of $19.4 million, FEGS Health and Human Services recently announced it would be closing its programs. Credit Bryan R. Smith for The New York Times

Image:  Faced with a budget shortfall of $19.4 million, FEGS Health and Human Services recently announced it would be closing its programs. Credit Bryan R. Smith for The New York Times

nytimes.com - February 8 2015 - Rachel L. Swarns

The bombshell dropped on a quiet Friday evening. Steven Banks, the commissioner of the city’s Human Resources Administration, was in his office when he got the call.

On the line was Kristin M. Woodlock, the new chief executive of FEGS Health and Human Services, one of New York City’s largest social service agencies, a venerable institution often praised by corporate titans and community leaders alike.

But this was no social call: FEGS, the Human Resources Administration’s biggest provider of job placement services to the impoverished and disabled, had discovered a gaping hole in its budget and was suddenly struggling to stay afloat.

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