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.

Solar is Having a Great Year, Except on Wall Street

      

Solar panels are seen in the Palm Springs area, California April 13, 2015. Picture taken April 13, 2015.
Reuters/Lucy Nicholson

reuters.com - by Nichola Groom - August 14, 2015

By almost any measure, the U.S. solar market is on fire.

Installations of solar panels are expected to soar by a third this year, the price of solar power is now cheap enough to compete neck and neck with gas and coal-fired power in places like California, and the fledgling industry received a vote of confidence last week when U.S. President Barack Obama announced a groundbreaking plan to curb power plant emissions. Even China's currency devaluation could cut panel costs for U.S. solar installers.

Wall Street, however, has been dumping solar shares this year, largely on concern, which investors say is misplaced, that tumbling oil prices will sap demand for alternative energy, even though oil isn't used to generate power.

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Solar Is a Serious Threat to Electric Utilities

energymanagertoday.com - by Karen Henry - August 5, 2015

Eighty percent of electric utilities believe distributed generation (DG), particularly solar photovoltaic (PV), is a serious challenge to their business, according to the 2015 Strategic Directions: US Electric Industry Report released by Black & Veatch.

The global engineering consulting company conducted an industry-wide survey from May 14 through June 5, 2015, to examine how electric utilities balance the intersecting interests of regulation and reliability with increased customer participation in the grid. More than 400 electric utility or electric industry stakeholders completed the online questionnaire.

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Disastrous Sea Level Rise Is an Issue for Today's Public - Not Next Millennium's

             

huffingtonpost.com - by Dr. James Hansen - July 27, 2015

. . . 2°C global warming, rather than being a safe "guardrail," is highly dangerous. . . .

. . . My conclusion, based on the total information available, is that continued high emissions would result in multi-meter sea level rise this century and lock in continued ice sheet disintegration such that building cities or rebuilding cities on coast lines would become foolish. . . .

. . . A startling conclusion of our paper is that effects of freshwater release onto the Southern Ocean and North Atlantic are already underway and 1-2 decades sooner in the real world than in the model (Fig. 2). 

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CLICK HERE - Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics - Earth's energy imbalance and implications

CLICK HERE - Ice Melt, Sea Level Rise and Superstorms: Evidence from Paleoclimate Data, Climate Modeling, and Modern Observations that 2°C Global Warming is Highly Dangerous

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EPA Report Cites Benefits of Limiting Emissions, Climate change

By William Yardley, LA Times, June 23, 2015 | Photo: Jim Cole, Associated Press

coal-fired plant is Merrimack Station in Bow, N.H.  (Jim Cole / Associated Press)

EPA report cites benefits of reducing emissions, including at power plants, and of limiting climate change. This coal-fired plant is Merrimack Station in Bow, N.H.  (Jim Cole / Associated Press)

Reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change could prevent tens of thousands of deaths and hundreds of billions in economic losses in the United States, according to a new study by the Environmental Protection Agency.

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New Study Links Global Warming to Hurricane Sandy and Other Extreme Weather Events

            

Escalators to the South Ferry Whitehall St. subway station in the financial district of Manhattan are shown flooded in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. A new study finds that without human-caused global warming, the New York subways might not have been flooded. Photograph: HANDOUT/Reuters

The paper finds that global warming is putting extreme weather on steroids

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Attribution of climate extreme events

theguardian.com - by John Abraham - June 22, 2015

One of the hottest areas of climate research these days is on the potential connections between human emissions, global warming, and extreme weather. Will global warming make extreme weather more common or less common? More severe or less severe? 

New research, just published today in Nature Climate Change helps to answer that question by approaching the problem in a novel way.

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Coal Crash: How Pension Funds Face Huge Risk From Climate Change

           

Coal is moved on a conveyor belt at the PT Bukit Asam open pit coal mine in Tanjung Enim, South Sumatra province, Indonesia. Photograph: Dadang Tri/Getty Images

Special report: The plummeting coal sector and a growing green divestment movement is leaving firms who still invest in fossil fuels and connected pension holders heavily exposed

theguardian.com - by Damian Carrington and Caelainn Barr - June 15, 2015

The pension funds of millions of people across the world, including teachers, public sector workers, health staff and academics in the UK and US, are heavily exposed to the plummeting coal sector, a Guardian analysis has revealed.

It has also found that just a dozen people, including the owner of Chelsea FC, Roman Abramovich, own coal reserves equivalent to the annual carbon emissions of China, the world’s biggest polluter. The UN, which advocates a shift to clean energy, has more than $100m (£65m) invested in coal through its own pension fund.

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HHS selects nine regional Ebola and other special pathogen treatment centers

New network expands US ability to respond to outbreaks of severe, highly infectious diseases

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES            June 12, 2015

WASHINGTON -- To further strengthen the nation’s infectious disease response capability, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has selected nine health departments and associated partner hospitals to become special regional treatment centers for patients with Ebola or other severe, highly infectious diseases.

HHS’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) has awarded approximately $20 million through its Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) to enhance the regional treatment centers’ capabilities to care for patients with Ebola or other highly infectious diseases. ASPR will provide an additional $9 million to these recipients in the subsequent four years to sustain their readiness...

The nine awardees and their partner hospitals are:

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Google Launches Sidewalk Labs; Aims to Help Fix Cities

               

Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page speaks during the keynote presentation at Google I/O 2013 in San Francisco.(Photo: Jeff Chiu, AP)

Google (GOOG) is starting a new, independent urban innovation company called Sidewalk Labs that aims to improve cities, according to a post on Google+ by CEO Larry Page. The Street

usatoday.com - by Jessica Guynn - June 11, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO — Google, famous for its ambitious projects to build self-driving cars and high-altitude balloons that beam the Internet to earth, is now taking aim at fixing another major problem: city life.

The new initiative, called Sidewalk Labs, will use technology and innovation in an effort to improve urban life at a time when the U.S. population is gravitating to cities, according to Google CEO Larry Page.

Based in New York, it will be run by Dan Doctoroff, a former deputy mayor of New York City who will combine his experience in managing cities with funding from Google.

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Flood and Drought Risk to Cities on Rise Even with No Climate Change

sciencedaily.com - March 5, 2015

Source:  Texas A&M University

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Changing global patterns of urban exposure to flood and drought hazards

Summary:  A heads-up to New York, Baltimore, Houston and Miami: a new study suggests that these metropolitan areas and others will increase their exposure to floods even in the absence of climate change.  Their work is published in Global Environmental Change. . . .

. . . "Through land change, bank protection, channelization, and other means, urbanization can also alter the geomorphology of river channels and floodplains, which in turn may contribute to increased risk of flooding."

"Our findings suggest that future urban expansion in flood and drought prone zones will at least be as important as population growth and economic development in increasing their exposure," the researchers add.

"With climatic changes, this exposure is only expected to increase in the future. Thus, proper planning and financing in fast growing cities today will be critical in mitigating future losses due to floods and droughts."

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California Gov. Jerry Brown Orders Aggressive Greenhouse Gas Cuts By 2030

Governer Jerry Brown.

Image: Governer Jerry Brown.

huffingtonpost.com - April 29th 2015 - Kate Sheppard

California Gov. Jerry Brown issued an executive order Wednesday directing the state to cut is greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, the toughest proposed cuts of any state in the nation.

The 2030 target will ensure that California can meet its emissions target for the middle of this century, which calls for an 80 percent cut by 2050, Brown said. The state is already on pace to meet its goal of bringing heat-trapping emissions down to 1990 levels by 2020, a target set under a 2006 state law.

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Three in every four extremely hot days linked to climate change

Three out of four hot days could be due to climate change (Image: Guy Corbishley/Getty)Image: Three out of four hot days could be due to climate change (Image: Guy Corbishley/Getty)

newscientist.com - April 28th 2015 - Aviva Rutkin

If climate change was a game, we'd have racked up quite a score. A fresh study suggests that humans are responsible for a hefty number of today's extreme hot days and rainstorms.

Weather extremes, such as a Russian heatwave in 2010 and a drought in Texas in 2011, have been blamed on climate change before – but the attribution of individual events to it is still hotly debated.

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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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