NYC, New Orleans water crises mark new threat level to U.S. cities
Could climate make a major city unlivable?
In today’s edition:
— Add New Orleans and NYC to Miami as cities under existential climate threat
— Can electric vehicle sales thrive without government subsidies? Germans are finding out.
— New Yorkers, beset by climate crises this year, are being encouraged to compost their food waste, in a major test of how much they care.
— Even Congress can’t shut down national parks during Fat Bear Week
— Get a job: Last year, there were 13.7 million jobs in renewable energy
— Switzerland’s glaciers have shrunk an alarming 10% in just two years
For years, climate activists have said rising seas may someday make Miami unlivable. But flooding in New York in the past week and an impending drinking water crisis in New Orleans show how vulnerable other U.S. cities are as well.
As NYC continues to mop up this week from the unprecedented rainfall that flooded homes, businesses and major roadways, a drought in Louisiana has caused a salt wedge to move up the Mississippi River and threaten drinking water for 1.2 million people.
Federal authorities declared an emergency last week and are scrambling to set up desalination plants and pipelines to fight the intrusion. But the efforts are unlikely to resolve the situation without much needed rainfall, and the crisis could take months to play out.
Combined with water shortages in the West and droughts along major river routes, the new crises underscore the fact that water is just as big a climate threat as fire to financial and social interests going forward. And that our mitigation efforts remain damage and emergency response focused rather than peremptory.
At some point, how we live in some major metro areas might have to change forever. The real estate and insurance implications of that are staggering. The only question is what city might go first.
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