Climate Science and Sandy

Thursday, November 15, 2012

hurricane sandy satellite

Radley Horton, associate research scientist at the Center for Climate Systems Research/Goddard Institute for Space, and Benjamin Orlove, anthropologist at The Center for Research on Environmental Decisions, preview the Columbia University panel discussion on climate science and the impact of Sandy.


Radley Horton and Benjamin Orlove

Comments [20]

Gocha Goguadze from Aptos, CA


During and some days after Sandy's nightmare I had been in NJ and NYC. I talked with a lot of people of different educational backgrounds and skills and should say that local and national governments MUST listen more scientists like Professor Jeffrey Sachs and make much for assist ordinary people before, during and after hurricanes and/or other natural disasters.

Nov. 16 2012 03:55 PM
Mayora from nyc

imagine this "menace of a mayor" had told people to evacuate and Sandy had spared the city (like Irene) - oh we wouldn't hear the end of complaints from "expert" critics of the mayor who would mock him over his "hysteria."

Now the mayor tells people to leave in advance - but perhaps not "enough in advance" - and oh, we can't hear the end of complaints from "expert" critics of the mayor who mock and scold him over not sounding the alarm in advance.

This mayor can't win.

Nov. 15 2012 10:34 PM
mike on long island from long island

regarding the over development NYC by bloomberg and speculators: it has always been bloomberg's mantra that he is so rich he cant be corrupted. not to say his friends in city govt. cant be. BBF ( bloomberg best friend) dan doctoroff and his other friends bought up parcels on the west side and worked like dogs to push thru the jets stadium, increasing the value of their holdings . when the stadium died, it was announced that " magically", the 7 train would be extended to the west side at 34th st. again, to increase the value of the west side properties. then, like disappearing smoke, it was announced there wouldnt be enough money for a 40th st stop, it would go straight to 34 th st. who's zoomin who? what a joke. its always been like that with bloomberg and his cronies

Nov. 15 2012 01:30 PM
gene from NYC

FYI on geTaylor's link from the "Science and Public Policy Institute":

After searching their site endlessly to find who's actually behind the SPPI, or where it gets funding for its sophisticated site, I finally went to google and found the connections between it and Republican operative Robert Ferguson (you know, the speaker on "Warming Up to Climate Change: The Many Benefits of Increased Atmospheric CO2") as well as ALEC:

(hint: it doesn't get IRS non-profit status, at least in part because it doesn't id its funders.)

Nov. 15 2012 12:11 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Tim from NYC, it's not an either/or question. Some of the effects of global climate disruption are already happening, & some others can't be out-&-out stopped at this point by reducing carbon emissions but only limited. So we need to do both: bring down the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere & take measures to help humans & other species to survive the changes that are already in progress.

Nov. 15 2012 11:54 AM
Leo from Queens

Brain from Midtown: I Will raise you TEN BILLION DOLLARS!!. The mayor of NYC, and governors of NJ and NY should be held criminally responsible for diverting 10's of billions of dollars from transportation and public transit monies from the Port Authority and MTA agencies to subsidize the general budget and to subsidize office real estate that is currently being built in what they call a BATHTUB when this office space is not needed. As a result, they have not invested anything in modernizing, securing and expanding our transportation infrastructure including bridges, train and rail tunnels and expansion of ports and securing airports.
NOTICE that the 3 city airports were closed for almost a week - If we had a Category 2 hurricane with real rain we will NOT HAVE ANY WAY TO BRING IN supplies, equipment and food to the region for at least a month as LGA and JFK and all tunnels will be flooded and heavily damaged for months..

The Federal government should NOT GIVE A PENNY to these transit agencies until they come clean and institute clear governance and transparency and commit to financing the modernization of transportation in the region.

Nov. 15 2012 11:36 AM
Amy from Manhattan

I don't know if the timing was deliberate, but "24 Hours of Climate Reality" ( began at 8 last night, & today the finale takes place in NYC, beginning at 7 (

Nov. 15 2012 11:35 AM
ralphb from williamsburg

ask you guests if there were measurements taken of the actual flooding of sandy and if they are transferred to a map that could be used for future evacuations... is there a url to such a map?

Nov. 15 2012 11:27 AM
Leo from Queens

Marianne you make excellent points. But unfortunately for the past 12 years the people running the City are controlled by developers, especulators and money launderers pushing through with these massive developments and over development at the detriment of existing property owners and without any regards to the impact and risk on human lives and the fact that the corresponding infrastructure to accommodate the over building are not being addressed.
THe activities of the mayor and the city agencies he controls as well as the City Council is criminal.

Nov. 15 2012 11:27 AM
Nick from UWS

Was the caller who asked how high we will expect to build our new sea walls speaking some kind of dead language, or obscure unknown dialect? What the hell did that scientist's answer have to do with that caller's question? What is wrong with people today that they cannot directly answer a simple question? As that really how that scientist interpreted that question? If so, we are in trouble.

Nov. 15 2012 11:26 AM
Tim from NYC

Many scientists (the majority) dismiss geo-engineering as a long term method for "dealing" with climate change. Isn't any form of large scale engineering to "live with climate change" (be it massive carbon sequestration or NYC sea walls) basically the same thing: avoiding the real issue. Carbon generation from fossil fuels.

Nov. 15 2012 11:26 AM
Brian from Midtown

The mayor and the Govs of NY and NJ need to be held accountable. Billions were spent to build a new Yankee Stadium. Should not this tme and money have been spent to protect infrastructure from events such as this?

Nov. 15 2012 11:25 AM
gene from NYC


Allstate, etc., refuse to insure against flood damage in LI, Westchester, etc.

Nov. 15 2012 11:25 AM

Could there be an intermediate approach between rebuilding and no building that involves new building codes for more storm-resistant buildings? Should houses in flood prone areas be built on stilts? Should basements be eliminated and ground floors limited to garage space? (etc)

Nov. 15 2012 11:23 AM
Leo from Queens.

Should we call out the Bloomberg administration and the City Council for giving free reign to developers, especulator and money launderers by rezoning every neighborhood with little to no input from taxpayers which has promoted over developement without the corresponding infrastructure changes. Of significant and I believe criminal note, is the over development right on th beaches of the Rockaways. The city politicians and the heads of certain city agencies and developers have walked away with billions of dollars while property owners and renters have been left holding the bag. There should be criminal charges against these individuals.

You should ask your guests if it still makes sense to build housing and hotels on what has historically been swampland in Willets Point queens which is heavily polluted and lies on the landing and take off path for planes from La Guardia

Nov. 15 2012 11:23 AM
John A

Is junk science paid for with junk bonds?

Nov. 15 2012 11:23 AM
Capper from NYC

I think we should eliminate "boardwalks" and "Ocean Avenues" and fill that with dunes and seagrass, etc...

Nov. 15 2012 11:23 AM
Marianne from Staten Island

As a Staten Island resident witnessing the devastation on the South Shore I would like to ask you to undertake some investigation regarding the incompetence of the local government with nonexistent evacuation plan when there was ample time and warning in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The gross neglect caused loss of lives and someone should bear responsibility. Other than the Mayor's warning on the airwaves there was NO effort to save the people in the Shore, many old and bedridden! This is the Boro President and Congressman Grimm...

I also would like you to look into the massive overbuilding on the South Shore at the detriment of small houses and bungalows that were swallowed by the flood coming not just from the surge but from the water runoff of new housing complexes . The little bungalows and old houses sit at the bottom of new housing complexes, these latters, multiplying in the last 10 years, were put on raised piles, suggested and approved by the City Planning Commission in their infinite wisdom....
In short, both City Planning Commission as well as BSA (Board of Standards and Appeals) bear responsibility for the poisonous closeness as deals are made between builders and public officials when granting “variance” to build on wetlands on the shore, despite community opposition. Local politicians are extremely close to builders, whosponsor their re-elections : this should end!

I am writing to you because the next tragedy is in the developing stage at Great Killls (70 Tennyson Drive) but it is still preventable. When BSA allows in their decision to houses built “contrary to use regulations”, as they stated -- -- the resulting damage of the financial burden should NOT belong to the taxpayers , as it is now!
It is the only way to prevent dangerous and haphazard planning as well as corrupt dealmakings.

Nov. 15 2012 11:22 AM
Gianni Lovato from Chatham, NY

I'd like your guest's comment about today's article on the NYT:

Thank you.

Nov. 15 2012 11:04 AM

I realize that you have probably prepared most of your questions, but I would be interested in hearing your guest's comments on this recent information:

"Global warming stopped 16 years ago, reveals Met Office report quietly released... and here is the chart to prove it

The figures reveal that from the beginning of 1997 until August 2012 there was no discernible rise in aggregate global temperatures
This means that the ‘pause’ in global warming has now lasted for about the same time as the previous period when temperatures rose, 1980 to 1996 . . . . "

Nov. 15 2012 10:52 AM

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