When Superstorm Sandy slammed into the East Coast in 2012, New York City was devastated. Winds blew in at 80 mph, and storm surges pushed the ocean more than 9 feet above normal levels in Staten Island. Homes were leveled, subways flooded, and coastlines destroyed; 2 million people were left without power. Of the 43 lives lost in New York, more than half were residents of Staten Island.
Seven years later, many of the homes destroyed by the storm on Staten Island still sit empty. Government buyouts were able to relocate many people, but another major storm could bring the same or worse levels of devastation. With superstorms only becoming more common and sea levels rising faster each year, it’s likely to happen again. It’s too late to stop the storms, but can we design away future damage?
Maybe. Staten Island recently received funding to build a sea wall. It will span a little under 5 miles, from Fort Wadsworth to Oakwood Beach, and stand 20 feet above sea level. It could potentially save the island $30 million a year in flood-related damages.
Meanwhile, in Trump-Land
A recent report from a POLITICO investigation shows that during Trump Administration at least 45 research studies where hidden from the Department of Agriculture (USDA) into the impacts of climate change.
The studies include findings that the increasing carbonization of the atmosphere is making certain foods less nutritious for people and animals. Others highlight conservation practices that farmers could use to preserve their lands, according to POLITICO.
The investigation shows that the USDA published only four climate releases during the Trump administration, the same amount it published in 2015 alone – prioritizing political strategy over scientific reality.
“Why the hell is the U.S., which is ostensibly the leader in science research, ignoring this?” an anonymous USDA scientist said to POLITICO. “It’s not like we’re working on something that’s esoteric … we’re working on something that has dire consequences for the entire planet. You can only postpone reality for so long.”