For all of City Hall’s many faults, the council deserves credit for passing meaningful measures — not just purity posturing and virtue signaling — designed to address climate change. Much of it’s wonky and defies simple sound-bite summation.
One example is its vote-prohibiting natural-gas hookups in most new developments — much to the chagrin of energy companies. Natural gas contains greenhouse-gas emissions 86 times more destructive than carbon dioxide. When the council voted, only one member of the public spoke against it. So much for climate change not being a local issue.
Then there’s the council adoption of the Clean Energy Initiative, in which our City Hall joins with other city halls up and down the coast to form partnerships to buy less polluting energy for our residents than what SoCal Edison would otherwise be selling. In this deal, Edison will be tasked with getting this energy from its source to our homes. If there’s any surplus generated by these transactions, the proceeds can be used to, among other things, help create new locally based energy supplies. The hope is that this program will cut carbon emissions from electricity consumed by city residents by 20 percent.
That’s not a local issue?
While the rest of us were sleeping, the same City Hall that’s reviled for doing nothing quietly created a new Department of Sustainability & Resilience. Co-running this show is Alelia Parenteau, a wonderfully named badass who, as a young City Hall intern years ago, spent six months riding on the back of trash trucks to track what happens to our recycled wastes.
Not to be crassly obvious, but even the skeptics and deniers have been forced to admit that the occasional drought, wildfire, and flood have now been insanely fueled by climate change. How many of those “we-are-heroes” gummy bracelets must future debris-flow victims have to wear?
Not a local issue?
If not us, then who?
Bring back the Light Blue Line.”
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“Sea levels are rising – what will that mean for your city? Andrew David Thaler, a marine biologist who blogs at Southern Fried Science, has taken to Twitter to find out. The result, #DrownYourTown, has become the official hashtag of the apocalypse.
Thaler’s original concept was to show cities at 80 meters, or about 262 feet, of sea level rise: the extreme end of climate change predictions. He created his renderings using GIS modeling overlaying Google Earth images with a simulation of the rising tides. In the manipulated images, Miami is gone while only the top of the Washington Memorial pokes through in downtown D.C. The project served as both a dire warning and a promotional device for his self-described “dystopian maritime science fiction serial adventure” book series.
Yesterday, Thaler started fielding requests from Twitter to drown users’ hometowns, and he’s back at it again today. The results are more far-fetched for some cities — like Denver, which is sitting pretty at 1.612 meters above sea level — than others. The prognosis for Jacksonville, as he puts it, is “less ‘neat’ and more ‘oh crap that’s bad news.’” None of the renderings are overly realistic-looking, either — this isn’t “Day After Tomorrow”-level technology. But the pang of recognition imparted from seeing a familiar landscape under a sudden layer of blue certainly makes climate change feel a bit more real.”
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“Climate change and global warming may cause sea levels to rise and flood coastal cities across the world. Over the past century, the Global Mean Sea Level has risen by 4 to 8 inches. And according to estimates by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (PDF), it will keep rising between 8 inches and 6.6 feet by 2100.
How will the world look if that happens? In November of 2012, The New York Times published interactive maps displaying the effects of the sea level rising, in a series titled “What Could Disappear?” The maps show how much land the sea will claim in the future, if it rises by 5, 12, and 25 feet.
Nickolay Lamm, a 24-year-old researcher and artist saw the interactive maps and wondered: “What would this actually look like in real life?” Lamm told Mashable in an email interview that “the only imagery I had of sea level rise came from Hollywood.” So he decided to put his skills to work.
“I felt that if I could bring these maps to life, it would force people to look at sea level rise in a new way,” he said.