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One Year After Sandy, Tackling Climate Change With New Force

A year after Hurricane Sandy, we look at what’s in the works—and what’s not– to address climate change, from levees to energy policy.

In early morning darkness, workers prepare heavy machinery for the day as rebuilding work continues on the beach area of Seaside Heights and Seaside Park, N.J., Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013. Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy. (AP)

In early morning darkness, workers prepare heavy machinery for the day as rebuilding work continues on the beach area of Seaside Heights and Seaside Park, N.J., Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013. Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy. (AP)

We’re hearing all this week about the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy.  The storm that swamped New York.  Bulldozed the Jersey shore.  Tore up the Eastern seaboard and said to many, “Hello, climate change” like nothing before it.  That battered shore is still widely battered.  Still groping back.  And Sandy made people look straight ahead at the risks.  At adaptation — walls, levees, stilts, berms.  And at deeper change to head off, minimize, climate change.  Up next On Point: tackling climate change, a year after Sandy.

— Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Matthew Schuerman, editor at WNYC Radio. (@MLSchuer)

Mark Jacobson, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University, co-founder of The Solutions Project. Senior fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment. (@MZJacobson)

Kate Gordon, vice president and director of the energy and climate program at San Francisco-based think tank Next Generation. Fellow at the Center for American Progress, executive director of Risky Business. (@katenrg)

From Tom’s Reading List

CBS News: Climate change may make coastal flooding like Sandy’s more frequent — “Warmer upper ocean temperatures, which have also come as a result of greenhouse gas emissions, are providing more fuel for the hurricanes. So, while the region might see the same types of storms, they may be more frequent and more powerful than before.”

Washington Post: We need climate-change risk assessment — “If the United States were run like a business, its board of directors would fire its financial advisers for failing to disclose the significant and material risks associated with unmitigated climate change. Managing risk is necessary for individuals, investors, businesses and governments. As individuals, we buy insurance for our homes, vehicles and health because the future is unpredictable. Businesses take similar actions and save, when they can, for the next economic downturn. Investors diversify their portfolios and hedge their bets for the same reason. And for governments, managing risk can mean anything from maintaining a standing army (in case of war) to filling a strategic petroleum reserve (to protect against severe shocks in oil prices).”

Bloomberg News: Western U.S. States, British Columbia Agree on Carbon — “The agreement falls short of creating a regional carbon market sought by California. The state began a cap-and-trade program when the U.S. government couldn’t come up with a national system in 2010. A movement to create a market across the western U.S. and parts of Canada collapsed two years ago after some states sought other ways to cut emissions”

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