The Day After Tomorrow won’t be coming anytime soon, at least if the City Council has anything to say about it.
“Last month was the hottest ever on record, and it’s only one example of the extreme weather New York City has experienced in recent years,” Council Speaker Christine Quinn said in a statement. “If this isn’t a call to take action, I don’t know what is. We must act decisively now to address severe climate trends or we’re going to face tougher decisions down the road.”
Accordingly, Ms. Quinn is announcing legislation that she boldly says “will serve as a model to the world for how local governments should plan for climate change.”
The bill accomplishes this by having the New York City Climate Change Adaptation Task Force specifically assess how various climate ailments, such as extreme heat, storms and flooding, would affect the city’s health, structure, and overall well-being. The legislation will further require the scientists on the New York City Panel on Climate Change (separate from the Task Force) to project the impact of climate change every three years and help plan methods of mitigating said change.
“This legislation, when passed and enacted, will be the first bill from any state or local government in the country to create an institutional government mechanism to assess the latest climate change science, plan for climate change impacts and implement adaptive strategies,” Councilman Jim Gennaro said in the statement. “Quite simply, New York City is doing what every local, state, and national government in the world should be doing with respect to climate change: working assiduously to reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions while planning and implementing adaptive strategies for the impacts of climate change.”
And, the statement stressed, climate change is already impacting the city significantly, with heat waves two to four times more common and severe coastal flooding happening three times as often.
“Climate change is here, and New York City must be prepared with a coordinated response,” it concluded.
So rest easy New Yorkers and stay alert.