After Hurricane Sandy, What Can Manhattan Learn from the Maldives? After Hurricane Sandy, What Can Manhattan Learn from the Maldives?
Communities

After Hurricane Sandy, What Can Manhattan Learn from the Maldives?

by Dave Burdick

November 3, 2012

The Maldives aren't the only islands in danger. We've known about the dangers to Manhattan for some time. Here are 2007 maps predicting what would happen in Sandy-like flooding. Here's a New York Times story from a month ago giving voice to people saying that New York was moving too slow in addressing environmental concerns that could cripple the city. And a story that kicks off with: "The warnings came, again and again."

That's mostly referring to disaster flooding, but it all serves to illustrate the point that, even knowing what's coming—even with real-life cases like the Maldives, slowly "sinking" into the ocean—we're having a hard time coming to grips with the idea of "Maldives today, Manhattan tomorrow."

It would be tough to relocate the nation of Maldives, but maybe tougher for Manhattan, which has some pretty serious development along that coastline:

There are 10 emergency service stations, 19 colleges, nearly 500 schools, 23 hospitals, 57 nursing homes, 17 power plants, and 13 wastewater treatment plants located along the coast of New York City.

Also on the Manhattan coast is the financial district where Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange are located, which means New York's extra hurricane vulnerability isn't just a problem for the Big Apple but for the world's financial community as well.

Bloomberg, the Island Mayor, would seem to have a lot more ability to do something about the effects of climate change than Nasheed, given that he's not likely to be violently deposed. He appears to have taken a step today. What steps will the president take? And Congress? And business?

Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

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After Hurricane Sandy, What Can Manhattan Learn from the Maldives?