I’m tempted to think that in spite of the Information Age, and the availability of information to be available at practically any time, people have truly lost the ability to remember the past. And of course, those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.
In a recent New York Times article, the question of whether the Rockaways would survive another major storm/hurricane was brought up.
In a classic Janet Yellen/Irving Fisher moment, Mayor de Blasio was quoted:
“This boardwalk is planted firmly, and it will withstand whatever Mother Nature throws at it,” Mayor de Blasio said on a windy Friday in May.
Sigh. The 1938 hurricane that hit the area was a category 3, way before climate change started to rear its ugly head. The probability of category 4 or 5 hurricane hitting NYC is very, very small but Sandy was still on the low end of hurricane strength (category 2 Hurricane Sandy became extratropical before moving inland in southern New Jersey). The fact that a category 3 storm did hit the area (in 1938, when hardly anything was on Long Island) is proof enough that de Blasio’s statement ignores reality. Let’s not forget that yes, sea levels are rising, and at some point a combination of storm and sea level rise might make Sandy look like a summer thunderstorm.
In doing a bit of research for this article, this popped up (dated October 26, 2012):
Hurricane Sandy hit the NYC area only a few days afterwards.
- Are there any cultures that haven’t forgotten the past?
- What other Janet Yellen/Irving Fisher/de Blasio statements have your heard lately?
- How long until NYC or any other major American city is abandoned?
- Which will be the first to go? Miami? New Orleans? Or will there always be holdouts? Some sort of Fukushima or Chernobyl event might clear a city.