Climate Change and the City: Reading List for the Paris Conference

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President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and other heads of state and delegations, observe a minute of silence for the Paris attack victims during the opening ceremony of the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21), at the Parc des Expositions du Bourget in Le Bourget, Paris.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and other heads of state and delegations, observe a minute of silence for the Paris attack victims during the opening ceremony of the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21), at the Parc des Expositions du Bourget in Le Bourget, Paris.

Global warming can be hard to understand at a tactile level. A change of a degree or two in world temperatures over a period of time stretching well beyond today’s readers’ lifetimes can be hard to grasp viscerally. So the issues fares poorly in political polling compared to more tangible, immediate concerns like jobs, school, crime and national security.

But the fact is climate change will have, and might already be having, a local impact, as these City Limits stories indicate:

Sandy+3: NYC Not Pulling Back from the Water’s Edge
The city is pursuing a “no regrets” policy. But some think a plan to retreat is needed.

Some Sandy Victims Must Vacate Their Homes Again
In places like Sheepshead Bay, people who repaired their own homes after the storm but didn’t take steps to deal with new flooding risks may have to leave for as long as six months so the structures can be elevated.

Photo Essay: After Superstorm Sandy, Inside the Buyout Zone
It’s common on the streets of New York to see new neighborhoods rising from old ones. Along the eastern shore of Staten Island, however, a very different process is now underway.

Warm-Water Fish Invade New York City’s Waters
Fishers in Long Island Sound are seeing species that normally swim far to the south. Dramatically warmer waters are challenging both the fishing industry and the regulatory system that governs it.

Affordable, Multifamily Housing: Ready for the Next Storm?
As we approach the third anniversary of the devastating storm, a veteran housing policy expert says it’s time to revisit the lessons learned—and changes made—since then. If another disaster strikes, will the residents of affordable apartments stay safe?

Climate Change and Cloudy Water Challenge City’s Water System
You might not know what “turbidity” is but it’s a long-standing issue in the city’s Catskills watershed—one that climate change is likely to exacerbate.

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