February 12, 2015, 7 p.m.
Climate Change and the Future of New York City
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The fundamental threat to the human species is our collective inability to reduce our carbon emissions and slow the pace of climate change. Yet, even if we managed to stop increasing global carbon emissions tomorrow, we would probably experience several centuries of additional warming, rising sea levels, and more frequent dangerous weather events. If our cities and communities are to survive, we have no choice but to adapt.
For the past decade and a half, governments around the world have been investing in elaborate plans to secure their cities from the ravages of climate change—protecting people, businesses, and critical infrastructure against weather-related calamities. Much of this work involves upgrading what engineers call “lifeline systems”: the network infrastructure for power, transit, and communications, which is crucial in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. Some of the solutions are capital-intensive and high-tech; some are low- or no-tech approaches, such as organizing communities so that residents know which of their neighbors are vulnerable and how to assist them.
In this talk, NYU sociologist Eric Klinenberg, author of Heat Wave and research director of the Rebuild by Design competition, will explore emerging ideas and recent designs for climate change adaptation in New York City.