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Tackling Climate Change in New York City by City Tech Blogger Thomas Rivera

Time and time again climate change has become a very crucial and important issue. However, for most, this issue can seamlessly fade into the background of our everyday lives. It is an ongoing change that affects the “NOW” and the “TOMORROW.” So how can something so apparent become subjected to a matter of unimportance? Growing up in New York City (NYC) in the past twenty or so years, I have not been heavily subjected to such climate-related risks such as famine, floods, and or droughts, however, that’s, to say the least. Not only that, but, heat waves, storms, and flash floods have had their short visits here in NYC over the centuries as well, making NYC seem not that bad, especially when compared to other countries. Unfortunately, with the accelerated increase in sea levels, NYC might have floods become a formality. Increase in sea levels are predicted to become a huge threat for NYC soon and according to USA TODAY, “Rising sea levels from man-made climate change could prompt devastating, 8-foot floods that used to occur once every 500 years to happen once every 5 years by 2030 to 2045.” (INSERT PICTURE #1) This is because the earth’s temperature continues to increase causing the seas to warm up. These heat-trapping greenhouse gases within our atmosphere cause ice sheets and glaciers to melt, which therefore cause the water to expand; occupying more space in its surrounding area. In fact, global warming itself is believed to be the primary cause of the future sea level rise. So with this information widely known, what have we as New Yorkers and or as a country in general done to address these issues?

Fortunately, China, India, the U.S, and many more countries have signed the Paris Climate Change Agreement which aims to respond to these global climate change threats. Unfortunately, the U.S has withdrawn from this agreement and this withdrawal will be in effect until the year 2020. Regardless of the U.S representing itself in this cause, many people living in the U.S are taking action and taking notice to the rising sea levels. Awareness has always remained a key issue in addressing this cause. According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, “In 2014, Governor Cuomo signed the Community Risk and Resiliency Act (CRRA) to ensure that applicants for specific permits or funding demonstrate that future climate risks due to sea-level rise, storm surge, and flooding have been considered, and have been incorporated into certain facility-siting regulations.”

I am a college student in the computer science field and take pride in being able to use my knowledge to help affect the world in a positive way. The computer science field has already made contributions with providing the tools for us to collect the data we need to understand the present and to foresee the possible future. Computer algorithms and programs can be created to run scenario-based probability tests and even be used to find possible solutions for current issues. Technology is always rapidly increasing, and with technology comes innovation, new ideas, methods, and devices used to solve all kinds of world problems.

I still believe that awareness is one in the major pillars to solving these issues. Social media and diverse apps are used by the masses daily. So, what if somehow, we can connect the world through a common goal utilizing social media in an intuitive way? Perhaps even a new social media platform in general. Innovation through awareness are the first steps and what will follow are innovative ways to finding energy efficient or renewable energies for the world to use which will help our atmosphere. Something to note is that global suppression of public knowledge and policies to address the risk of climate change have also become a serious issue. Even our own president increases the risk of climate change by rejecting the Paris Climate Change Agreement. It is vital that we continue to shine more vigorously upon this issue. Increase in sea levels and climate change, in general, are a global issue and thus in order to make a global impact, we must all come together and WE MUST ACT.

Works Cited


“Sea Level Rise.” SEQR – NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation, www.dec.ny.gov/energy/45202.html.

Rice, Doyle. “Catastrophic, Sandy-like Floods Could Hit New York City Every 5 Years Due to Sea-Level Rise.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 24 Oct. 2017, www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2017/10/23/catastrophic-sandy-like-floods-could-hit-nyc-every-5-years-due-sea-level-rise/791581001/.

Roberts, Timmons, and Timmons Roberts. “One Year since Trump’s Withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement.” Brookings.edu, The Brookings Institution, 1 June 2018,www.brookings.edu/blog/planetpolicy/2018/06/01/one-year-since-trumps-withdrawal-from-the-paris-climate-agreement/.











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