Matt of New york, NY writes:
As a lifelong New Yorker, I’ve seen my city go through many evolutions and many changes. New York City is not the same city I grew up in during the 1970s, 80s or 90s. In many ways, the nature of the city is change; changing people, changing landscapes, changing values. The changes that have taken place here reflect the things that have happened in cities around the country and around the world, but here we have a few key differences– here we are a city of extremes. Extreme wealth and extreme poverty exist here side by side. Extreme privilege and extreme deprivation. I’ve seen all of it; and I’m still here.
But one event affected me and my family more than any other single thing that has happened in New York among many great and terrible things, and I fear that it is a warning for all of us to heed: the destruction of climate change, as manifested in the form of Hurricane Sandy.
Flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy affected my neighborhood, and huge sections of lower Manhattan, right in the heart of downtown. Some of the most valuable real-estate in the world. While few buildings were completely destroyed in Manhattan as they were in other parts of the city, half the island was without power for days, and many people were displaced, including my family members. If it can happen in New York City, it can happen anywhere in the world. And it is bigger than any politician, political party, or government. The earth and the forces of nature are with us all the time, we are part of nature, and our relationship with it is what makes our society thrive. But when we ignore the signs nature sends us, we put everything we value in peril.
No person, group or organization alone has the power to protect us from our changing climate. Nor can we make climate change go away simply by saying it isn’t happening or denying its existence. What we can do is recognize that we are a part of nature, we play a role in everything that happens on the earth, and that together, humanity in its collective body, acting in a concerted and sustained manner, does have the power to make the difference.
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