Portland, Oregon will be parched. Los Angeles heat waves will quadruple. Texas aquafiers will dry up. These dire predictions were issued this week in the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
North America will be particularly vulnerable to climate change, the IPCC reported, and water will play a crucial role in this change. Melting snow in Sierra Nevada will endanger 40 percent of Southern California’s water supply. Rising sea levels (due to melting glaciers) will reclaim land from coastal states like Florida and Louisiana. Storms will batter Boston, and the severe floods that overwhelmed New York City once every 500 years could happen once every 50.
New York’s eco-friendliness, or lack thereof, also made news this week as the city was found to be a prodigious producer of greenhouse gases. Media reports said the city makes more greenhouse gases than Ireland or Portugal, and emits 1 percent of the total U.S. output.
The media failed to mention, however, that New York has twice the population of Ireland, or that Mayor Bloomberg just announced a war on carbon emissions. For a slice of NYC's progressive environmental attitudes, check out a city magazine’s current feature on crop-producing skyscrapers, or an urban foray into a no-waste lifestyle.