NYC Mayor Bloomberg Announces $20 Billion Climate Change Plan

Published July 10, 2013

Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled a $20 billion plan to defend New York City from what he says will be the ravages of global warming in the coming decades. Bloomberg’s plan will cost the average New York City household nearly $3,000.

Bloomberg’s 430-page plan, Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency, includes approximately 250 recommendations ranging from new floodwalls and storm barriers to upgrades in the city’s power and telecommunications infrastructure. The plan also calls for $1.2 billion in loans and grants to help owners make buildings more resilient to floods and proposes changes in the city’s building code.

‘Increasing Frequency’ of Storms
The mayor announced his proposal eight months after Hurricane Sandy (which had diminished to tropical storm force winds at landfall) struck New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut. 

New York has always had to deal with the threat of flooding.  Hurricanes and severe tropical storms have struck the area periodically since the founding of New Amsterdam (today’s New York) in 1624.

Bloomberg announced the plan by claiming New Yorkers could either “do nothing and expose ourselves to an increasing frequency of Sandy-like storms” or “make the investments necessary to build a stronger, more resilient New York.”

Facts Contradict Mayor
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) hurricane data contradict Bloomberg on the “increasing frequency of Sandy-like storms.” Major hurricanes are actually becoming less frequent as the planet gradually warms. During the 30 years between 1930 and 1960, five major hurricanes made landfall in the Northeastern United States. During the 50-plus years since 1960, only one major hurricane struck the region.

The same trend of decreasing hurricanes applies throughout the United States. According to NOAA data, major hurricanes struck 50 percent more frequently between 1900 and 1950 than has been the case since 1950.

“I have trouble seeing exactly how spending $20 billion—that’s billion with a ‘b’—will prevent bad weather or climate,” said climate scientist Willie Soon. “In general, to be more prepared is a good thing. But preparing, as New York City is apparently doing, using the faulty climate modeling scenarios offered by the UN IPCC [United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] is a serious distortion of basic science.”

Sea Level Rise Not Accelerating
Global sea level rose approximately eight inches during the past century and shows no signs of acceleration. Nevertheless, global warming alarmists claim sea level will rise by up to six feet by the end of this century.

“Global sea levels will not rise by the three to six feet imagined by the IPCC political scare tactics,” Soon explained. “So adding this large amount [of sea level rise] to the scenario for New York City will be too extreme for any commonsense approach to disaster preparedness.”  

Bonner R. Cohen, Ph. D. ([email protected]), is a senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research.