Richard G. Little: N.C. ignoring storm protection programs

June 20, 2013 

N.C. ignoring storm programs

The contrast between the proactive planning underway in New York to deal with climate change and sea level rise and the head-in-the-sand approach taken by the North Carolina legislature is stark (“$20B storm-protection plan proposed for NYC,” June 12).

The New York plan for flood defense will be flexible and scalable so that it can be modified as future generations learn more about how coastal communities will be affected and the best ways to adapt to a changing and uncertain world.

If we have learned anything about natural hazards from recent events, it is that real people suffer and die when elected officials dissemble about “unproven science” and “acts of God” and fail in the most basic of government functions; protecting the safety and well-being of those they serve.

North Carolina and New York have different vulnerabilities that will require different solutions.

What they share is a need to begin a long journey toward safer and more resilient communities. New York has begun the process. North Carolina seems to think that wishing and hoping will make it unnecessary.

Richard G. Little

Visiting research scholar, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


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