Rebuilding L.I. in a post-Sandy world

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On Monday, the task force released a 150-page-plus strategy report, detailing a host of recommendations to rebuild the metropolitan region with greater “resilience” so structures can withstand the beating they are expected to take during future storms, and so there is greater interagency coordination to expedite aid to storm victims.

We offer high praise to the task force for acknowledging the ever-growing threat that climate change poses to our region. Global warming is dangerous on so many levels. For us, the most immediate threat is sea-level rise, which only exacerbates the damage caused by a superstorm like Sandy.

The task force’s report, which recommends 69 policy initiatives, is among the first such federal documents to treat climate change as a given, for which we must prepare so future generations don’t suffer as we did in the weeks and months after Sandy. We must rebuild our broken infrastructure knowing that future storms will likely bring greater flooding because we live in a warmer world.

Until now, the federal government has too often equivocated on global warming. The time for equivocation has clearly ended. Climate change is here and it is real, according to the United Nations’ International Panel on Climate Change, which is expected to issue its fifth Assessment Report on the state of global warming in 2014. The last one came out in 2007.

We are pleased that the Obama administration is taking climate change seriously, and that it is developing long-range plans to cope with the threats that it poses to us all.

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano is a member of the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force’s advisory group, which includes the governors of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Maryland. The task force’s strategy report, Mangano said, “responds to some of the biggest concerns and recovery needs residents have here in Nassau County. I applaud the task force’s commitment to regional coordination and infrastructure hardening.”
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