PLEDGE NOW
Sea Walls

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, New York looks at sea walls. So will we.

Waves crash onto the sea wall protecting homes in Longport, N.J., Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, as Hurricane Sandy approaches the area. (AP)

Waves crash onto the sea wall protecting homes in Longport, N.J., Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, as Hurricane Sandy approaches the area. (AP)

Hurricane Sandy whacked New York so hard, in many quarters it’s still reeling.  That superstorm surge of water, roaring over Staten Island and the Rockaways, into New York Harbor, over Lower Manhattan, over Wall Street, into subways and power stations.  Into the heart of the biggest city in America.  It’s already cost billions.

It will cost billions more.  Now, some are saying it’s time to build a wall.  Not little old-fashioned sea walls, but super storm barriers.  Mighty barricades and huge harbor gates to hold out the sea.

This hour, On Point:  barricading New York against a rising sea.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Jim Dwyer, reporter for the New York Times.

Radley Horton, research scientist at the Center for Climate Systems Research, Earth Institute at Columbia University

Malcolm Bowman, head of the Storm Surge Research Group at SUNY Stony Brook.

Piet Dircke, director, Global Water Management at Arcadis, a consulting firm focused on infrastructure, water and the environment.

From Tom’s Reading List

ABC News “In the wake of superstorm Sandy’s massive destruction to coastlines in the East Coast, many experts suggest that a sea wall barrier could have minimized the deadly storm surge that swept away homes and knocked out power to millions.”

Time “It was called the Watersnoodramp, which in Dutch means “flood disaster”—and it certainly was. The North Sea flood of 1953 was the result of a high spring tide that met a strong storm, resulting in a storm surge that inundated the countries around the sea. Lives were lost in England, Scotland and Belgium, but the worst of the surge was felt in the Netherlands. The dikes and other sea defense built around the coast of the Netherlands were unable to defend against the surge, and nearly 2,000 people died in the ensuring flood. (Just to put that in perspective, the equivalent loss of life in the U.S. today would be over 60,000 people.) In a below sea-level nation that had always warred with the tides, the 1953 flood proved one of the worst in the history of the Netherlands.”

New York Times “After the enormous storm last week, which genuinely panicked New York with its staggering and often fatal violence, residents here could certainly identify with the first line of Benchley’s note. But what about the second?”

Video

Here’s a National Geographic video on the North Sea Wall.

Video

Check out this video from Arcadis on a concept barrier for New York City.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Aug 31, 2015
A television photographer takes video of a memorial for the two slain journalist in front of the studios of WDBJ-TV7 in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward from the station were killed during a live broadcast Wednesday.  (AP)

Lessons from the Roanoke TV shootings. We’ll look at the way forward with the New York Times’ Nick Kristof and other top thinkers.

Aug 31, 2015
While the jury still deliberates, former St. Paul's School student Owen Labrie, left, leaves the Merrimack Superior Court at the end of day with security in tow Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, in Concord, N.H.  Labrie was convicted by a jury of several misdemeanors, but ruled not guilty in the most serious felony sexual assault charges. (AP)

A verdict in the New Hampshire prep school rape trial. And calls for changing sexual assault laws.

RECENT
SHOWS
Aug 28, 2015
Lightning first ignited the Meadow fire on July 20, 2014 in Yosemite. By September 8, the fire had charred 2,582 acres. Bernie Krause has recorded soundscapes of national parks destroyed by large areas of forest fires. Listen below.  (National Park Service)

A legendary natural sound collector shares his recordings. We’ll listen in.

 
Aug 28, 2015
WDBJ-TV7 meteorologist Leo Hirsbrunner, right, wipes his eyes during the early morning newscast as anchors Kimberly McBroom, center, and guest anchor Steve Grant deliver the news at the station in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed during a live broadcast Wednesday, while on assignment in Moneta. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

A deadly shooting on live TV. Wall Street’s roller coaster ride. Biden considers a White House bid. 10 years since Katrina.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: August 28, 2015
Friday, Aug 28, 2015

You say #hashtag, we say, #forwhat? That, plus Usain Bolt and the ominous lurking Segway cameraman. Friday!

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: August 21, 2015
Friday, Aug 21, 2015

Do you even click? (And other reflections on link sharing and web commenting).

More »
6 Comments
 
Do You Recognize Amazon’s Workplace Culture? Tell Us!
Tuesday, Aug 18, 2015

Do you recognize the workplace conditions described in a recent New York Times piece on Amazon? We want to hear from you!

More »
5 Comments