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
May 27, 2016
Riot police block off the Albuquerque Convention Center to anti-Trump protests following a rally and speech by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the convention center where the event was held, in Albuquerque, N.M., Tuesday, May 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Obama at Hiroshima. Turmoil at Trump rallies. Clinton’s emails, heating up. Sanders predicts a “messy” convention. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

May 27, 2016
In this Oct. 27, 2015, photo,  Big Muddy Farms, an urban farm in northern Omaha, Neb. is seen amongst residential homes. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, we’ve got top gardeners spilling the beans on how to grow everything.

RECENT
SHOWS
May 27, 2016
In this Oct. 27, 2015, photo,  Big Muddy Farms, an urban farm in northern Omaha, Neb. is seen amongst residential homes. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, we’ve got top gardeners spilling the beans on how to grow everything.

 
May 27, 2016
Riot police block off the Albuquerque Convention Center to anti-Trump protests following a rally and speech by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the convention center where the event was held, in Albuquerque, N.M., Tuesday, May 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Obama at Hiroshima. Turmoil at Trump rallies. Clinton’s emails, heating up. Sanders predicts a “messy” convention. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
In The Garden, Mother Nature Makes The Rules
Friday, May 27, 2016

Executive producer Karen Shiffman explains why she turns to her garden for food, friends and natrual comfort.

More »
Comment
 
WWII Vet Larry Kirby Reflects On American Values
Thursday, May 26, 2016

Looking ahead to Memorial Day, a World War II veteran looks back at the experiences that mattered to him, both in and out of war.

More »
Comment
 
Gloria Steinem Explains Her ‘Bernie Boys’ Comment
Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Feminist activist Gloria Steinem explains why her apparent diss of female supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders was anything but.

More »
Comment