November 4, 2012

The Post’s excellent Nov. 1 editorial “After Sandy” rightly highlighted the vulnerability of coastal cities such as New York in this era of changing climate. Thanks to climate change, a brew of rising sea levels, storm surges and storm water inundation will threaten these cities with potentially escalating damage and loss of life in years to come.

Unfortunately, the editorial focused almost entirely on built solutions to these threats, such as levees and sea walls. While these strategies have a key role, there is an equally critical role for “green infrastructure” strategies in the future. These include restoring coastal forests and wetlands, creating waterfront parks that emphasize permeable surfaces and storm water retention, and re-creating oyster reefs and barrier islands.

These green solutions are often more durable and cost-effective and offer quality-of-life benefits. We must include green elements in our cities’ response to climate change and allocate funding accordingly.

Jad Daley, Alexandria

The author is director of the Climate Conservation Program at the Trust for Public Land.

Regarding Melinda Henneberger’s Nov. 2 She the People column, “Sandy puts climate change back in the conversation”:

Linking Hurricane Sandy to climate change and global warming is like including handgun restrictions in the world nuclear arms reduction talks; it may be just a little far-fetched. Sandy was a world-class storm both in circumference and atmospheric depression — two metrics that greatly affect how much ocean water the storm can displace along a shoreline. Add in the elevated tidal effects from a full moon and the cold front that linked up with Sandy as it came ashore, and you have several factors that make much more plausible explanations for the severity of her outcomes than climate change.

K. Jason Campbell, Hyattsville