Archive for March, 2013

March 20, 2013

When it comes to rising sea levels, we’re in deep water

http://www.npr.org/2013/02/22/172702424/boston-grapples-with-the-threat-of-storms-and-rising-water?ft=3&f=1001&sc=nl&cc=nh-20130223
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/17/arts/design/flood-control-in-the-netherlands-now-allows-sea-water-in.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
These two articles about rising sea levels are especially interesting when seen together. The first, describing Boston’s flood zone evaluation after Hurricane Sandy, hits close to home, and the second is set just about as far away from Cambridge as you can get, in The Netherlands. The takeaway from these articles is that cities all over the world are facing the harsh reality of climate change, but there are very different ways to respond. The Dutch government is making tough, sometimes unpopular choices to prepare its country for worst-case-scenario flooding. Boston, which faces a similarly grim situation as sea levels rise, is opting for renovation on individual buildings to prepare them for the impending crises. While this approach is easier to stomach for Boston residents, it does little more than delay the unpleasantness of admitting that our coastal communities are in danger. Rather than acting to prevent new building projects in at-risk areas, our government actually provides incentives in the form of flooding insurance and construction subsidies. If we are going to avoid tremendous costs associated with widespread flooding from sea to shining sea, we will have to bite the bullet, as the Dutch have, and stop relying on the convenience of building near the water’s edge.

March 10, 2013

Harnessing the Power of Waves!

A new project in Washington state is using hydraulic buoys to generate power! The company says that 10 buoys should be able to power 100,000 homes. Check out the NYTimes article here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/04/us/project-aims-to-harness-wave-energy-off-the-oregon-coast.html?_r=0

There is also a radio piece from NPR:
http://www.npr.org/2012/09/07/160752625/oregon-power-project-needs-the-motion-of-the-ocean

Enjoy!