According to the Huffington Post’s Green section, 14 major American cities could disappear in the next century because of global warming. No coastline seems safe, and the article says that the largest vulnerable metropolitan areas include Miami, Boston, Honolulu, New Orleans, Sacramento and New York City.
The article does not even mention hundreds of smaller communities that would be threatened by rising water. Ironically, according to the United Nationals Environment Program, cities contribute the most to global warming in the first place. It might be time to consider some things that cities can do to reduce global warming.
1. Cities Must Offer Local Solutions
In 2013, Scientific American published an article called Can Cities Solve Climate Change? The article mentions that cities are usually at the forefront of dealing with the impact of global climate change as evidenced by the destruction that New York City and other coastal cities had to deal with after SuperstormHurricane Sandy.
Meanwhile, the article mentions that the cities of the world add 65 million people to the population each day. This is six times the population of New York City.
While cities may suffer the impact of climate change, they also have to accept responsibility for it. Consider that the article continues on to point out that cities are responsible for 70 percent of annual greenhouse gas emissions. Of that 70 percent of the world’s emissions, 75 percent is under the direct control of city governments, and it is not under the control of the federal or state government.
It is certainly not under the control of any UN environmental effort. These emissions come from city power plants, vehicles, residences, government offices, and industries that are mostly located in or near cities.
In the end, the author of this article concludes that cities have to exercise the control that they do have to reduce emissions in order to slow down or stop global warming. Regulations have to make certain that new buildings adhere to codes that make them more energy efficient in both their construction and their use.
Cities should enforce emission standards on their factories and power plants and encourage companies to use more sustainable and renewable sources of energy. They should also promote the use of alternate transportation sources in order to reduce congestion and pollution.
Residents of greener cities can enjoy cleaner air, less congestion, and a healthier atmosphere. Additionally, the city will have done its part to reduce global warming.