re: #climateurbanism #PortlandME #MadisonWI et al.

From the NYT we read Where can you escape the harshest effects of climate change?

The Northeast and Midwest are going to have plenty of water, and they’re not going to be subject to coastal flood issues…from a climate perspective, Boise outranked Denver and other Southwestern cities

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Two from Literary Hub

Don’t believe I have heard of this platform/publisher before. Then in last week to ten days, have come across it twice. In both my Facebook and Twitter feeds/networks.

First an old piece, from 2016, by

Walking had returned to me a greater set of possibilities. And why walk, if not to create a new set of possibilities? Following serendipity, I added new routes to the mental maps I had made from constant walking in that city from childhood to young adulthood, traced variations on the old pathways. Serendipity, a mentor once told me, is a secular way of speaking of grace; it’s unearned favor. Seen theologically, then, walking is an act of faith…Walking while black restricts the experience of walking, renders inaccessible the classic Romantic experience of walking alone. It forces me to be in constant relationship with others, unable to join the New York flaneurs I had read about and hoped to join…Walking as a black man has made me feel simultaneously more removed from the city, in my awareness that I am perceived as suspect, and more closely connected to it, in the full attentiveness demanded by my vigilance. It has made me walk more purposefully in the city, becoming part of its flow, rather than observing, standing apart.

Later Olivia Campbell on Climate Change and the Fairy Tale Forest.

As we consider the potential loss of plant, animal, and human life at the hands of climate change, we must also ponder what we stand to lose in culture—in stories yet to be told. Lost or devastated landscapes stand to radically alter the trajectory of our tales.

Or as @elisehunchuck shortened “What tales will go untold as we lose islands, coasts change, species go extinct, and forests wither?

Mapping littoral urbanism

Over at Data Pointed Stephen Von Worley’s mapped the vulnerability of major U.S. cities to climate change and sea level rise. He did this by combining 2010 Census and USGS data to show where people live and the height of the land underneath them.

For NYC and nine other coastal metros, including Boston (image below), Miami, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

sea_level_boston

credit: Stephen Von Worley

As many as half a billion trees!

“In 2011, Texas experienced an exceptional drought, prolonged high winds, and record-setting temperatures,” Forest Service Sustainable Forestry chief Burl Carraway told Reuters on Tuesday. “Together, those conditions took a severe toll on trees across the state.”

He said that between 100 million and 500 million trees were lost. That figure does not include trees killed in wildfires that have scorched an estimated 4 million acres in Texas since the beginning of 2011.

As Bruce Sterling noted “These guys who burble stuff like “Mother Nature is amazingly resilient” are part of the problem. Mother Nature wasn’t resilient enough to defend her trees from this climate crisis.” When you talk of landscape scale changes of this magnitude, it seems as if articulating any response becomes difficult. Certainly any sort of designed intervention. What would one propose in response? I would suggest that we should explore the possibilities of post-successionary landscapes, considering that a generation has been removed from the local ecological. Are sequential, ecological processes of the sort suggested by the term successionary able to address problems of this magnitude quickly or effectively enough? What is the time scale for an appropriate response?

Finally, a note on resilience. In contrast to Bruce’s comment re: climate change and ecological resilience, I will note that that Texas Forest Service Sustainable Forestry chief, Burl Carraway is quoted in the above linked article, as suggesting that the problem doesn’t require a (human designed) response. Carraway in fact argues that what Mother Nature has damaged, Mother Nature can repair. Though his line of reasoning isn’t all that reassuring as it is predicated on an assumption, which may be proved false, “Assuming the rainfall levels get back to normal“…..