Island nations already experiencing catastrophic extreme weather and regions where food production is in jeopardy because of may take umbrage at the news that experts think “Oswego County could be ground zero for climate change harm” (see below). There are many very vulnerable regions around the world, including Eastern coastal cities, where Climate Change harm is and will be for quite some time far greater than central New York.
It's important that our media bring home Climate Change so that locals realize that there are many subtle and dramatic changes coming to their region that need to be planned for and addressed. At the same time this crisis is a worldwide problem, it is also a provincial issue. Hyperbolic headline aside, the article above does a fantastic job in presenting a comprehensive look at how Climate Change will affect Oswego, Central New York, and much of America’s Northeast. It really nails the urgency to get our public and our infrastructure prepared, so we aren’t caught ‘flatfooted’ when the accumulated problems begin to overwhelm us.
I like that the article references former Governor David Patterson, who has not been given enough credit for his role in putting a moratorium onin New York State while we took time to think about it. His climate study captured this critical issue well before Cuomo took office. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) still uses Governor Patterson’s published in 2010. (It should be updated.) Governor Patterson’s role helped legitimize the Climate Change issue, showing that we have known about it for quite some time now and reporting what we should have been doing about it.
In our attempt to get the message home and gain the attention of the public, our journalists should use caution—so they don’t mislead. Central New York is not ground zero for Climate Change harm. It might be more appropriate to say that theis ground zero, as this region of the world is warming the fastest and could experience the most dramatic change—no ice in the summer within decades (thereby impacting our weather due to changes in the jet stream), opening up a pristine region of the world to oil drilling and a massive increase in shipping traffic.
Further, there are very densely populated regions where millions of people may have to move or die because it will be too hot to work and too dry to grow food. That won’t be Western New York or Central New York.
“Last June, temperatures in Iran and Pakistan soared above 129 degrees. As climate change continues, one study suggests that parts of the Middle East and North Africa will suffer heat waves so intense that they could become uninhabitable. Indonesia is sinking as the sea level rises, making disasters like the 2018 tsunami deadlier. As sea level rise increases flooding and threatens freshwater supplies in some island nations, they could be uninhabitable by the middle of the century.” ((January 8, 2019) )
As a matter of fact, we may see a great influx of people in our neck of the woods due to regions (for example South and West USA, who’ll be running out of water). Because we won’t be harmed as much as many places around our country and the world, we should be preparing for new arrivals and upgrading our infrastructures—transportation, wastewater, water, electricity, and telecommunications that our vast human populations cannot live without.
That said, other than the error of overstating who gets to be called “ground zero” on Climate Change in order to draw attention, the above article is one of the best encapsulations by a local media of the threats we need to address in our region.