The sea is rising, and it will cost $10 billion to properly protect the city, according to The New York Times. In February 2009, Mayor Bloomberg released conclusions issued by the New York City Panel on Climate Change. The devastating, if little-known, report said New York City is in danger of permanent flooding. By the end of the century, New York City's temperature is projected to increase by 4 to 7.5 degrees Fahrenheit, annual precipitation will rise by 5% to 10% and sea levels will climb by 12 to 23 inches. A coastal flood that typically occurs every 10 years could happen as often as once a year, the panel warned.
Talking to people about Sandy, I don't get the sense that we're scared enough to put pressure on our political leaders to fix this problem. Some might not even think there's anything wrong. An example of this nonchalance can be seen in the fact that shares of real estate investment trusts (REITs) with large exposure to Manhattan real estate, including SL Green & Co. ( SLG) and Brookfield Properties ( BPO), actually opened higher on Wednesday and finished essentially flat. Analysts I spoke to were focused on the apparent minimal damage caused by Sandy and they waved away my questions about its implications for New York's future. The fact that extreme weather events like Sandy are becoming far too frequent is worrisome enough. Even more worrying, though, is that few of us seem to care. -- Written by Dan Freed in New York. Follow @dan_freed