MOTHER NATURE & THE CITY

June 13, 2018 at 4:45 am

Mother Nature is ensuring that Manhattan remains a livable city.

Peril and Promise is an ongoing series of reports on the human impact of, and solutions for, Climate Change. Lead funding for Peril and Promise is provided by Dr. P. Roy Vagelos and Diana T. Vagelos. Major support is provided by Marc Haas Foundation and Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III.

Aired on June 12, 2018. 

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>>> THE HUSTLE AND BUSLE OF NEW
YORK CITY.
FAST PACED JOBS, KIDS, RENT CAN
STRESS US.
BUT THERE IS A SIMPLE SOLUTION.
ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS OPEN TROR
YOUR FRONT DOOR.
SOUNDS PRICING, RIGHT?
YOU WON'T FIND THE FIX IN A
BOTTLE.
WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING AT IS
NATURE.
NATURE HELPS MANAGE OUR STRESS
LEVELS, PROMOTES KEEPING US COOL
DURING HEAT WAVES, AIDS THE SICK
TO RECOVER FASTER AND PROTESTS
THE SHORELINE FROM HURRICANES.
THAT MIGHT SOUND OKAY TO YOU.
BUT YOU ATTACH THAT SENTENCE TO
NEW YORK CITY.
AND YOU MIGHT BE PUZZLED.
WE'RE GOING TO HELP.
AS PART OF OUR PERIL AND PROMISE
THE THE HUMAN IMPACT OF CLIMATE
CHANGE.
WE EXPLORE WAYS NATURE MEDIATION
THE CITY LIVEABLE AND LESS
STRESSFUL.
HERE WITH THE INFORMATION WE ARE
DATED TO HAVE THE EXECUTIVE
DIRECTOR OF THE NATURE
CONSERVANCY AND.
>> GREAT TO BE HERE.
I APPRECIATE IT.
>> LET'S START WITH THE
INTROWHERE I SAY IN THE SAME
SENTENCE, NATURE, MARVELLOUS
HEALING CAPACITY, ABLE TO I HAD
O AID US AND SO MANY WAYS.
AND NEW YORK CITY.
DO YOU FIND PEOPLE DON'T SEE A
CONNECTION?
>> I THINK TOO FEW PEOPLE SEE
THE CONNECTION.
AND TOO FEW PEOPLE UNDERSTAND
JUST HOW VALUABLE NATURE IS IN
OUR LIVES.
IT'S LIKE BOTH THE MEDICINE AND
THE THERAPIST THAT WE ALL NEED
LEADING THESE FRANTIC HECTIC NEW
YORK LIVES.
AND THE AMOUNT OF BENEFITS THAT
IT PROVIDES TO PEOPLE OF ALL
AGES IS REALLY INCREDIBLE.
>> LET'S TALK ABOUT THE
SPECIFICS.
>> YEAH.
>> THAT I MENTIONED IN THE
INTRO.
I PROBABLY PIQUED SOME INTEREST
OF FOLKS.
>> YEAH.
>> YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT NEW
YORK CITY AND THERE IS STRESS.
MANY PEOPLE THRIVE ON IT MANY
HAVE TO ENDURE IT.
>> RIGHT.
>> BUT HOW DOES NATURE HELP US
IN THE CITY.
>> SO MANY WAYS.
FIRST OF ALL THE INCIDENTS OFFED
CARDIOVASCULAR DECEASE WHO HAVE
NATURE AROUND THEM IS LOWER.
ASTHMA RATES ARE LOWER FOR
PEOPLE WITH TREES AND NATURE
AROUND THEIR HOMES.
YOU MENTIONED IN THE
INTRODUCTION HEAT.
PEOPLE -- NEIGHBORHOODS THAT
HAVE TREES ARE TWO
EVEN-MILE-AN-HOUR FOUR DEGREES
COOLER DURING SUMMERTIME HEAT
WAVES.
>> IS THAT JUST BECAUSE OF
SHADE.
>> EXACTLY RIGHT.
SHADE.
SO IT'S REDUCING TEMPERATURES IN
THE HEAT -- HOT ZONES, URBAN
HEAT ISLANDS AS WE CALL THEM.
TREES AND NATURE ARE SAVING
LIVES, PREVENTING ILLNESS.
AND EVEN WHEN YOU GET TO PEOPLE
RECOVERING, IT'S BEEN SHONE THAT
PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN SICK WILL
RECOVER FASTER IF THEY HAVE
NATURE AROUND THEM.
AND THEN KIDS DO BETTER IN
SCHOOL.
ALL OF THOSE THINGS.
THE THING I SAY FOR EVERYBODY,
THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO IS
EXERCISE BUT REALLY EXERCISE
OUTDOORS.
>> YEAH.
LET'S COME BACK TO THE SPECIFICS
HERE.
AND TREES ONE THING.
AND YOU KNOW YOU HEAR PEOPLE
REFER TO THE CONCRETE JUNGLE.
ALL RIGHT.
>> YEAH.
>> WHICH IS NOT ACCURATE.
BUT PERCEPTIONS, AS YOU KNOW
PERCEPTIONS SOMETIMES THE
EXPRESSION IN POLITICS IS THE
PERCEPTION BECOMES THE REALITY.
>> RIGHT.
>> ARE WE SEEING THE
INTRODUCTION OF MORE TREES INTO
THE NEW YORK CITY AREA.
>> WELL IT'S INTERESTING.
THIS IS A REALLY IMPORTANT
POINT.
BACK TO YOUR OPENING AGAIN,
ITCHING PEOPLE FORGET HOW MUCH
NATURE IS HERE.
AND ACTUALLY ALMOST A QUARTER OF
NEW YORK CITY IS IN PARKS AND
GREEN SPACES AND OPEN SPACE.
>> IS THE NUMBER THAT MUCH?
>> IT'S ACTUALLY ALMOST A
QUARTER.
AND THERE ARE ACTUALLY ABOUT
5.5 MILLION TREES IN THE NEW
YORK CITY.
I DO IMAGINE A DAY THERE IS A
TREE FOR EVERY NEW YORKER WE
HAVE A FEW MILLION TO GO.
BUT I THINK THAT THIS WHOLE
CONNECTION IS -- IS SO
IMPORTANT, SO SO IMPORTANT FOR
ALL OF NEW YORKERS.
AND WHAT WE DO IS I THINK KIND
OF LIKE SO MANY THINGS WE TAKE
IT FOR GRANTED.
WE WALK OUT THE DOOR AND
SOMETIMES WE DON'T ALWAYS SEE
THE NATURE AROUND US.
ALTHOUGH AT SPRINGTIME WE HAVE
THE BEAUTIFUL BLOSSOMING TREES
AROUND AND YOU SEE PEOPLE TAKING
SELFIES.
AND PEOPLE TAKE NOTICE THERE IS
THIS BEAUTIFUL NATURE ALL AROUND
US.
THE AWARENESS IS GROWING.
BUT WE NEED TO PLANT MORE TREES
AND THE TREES WE PLAN, WHETHER
IN PARKS OR TREE WELLS ALONG
CITY STREETS, WHAT'S REALLY
IMPORTANT IS WE TAKE CARE OF
THEM, STEWARD THEM AND HELP MAKE
SURE THEY'RE NURTURED AND
SURVIVE.
HOW NEIGHBORS AND NEIGHBORHOODS
COME TOGETHER TO MAKE IT HAPPEN,
I THINK THAT'S REALLY THE KEY OF
THE FUTURE OF KEEPING NEW YORK
GREEN.
>> HOW DO VIEWERS WATCHING AND
LISTENING TO US NOW AND SAYING
ALL RIGHT, TREES, THAT'S A KEY.
>> RIGHT.
>> I'D LIKE TO GET INVOLVED AND
SOMEHOW ENHANCE AND MOVE THAT
ALONG.
>> RIGHT.
>> HOW WOULD ORDINARY CITIZENS
CONTRIBUTE.
>> THERE IS A A LOT.
GREAT QUESTION.
FIRST OF ALL IS PAY ATTENTION TO
THE TREES AROUND YOU.
AND PEOPLE CAN ADOPT TREES AND
TREE WELLS.
AND THERE IS AN ORGANIZATION
CALLED TREES NEW YORK CITY.
WE ARE DOING AN EVENT WITH THEM
DOWN IN SOUTH STREET SEA PORT
COMING UP.
THIS IS THEIR FOCUS, MISSION.
THE NEW YORK RESTORATION PROJECT
WORKED WITH BLOORM DURING HIS
ADMINISTRATION.
AND THE NATURE CONSERVANCY IS
WANTING TO HELP AND SUPPORT.
REACH OUT TO LOCAL
ORGANIZATIONS.
ALSO THE CITY THREE ONE WITHIN.
IF YOU SEE A TREE DIES OING OR A
DEAD TREAT TREE OR OPEN YOU CAN
MAKE A CALL TO THE CITY.
THERE IS A CHANCE THEY'LL COME
OUT AND PLANT A TREE THERE.
>> REALLY NOTIFYING THE CITY
ABOUT THE NEED IN THE
NEIGHBORHOOD.
>> WHAT ABOUT, AGAIN, BIGGER
PICTURE, SHORELINE PROTECTION.
>> RIGHT.
>> PROTECTION FROM STORMS.
WHAT DO WE SEE THERE?
>> THIS IS ANOTHER IMPORTANT
POINT AROUND PEOPLE NOT
APPRECIATING THE ROLE THAT
NATURE PLAYS.
AND THERE WAS A STUDY JUST AFTER
HURRICANE SANDY THAT SHOWED THAT
ABOUT $680 MILLION WORTH OF
DAMAGE WAS AVOIDED.
SO ALMOST 3/4S OF A BILLION
DOLLARS BECAUSE OF WETLANDS ON
THE COAST.
COASTAL FORESTS, WETLAND WAS,
OYSTER REEFS.
>> HOW TOES THAT WORK.
>> IN A CHANGE A CHANGING
CLIMATE WORLD.
SEA LEVEL RISE.
AND STORM SURGE LIKE IN SANDY
INCREASES.
WE NEED THE BUFFER BETWEEN OPEN
OCEAN AND US, 8.5 MILLION NEW
YORKERS.
THIS IS GREEN PROTECTION ALONG
THE SHORELINES THAT WHEN A STORM
REEFS TAKE 97%
OF THE ENERGY OUT OF A WAVE.
WETLANDS ABSORB WAVE ENERGY
MAKING LANDFALL.
COASTAL FORESTS HELP SLOWDOWN
STORM SURGE.
THESE ARE ALL THINGS THAT IF WE
INVEST IN THIS AND STEWARDING IT
OVER TIME WE'LL BE SAFER, BETTER
PROTECTED.
AND WE'RE JUST HAVING A MORE
LIVEABLE CITY BECAUSE THEN THESE
ARE PARKS, THESE ARE THE
PLAYGROUND, WHERE WE CAN GET OUT
AND BE HEALTHIER.
THERE ARE PLACES TO CREATE
BUFFERS THAT PROTECT PEOPLE.
AND THERE ARE PLACES QUITE
HONESTLY WHERE WE NEED TO GET
PEOPLE OUT OF HARM'S WAY.
YOU KNOW, WE ARE STARTING TO SEE
THE BUYOUTS WHERE PLACES ARE SO
LOW, EVEN ON LONGSL
PORTIONS OF STATEN ISLAND AT A
FULL MOON HIGH TIDE PEOPLE
FLOODED OUT THERE.
THE OTHER THINK WE NEED TO TO DO
IS GET PEOPLE OUT OF HARM'S
WHICH.
RESTORE THE WITH WETLAND WAS
RESTORE THE PARKS AND LET THEM
BECOME A NATURAL BUFFER AND
INFRASTRUCTURE BETWEEN THE OPEN
OCEAN AND US.
>> A LOT THERE.
ONE QUICK QUESTION.
FOR FOCUS WATCHING.
NATURE KWEVTCY HOW CAN I HELP.
>> THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS, THE
KEEP -- COPE DOING WHAT NEW
YORKERS DO.
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, RECYCLE,
KPOFT NOW.
THESE ARE THINGS BECOMING EWE
BIG-TICKETOUS IN NEW YORK CITY.
AND GET OUTSIDE.
IT'S A RATE GREAT TIME TO GET
OUT IN SPRING WHETHER IN A
NEIGHBORHOOD PARK OR GOVERNOR'S.
>> YOU AND I HUFF DONE THIS
INTERVIEW OUTSIDE.
>> TOTALLY AGREE.
>> JUST TO ILLUSTRATE THE POINT.
>> THANKS, JACK I APPRECIATE IT.
>> TAKE CARE.