New York City plans to be flooded. Unlike people living in several cities in Europe and New England, who are protected from coastal flooding with storm surge barriers, New Yorkers are promised only “resilience,” the ability to withstand and recover. Because New Yorkers are tough. So says Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's new plan for the city, A Stronger, More Resilient New York.

Storm surge, a gradual rise in sea level over a few hours or days, is identified in the Mayor's plan as the most severe threat from climate change, worsening by the 2050s as sea level rises and hurricanes become more severe. Two or three storm-surge barriers, which would be closed to block the entrances to New York Harbor when a storm surge approached, would protect the entire inner city as well as nearby New Jersey and the Hudson Valley, places that are blank areas on the City's...

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