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Taking Chances: The Coast after Hurricane Sandy - Hardcover

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9780813573779: Taking Chances: The Coast after Hurricane Sandy
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Humanity is deeply committed to living along the world’s shores, but a catastrophic storm like Sandy—which took hundreds of lives and caused many billions of dollars in damages—shines a bright light at how costly and vulnerable life on a shoreline can be. Taking Chances offers a wide-ranging exploration of the diverse challenges of Sandy and asks if this massive event will really change how coastal living and development is managed.  Bringing together leading researchers—including biologists, urban planners, utilities experts, and climatologists, among others—Taking Chances illuminates reactions to the dangers revealed by Sandy. Focusing on New Jersey, New York, and other hard-hit areas, the contributors explore whether Hurricane Sandy has indeed transformed our perceptions of coastal hazards, if we have made radically new plans in response to Sandy, and what we think should be done over the long run to improve coastal resilience. Surprisingly, one essay notes that while a large majority of New Jerseyans identified Sandy with climate change and favored carefully assessing the likelihood of damage from future storms before rebuilding the Shore, their political leaders quickly poured millions into reconstruction. Indeed, much here is disquieting. One contributor points out that investors scared off from further investments on the shore are quickly replaced by new investors, sustaining or increasing the overall human exposure to risk. Likewise, a study of the Gowanus Canal area of Brooklyn shows that, even after Sandy swamped the area with toxic flood waters, plans to convert abandoned industrial lots around the canal into high-density condominiums went on undeterred. By contrast, utilities, emergency officials, and others who routinely make long-term plans have changed operations in response to the storm, and provide examples of adaptation in the face of climate change. Will Sandy be a tipping point in coastal policy debates—or simply dismissed as a once-in-a-century anomaly? This thought-provoking collection of essays in Taking Chances makes an important contribution to this debate. 

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About the Author:
KAREN M. O’ NEILL is an associate professor in the department of human ecology at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. She is the author of Rivers by Design: State Power and the Origins of U.S. Flood Control and she co-edited Katrina’s Footprint: Race and Vulnerability in America (Rutgers University Press).  DANIEL J. VAN ABS is an associate professor of practice in the department of human ecology at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.  He is the coauthor of Water Infrastructure in New Jersey’s CSO Cities: Elevating the Importance of Upgrading New Jersey’s Urban Water Systems
"O'Neill and Van Abs examine Sandy's impacts through the perspectives of urban planners, ecologists, climatologists, policy makers, and emergency managers to assess the vulnerabilities of the northeastern coast and to help better plan for and mitigate future disasters ... The essays argue for a more thoughtful, planned response to coastal rebuilding and development ... Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals and practitioners." (Choice)

"Taking Chances raises important questions about the long-term viability of coastal communities. It does so without proposing reductive solutions that ignore the attachment residents may feel to their homes. Together, these essays provide nuance to very complex problems that we will continue to face with increasing frequency in the future, making for a timely contribution to the literature. While each essay stands alone, they also work in tandem to explore how different entities (residents, businesses, government agencies, infrastructure, etc.) responded to Hurricane Sandy. Though the book focuses on Sandy, the findings speak to broader societal trends of risk perceptions and disaster response." (Vanessa Parks, Lousiana State University Rural Sociology)

"Highly accessible and interdisciplinary in its approach, Taking Chances would be a fine contribution to any undergraduate or graduate course with a concentration on disaster studies, or climate change." (City & Community)

"Surrendering to Rising Seas?" by Jen Schwartz (Scientific American)

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9780813573762: Taking Chances: The Coast after Hurricane Sandy

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ISBN 10:  ISBN 13:  9780813573762
Publisher: Rutgers University Press, 2016

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O'Neill, Karen M.
Published by University of Chicago press (2016)
ISBN 10: 0813573777 ISBN 13: 9780813573779
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