2007 MAPS PREDICTED HURRICANE’S IMPACT ON NYC
A series of 3-D maps predicted exactly what Hurricane Sandy would do to Lower Manhattan — five years ago. The maps, constructed during a study of the vulnerability of U.S. coastal cities to flooding, showed what would happen during a three-meter rise in sea levels: Lower Manhattan, the East Village neighborhood, and FDR Drive would be underwater. And that’s precisely what happened this week. The mapping procedure has potential to show what will happen to coastal areas during storms, and possibly what a future elevated sea level, predicted by scientists, would look like…and where future coastlines, surf breaks and “beach-front” property will be located. Via Inside Climate News.
HIKER STUNG BY BEES, DIES IN FALL FROM PHOENIX PARK TRAIL
In a tragic case of being in the worst place at the worst time, three men on an afternoon hike on Phoenix’s popular Camelback Mountain were attacked by a swarm of bees — sending one of them off a 150-foot cliff to his death. Rescuers in protective suits airlifted the other two hikers off the mountain and to the hospital, where both were in serious condition after being stung more than 300 times apiece. More than 300,000 people hike the trails on Camelback Mountain each year, and attacks are rare, although not rare enough. Also: There are so-called “killer” bees in Arizona, and even if you’re not allergic, the stings hurt a lot more than garden variety yellow jacket stings. Via The Arizona Republic.
BRITISH DRIVER FINED A LOUSY $150 FOR ALMOST KILLING CYCLIST
The U.S. isn’t the only country whose justice system treats cyclists like cattle: An 84-year-old driver who hit and almost killed a UK cyclist, leaving him with a brain injury and more than 30 broken bones, will pay about $150 plus court costs. John Drake, the cyclist, who spent six weeks in the hospital and was on life support much of that time, isn’t pleased. He says he’s suffered memory loss and can’t remember his children growing up, or getting married. “The sentence does not act as a deterrent to somebody,” Drake says. “You would get a longer sentence if you nicked some Mars bars.” Part of the problem, as in the U.S., is prosecutors who are trying to get form of sentence to stick, and ill-defined laws that don’t differentiate pedestrians, those on foot, from cyclists. Via Road.cc.
CORRUPT COPS HELPING CUT DOWN KENYA’S FORESTS, OFFICIALS SAY
It’s illegal to cut down trees in Kenya’s largest forest, but almost a quarter of its trees have been removed in the past 15 years, enabled by bribes to police and other officials — so furniture can be made for the wealthy. The bad news for Kenya’s future: deforestation of the almost 1-million-acre Mau Forest affects rainfall, which feeds the Mara River — and draws the annual wildebeest migration, a major source of tourism for the area. The Mara is down to half-flow during parts of recent years. More than 60,000 illegal settlers have aided illegal logging and have farmed land cleared by illegal logging, and efforts are underway to relocate them. Several arrests have been made as investigations continue. Via Trust.org.