As Hurricane Sandy’s fierce winds battered New York City and Long Island, emergency experts worried about conditions in heavily Jewish oceanfront neighborhoods.
Still believe climate change is a myth? Get ready for more Sandy-style disasters as the globe heats up and polar ice caps melt, J.J. Goldberg writes.
Schools, subways and stock markets were all shut as Hurricane Sandy started to pound the East Coast. The worst was still to come as the giant storm lumbered towards shore.
Evacuations were ordered in predominantly Jewish Brooklyn neighborhoods of Brighton Beach and Coney Island as Hurricane Sandy lumbered up the East Coast.
When I participated in the Adamah Fellowship at the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in the fall of 2006, I remember feeling such amazement at the way that the High Holidays perfectly lined up with the agricultural calendar. I arrived at the farm just in time to see summer turn into fall — to harvest the last of the tomatoes and eggplants, clear out old cucumber and summer squash plants and begin to put the field “to bed,” planting cover crop and spreading manure to ensure fertile soil for the next growing season. As we celebrated the New Year, we dipped the first of the season’s apples into honey and feasted upon the frost-sweetened storage crops of the season: carrots, beets, and potatoes.
We know that farmers “make hay while the sun shines,” but what do they do when it rains…and rains…and rains…? The devastation caused by Hurricane Irene, and Tropical Storm Lee that followed on its heels, highlight the precariousness of farming and the painful, tragic effects of extreme weather events. In the wake of these storms, farmers across the Northeast are assessing damages and picking up pieces. For many, waterlogged fields have caused total crop failures; incessantly wet weather is causing storage crops to rot rather than cure; and what should have been three more months of salable produce can now only be plowed under. No matter how skilled the farmers are, the tragedy is that it’s not their fault; they did nothing wrong — it’s just what happens.
“Everything is back to normal today” at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park City at the lower tip of Manhattan, according to Associate Director Abby Spilka.