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Could Sandy Lead to More Green Energy? [AUDIO]

Hurricanes, flooding and storm surges are natural occurrences and the environment is equipped to recover from after big bad storms, according to Green Peace Research Director Kurt Davis.

Solar Panels on School
Flickr User Ell Brown

However, Mother Nature could be set back by human interference by the construction and sprawl in places normally designed to sustain the brunt of major storms.

Davies said barrier islands are a result of wave action and storms. He said, “Essentially the islands would have shifted a little bit. It would have built more sand up on the back side and filled in a little bit of the marsh and moved a little bit in a big event like this. You can’t do that when you have human infrastructure in the way.”

He said it will be interesting to see the storm’s impact on Island Beach State Park, one of the only naturally preserved areas of the Jersey Shore.

Davies said there is a silver lining to all this devastation. He says the superstorm could change the way we power our buildings and it could also impact how rebuilding is done.

He said the electricity lost because of the superstorm made the use of mobile solar energy providers a real option. He says “right now we’re operating our solar truck up in New York City “The Rolling Sunlight” and its providing power for a local clinic that sprung up and a local community center that’ been distributing things like socks and toilet paper and toothbrushes, you know, stuff that people lost.”

He said there are reports that people with solar panels didn’t lose electricity because they had their own grid. They didn’t have to rely on the power lines coming into their house they had electricity after the storm.

He said people who have to rebuild their homes, can now construct it so that it’s a little bit better in terms of energy consumption. Choosing materials that are a little greener, placing in energy efficient windows and programmable thermostats.

However, he warned that because of climate change superstorms like Sandy could be the new normal. He said in a way New Jersey’s barrier Islands dodged a bullet because it didn’t get the 100 mile per hour winds or the 14 foot storm surges that New York got. He said, “That’s one thing to think about. this is going to happen again. How do we get ready?”

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