10 Climate Change Stories to Help the Presidential Candidates Catch Up

Goodlifer: 10 Climate Change Stories to Help the Presidential Candidates Catch Up

The surprise announcement from NYC’s Mayor Bloomberg that Hurricane Sandy had reshaped his thinking about the presidential campaign and with that, an endorsement for President Obama, has given on-the-fence voters a new lean.

What gives? Climate change. Bloomberg went on record telling major press sources that he’d decided over the past several days that “Mr. Obama was the best candidate to tackle the global climate change” that the mayor believes contributed to the violent storm, which took the lives of at least 37 New Yorkers and caused billions of dollars in damage.

Mayor Bloomberg believes Obama is the best candidate to deal with climate change, which he believes contributed to the violent storm that left NYC dark, took the lives of at least 37 New Yorkers and caused billions of dollars in damage. Photo by David Shankbone, Creative Commons

Mayor Bloomberg believes Obama is the best candidate to deal with climate change, which he believes contributed to the violent storm that left NYC dark, took the lives of at least 37 New Yorkers and caused billions of dollars in damage. Photo by David Shankbone, Creative Commons

The mayor isn’t alone in his feelings on climate change thanks to Hurricane Sandy’s Frankenfreakiness. The news speaks for itself and just in case the presidential candidates were too busy to pay attention, here are 10 stories they might want to spend some time with.

1. New York Times: Bloomberg Backs Obama, Citing Fallout From Storm

The New York Times quotes Mayor Bloomberg as saying: “Our climate is changing… And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it may be — given the devastation it is wreaking — should be enough to compel all elected leaders to take immediate action.”

2. Salon: Sandy: It’s a Coincidence!
Salon’s Andrew Leonard writes: “Where have all the climate skeptics gone? Sandy’s devastation provoked renewed attention to the connections between climate change and extreme weather, but so far, Republican politicians have been keeping a low profile on the topic.”

3. Climate Depot: Scientists Reject Sandy/Climate Link – Warmists Go Full ‘Tabloid Climatology’ & Claim Sandy Speaks! – Round Up of Hurricane Sandy Reactions
Climate Depot, referred by Salon’s Andrew Leonard as his “favorite one-stop shop for attacks on climate scientists,” has their own ideas on Hurricane Sandy and global warming: “These new ‘Tabloid Climatology’ claims by activists attempting to link any weather event to man-made global warming are disgusting. The ‘new normal’ for climate activists is their ever shifting claims as they morph the entire AGW argument to focus on extreme weather. They are exploiting any weather event to promote their religious like cause and a storm like Sandy is shamelessly used to gin up fear.”

NOAA's GOES-13 satellite captured this visible image of Hurricane Sandy battering the U.S. East coast on Monday, Oct. 29 at 9:10 a.m. EDT. The image was created by the NASA GOES Project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD.

NOAA’s GOES-13 satellite captured this visible image of Hurricane Sandy battering the U.S. East coast on Monday, Oct. 29 at 9:10 a.m. EDT. The image was created by the NASA GOES Project at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD.

4. Washington Post: Climate Change Predictions Foresaw Hurricane Sandy Scenario for New York City
Washington Post writer Don Lipman looks backward to see the present day/aftermath of Hurricane/Nor’easter Sandy and the devastation it has caused. Lipman refers to an article of his from last year from the  2009 New York City Climate Change Panel.

Lipman writes: “Now, two days after the recent storm, the Holland Tunnel, after a temporary shut-down, has managed to reopen. But with a storm surge in lower Manhattan of more than 13 feet, we do know that the 12’ 8” Hugh L. Carey Tunnel [formerly the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel], was flooded from end to end, [with] the water rushing in only hours after it was closed to traffic.”

5. Time: Climate Change and Sandy: Why We Need to Prepare for a Warmer World
Time magazine says what most environmentalists have been wondering the whole campaign season- the “missing in action” issue of climate change.
“When it comes to policy responses, though, it doesn’t really matter exactly what role man-made climate change plays in amplifying storms. For one thing, we know that global sea level rise is happening, and we know that’s large due to man-made warming. And sea level in the Northeast seems to be rising three to four times faster than they are globally, which puts cities like New York—which has more than 580 miles of coastline—at enhanced risk.”

6. The New Yorker:  Watching Sandy, Ignoring Climate Change
Elizabeth Kolbert, reporter for The New Yorker writes: “Coming as it is just a week before Election Day, Sandy makes the fact that climate change has been entirely ignored during this campaign seem all the more grotesque. In a year of record-breaking temperatures across the U.S., record drought conditions in the country’s corn belt, and now a record storm affecting the nation’s most populous cities, neither candidate found the issue to be worthy of discussion.

7. Scientific American: Did Climate Change Cause Hurricane Sandy?
Scientific American Senior Editor Mark Fischetti has his own documented views on climate change. He writes: “The hedge expressed by journalists is that many variables go into creating a big storm, so the size of Hurricane Sandy, or any specific storm, cannot be attributed to climate change. That’s true, and it’s based on good science. However, that statement does not mean that we cannot say that climate change is making storms bigger. It is doing just that — a statement also based on good science, and one that the insurance industry is embracing, by the way.” Check out the comments at the bottom of the article. People are mad.

Hurricane Sandy left large parts of New York and New Jersey without heat, power, water and other necessities. The financial damage cause to small business owners is yet to be determined, but sure to be crippling. Photo by Paul Lowry, Creative Commons

Hurricane Sandy left large parts of New York and New Jersey without heat, power, water and other necessities. The financial damage for small business owners is yet to be determined, but sure to be crippling. Photo by Paul Lowry, Creative Commons

8. CNN: Experts Warn of Superstorm Era to Come
Scientists and environmental groups collaborate to prove something is askew when it comes to the warming of the planet. CNN writer Tim Lister quotes a Nature Conservancy rep as saying: “The lack of debate about climate change in the presidential election campaign has been “unfortunate,” but that “Americans are getting to the point of recognizing what they see for what it is.”

9. USA Today: Editorial: Sandy vs. Climate Change Politics
Extreme weather events are on the rise since 1980, says USA Today and one might conjure to guess that the presidential candidates haven’t tackled the issue because it involves talking about money we don’t have.

“Climate change activists pointed to Sandy as exactly the sort of extraordinary event forecast to occur as the atmosphere and the oceans grow hotter. Skeptics shot back that major hurricanes hit New York in 1821 and 1938, long before fossil-fuel emissions were a factor. So, freak storm or climate change?”

10. Huffington Post: Hey Pols: Hurricane Sandy is Climate Change
Writer Josh Garrett says: “The link between manmade climate change and devastating weather events like Sandy deserve to be explored, discussed, and acted upon. We’ve sent enough CO2 and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere to change our planet’s climate, and that change has been observably negative. The only logical thing to do now is to accept climate change, prepare for its ongoing effects, and try to slow it down by dialing back the activities that caused it in the first place.”

What do you think about the climate change debate? Do you believe Sandy is a good example of it? Leave a comment below.

Top photo by Timothy Krause, Creative Commons

About author
Amy DuFault is a sustainable fashion writer and editor whose work has been published in EcoSalon, Ecouterre, Huffington Post, Organic Spa, Coastal Living, Yahoo News, The Frisky and other online and print publications. In addition to being a former co-owner of an eco-boutique and repping for many designers, she also coaches and connects the sustainable fashion community.
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