The Irony of Super-Storm Sandy

Just days before the election, the ‘Climate Change Silence’ of this presidential campaign is being shattered by hurricane Sandy.

photo of hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy

It’s the ultimate irony – the first presidential campaign in 25 years where climate change was excluded from all four debates and then the campaign dragging to its close with the worse super-storm possibly ever-recorded.

Nathan Currier‘s post on The Blog (Huff Post Green) highlights this irony fully:

After the second presidential debate, moderator Candy Crowley said, “Climate change — I had that question, all you climate change people. We just — you know, again, we knew that the economy was still the main thing, so you knew you kind of wanted to go with the economy… Now, along comes Sandy, who says to Candy, “Okay, then, take that!” See, Sandy doesn’t get into debating these things, either. Now, let’s see what Sandy’s bill ends up being…then let’s sit down and talk some economy.

The debate will rage about whether this unparalleled hurricane  has been anthropogenically induced or is simply a freak of nature. In the same article (Nathan Currier) makes reference to a paper by Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University (Professor of Atmospheric Sciences and Scientist) about how the important elements of this storm can be attributed to large-scale climactic changes resulting from extreme loss of arctic ice, record high ocean surface temperatures off the U.S. coast and the extreme heat of the summer of 2012.

Of course the causal factors linking the features of such a major storm are complex but can one ignore the reality of a year of droughts, flooding, fires, unprecedented heat waves, and now the storm of the century?

Sandy is wreaking political havoc particularly with the Republicans who have a recent history of global warming denialism. W.V. Fitzgerald, Digital Journal writes about the following:

Historically in this country we have understood that when communities and states experience disasters, we as a nation come together to address those. That is what being a nation is about,” (Senator Bernard Sanders of Vermont in NYT).

Unfortunately, in the aftermath of Irene…Republicans did not call for unity, they did not call for the nation to come together nor did they put the partisanship on hold while Americans dealt with the disaster. In an unprecedented move, Eric Cantor announced that he and his counterparts would be holding disaster relief hostage, if they couldn’t have their way they wouldn’t approve the funding. Their response to the disaster served to prove to anyone who may have previously had doubts that for the house Republicans, nothing is sacred, nothing is off limits; even a natural disaster that affects millions of Americans is not more important than promoting their agenda.

It will be most interesting how the candidates handle Sandy during the next week. Or perhaps, Sandy will have the final say.

 

 

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