Was Hurricane Sandy A Result Of Climate Change?

Hear from experts about the intricacies & urgencies of climate change.

Image
Hurricane Sandy at peak intensity on October 25, 2012.
Photo:NOAA Environmental Visualization Lab
Was Hurricane Sandy A Result Of Climate Change?
Download Audio
Audio Playlist
Was Hurricane Sandy A Result Of Climate Change?

It's really possible that ten years from now, the main thing anybody will remember about this presidential election is that the two candidates had three debates and never mentioned climate change. Ten years from now, this will seem to everyone as astonishing as it seems to me right now.  If the last few days are any indication, climate change is going to re-map our physical world and introduce a new level of uncertainty into our lives. Climate change is, I believe, the most pressing human issue of this century and nobody talked about it.
Astonishing.

Having said that, I admit it's only fair to talk pretty directly about the relationship between climate change and the storm we just had. And the storms we keep having. So that's what we're going to do today.

Both candidates spent part of the third debate trying to out-drill and out-coal-mine each other. If one of them had a real greenhouse gas policy, it might even help him right now.

Leave your comments below, e-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.


  

Comments

EMAIL FROM VIRGINIA:

Just got power/internet back. Turned msnbc on and Bill Mckibben on saying we should be calling this storm "Hurricane Chevron and next one Hurricane Exxon."

EMAIL FROM JOHN:

back in 1970 when I was in Jr High we were told that global warming was coming because the earth was slowing down and the axis tilting. The forcasts are the same as today for sea rise. What is different is that then the warned that if we did not stop population growth the result would be what we are seeing. More people, more cars, more houses to heat, more body heat. Why are we ignoring population in all of this?

EMAIL FROM MARY:

As I am listening to the conversation on climate change I have these
observations:

1) This conversation is still largely focused on what our elected
officials in Washington DC can do rather than our municipal communities,
and state representatives. Thus it seems impossible to do anything.

However, change at a municipal level is happening, especially through
urban-suburban design and real estate development decisions.

2) The media is not really covering the more manageable opportunities
for design adaptation at the local level. In Hartford the media is
remains fascinated with post-modern goals (19th century urban fabrics)
rather than the essential regenerative functions of natural resources
(clean water, food, and cleaner, cooler air that support community
health). I am amazed at how problematic is it that I am not a big
cheerleader for greenways as a one lane recreational trails along Park
River tributaries. Planners and engineers at MDC, CRCOG, and City of
Hartford Economic Development, who do not want to see change have
suffocated all efforts to spark conversation and design innovation
around green infrastructure.

The local political ideologies with respect to municipal design of
Connecticut cities, especially Hartford are full of non-collaborative,
exclusive conversations and uninformed "idea leaders" who have crafted
city a number of planning projects that do not include comprehensive
strategies for climate change adaptation. Notice how very few, if any
women are recognized as knowledgeable.

3) Cities that are beginning to communities that energy independent, and
create "green" economies based on paying people to do the work of
climate change adaptation, or incentives for not sprawling to the
hinterlands are more likely to send elected officials to Washington DC
who can stand-up to the fossil fuel lobby.

The ground game of climate change adaptation and policy change starts as
a grassroots change in local communities, including your backyard. Let's
meet to talk about how changes to the North Branch of the Park River
could help the Hartford metro area and Connecticut become more resilient.