Hurricane Sandy gave us a good shellacking, no doubt. But now that power has returned to the Northeast, allowing for a slow but steady road to recovery, we can forget about those dismal three weeks of darkness, right?
Well, unfortunately this is a trend that is becoming all too familiar; and it doesn’t just concern the frequency of strong hurricanes along the East Coast. This is a
national global phenomenon resulting from an increasingly volatile climate, producing what Thomas Friedman calls “global weirding.” Friedman prefers this term because it encompasses the true consequences of a rise in global temperatures: “The weather gets weird. The hots are expected to get hotter, the wets wetter, the dries drier and the most violent storms more numerous.” Friedman said this back in 2010, before Hurricane Irene or Hurricane Sandy wreaked the most havoc the Northeast has seen in decades.
We’ve reached the point of visible change; tangible repercussions from our actions. Yet, during the recent presidential debates both candidates failed to mention a realistic plan for battling climate change. Instead, in a nauseating display of unwarranted affection for the coal industry, both Obama and Romney argued about who would be a greater proponent for an antiquated, dirty power source.
I don’t believe that this hurricane, on its own, validates climate change (or is even wholly related), but it represents an alarming trend. Sandy was just one of the many natural disasters in recent years; some others were Hurricane Katrina (2005), Australia’s “Black Saturday” Bushfires (2009), the Tornado in Joplin, Miss. (2011), and unfortunately, many more. It’s time to wake up and de-politicize the fight for climate initiatives. This is no longer a left/right issue, but, unfortunately a widespread societal one. Even if you don’t believe in climate change, wouldn’t you rather implement green initiatives that double as precautionary measures so you’re ready for the next natural disaster?