High-profile figures like Bloomberg, Cuomo and Clinton speaking candidly and practically about climate change suggests a change of pace among public officials. But will the dialogue on extreme weather and climate that has emerged in Sandy’s wake alter the national conversation (or lack thereof) on climate change?
“It’s global warming, stupid” Business Week
If all that doesn’t impress, forget the scientists ostensibly devoted to advancing knowledge and saving lives. Listen instead to corporate insurers committed to compiling statistics for profit.
A day after New York City experienced its worst storm surges in recorded history, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city may need to respond to climate change with steps like storm barriers. Such protections would be extremely costly, but climate change experts said Hurricane Sandy provided a first glimpse of the challenges all coastal areas will face as sea levels rise and extreme weather events become more frequent.
Cuomo said on Tuesday that he told President Barack Obama it seemed like “we have a 100-year flood every two years now.”
“These are extreme weather patterns. The frequency has been increasing,” he said.
Of protections like levees in Lower Manhattan, Cuomo said, “It is something we’re going to have to start thinking about … The construction of this city did not anticipate these kinds of situations. We are only a few feet above sea level.”
“I don’t know how practical it is to put gates on PATH tubes and subway tunnels,” Bloomberg said in a separate press conference. “What is clear is that the storms we’ve experienced in the last year or so around this country and around the world are much more severe than before. Whether that’s global warming or what, I don’t know, but we’ll have to address those issues.”