Around the web, journalists and scientists have been talking about hurricane Sandy’s connection to climate change. Here are some of the most insightful articles and comments from the first week. Have a good one not on this list? Suggestions are welcome if provided in this format.
Listening to Hurricane Sandy: Climate Change Is Here
11/3/2012 Huffington Post
“This should not be a partisan issue. Two Republicans (Teddy Roosevelt and Richard Nixon) topped a recent poll of the most environmentally supportive U.S. presidents. Moreover, it was just a few years ago when politicians from both parties were taking climate change seriously. U.S. politicians’ silence on climate change is not only out of step with the rest of the world, but also with the American people, the vast majority of whom are concerned about climate change.” –Andrew Steer, President, World Resources Institute
How Much Climate Change was in Hurricane Sandy?
11/2/2012 Discovery News
“Did climate change cause Hurricane Sandy? Absolutely not. Did climate change have anything to do with Sandy being as bad as it was? Absolutely so, say scientist bloggers whose bread and butter is understanding the physics of our atmosphere. What’s more, there is very likely a connection with the storm track of Sandy and the record loss of Arctic Sea ice this year.” –Larry O’Hanlon
Sandy and the Winds of Change
11/2/2012 Los Angeles Times
“Perhaps the most important message from Sandy is that it underscores the enormous price of underestimating the threat of climate change. Damage increases exponentially even if preparations are only slightly wrong.” – Eugene Linden
Bloomberg Backs Obama, Citing Fallout From Storm
11/2/2012 New York Times
“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.” –Michael Bloomberg, Mayor, New York City
It’s Global Warming, Stupid
11/1/2012 Business Week
“We can’t say that steroids caused any one home run by Barry Bonds, but steroids sure helped him hit more and hit them farther. Now we have weather on steroids.” –Eric Pooley, senior vice president of the Environmental Defense Fund
How Likely Was Hurricane Sandy?
11/1/2012 Council on Foreign Relations
“[Scientists are] telling us we shouldn’t be surprised that this 900-mile-wide monster marched up the East Coast this week paralyzing cities and claiming scores of lives…. In a paper published by Nature in February, [Oppenheimer] and three colleagues concluded that the ‘storm of the century’ would become the storm of ‘every twenty years or less.’” —Michael Levi
Hurricane Sandy’s Link To Climate Change: Does It Matter?
11/1 Huffington Post
“First of all, the changes in the current climate that have been observed across the planet are the products of only about 50 percent of the warming to which we have already committed ourselves with our past emissions. This means that the planet would warm another 2 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit through the middle of this century even if concentrations of heat-trapping gases were to achieve their maximum tomorrow — not likely, since sustaining a specific concentration starting tomorrow would require an 80 percent reduction in emissions overnight.” —Gary Yohe, professor of economics and environmental studies at Wesleyan University, and co-chair of the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s National Climate Assessment
Will Hurricane Sandy Be Our Wake-Up Call?
11/1/12 Washington Post
“The coastlines are the most densely populated parts of the country, with about half of all Americans living within 50 miles of the sea, according to the Census Bureau. About three of every 10 Americans live in coastal counties, including 41 million on the Atlantic Seaboard and 14 million on the fast-growing Gulf Coast — the areas most vulnerable to Katrina-style and Sandy-style storms.” —Eugene Robinson
Sandy’s Sobering Catalyst… Climate Change
10/31/2012 Huffington Post
“Climate change is kind of like racism. Nobody really wants to talk about it, but it is as critical as it is constructive that we have that conversation now. Whether politicians, pundits or polls bring it up or not, like racism, we all know climate change is real. We all know it threatens our peace, security and the very unity of these United States of America.” –Ahmed Shihab-Eldin
For Years, Warnings That It Could Happen Here
10/31/2012 New York Times
“Look, the city is extremely vulnerable to damaging storm surges just for its geography, and climate change is increasing that risk. Three of the top 10 highest floods at the Battery since 1900 happened in the last two and a half years. If that’s not a wake-up call to take this seriously, I don’t know what is.” –Ben Strauss, director of the sea level rise program at the research group Climate Central
Global Warming Systemically Caused Hurricane Sandy
10/30/2012 Huffington Post
“Semantics matters. Because the word cause is commonly taken to mean direct cause, climate scientists, trying to be precise, have too often shied away from attributing causation of a particular hurricane, drought, or fire to global warming. Lacking a concept and language for systemic causation, climate scientists have made the dreadful communicative mistake of retreating to weasel words.” –George Lakoff
Global Warming Hits Home
“We must ensure that Hurricane Sandy signals something more than just an on-ramp to an era of routine, annual “storms of the century.” We must declare that the flooding of the greatest city in the world is the final reality check. And those who have mocked the goal of slowing down the rise of the oceans should feel a deep sense of shame.” –Andrew Leonard
Bill McKibben on Hurricane Sandy and Climate Change: “If There Was Ever a Wake-up Call, This Is It”
10/29/2012 Democracy Now
“And one thing for all of us to remember today, even as we deal with the horror on the East Coast, is that this is exactly the kind of horror people have been dealing with all over the world. Twenty million people were dislocated by flood in Pakistan two years ago. There are people with kind of existential fears about whether their nations will survive the rise of sea level. We’re seeing horrific drought not just in the Midwest, but in much of the rest of the world. This is the biggest thing that’s ever happened on earth, climate change, and our response has to be the same kind of magnitude.” –Bill McKibben, renowned climate activist
The Science Behind Hurricane Sandy: Climate Change or Freak Storm?
10/28/2012 StateImpact Texas
“The way to think about it isn’t in terms of specific events, that this particular wildfire or this particular heat wave, was caused by climate change, but to look at what’s unfolding collectively.” –Michael Mann, renowned climate scientist