Craft & Consumption

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

U.S.Coast Guard/Petty Officer 2nd Class Erik Swanson | Reuters

This week we weathered the storm here on the East Coast. Those in NYC and the Jersey coast were hit hardest. 

Many lives have been impacted by Hurricane Sandy. I am so grateful to all who have been working to help those in need at this time. If you want to donate to the Red Cross relief efforts:
  • visit
  • call 1-800-RED-CROSS
  • text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation

I'm not sure about you, but I can't help but think about climate change in light of this disastrous storm. A few clips on the correlation between Sandy and Global Climate Change from recent news (excerpts from Washington Post):

Obama surrogate tells climate event Sandy represents ‘new normal’.  "An Obama campaign surrogate said Thursday that super-storm Sandy amplified the need to more aggressively reduce greenhouse gas emissions and better protect coastal infrastructure. ‘We’re at a place where we have to focus on both mitigation — reducing greenhouse gas emissions — and adaptation — starting to move our vital infrastructure out of harm’s way. We know this is going to be our future. This is our new normal,’ Kevin Knobloch, who represented the Obama campaign as a private citizen and is president of the Union of Concerned Scientists, said at an event hosted by Climate Desk.” Sam Baker in The Hill.

Businessweek says it: ‘It’s global warming, stupid.’ "Yes, yes, it’s unsophisticated to blame any given storm on climate change. Men and women in white lab coats tell us—and they’re right—that many factors contribute to each severe weather episode. Climate deniers exploit scientific complexity to avoid any discussion at all. Clarity, however, is not beyond reach. Hurricane Sandy demands it…’Climate change amps up other basic factors that contribute to big storms. For example, the oceans have warmed, providing more energy for storms. And the Earth’s atmosphere has warmed, so it retains more moisture, which is drawn into storms and is then dumped on us.’” Paul M. Barrett in Bloomberg Businessweek.

BLOOMBERG: I support Obama because of climate policy. ”The devastation that Hurricane Sandy brought to New York City and much of the Northeast — in lost lives, lost homes and lost business — brought the stakes of Tuesday’s presidential election into sharp relief…We need leadership from the White House — and over the past four years, President Barack Obama has taken major steps to reduce our carbon consumption, including setting higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks. His administration also has adopted tighter controls on mercury emissions, which will help to close the dirtiest coal power plants…Mitt Romney, too, has a history of tackling climate change. As governor of Massachusetts, he signed on to a regional cap- and-trade plan designed to reduce carbon emissions 10 percent below 1990 levels…He couldn’t have been more right. But since then, he has reversed course, abandoning the very cap-and-trade program he once supported.” Michael R. Bloomberg in Bloomberg.

So many people act like changes in temperature, storm patterns, and sea levels are simply "cyclical". I think what we've seen overarching change, at least in the last 10 years in the Northeast, that appears to be symptomatic of serious, widespread, relatively abnormal and very, very serious change. I am a visual person. The graph below helps to illuminate the frequency of tropical storms in the North Atlantic over the last century (from Skeptical Science).

CLIMATE CHANGE: Storm intensity directly correlates to global climate change."Recent research has shown that we are experiencing more storms with higher wind speeds, and these storms will be more destructive, last longer and make landfall more frequently than in the past. Because this phenomenon is strongly associated with sea surface temperatures, it is reasonable to suggest a strong probability that the increase in storm intensity and climate change are linked." -Skeptical Science

I hope you'll take this all into consideration when voting next week in the US Presidential Election. We're gambling here with precious cargo.

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