It is amazing amidst all the media coverage of Hurricane Sandy that there is barely a peep about the likely role of global warming. Neither President Obama nor Mitt Romney could be bothered to mention the issue during their three recent campaign debates. Nor have many public figures drawn the linkages between extreme weather events in the US this summer (drought, heat wave, wildfires) and global warming. Of course, there are also the many ecological changes occurring around the world that scientists link to a hotter atmosphere.
Jeff Masters, a leading hurricane tracker and weatherman, has said that water temperature in the mid-Atlantic this year is 5°F warmer than average, according to the 350.org website. This allows hurricanes to travel farther north and contributing to “an unusually large amount of water vapor available to make heavy rain.”
Since the governing classes are determined to look the other way, the burden of changing public opinion and mobilizing effective responses has fallen to ordinary commoners. Yesterday, a few dozen activists with 350.org unfurled this succinct demand in New York City's Times Square as Hurricane Sandy chugged toward the estimated 66 million people in its projected path.
Update: Bloomberg Business Week comes out with a "controversial" cover story days after the storm: