Global warming costs being felt in New York will demand action
The Kansas City Star
It sounds like an opening line from a comedian: Almost nothing is worse than an irritated New Yorker. Superstorm Sandy has created more than a million of them. But nobody’s laughing.
New Yorkers and other people on the East Coast who were slammed by Sandy have felt firsthand the costly effects of climate change. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo isn’t tiptoeing around the issue as he blamed man-made global warming for the billions of dollars in damage that the storm did.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s endorsement of President Barack Obama also was because of the storm being pinned to climate change and Obama’s efforts to do something to reduce man-made greenhouse gases to corral the problem. Industry has ignored the problem up to now with many naysaying Republicans because global warming is not a cost they want to bake into production.
New Yorkers are likely to get on board against climate change now because they are the ones who are absorbing the costs in deaths and injuries, massive power outages, mass transit being off line, their inability to get to work, lost wages, long lines and impossible waits at gasoline stations, flights being canceled, closed restaurants and businesses, and the stock market closing.
These are just a few of the costs that will continue to mount as global warming builds with rising ocean levels and more water vapor in the atmosphere. The effects are more radically violent weather in hurricanes, tornadoes and droughts. The mega-storms already have centered on coastal areas here and globally as their sweet spots.
The question is how much will folks like those angry New Yorkers take before they’ll collectively blow long and loud enough to force political and industrial change.