You may have already heard, but New York City’s mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has decided to endorse President Obama in the upcoming election as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Even though Bloomberg is a third-party independent who has been fairly critical of both candidates thus far (believe me, I totally get that!), he announced today that President Obama is the candidate more likely to take action against climate change.
New York City suffered tremendous damage from Hurricane Sandy, along with much of the East Coast, so it comes as no surprise that Mayor Bloomberg is seriously considering the issue of climate change and the increasing likelihood of similar extreme weather in the future. He wrote the following in an editorial:
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.
My thoughts exactly, Mr. Mayor. It is difficult to say with absolute certainty that climate change is responsible for the extreme weather events that we have been seeing with increasing intensity and frequency of late. Nature is complex, and I am sure other factors are also impacting global weather patterns. But, there is no question that human activity is causing changes in our climate. If there is a high likelihood that climate change is contributing to these devastating natural disasters, as many scientists believe, we need to earnestly work on mitigating human impact on the climate.
Even those who don’t care about having clean air or protecting the environment should realize the importance of counteracting climate change for human safety. While it is deeply saddening that such a tragic event has taken place, often only these extreme events are capable of grabbing the nation’s attention. Hopefully the damage done will not be swiftly forgotten, and the memory of this storm will spark demands for reduced carbon dioxide emissions. I am not openly advocating for either political party in the upcoming election, but I sincerely hope that Hurricane Sandy has raised awareness of the seriousness of climate change and that U.S. citizens are ready to take action.
My thoughts are with all those affected by Hurricane Sandy, and I wish you a speedy recovery! For anyone who wishes to donate to hurricane relief efforts, you can do so through the American Red Cross.