If there’s any good news to come out of the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, it’s that political leaders and the press are actually talking about climate change. At the end of a long campaign season with barely a mention of the issue, it’s a relief to hear some sane discussion of the issue based on the premise that global warming is real.
While climate scientists hesitate to attribute any single weather event to global warming, many agree that elevated temperatures and sea levels conspired to make this storm especially damaging. And the frequency of storms like Sandy, they warn, will only escalate as global temperatures rise.
We’ve collected, below, some of the most notable statements about the connection between Sandy and climate change, and what it means for the future:
- Bloomberg Businessweek made the scene of a flooded NYC street its cover, carrying the news that global insurers are beginning to warn about the connection between climate change and extreme weather events. A Germany-based insurer reported that the number of weather-related loss events in North America has nearly quintupled over the past three decades.
- The Center for American Progress reports that the United States experienced a record 14 extreme weather events that caused more than $1 billion in damage and there have been seven so far this year. Only five states were spared damage.
- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wasn’t mincing words on the topic. “Part of learning from this is the recognition that climate change is a reality,” he said Wednesday during a helicopter tour of the damage. “Extreme weather is a reality. It is a reality that we are vulnerable. There’s only so long you can say, ‘This is once in a lifetime, and it’s not going to happen again.’”