Sandy and Climate Change

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Andy Revkin, blogger for New York Times Dot Earth discusses climate change and Superstorm Sandy.


Andy Revkin

Comments [5]

Steve Goddard from Colorado

Galveston Texas was almost completely destroyed by a hurricane storm surge in the year 1900. The surge killed 8,000 people. Blaming storm surges on global warming is quite irrational.

Nov. 02 2012 01:28 PM
nadia from Brooklyn, NY

this was a fantastic segment. thank you for giving voice to a question I have been asking since I was 15: if the coastline is always shifting, why are we building right on it? The example of Holland planning on a 10,000 year horizon for catastophic storms -- fantastic. Let's get smarter with our legislation and policy on coastline development and climate change.

Nov. 01 2012 08:26 PM
Andy Revkin from Garrison, NY

To JV from Queens. What I was describing, from the standpoint of NYC's tragedy, was the imperative that this amazing, but complacent, city has laid at clear risk from such flooding for ages. The 1821 hurricane split Manhattan into two islands briefly and had nothing to do with global warming. Reducing vulnerability is job one.

The science on what factors shaped this particular storm is utterly murky and debate over that is irrelevant to both the vulnerability problem and the greenhouse problem. See Justin Gillis's NYT news story today: Are Humans to Blame? Science Is Out

As for the seriousness of human-driven global warming, I encourage you to review my 25 years of writing on this and my most recent posts explaining that there are several distinct challenges going forward. For the long view, read my 1988 cover story in Discover, which will feel like deja vu:

Reality: Even if the US turned off every engine and lightbulb, China and India's growth guarantee a continuing buildup of greenhouse gases for decades, which swings things back to the resilience imperative.

For my view on paths forward on greenhouse emissions, go here (just an appetizer; much, much more): On the Energy Gap and Climate Crisis

Nov. 01 2012 03:18 PM
JV from Queens, New York

Did I understand this correctly: Andy Revkin says that yes, climate change is really happening, but the problem is that any time we acknowledge that it is a real phenomenon, it becomes a debate about energy policy.

His line of reasoning leaves me deeply perplexed.

Andy, can you please explain then what you think the next logical conversation would be once we acknowledge that climate change is actually happening? Is the conversation supposed to end there? What should the conversation be about then? Ah, moving people away from coast lines. I see, forget about the fact that almost all of human civilization has developed next to bodies of water. We all just need to pick up and move. Build super levees. Great, what an awesome solution, what about the heavy rainfalls that come from above? Do we just build a continuous dome above us?

I wish I hadn't listened to that interview. What a waste of time.

Nov. 01 2012 01:00 PM
Jenna from UEs

I've been watching a popular cable news channel the past few days and every other commercial is from a large energy company. The message is simple, we have too many environmental regulations. They feel VERY ironic considering the circumstances.

Nov. 01 2012 12:46 PM

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