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Amy Goodman
NationofChange / Op-Ed
Published: Thursday 1 November 2012
As power is restored to the millions without it, there is a power that cannot be taken from us.

We Are Not Powerless to Confront Climate Change

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Millions of victims of Superstorm Sandy remain without power, but they are not powerless to do something about climate change. The media consistently fail to make the link between extreme weather and global warming. Through this catastrophe, people are increasingly realizing that our climate has changed, and the consequences are dire.

One meteorologist who defies the norm is Dr. Jeff Masters, who founded the weather blog Weather Underground. As Sandy bore down on the East Coast, I asked Masters what impact climate change was having on hurricanes. He said: “Whenever you add more heat to the oceans, you’ve got more energy for destruction. Hurricanes ... pull heat out of the ocean, convert it to the kinetic energy of their winds.”

Masters’ blog became so popular, it was purchased by The Weather Channel. As Sandy moved up the coast, Masters continued with our interview: “When you do heat the oceans up more, you extend the length of hurricane season. And there’s been ample evidence over the last decade or so that hurricane season is getting longer—starts earlier, ends later. You’re more likely to have this sort of situation where a late-October storm meets up with a regular winter low-pressure system and gives us this ridiculous combination of a nor’easter and a hurricane that comes ashore, bringing all kinds of destructive effects.”

Mitt Romney must rue that line in his Republican National Convention speech, days after Hurricane Isaac narrowly missed hitting Tampa, Fla., and the convention, when he quipped: “President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet. My promise is to help you and your family.” Romney drew a big laugh from those gathered to nominate him. No one is laughing now. Sandy’s U.S. death toll has reached 50, with 8 million without power. Initial estimates put the cost of the damage at tens of billions of dollars.

Romney’s latest position on climate change is no surprise, since it conforms with his consistent pivot to the right, away from his previously held views. As recently as 2007, he told CNBC’s “Kudlow and Company,” “But no question about one thing—it’s getting warmer, and [there are] a lot of good reasons for us to use less energy, to use it more efficiently and to develop sources here in this country that could allow us to be more independent of foreign sources.”

We also should not let President Barack Obama off the hook. Recall the presidential debates, where he continually boasted of his fossil-fuel credentials. “Oil production is up, natural gas production is up,” he said at Hofstra, during the second debate. “I’m all for pipelines. I’m all for oil production.” In none of the three presidential debates was climate change mentioned, even once, not by the major-party presidential candidates and not by the moderators.

Masters partially attributes the lack of discussion to the power of the fossil-fuel lobby: “You’re talking about the oil and gas industry ... about the entire basis of the industrialized economy. With these sorts of storms, people are going to wise up at some point and say: ‘Hey, what’s going on? Maybe we shouldn’t mess with the very forces that enable us to live on the planet Earth.’ ... We’ve got to get self-preservation in our minds pretty soon, or this is just the start of things, Here we are in the year 2012; what’s going to be happening in 2030 if we’re already seeing storms like this?”

ThinkProgress did an analysis of the 94 stories in major newspapers in the week leading to the superstorm. Not once was climate change mentioned. In a 600-page report issued in November 2011, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority assessed in detail the likely effects of climate change on every aspect of the state. The summary provides a litany of disasters likely to visit The Empire State in coming years, from floods, droughts and rising sea levels displacing entire communities to the complete flooding of the New York City subway system. Sound familiar?

As power is restored to the millions without it, there is a power that cannot be taken from us. That is the power to decide, especially as we move into this election, that the issue of climate change, and what we can do about it, will never be excluded from the national debate again.

© 2011 Amy Goodman
Distributed by King Features Syndicate



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ABOUT Amy Goodman

Amy Goodman is the host of "Democracy Now!," a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 900 stations in North America. She is the author of "Breaking the Sound Barrier," recently released in paperback and now a New York Times best-seller.

What you should be writing on

What you should be writing on is H.A.A.R.P.
It is a military backed, and run instrument used to change the climate.
It has been in use since Eisenhower's days. He spoke of it in one of his last speeches...saying BEWARE of the fact that the military can change the climate, cause earthquakes, and more.
The danger is they are playing around with our stratosphere. If they poke a hole in it...we will all die! ALL of us. We will burn up!

Why not go after that? Who is to say that H.A.A.R P. did not cause Sandy..so that it would be that October surprise the politicians talk about?
Really... why not? If H.A.A.R P. is real ..it COULD do these things.
And WHY would a President of the USA LIE about something like H. A.A.R.P. and also warn us about the Military Industrial Complex?

There are supposed to be 4 of those units in the world. I have read that one is in Alaska, one in the Caribbean, one in Siberia, and I cannot remember the 4th one's location.

So check that out! If it truly is real, it could be the answer to your Climate Change.

I cannot begin to form a

I cannot begin to form a sentence which would convey just how startled I am to see that apparently people who can read and write are still so incredibly ignorant as to believe such unmitigated nonsense as this! Magic devices that can change the weather and we are just now finding out about them! All this time and nobody has spilled the beans until now....8-O Sadly, the rest of the world reads these posts and have to face the fact that America is filled with idiots, even all the way up the ladder to potentially the president himself. *sob!*

Thought you may find this of

Thought you may find this of interest:
Raining Chemicals From the Skies – Unregulated Climate Geoengineering « The Natural Eye Project http://ow.ly/eXmUq

I do my best to re-cycle. But

I do my best to re-cycle. But most of this stuff about Climate Change is hooey.
Most of Climate change is NATURAL.

Unless it is being manipulated by man. And I am not talking about the kind of manipulation you are talking about. See my statement above.

It would be swell if you made

It would be swell if you made any sense, but I am afraid that nonsense never makes a lot of sense. Climate is complex and is what is happening all over the planet, not just in one location in one season. Man is part of nature, we don't manipulate IT, IT manipulates us. Things are changing and we cannot impact the changes, certainly we cannot stop the changes. Our society will either change or it will fail, simply put.

Oh, most of the climate

Oh, most of the climate change is natural? Then why aren't we moving into a Little Ice Age instead of Global Warming? This "climate change is natural" argument has been disbelieved and disputed by the overwhelming majority of climate scientists for at least two decades, but you, after all your studies and research into the science, have decided it is"hooey," so I guess you think we should applaud you for your insights and beg for more of your wisdom. All you have to do is use a lot of capital letters to give weight to your pronouncements. Right? And don't forget the exclamation points!

Here is a link to the best

Here is a link to the best thing any individual can do to slow or stop climate change: http://garden-life.ws/

I have a few words of comment

I have a few words of comment I'd like to quote from the Sierra Club Insider, the official newsletter of this environmental organization. This is specifically quoted to reply to those third-party voters who insist, against all evidence, that there's no difference between Obama and Romney.

Here is the quote:

"The contrast between President Obama and Mitt Romney on the issues we care about couldn't be clearer.

"Obama has made historic progress growing our clean energy economy, lowering our oil dependence, cutting climate-disrupting emissions, and slashing toxic pollution from coal-fired power plants. Romney named an oil executive and a coal lobbyist as his top energy advisers and released a plan to give Big Oil billions in tax giveaways while they drill on public lands."

End of quote. Now, for those of you wanting specifics on how and what Obama has done, I'll have to refer you to the Sierra Club website. I know many Greens are greatly concerned about the environment and climate change; I also gather that many of them will be voting for Obama for a second term, so I address these remarks to those Greens who are stubbornly ideological and voting with their gut and not their brain.

I have been reading all of these attacks on the President that equate Obama with Romney, saying they're both corrupt and both the same, no difference, etc. Now, do these uncompromising people also accuse the Sierra Club of being in the pocket of Big Oil and Big Coal? Do the words of this well-known environmental group - that there couldn't be a clearer choice - mean nothing to them? The Sierra Club will show them specifics if they want them, so they should go to their website. (Maybe they can even become supporting members.)

I quote the Sierra Club newsletter, and will do so again, because I am so very tired of reading the whining comments that Obama and Romney are "the same." People who say these things should get their heads out of the clouds and plant their feet firmly on the good old solid earth, and make the best choice when they vote in this election.

The Sierra Club is a very

The Sierra Club is a very collaborationist "environmental" group, that doesn't have a controversial bone in its body, or in its policy platform. Its safe and sane, corporate-friendly fundraising policy of conservation and gradual reduction of the use of petrochemical fuels as sources of energy work nicely for fundraising, but do as much for climate change as they do to hoover Granny's parlour.

Somehow I'm not surprised at

Somehow I'm not surprised at your attack. If they favor Obama, then they MUST be bad, right?

I can only wonder if you'd be making these attacks if Sierra Club endorsed Jill Stein.

While it appeals to some people to support extremist positions on any issue, the fact is that they seldom stand up to scrutiny. Merely taking controversial no-compromise postures doesn't seem to accomplish much in the world we live in, though it satisfies some people's anger at someone or something.

I see nothing wrong with a "sane" policy.

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