Sandy blows climate change on to the US election agenda
The devastating impact of Hurricane Sandy has at last put climate change on the agenda of the USA Presidential election, whether it will stay on the agenda for more than a few hours remains to be seen.
|From Bloomberg's blog|
This is an extract from New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg's blog LINK
The devastation that Hurricane Sandy brought to New York City and
much of the Northeast – in lost lives, lost homes and lost business –
brought the stakes of Tuesday’s presidential election into sharp relief.
The floods and fires that swept through our city left a path of
destruction that will require years of recovery and rebuilding work. And
in the short term, our subway system remains partially shut down, and
many city residents and businesses still have no power. In just 14
months, two hurricanes have forced us to evacuate neighborhoods –
something our city government had never done before. If this is a trend,
it is simply not sustainable.
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 might be – given this
week's devastation – should compel all elected leaders to take immediate
Here in New York, our comprehensive sustainability plan – PlaNYC
– has helped allow us to cut our carbon footprint by 16 percent in just
five years, which is the equivalent of eliminating the carbon footprint
of a city twice the size of Seattle. Through the C40 Cities Climate
Leadership Group – a partnership among many of the world’s largest
cities – local governments are taking action where national governments
But we can't do it alone. We need leadership from the White House
– and over the past four years, President Barack Obama has taken major
steps to reduce our carbon consumption, including setting higher
fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks. His administration also
has adopted tighter controls on mercury emissions, which will help to
close the dirtiest coal power plants (an effort I have supported through
my philanthropy), which are estimated to kill 13,000 Americans a year.
Mitt Romney, too, has a history of tackling climate change. As
governor of Massachusetts, he signed on to a regional cap-and-trade plan
designed to reduce carbon emissions 10 percent below 1990 levels. "The
benefits (of that plan) will be long-lasting and enormous – benefits to
our health, our economy, our quality of life, our very landscape. These
are actions we can and must take now, if we are to have `no regrets'
when we transfer our temporary stewardship of this Earth to the next
generation," he wrote at the time.
He couldn't have been more right. But since then, he has reversed
course, abandoning the very cap-and-trade program he once supported.
This issue is too important. We need determined leadership at the
national level to move the nation and the world forward.
Post a Comment