As I watch the revealing impact of the storm in the US and the power of nature wreaking havoc on the financial heartland of the US I wonder if we are witnessing the pivotal moment in the US climate change debate?
We cannot not underestimate the impact of an again vulnerable New York, to overcome stubborn political denial and corporate lobbying. From a detached, long distance perspective I get an uneasy feeling of similarity to watching the initial aftermath of the atrocities of 9/11 as terrorism succeeded in passing the previously impermeable American defences. Their response then was a robust, to say the least, retaliation on those responsible, but who can be blamed for extreme weather in the case of Sandy and what realistic actions can be taken before the next storm? And there will be a next storm, and another.
Sandy has in one weather event demonstrated tangibly that nature inevitably, albeit at a distance for the most part, directs financial institutions, not the other way around. As extreme weather becomes increasingly regular and grows in intensity as climate models predict, will this week like none before ignite the fuse of US coherent action beyond political differences? I’m an optimist, we have to be. This, like never before in history is an opportunity for a true leader to step forward.
It will be interesting to watch the remainder of both Barack Obama’s and Mitt Romney’s campaigns and assess where climate now stands in their sales pitches to American voters. Could the storm ravaged surroundings of Wall Street be the setting for a renewed response to climate change and the unexpected vote winner of both the US public and financial community?
Yes we can repair this world
Barack Obama (at 12 minutes in the video below).