Confronting climate change
Throughout the New York and New Jersey region, we’re inching toward recovery. In Riverdale, the lights are back on, the Henry Hudson Bridge is open and the buses, subways and trains are running again. But the reality is that everyone in this region will have a long way to go before we rebound from Hurricane Sandy. Tens of thousands are without heat and water and many remain without homes as winter approaches. And as we begin to piece their lives back together, it’s important that we start to ask the hard questions about extreme weather events and climate change and find the real solutions for all of our futures.
Climate change was originally discussed in terms of computer models and scientific forecasts. Now Americans are talking about it in its most urgent terms: peoples’ lives. When climate change intensifies extreme weather like hurricanes and droughts, our families — and our homes, jobs, neighborhoods — feel the brunt.
The human toll of climate change is mounting and we must act. America must wake up and advance clean energy solutions that will curb climate change. Our elected officials need to make this a top priority, and we at the Natural Resource Defense Council will do everything in our power to make that happen.
Many leaders are beginning to point the way forward. Last week, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that Hurricane Sandy and other extreme storms reveal the need for local and national leadership on climate change. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, “I think part of learning from [Hurricane Sandy] is the recognition that climate change is a reality. Extreme weather is a reality. It is a reality that we are vulnerable.”
They aren’t working some political angle. This isn’t about Democrats, Independents or Republicans. It’s about all New Yorkers.
And it’s about all Americans. We were hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, but the Mid Atlantic wasn’t the only place that experienced extreme weather this year.