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The Wrath Of Sandy

The wrath of Hurricane Sandy. We’ll track the damage and ask if we’ve learned how to respond to big storms.

Rough surf of the Atlantic Ocean breaks over the beach and across Beach Ave., Monday morning, Oct. 29, 2012, in Cape May, N.J., as high tide and Hurricane Sandy begin to arrive. Hurricane Sandy continued on its path Monday, forcing the shutdown of mass transit, schools and financial markets, sending coastal residents fleeing, and threatening a dangerous mix of high winds and soaking rain. (AP)

Rough surf of the Atlantic Ocean breaks over the beach and across Beach Ave., Monday morning, Oct. 29, 2012, in Cape May, N.J., as high tide and Hurricane Sandy begin to arrive. Hurricane Sandy continued on its path Monday, forcing the shutdown of mass transit, schools and financial markets, sending coastal residents fleeing, and threatening a dangerous mix of high winds and soaking rain. (AP)

It was a made-for-Hollywood storm set-up.  “Super storm” Sandy.  Thousand-mile wing-span.  Bulls-eye:  New York City. And then it came.  Subways, tunnels, flooded.  Wall Street, underwater.  A crane down on a billion-dollar high-rise.  Whole blocks on fire.

And out to sea, even the HMS Bounty replica, a three-master, went to the bottom.  Sandy’s no movie.  The impact is real.  And it keeps us wondering if we’re up to the parade of wild weather.  What we’re learning from it.  If we’re causing it.

This hour, On Point:  we are sizing up the superstorm, Sandy.

-Tom Ashbrook


James Barron, reporter for the New York Times.

Frank Marks, director of the Hurricane Research Division at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Marla Marcum, director of programs for the Better Future Project, a grassroots climate change group.

Noël Perry, managing director and senior consultant at Freight Transportation Research Associates.

Sam Brothwell, senior utilities analyst for Bloomberg Industries.

From Tom’s Reading List

Washington Post “A strengthening Hurricane Sandy inched closer to land on Monday, pummeling coastal beach towns, while residents of major East Coast cities hunkered down and waited for the steady rains and winds to morph into something more threatening.”

Reuters “About 50 million people from the Mid-Atlantic to Canada were in the path of the nearly 1,000-mile-wide (1,600-km-wide) storm, which forecasters said could be the largest to hit the mainland in U.S. history. It was expected to topple trees, damage buildings, cause power outages and trigger heavy flooding.”

CNN “Tens of millions of people were hunkered down Monday, bracing for howling winds, torrential downpours and storm surges that authorities warned could bring devastation unlike anything they’ve seen.”


Here’s some video of a ConEd power sub station exploding in Manhattan. It resulted in the loss of power to about one quarter million residents in Manhattan.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Robert Berube

    Is Hurricane Sandy the new normal, considering we’re heading for a climate catastrophe? 

    • Gregg Smith


  • Matthew Kramer

    RNC convention delayed by a day and now election campaigning all but called off. Yet, neither party acknowledges extreme weather events that are the in-your-face tangible evidence that our climate is changing. If it weren’t so scary, it would be comical. Climate change is the biggest issue of this election. It’s affected the most Americans (read drought, more drought, hurricane, another drought, flood, cities destroyed, cities crushed by feet of snow… also, drought) but we still want to drill baby drill.

    • Gregg Smith

      It’s a hurricane, that’s all.

  • WorriedfortheCountry


    The crazies will attempt to tie this storm to climate change.

    On  a serious not the forecasters really nailed the forecast.  Very impressive; especially that left turn.

    • Yar

      No, the crazies will deny that man made climate change affects weather patterns. Why do we have to prove to the crazies that increased carbon dioxide is bad before we even start reducing consumption?  The world has finite resources, why should this generation use more than our fair share?  Should 2 percent of the population be allowed to create 25 percent of the pollution? If we can’t even talk about climate change, how can we do something about it?  WorriedfortheCountry, are you one of the crazies?  Because I am Worried for the whole World, I am worried for my children, I am worried that we won’t be able to grow enough food. 
      On a serious note, those forecasters use science, the same process that climate scientist use to say climate change real and is affected by us.  I am looking for a left turn in the election next Tuesday. We need a house of Representatives that will deal with these issues. That will be impressive.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        If you are concerned about CO2 then you must be a proponent of nuclear power since nuclear is the only scalable carbon free power technology available today.  You might consider CO2 a pollutant but others consider it a plant food.

        You should update your stats because we are 4.5% of the worlds population and we emit 18% of   the CO2.

        Climate science is in its infancy.  We shouldn’t overreact but should continue to work on it.

        • Tyranipocrit

           where will you put all that toxic waste?–in your backyard?  or in a poor person’s backyard?

          • Gregg Smith

            Yucca mountain.

          • Ray in VT

            I wonder what the people of Nevada thought about that plan?

          • Gregg Smith
          • Ray in VT

            Not according to this:


            70% of those surveyed statewide were opposed.

          • Gregg Smith

            That was 2006, sentiment has changed.The people of Nevada are not lining upon opposition. Do you oppose nuclear energy?

          • DrewInGeorgia


            Fire away, we both know we can do better.

          • Ray in VT

            Maybe it has, but I didn’t discover a statewide poll on Yucca as a waste storage site to indicate that it has.

            I don’t oppose it in principal, but I think that it has issues, some of which could be alleviated through reprocessing.

            I don’t trust Entergy Nuclear, which runs Vermont Yankee, though.

          • Ray in VT

            “Of them, 62% said they supported the created of a research park, for the
            study of reprocessing spent nuclear fuel. 34% said the Yucca Mountain
            should be closed entirely”, so that’s not exactly an endorsement of the site as a nuclear waste repository.  Research site seems favorable to many, but I didn’t happen to find any other statewide info on the site as a waste repository.

          • nj_v2

            WTF?! Greggg posts an illiterate collection of paragraphs that he seems to thinks shows that Nevadans want nuke waste buried under them.

            The first sentence doesn’t make sense.  

            “A new survey shows more Nevadans are in favor of turning opening up Yucca Mountain as an energy research park.”

            “…in favor of turning opening up…”

            The third sentence doesn’t make sense:

            “Of them, 62% said they supported the created of a research park,…”


          • Ray in VT

            I also noticed the grammar.  I wonder if they’ll hire me as a proofreader?

          • Gregg Smith

            “Seems to thinks”.
            Plus you spelled my name wrong.

        • Tyranipocrit

           if you believe global warming is a government conspiracy then why not something like the government is creating the bad weather.  conspiracy theorists are crazy right?

          Why is it ok for you to think democrats or leftists create conspiracies but never Republican an teabags–their crazy nonsense that makes since–its not a conspiracy. Covering up climate change is not a conspiracy.


          • WorriedfortheCountry

             I thought the Halliburton Hurricane machine was  government conspiracy.

          • Ray in VT

            It was, but Obama mothballed it and stuck it in that warehouse with the Ark of the Covenant.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             He pulled it out of mothballs because Libya was an inconvenient scandal right before the election   :)  

          • Steve__T


        • nj_v2

          The “others” who consider carbon dioxide as a “plant food” in the context of global climate disruption are most often denialists who think that continuing to add billions of tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere will only be a good thing resulting in increased plant grow, more crop production, etc.

          The dynamics are complicated, but it’s likely that growth-repressive effects of increased temperature, increased disease and insect-pest pressures would at least remove much of the advantage from increased CO2, if not result in net losses.


          And nuclear power is not “carbon free” and it’s not the “only carbon free scalable technology available today.” [sic]

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Let me give you a real world example.  Wind.  My state (MA) strong armed my utility (Nat. Grid) into signing a 20 year contract with a wind supplier that starts at 3x market rates for wholesale electricity and increases in cost at a fixed 3% every year for 20 years.

            In MA, we already have among the highest electric rates.  Also, if we attempted to use wind as a base load power the costs would skyrocket because backup power sources would be necessary.

            I used to be a big fan of wind until I looked at the economics.

          • nj_v2

            Nice dodge on the “plant food” and carbon-free nuke issues. Lose argument, change subject.

            Not sure what you posted is supposed to be an example of.

        • Don_B1

          Nobody is going to buy electricity from a nuclear power plant that costs $0.25 and up per kilowatt hour. But maybe you would? That is what it would cost to make a new nuclear power plant pay for itself.

          If the nuclear power industry switches from uranium to thorium, call me when you know how much the electricity will cost.

          It should be cheaper than that from uranium since the massive containment building would not be required.


          While a slight increase in CO2 can increase plant growth in a laboratory where all the other variables are held constant, things just do not work that way out in the field.

          The increased CO2 makes the air hotter and DRIER, drying out the soil and also increasing the insect count, so plant parts, particularly leaves, get eaten, decreasing the plant output more than the CO2 increased it. There is study after study proving this.


          Climate science began in the 1840s; the science of quantum physics, on which the transistor depends, only began in the 1920s with a realizable transistor invented in 1947 (at Bell Laboratories).

          On what basis do YOU decide that climate science is in its infancy? Most probably NONE, since all you want to do is deceive and confuse people who are not conversant with the science.

          • PithHelmut

            And the climate scientists warned about the almost exact weather effects we are experiencing these days. They predicted this two decades or more ago!  Notice the climate deniers have never predicted anything when they said that global warming was due to sun spots. One has to wonder at climate deniers ability to process data. Many of them don’t believe in evolution either. Probably because they never evolve themselves.

          • Don_B1


            Deniers are basically “faith-based” (or faithless?).

            They are ideologues incapable of recognizing the truth, at least as something that should be acted upon, even when they actually study and know the science well: they use their knowledge to insert confusing bits of truth and falsehood so the general public gets the idea that the truth is not known.

            Much of their rational for their actions is “less government” and “low taxes”; they just don’t realize that their actions will only guarantee BIG and BIGGER government to deal with the huge COSTS (four times and more above current costs of mitigation) to deal with the coming devastation of climate change.

        • nj_v2

          It’s so cute when hacks like the Worried One put on their little act pretending to be balanced and reasonable.

          98 out of all 100 climate scientists and scientific societies and organizations believe that climate change is real, happening, getting worse, and is likely caused by human activity.

          Hacks like the Worried One seem to think that taking reasonable action to mitigate this comprises “overreaction.”

        • PithHelmut

          Nonsense. We’ve got to curb our emissions a whole lot. Forget about scalable, power can be sourced locally by geothermal, micro-hydro, wind, solar, tidal whatever is local. Nuclear is too dangerous. We can grow hemp, we can use it as biofuel as well as bring on every other renewable type available. Cutting our use and going renewable will build a huge industry. It’s the fossil fuel industry that has been crippling the technology. We haven’t even tried to try.

      • Gregg Smith

        Please back up the claim that 2% of the population causes 25% of pollution. 

        • Yar

          Look at the pollution on this message board, 2 percent write about 25 percent of the garbage.
          The more you have, the more your responsibility to to good.  Just because you can afford a private airplane, doesn’t mean you should use one. I found this example from the web. http://zerne.wordpress.com/2008/09/25/portrait-of-america/

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Talk to Algore about private planes.

          • Yar

            I knew if I baited you, you would strike. Yes, Al Gore uses more than he should. You can be part of the problem and still be part of the solution. Better than attacking everyone who thinks we are on the wrong track. Al Gore spoke to a conference I attended in 1993. He opened his remarks with an informal statement. It went like this, A billion poor Chinese is sad, but a billion wealthy Chinese that consume like us is a catastrophe. We are past that tipping point. What do you plan to do about it?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Soylent green?

          • Ray in VT

            Philip J. Fry (talking about Slurm): What if the secret ingredient is… People!?

            Turanga Leela: Oh, there’s already a soda like that. Soylent Cola.

            Fry: Oh, how is it?

            Leela: It varies from person to person.

          • PithHelmut

            Probably the Western World will have to curb their carbon use and  negotiate with  emerging nations to use renewables. We have to do this as we’ve left no wiggle room now.

          • nj_v2

            “Algore” Booga booga!!

            Because Al Gore rides in a private plane, there is no global warming, or people don’t cause it, or we don’t have to worry about it. Or something.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             No, it just means he is a hypocrite.  But keep worshiping, no matter what.

          • nj_v2

            Making assumptions makes you look a certain way.

          • Don_B1

            I believe he uses “offsets” (paying for other activities that REDUCE the production of an equivalent amount of CO2).

            When transportation is necessary and the only transportation in a timely way is not “green,” that is an acceptable way to travel; but Gore strongly advocates development of sustainable fuels for aircraft.

            Note Gore has NOT advocated for the grounding of all aircraft, which, if he had, is the ONLY way he could be considered a hypocrite.

          • Ray in VT

            Some basically said the same thing here regarding Bill McKibben when he spoke on the show this spring.

      • PithHelmut

        It will be interesting to hear all the “about faces” on the climate. Just remember who they were and don’t trust them with anyone’s money or life. 

        • Don_B1

          Unfortunately this seems to be the age of no apology, at least for “conservatives.”

          As has become universal in big business, they are no longer conservative as they hold that tomorrow is everything while next year can take the hindmost.

    • Potter

      yet again the hottest year on record, worst drought since the dust bowl– and now this…ya crazy. Growing corn in Canada? Our USDA hardiness zone has moved from 5 to 6. “Worried” maybe change your handle to “Ostrich”?

      Wilder weather is also predicted from climate change– and a snowballing effect. There has been a unprecedented melting of the arctic ice which has changed the course of the jet stream which may very well have contributed to this collision of storms.

      • Ellen Dibble

        I believe if a thousand people are telling you that climate change is a myth — created for some purpose I don’t know what — then the definition of “crazy” would be to doubt those thousand people.  Or — in our world of more money equals more “voice” (Citizens United) — those thousand voices are all the Koch Brothers (and their ilk), with, apparently, interests in the oil and gas industry and their spinoffs.  They would be the ones sponsoring the truly yoga-like stretches that science can come up with, like statistics, to say what the gas industry wants it to say.  And hence the thousand points of light, or truth, or voice, which it would be “crazy” not to heed.  The marginalized and mavericks are the ones who pay no attention to all that.

        • Potter

          It’s not all relative- I think you agree. There is no substitute for informing yourself, using whatever intelligence you have, and not being lazy or easy about what you accept as fact. We have been at this climate change thing for many years now… avoiding the evidence and avoiding the daunting challenge that comes with acceptance of it.

          In that sense the scientist on the program was really more than annoying when he refused to get involved as though we are talking about opinions and not facts.

          • Don_B1

            @ellendibble:disqus @Potterw:disqus 

            The scientist may well think that Romney/Ryan might win next week and does not want his job and retirement threatened, like they were in the G.W. Bush administration.

            Another NOAA scientist got mealy-mouthed on “All Things Considered” tonight (2012-10-31). Disgusting, but understandable, and that is disgusting too.

      • Don_B1

        Those who think that crop production can move north (or south in the other hemisphere) with the Hardness Zones, are terribly mistaken: the millennia that were necessary to create the topsoil of the midwest (which current farming practices are only starting to change to prevent moving down the Ohio/Missouri/Mississippi Rivers to the Gulf) have not done the same for sub-Arctic tundra, etc.

        “Worried” is more like the mole in a Whack-a-Mole game, but his dissemination is a lot more serious. He is trying to get the general pubic to become ostriches.

        The melting of the Arctic Ocean ice is changing the Arctic Oscillation, which impacts the jet streams and the North Atlantic Oscillation, both of which impact the formation of Blocking Highs, long the cause of Nor’easters, and which directed Hurricane Sandy to the west as it reached New Jersey’s latitude.

        In the “Perfect Storm” of 1991, the Nor’easter low was able to “swallow” a hurricane while using its energy to increase its effects. This time Sandy held on to its hurricane aspects but widening out much like a big Nor’easter, but with much higher winds, etc.

        Meteorologists will be analyzing the details of this storm for years.

    • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

      The crazies will attempt to tie this storm to anything other than climate change. Hottest year, worst drought, biggest storm, lowest barometric reading… what’s left? Get a clue, the earth IS warmer.

      • LinRP

        Come now. We know this is all Obama’s fault. You know he got the storm to hit NJ in the neck because Romney was planning a campaign stop there. :)

        • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

          Yessiree, the Dems still have that secret weather machine they used to steer Katrina into New Orleans so they could give away tens of billions of dollars in sweet-heart deals to friends of Bush… wait that was the secret Republican weather machine… wait I’m soooo confused! This science stuff is way too complex for me. It’s too hard to reconcile with all of my misconceptions. :^))

    • Tyranipocrit

      why do we have to be crazy?  lets see –those who believe in science are crazy, and those who believe in god are normal rational sane good people.  Sounds crazy to me. 

      More often than not the following people share the same craziness–it’s just crazy

      1. guns don’t kill people–yippee!  shootin’ and a hollerin’ all over the house–kill em all and let god sort im out
      2. a bearded white man lives in the clouds watching you and he wrote you a book to tell what he thinks–why didn’t he just use twitter or MySpace?
      3.  war and genocide is justified, and god loves it–he supports America because he obviously hates non-Americans and non-Christians
      4.  god is a Christian
      5. slavery was good
      6. war is good
      7. killing all the Indians was good–let’s celebrate thanksgiving
      8. women have no rights and rape is mandated by god because he feels like it–it’s his will
      9. the bible contains all “man’s” knowledge and god’s knowledge–hmm–an all powerful all knowing all good being and everything he knows is in a little book but it doesn’t include science or evolution or pacifism and he’s against universal health care
      10. Romney is caring person and a good business man

      Sounds pretty crazy to me.

      Romney lies every time he opens his mouth.  he says Obama’s green tech investments failed by 50percent–but actually only 5 out of 63 companies failed–that’s a damn good turnout.  that’s like what 8% failure rate not 50%.  good business sense.
       while, Romney’s business ventures failed more than 22percent of the time.

      Who is the better business man.  The black civil rights lawyer from harvard. 

      Mormons believe in having and dominating numerous wives.  They believe in Alien hordes who capture our souls in a volcano, super underwear that makes them impervious to harm, god blessed rape…CRAZy stuff man

      But he thinks global warming scientists are crazy. 
      To believe that climate change is a conspiracy is crazy–to what end would it serve? 

      What is more sinister? 

      1. Climate scientists and environmentalists who love nature and humanity and family–FAMILY VALUES–that look at science and say yep, pollution contributes to climate change and its getting worse–real bad–we should clean up our water and air and try to be responsible little rich people–


      2. fossil fuel industries known for polluting the environment to the extreme–killing millions in slow painful death while not permitting health care–concentrating pollution in poor areas, especially black areas, dumping toxic chemicals into the water you drink–and then denying that it has any effect, and they have no responsibility, should not be held accountable–will continue to do so over many dead bodies–just try and stop them –and they will kill you, incarcerate you, curse you, call you a liar, and pay billions if not trillions in lies to cover it up and convince you its not happening just so they don’t lose profit–even while they are all ready the richest people in history–they want more!  And they will do anything to prevent green technology and a clean environment.

      What is more sinister?  What is the conspiracy?  hmmm.  Crazy people indeed.

      • Gregg Smith
        • nj_v2

          Greggg continues to robotically post any kind of bogus disinformation he can find from any piece-of-crap Obama-slandering site he stumbles across no matter how factually challenged any of it is. 

          Any normal person would have been embarrassed a long time ago.”Sodahead…” Yep, that’s my first stop for reliable information.The first company on the list of “failures” of subsidized projects didn’t even take government money:


          “In April, the Obama administration offered German developer Solar Millennium’s U.S. joint venture a $2.1 billion loan guarantee to build a massive solar thermal power plant in the California desert. On Thursday, the company effectively gave the money back.”

          The conservobot drones who infest the forum here seem to have bought into Rmoney’s meme of “no more Solyndras” and will throw every piece of crap against the wall to oppose any move away from dependence on fossil fuels.

          We’re in a unique point in history, nearing the end of the Petroleum Era. It’s not going to be a smooth transition, and there are going to be failures and problems. The plan from the Romneycons is more drilling, more mining, more more more fossil fuel use. Presumably until it’s gone. They seem to want to leave the answer to “Then what?” to someone somewhere in the future.

          One can argue with the wisdom of targeting specific companies for government support versus other types of incentives (or disincentives for carbon fuels). But i don’t see any of the Romnoid conservobot types offering any viable ideas for transitioning toward a sustainable energy future.

          An alternative view of the Solyndra “scandal”:


          • Steve__T

             Good reading thanks. If Obama played Romney’s bad business deals like this he’d be screaming, Foux News would call it dirty politics.
            But its OK for him to do.

        • Tyranipocrit

           by the way–obama doesnt run those corporations and businesses–he just tried to do the right thing.  So if those companies failed that is on the people who operated them, who then maybe betrayed americans by sending the work to china, and free trade lovers like romeny who make it possible to send all jobs to china, who encourage it and demand incentive to send more jobs to china. 

          You cant hav it both ways–either obam is a socialist dictator tryign to control your lives and your business or not.  he didnt invest enough in green companies.  he needs to do  lot more. 

          Again, if green companies tend to fail, its because individualsrun them, and americans just dont care enough, and oil companies spend trillions to sabotage gree tech

      • Ray in VT

        I think that the aliens and volcanoes are actually the Scientologists, but there is something in Mormonism about what we might call magic underwear.  There’s also something about everyone getting one’s own planet when one dies or something.

        • JGC

          So the eternal question of “boxers vs. briefs” is actually pertinent to the Romney campaign after all…

          • Ray in VT

            I think that full body would have to be added to the list of choices.  They have the coverage of a 19th century bathing suit.


      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Yes, let science prevail.  We found some common ground.  Let me recommend a warning about ‘cargo cult science’ by the great Richard Feynman.


        Perhaps crazy was the wrong description.  Let’s try cultist.  And they are a little crazy.  I’m sure the motivation is noble but they appear blind to reality while attempting to achieve a false utopian dream.

        • Don_B1

          Typical! Use real science to flack for pseudo-science; … wait, what you are promoting is non-science, science ignorance, being stupid in the face of a real threat.

          You are advocating bowing to the enemy, as bad for the country as if you were advocating that FDR sell our guns, tanks and ships to Germany, Italy and Japan in the 1930s instead of using Lend-Lease to get them to Great Britain.

          All out of totally misplaced ideology for a false god.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         It is interesting you decided to level an ad hominem attack on Romney .

        You understate Obama’s green agenda failures.

        “So far, 34 companies that were offered federal support from taxpayers
        are faltering — either having gone bankrupt or laying off workers or
        heading for bankruptcy.”


        I support green and ‘alternative’ energy.  Obama’s expansion of ARPA-E for basic energy research is a worthy use of taxpayer money.  However, forcing taxpayer money on technologies before they are ready was a foolish waste.

        • Don_B1

          That’s from the Heritage Foundation, a Koch Brothers-funded radical right-wing “think”tank that generated Paul Ryan’s Budget/Tax Cut Plan that promised a 2.8% unemployment rate in 10 years without saying how. When every economist laughed and effectively said that was as likely as pigs flying over the moon, the Heritage Foundation just erased the number from its “online report” but did not change another thing.

          I suspect you don’t believe it either but promoting nonsense is you life work it appears.

          Note: I see you copied the “So far, 34 companies …” sentence but didn’t even notice that only 33 companies are listed, many of them strong companies, but ones who have been impacted by China’s subsidizing of solar panels, etc.

          The failure of Congress to extend sustainable energy credits (wind power, etc.) also has had a slowing effect on installations and therefore sales and employment.

          Your arguments are contentless, disingenuous and vapid.

  • Potter

    Big Storm Requires Big Government

    Mr. Romney not only believes that states acting independently can handle the response to a vast East Coast storm better than Washington, but that profit-making companies can do an even better job. 

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

      Profit-making companies CAN do an even better job – making profits. “To a carpenter with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.” – I expect every problem to  Romney looks like an opportunity to make money.

    • margbi

       And in this case, where do the private companies get their money? Why from the government, of course.

      • Don_B1

        And with their profit margin added to what it would otherwise have cost.

  • Shag_Wevera

    It DOES NOT matter if global climate is true, or if it is caused by human activity.  Humans (especially exceptional Americans) will not do anything or even acknowledge it until it is so obvious and in our face that it cannot possibly be denied.

    Don’t forget, we have Americans who believe the President is a Kenyan/Indonesian born Manchurian candidate.  We also have those who believe the best way to address an American debt crisis is to cut taxes to those who are already rich.

    We aren’t stupid, but we sure as hell are ignorant.

    • Gregg Smith

      Imagine an America
      Where strip mines are fun and free
      Where gays can be fixed
      And sick people just die
      And oil fills the sea

      We don’t have to pay for freeways!
      Our schools are good enough
      Give us endless wars
      On foreign shores
      And lots of Chinese stuff

      We’re the children of the future
      American through and through
      But something happened to our country
      And we’re kinda blaming you

      We haven’t killed all the polar bears
      But it’s not for lack of trying
      Big Bird is sacked
      The Earth is cracked
      And the atmosphere is frying

      Congress went home early
      They did their best we know
      You can’t cut spending
      With elections pending
      Unless it’s welfare dough

      We’re the children of the future
      American through and through
      But something happened to our country
      And we’re kinda blaming you

      Find a park that is still open
      And take a breath of poison air
      They foreclosed your place
      To build a weapon in space
      But you can write off your au pair

      It’s a little awkward to tell you
      But you left us holding the bag
      When we look around
      The place is all dumbed down
      And the long term’s kind of a drag

      We’re the children of the future
      American through and through
      But something happened to our country
      And yeah, we’re blaming you

      You did your best
      You failed the test
      Mom and Dad
      We’re blaming you!

      • rkean

        Don’t let them divide the generations or divide and rule will have won out again. All of us 99% have to work to roll back financial domination of our society. We’re all being exploited, young and old. Corporate capitalism is the problem. The blame game has no winners.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        Thanks, I really enjoyed reading that.

        When looking for someone to blame, Mom and Dad aren’t the only ones who need to be held to account. We all need to take a long hard look in the mirror.

      • Steve__T

         I see you really like that Obama commercial so much you printed it out!.

  • Potter

    gee Mr Romney- do you really think that the states each can handle this without government resources?  You don’t think that a central government is better for moving resources from one area of the country to another? Do you think that better than that- many different business interests ( profit makers) would do better? This is what you said. Are you going to deny that you said this or flip on this too now?

    I just don’t understand why this election is so close… yes ignorance, you depend on it.

  • Bryan Farr

    The worst part was not having hurricane warnings in place!  The NWS / NHC decided to go with regular winter time type of storm warnings.  This allowed officials to deem the hurricane less severe, (like Mayor Bloomberg on Saturday stated that it won’t be as severe as a hurricane)  People react to the word hurricane warning, more so than High wind warning. Yes, the NWS covered themselves in issuing appropriate warnings, but many were lost in translation.  

    • Gregg Smith

      Good point, I just hope everyone stays calm and safe until normalcy is restored.

    • JGC

      The hurricane/storm ratings can be very misleading. People in Vermont were totally blindsided by Hurricane Irene which was demoted to “just” Tropical Storm status, right before it devastated their communities.

      • Ray in VT

        That’s right.  The winds weren’t high, but it was large, slow-moving, and it dumped a large amount of water.  It was the water that was the killer, not the wind.

        • Don_B1

          The winds only have to be real high if they are short lived.

          The winds over 70 mph lasted for several DAYS, blowing water toward the New York Harbor funnel, and they combined with the North Atlantic Oscillation which held a Nor’ester type storm that began joining Sandy, funneling water from as much as 900 miles to the east in a westward direction.

          While the barometric pressure of the Eye was near a record low, it did not make a tight, “small” hurricane, but a real spread out one, quite possibly the biggest in millennia. That spreading distributed the storm’s energy so the wind speeds never reached the real high numbers of a high Category storm. Some of that spreading could well be the result of the climate-changed Arctic and North Atlantic Oscillations creating the blocking air mass that sent Sandy toward New Jersey.

          The analysis of the conditions creating this storm will go on for years.

    • MrNutso

      Hurricane designations refer to wind speed and barometric pressure.  I saw classified as Cat. 1 at least until landfall at Accuweather and the Weather Channel.

    • jefe68

      That’s not true. They did issue a hurricane warning and I heard it said over and over that this was going to be a slow moving event that was huge.  Bloomberg made his decision based on his own ego. Governor Chrisite told the people of New Jersey to be ready for a huge storm and he ordered evacuations of the coastal areas three days before the event. Governor Patrick also ordered a state of emergency and Mayor Menino also closed down city hall and kept all non-essential personal home. Bloomberg did not do that and had the tenacity to order all city workers to show up at shelters to do what exactly I’m not sure.
      Bloomoberg has been an awful mayor and hurricane Sandy has only put this fact under a microscope.

      • Don_B1

        I gave you a like, but I’m not sure you are totally right about Bloomberg.

        As examples, he did order evacuations of low-lying areas (Area A — Battery Park, I believe — and a couple others) and undoubtedly participated in Gov. Cuomo’s decision to shut down the subways early Sunday night (7 p.m.). I think I remember other actions but not the specifics from watching cable news on Saturday and Sunday.

        It would seem that he would not want any complaints to remind people of his performance on the Christmas snow storm two years ago?



  • JGC

    I’m going to make a contribution to the Red Cross Hurricane Fund.  And if you click on “like” here, I’ll throw in an extra dollar for you, too. (limit to $100 )     

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      Thank you.

    • hennorama

      Way to go!

      Everyone can also donate any amount here http://www.redcross.org/charitable-donations or by texting “redcross” to 90999.

      Each text will donate $10 that will be added to your phone bill.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    When will we stop wasting resources rebuilding these grownup sand-castles that developers build by the sea? It’s time to wake up – the seacoast can be a very dangerous place to live, let alone invest in.

    Hundreds of years ago, the ocean front was for commerce, not recreation – the people respected the power of the sea and built their homes on high ground, not on stilts with see-through glass decks looking down on the surf.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      True. I’m a lifelong East Coaster. Growing up in Scituate, MA, there were NO luxury McMansions on Cedar Point (Lighthouse Point, to some newcomers). The blizzard of ’78 took out all the old fishing shacks, which were perched on stilts, and when all the insurance & disaster relief money flooded in those humble, rickety shacks were replaced with million dollar temples to conspicuous consumption. This recent shoreline buildng trend is pathetic, dumb and just plain backassward.

      • anamaria23

        Just took a ride around the cliffs in Scituate   The monster houses
        and monster cars are astounding. What was a charming fishing village with modest homes is now a testament to overconsumption.
        Yet, there are no stores in which to get basic needs requiring driving miles  for basic clothing, dishes etc.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

          No kidding. It’s disgusting to look at, especially if you can remember how it was not so long ago.  I certainly can’t afford to live in that town now! Very few natives can.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      Two words that very effectively demonstrate your point are Galveston Island. I was in Houston during one of the many times the Island has been leveled. I could not believe it when the damage totals rolled in and immediately all the wealthy property owners started to rebuild. Sometimes, If mother Nature repeatedly tells you to get the hell out of her yard you should listen instead of forcing others to pay for your insurrection.

      • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

        I visited Galveston on the next Christmas following the devastating flooding. I saw a friend’s home where the water reached 3 feet above the second floor!

        The devastation was awe inspiring. Too bad global climate change has been politicized by the extreme right.

    • hennorama

      One of the biggest problems is that flood insurance premiums under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) have been highly subsidized, with premiums as low as half of what a private insurer would charge.  These low rates have made it virtually impossible for private insurers to directly compete in these markets.

      NFIP was changed significantly just 3 months ago, with many premiums and deductibles being increased and the program being put on a much more sound financial and actuarial footing.  The changes gradually remove subsidies for second homes and commercial properties, as well as properties with a history of repeated flood damage.  Some property owners, including many living in residences built decades ago, will continue to receive premium support.

      “In July, Congress extended the program through 2017 and tried to address some of these concerns by raising premiums on insurance holders, increasing the minimum deductible and requiring the NFIP administrator to come up with a plan to resolve its debt problem. Mike Barry of the Insurance Information Institute argues that these reforms have “put the NFIP on more actuarially sound footing going forward,”

      Source: http://business.time.com/2012/10/30/should-the-federal-government-be-subsidizing-flood-insurance/#ixzz2AnP4Vodw

    • jefe68

      Hundreds of years ago? Are you relating to the time when the main source of light for homes was whale oil?
      There was a time when New Bedford and Nantucket were very wealthy due to being whaling centers. Do you really think a storm of this magnitude would have been less damaging due to the changes in it’s usage in the last 100 years? People built there homes where the could afford too. Not all of them were on high ground.

      Look up the 1938 hurricane that hit the New York/New England area for some insight in the history of where people built homes. A fair amount of them were on nothing more than sand bars.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Our whole government emergency response capability is just more socialism – where are the calls to dismantle it?

    • liminalx

      I agree …let ‘em drown and burn

      When did the USA become populated by mean selfish people?  The least (we) the “government” can do is respond to and help those in trouble.

      • Mike_Card

        They’ve always been here, but they didn’t get organized until a black family moved into the White House and the Kock Bros. opened up their checkbook.

    • Laur5000

      I look forward to seeing conservative Gov. Chris Christie take a “hand out” from the fed to help New Jersey recover. The federal government is supposed to provide disaster relief. I am happy that my tax dollars will help those affected by the storm. I am happy that my tax dollars pay for police, fire departments, roads, hospitals, public schools, national defense, healthcare, etc. That’s why we have a government. Without these benefits, our country would be immobilized in chaos. It would be every man for himself. Looks good on paper, but it’s not practical. 

      • PithHelmut

        I am not happy that my tax dollars have gone on wars. The Republicans have had enough tax dollars going where they wanted.

        • Laur5000

          I agree. The wars of the last several decades are not about national defense. They are about aggression, greed, and dominance. By “national defense” I mean it literally, as in defending our borders from invaders. The Pentagon should have it’s budget cut in half and we could put the extra money toward education. 

  • JGC

    Will there be an extension in voting days for areas afflicted by Hurricane Sandy?  Especially in a place like New York City, it is hard to imagine transit restored to normal to allow voters to get to the polls. Which, anyway, are some of these polling areas under water at the moment? The absentee votes apparently are not tallied until Nov. 17, so it seems there could be an extension permitted.   The panel all have credentials from the weather or disaster response areas, so maybe no one will have an answer on this possibility today.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jim.castronovo Jim Castronovo

    “That’s the question going forward…” from James Barron. This is the deepest statement today.

    Tom, I am looking forward to a show where you examine Sandy as Manhattan’s ‘beta test’ for the sea level rise and monster storms to come. Where did Manhattan’s infrastructure work well or even surprisingly well? Where did it fail in ways that are predictable or unexpected? There is a lot to dig into with this topic. The answers are applicable to all coastal communities.

  • Laur5000

    In 2011, Governor Romney said that we can’t afford federal disaster relief. Boy, am I glad he’s not in charge right now. I would like a president who believes in helping states and citizens recover from a storm like Sandy. I also want a president who values science and takes climate change seriously. (Obama has not been an ideal president, in my opinion, but I feel he’d do the least harm.)

  • Ellen Dibble

    Where did the 375,000 evacuated from the coast of Long Island and lower Manhattan go to?  Are there monster-sized shelters?  Do we need them?  Here in western Mass., I planned to hop on a bus and go north nearer to relatives, and find a hotel there.  But the first thing I noticed to be canceled was bus service.  Further, it seems the storm went right around my town and is heading toward northern parts again, similar to Irene, where the leaves and branches may come down upon cars and houses and power lines all the way to Cincinnati and to Canada.  Here, I didn’t notice ANY wind.  I didn’t hear ANY rain.  I saw some drops.  The storm exactly skirted around me.  But another time, I hope that buses can be considered emergency vehicles, and are being used to assist emergency services, not to make things worse.  Would they rather have people slowly chilling, then freezing in place?  The managers may plan for those with cars, but I’d think the New York experience might open the eyes of the planners.  Some can have totally full lives without ever using gas-powered vehicles.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    The Caller Bennett “I’ve done a lot of research”. Tom asked what your area of expertise was Genius.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

       Bennett is flat wrong — global climate change is being caused by our human activities, and it is affecting our weather.

      We will be having *bigger* storms; but not necessarily more storms.  The quantity of rain we get in a lot of storms is far in excess of what we used to get.

    • Expanded_Consciousness

      Fallacious appeal to authority.

    • Mike_Card

      I always wonder about the sources when I hear that, “No, but I’ve done a lot of research” reply.  Often, it’s the King James version or the AEI or “the inter net.”

    • Ellen Dibble

      Any scientist who can prove that gas and oil and coal combustion do NOT cause global warming will have money THROWN at him or her.  Those industries are VERY interested in making it clear that their businesses and their profits are NOT causing global warming.  The caller said that in order to get financing to do research you had to already buy into the idea of global warming.  I just notice that some of the most preposterous approaches to the science involved are nonetheless fostered and paid for and promoted by all sorts of organizations that wishfully plan to proceed in the same manner as heretofore, pretending we aren’t wrecking the environment (even worse than we have).  

    • http://www.facebook.com/gail.elbek Gail Elbek

      It was the first time I heard Tom out of control, “What is your expertise”….and I turned the channel.  “Director” of whatever does not mean the other guy knows it all, on the contrary, too many “Directors” of Government are far from experts, and it is the layperson researcher who knows more!

      • Don_B1

        In the G.W. Bush administration there was a lot of pressure put on scientists to NOT report or talk about what they DID know about subjects such as climate science. To this day, [Republican] officials in state governments [Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli of Virginia, a prime example] are harassing the scientists who do know about climate science [Michael Mann, previously at Virginia Tech, now the director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University and the producer of a temperature record over the last ten thousand years, since dubbed the “hockey stick,” because of its sharp bend upwards over the last 150 years, particularly   the last 75 years or so.

        A hurricane science specialist, Kerry Emanuel of M.I.T. has done pioneering work on the effects of anthropomorphic global warming on the number and strength of hurricanes over the last 100 years or so, and for his efforts, the deniers attack his wife in public (they seem to be Republican Party supporters, if not members). It would have been interesting and probably more informative if he had been on this program, but he is conservative, a Republican, no less, and would probably not want to make speculative remarks until he has seen more data from Sandy’s track, though he would not have agreed with Frank Marks on several points.It was only the willingness of scientists to undergo vile ad hominem attacks that the world even knows about the devastation that the fossil fuel industry will foist on the world for their short-term profit. Granted that the profit will be in the trillions, but it will be a pittance compared to the cost to everyone’s lives, those of our descendants that actually make it.The reason Tom got “excited,” in your terms, is that Bennett was putting out some of the most debunked (totally DISCREDITED) arguments against human caused global warming. Denying that the world is warming is equivalent to denying that when you let go of an object you are holding up in the air that it will drop toward the center of the earth. (Actually it might drop at a slight angle to a direct line to the earth’s center if there is a big mountain toward one side or the other of where the object is dropped and not an equally large mass on the other side, but the direction will be roughly toward the center.)

        If you have not seen or heard this discredited Denier Talking Points or (hopefully do not) believe them, you can get the reasons why they have been discredited at:


        where the top post is on the connection between Hurricane Sandy and climate change:


        On the left column is a list of the Most Used Climate Myths.

        Other sites, among many, are Real Climate (dense science), Grist and Climate Progress.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Global average temperatures are rising.  That puts more heat energy in the sea.  One storm can’t be identified as caused by climate change, but the overall pattern is clear.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Way too reasonable to be heard in the righty alt universe.

      I’d hope a storm like this will remind voters of the TeaOP attitude toward disaster relief, which is their overall attitude of “screw you, I’ve got mine”. Romney wants to privatize and turn FEMA over to the states. Radical house TeaOP members have called for offsetting cuts before helping the victims in recent disasters.

      They will pray for you, though.

      ps In Boston Sandy wasn’t much.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/BQCXJB4TE7L7QIIG7NKDZ5BNJQ JoeJ

         And yet, I don’t understand why more people want to vote Romney. Could it be because we are not doing enough to get them to understand and get beyond false ads and false accusations? I really wish the Supreme Court didn’t allow these non-candidate campaign ads.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          It is puzzling. I get that media spin and appeals to fear are powerful, but it’s still a stretch to think that they would be enough to get a financial con man elected in response to a disaster caused by financial con men.

          • Steve__T

             I find it absolutely confounding that people will accept a lie in the face of the truth, but as you said fear is powerful. But when you’ve been fooled once, how the f%$@ do you fall for it again. That old saying fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. they have no shame it’s all on you when you buy into it.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            A financial con man touts his “business experience” as the way to fix an economy crashed by financial con men, AND walks back every position he took as a “severe conservative” a few months ago, and about half of the voters go OK, fine. Unbelievable.

            Maybe it is about average citizens being fooled into thinking that “redistribution” of their taxes to the poor is a big problem, obscuring the fact that the “redistribution” of all the wealth and income in the USA to the Romney types is our #1 problem.

          • PithHelmut

            Maybe Romney is a set-up ensuring Obama wins this election. Trust Obama do you? Don’t forget he has a kill list. A president has a kill list. I can’t get over that. Or that he signed the NDAA or that he allowed the Bush tax cuts to continue. But he does sound appealing and we do feel sorry for him for putting up with those naughty Republicans.

  • Jack Acme

    It is simple physics: as you add energy to a system it becomes more energetic. Storms are driven by heat energy. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Too many people get hung up on “global warming” – you can argue it until the cows come home. The one thing you can’t argue about is climate change – otherwise most of us would be sitting under 1000′s of feet of ice. We are dealing with and will have to deal with climate change.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

       We have to understand the reality of this current changing climate.  The main cause is humans burning fossil fuels and our agriculture methods.

      We simply must change what we are doing or we will not be able to deal with the climate change that is happening now — we humans are the main cause at this time.

      To ignore the facts is to be doomed.  We can have sustainable abundance IF we change our short-sighted ways.


      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

        We’re going to have take climate change into account whether we take human contributions into account or not.

        Look at the “cradle of civilization” – the middle east is now a not very hospitable environment. Huge, huge change – and just over a few thousand years.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

           We are causing changes at a *much* quicker rate than the natural changes in the past — we are seeing changes within a decade or two that took thousands of years in the past.

      • PithHelmut

        In hazarding to sound alarmist, pumping fossil fuels is not all that we’re doing wrong. BPA’s are going into the food chain, fertilizers are leaching into the water and creating dead zones for fish, the oceans are becoming more acidic, monocrops are planted that could be hit by pestilence threatening the food supply and/or the ecology, tampering with GMO’s without knowing effects on ecology or in our DNA from eating foods grown with them, and lots more. There are many “perfect storms” brewing. We’re doing almost everything wrong and many of those everything’s are about to go kaboom. We have to unlearn and relearn really fast.  We can probably do it if we use everything in our arsenal. Fortunately Mother Nature has produced many fine remedies. One of them is industrial hemp. We can use it for biofuels, paper, fabric, even making car bodies and bioplastics, soil remediators and tons more. Find out more here: http://www.hempfarm.org/
        It is just down right despotic that our government is so protective of us (bless their dear little hearts) that they ban this incredibly beneficial crop.  Oh it’s also a most amazingly wholesome food. Check out the website you will be amazed.

  • Pingback: HRD DIrector Frank Marks appears on WBUR’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook « Hurricane Research Division

  • BlueNH

    A well written piece about the connection between AGW and Sandy, by Stephen Leahy, an environmental journalist. “hurricane Sandy Speaks”


  • Greykin

    The person who claimed that Global warming is a hoax, and the scientist is part of a conspiracy to promote climate change is another example of the anti-science conspiracy centered in the extreme conservative movement. Their ignorance can cause more damage than this storm.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      Their ignorance has already caused more damage than this storm.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

        Hyped-up disaster mongering is what sells faux news. Anybody who’s hooked to that stuff has my sympathy. The perpetrators of hysterical B.S. have only my contempt.

        • Steve__T

          Well its torn up the east coast done considerable damage, as it has spun around turned and now its snowing in the North Carolina Mountains up to 6 inches. Hysterical BS I think not. Tho if you got caught in it I am positive you would be hysterical to get out of it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

            I’ve been through worse. Panic helps nobody. Under my belt, so far: 3 serious hurricanes ( 2 while living on Martha’s Vineyard ) one tornado, several week-long power outages, miles of snow….hmmm. Preparation has always seen me through. What’s the excuse for mass hysteria, now? Oh, yeah, time to make the blood-money. Not on my watch. Not on my dime, either.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jim.castronovo Jim Castronovo

      and because of that it was very important that Tom took the call from Mr. Fox News.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/BQCXJB4TE7L7QIIG7NKDZ5BNJQ JoeJ

       They don’t want to believe about Global Climate Change is a crisis because they don’t want to do anything. It is  because they don’t want to pay for it. Capitalism said to make money and leave when there is nothing there left to take.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jim.castronovo Jim Castronovo

    I’m glad you took the call from the person calling into question the relationship between this storm -any particular storm- and warming temperatures of the globe. The point is that it is impossible to state whether there is a direct connection. Decades ago the medical community had a problem connecting a teenager smoking a cigarette and the old man he became dying of lung cancer. The science of epidemiology was developed as a result… essentially proving effect by probability. There are people who have put thought into a similar model for explaining the large storms of today. I would love a show where you speak with scientists. And I would welcome the Fox News caller to call back in.

    • SomMom

       I agree. I grew up in New England, and although there were major hurricanes in 1938 and 1954 (I think those are the correct years), the first one during my lifetime was around 1986. Since then, we’ve had many more hurricanes/ major tropical storms hitting New England as well as freak weather events like last year’s snowstorm a few days before Halloween.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Time and time again the right makes false arguments based on ignorance of statistics. The heavy smoker who lives to 99 proves that smoking is not a health hazard. The poor kid who is a big success in a  romney hunger games economy proves that we still have the economic mobility of the high-tax 50s and 60s. And of course, any period of mild weather proves that we can pump all the CO2 we want into the atmosphere with no problem.

      All these phenomena are probabilistic. You have to look at the statistics, the odds, not individual events. 

      Of course we know why the right denies man-made global warming: follow the money.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    There are many places in the world, and in the US that are not economically viable places to live or set up cities due to environmental issues such as flooding, etc.

    I wonder when we’ll get to the point that communities, or even entire cities literally just become too expensive to protect from Mother Nature.

    • Ray in VT

      Maybe.  If the track record for some areas regarding flooding, or some other such events, becomes such high risk so as to make insurance prohibitively expensive, then building or rebuilding may not be possible/affordable.

      • barbbash

        Our federal government gets in the way of this by providing subsidized insurance for property in flood-prone areas!

        • hennorama

          Things are changing.  (This is part of a post I made below)”

          The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was changed significantly just 3 months ago, with many premiums and deductibles being increased and the program being put on a much more sound financial and actuarial footing.  The changes gradually remove subsidies for second homes and commercial properties, as well as properties with a history of repeated flood damage.  Some property owners, including many living in residences built decades ago, will continue to receive premium support.


          • barbbash

             Good news! Thanks for this info.

      • Steve__T

         I watched with my own eyes a horrific storm on the California coast, it wiped out hundreds of miles of beach. most people in that area did not live any closer than a half mile and were spared. They knew that storms happen there every 10 to 20 years. Three years later they were building three story mansions no more than 1oo yards from the water. I’m sure eventually they will pay a price, and pass it on to us.

        • Mike_Card

          Yeah, but the TV broadcasters just love that Malibu footage–it’s great for sweeps week.

    • Steve__T

       Yes remind me of this again when tornadoes start sucking up trailers and houses in the mid west.

  • hennorama

    Best wishes and high hopes for all those impacted by Sandy.

    The American Red Cross is accepting cash donations online and via text message to benefit the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

    Donations can be made at http://www.redcross.org/  or by texting “redcross” to 90999. Each text will donate $10 that will be added to your phone bill.

    That being said, there is a political calculus here, especially since the upcoming elections are in only one week.

    Pres. Obama will clearly be using all of his powers to coordinate and provide relief through FEMA and various other federal agencies.  This gives him an opportunity to shine and be viewed positively, assuming all goes well and there are no obvious gaps in the Federal response.

    Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan have other concerns.  They need to essentially stop campaigning for at least Tuesday and possibly even Wednesday, depending on the outcomes from this awesome storm.  The storm will suck up all news coverage, and their messages and the various attacks they’ve been making against Pres. Obama will be silenced or at least muted to a large extent.  Romney and Ryan have a very delicate balancing act to perform — they need to be very sensitive in how they ramp their campaign back up in light of this disaster so as to not appear tone-deaf regarding the suffering.  They can’t afford to appear uncaring in the way Pres. Bush did during Katrina’s aftermath.

    In addition, their prior remarks and plans are all going to be called into question:

    Mr. Romney said in a debate in June of last year that FEMA’s role should be reduced  – “…send it back to the states…” and “…we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids. It is simply immoral…”

    The government was nearly shut down in Sept. 2011 over FEMA funding.  Mr. Ryan was one of 66 House Republicans to oppose that deal.  In addition, Mr. Ryan’s budget “…envisioned a 41 percent cut next year for the section of the federal government that includes FEMA.” 

    I suspect they will be doing a great deal of back-tracking and “What I meant was …” explaining about these items.



    • cambridgefair

       Thank you.  Keep talking about this, folks.  Romney/Ryan don’t believe in government.  What do you think we need the government for?  Ask the people in New Jersey who’ve been evacuated from their homes.  Ask the firefighters in New York. . . .We need FEMA.  We need Obama. 

  • SomMom

    We need to invest in putting power lines underground. Of course a Romney administration would never do this….

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

       Much easier said than done — this would be incredibly expensive; and it would trade one set of risks with another.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        If done properly the risks could be reduced drastically, if not completely. Even flooding can be dealt with if it is properly planned for.

        Yes, it would be extremely expensive, but which is more expensive?:

        The continued loss in human life resulting from the combination of trees and lines?

        Longer than necessary periods of time that some families are without power?

        The staggering costs of ongoing limb and tree maintenance?

        The overall impact on the economy of these things combined?

        I agree it’s much easier said than done, but it doesn’t seem quite as expensive or difficult once everything is taken into consideration. That’s my take on it anyway. And aren’t we always whining about being in dire need of Job Creation?

    • Steve__T

       Way to expensive to be cost effective, but I agree it should be done with telephone lines also. But there are no new technology’s that would allow us to actually get it done everywhere, or even where its needs to be done. 

      • DrewInGeorgia

        There are ways, just not will. See my reply to Neil about cost effectiveness.

    • jefe68

      I hope you realize that in large areas of New York City they are underground. If I’m not mistaken Manhattan has almost all of it’s electrical and telecommunication infrastructure underground.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        I seriously doubt that she is talking solely about New York City.

  • chris129

    Mr. Ashbrook: Give it up.  You pushed Mr. Marks to  blame climate change for Hurricane Sandy but he refused.   Then as counter voice, you had Maria Marcum to complain about climate change.  What credentials did she have? None except as an activist.  By the standards that you set yourself when you dissed an earlier caller for expressing skepticism about climate change, Ms. Marcum’s lack of credentials disqualified her from expressing an opinion different from that of Mr. Marks.  You unquestionably have a double standard.

    • Marla Marcum

      My name is MarLa. I didn’t get much of a chance to speak. I am a faith leader (Director of Christian Education at Lexington United Methodist Church, seminary trained), an organizer, and trained as an ethicist. My credentials qualify me to talk about how we make decisions based on the science and whose interests are taken seriously (or to point out when we are ignoring the evidence in favor of powerful vested interests that benefit from business as usual). 

      Mr. Marks (from NOAA) would not disagree that sea level rise (which has happened and will continue due to climate change) makes the impacts of storms like Sandy MUCH more deadly and costly in coastal communities. 

    • worriedabouttheplanet

      Ms Marcum’s credentials are easily found by anyone who cares to look. http://www.betterfutureproject.org/who-we-are/staff/ A master’s degree in philosophy, theology, and ethics and doctoral work in ecological ethics makes her more than qualified to speak on the moral issues involved. 

  • DrewInGeorgia

    My heart and thoughts go out to all impacted by this nightmare of a weather event. I wish you all the speediest recovery possible.

    • Steve__T

       I agree with your sentiment, but its highly unlikely they will see this, but we can pray.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        Or meditate, or contemplate.
        Compassion doesn’t require a Religious affiliation.

        • Steve__T


  • PhilosopherScientist

    I could not listen today to most of this always excellent program, but I want to stress that the consequences of this storm may be a preview of things to come following the rise in ocean levels… if we do NOT smarten up before it is too late.

    • LoganEcholls

      People ignored the science even when they said it was already “too late” a decade ago.  We’re locking into the consequences of global warming now, and unless dramatic steps are taken to reverse the course, it will only get worse and worse. 

  • TomK_in_Boston

    Chris Christie on Obama and a possible “storm related photo-op” and “benefits from the hurricane” for Lord R.

    Interview on NBC: Christie called Obama “outstanding” for expediting relief efforts. He also told MSNBC that Obama “deserves great credit.” “He gave me his number at the White House and told me to call him if I needed anything,” Christie said.

    The New Jersey governor even took his message to Fox News, saying that Obama had helped “tremendously.” “I spoke to the president three times yesterday,” he explained. “He called me for the last time at midnight last night asking what he could do. I said, if you can expedite designating New Jersey as a major disaster area that that would help us to get federal money and resources in here as quickly as possible to help clean up the damage here.”

    “The president was great last night,” Christie continued. “He said he would get it done. At 2 a.m., I got a call from FEMA to answer a couple of final questions and then he signed the declaration this morning. So I have to give the president great credit. He’s been on the phone with me three times in the last 24 hours. He’s been very attentive, and anything that I’ve asked for, he’s gotten to me. So, I thank the president publicly for that. He’s done — as far as I’m concerned — a great job for New Jersey.

    ”Fox News co-host Steve Doocy wondered when Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was going to get some of the same benefits from the hurricane with a photo op in disaster-stricken New Jersey towns.

    “Over the last couple of months, you have appeared throughout the country, Governor, on behalf of Mitt Romney,” Doocy remarked to Christie. “[W]e hear that perhaps Mr. Romney may do some storm-related events. Is there any possibility that Gov. Romney may go to New Jersey to tour some of the damage with you?”

    “I have no idea, nor am I the least bit concerned or interested,” Christie replied, immediately shutting down the idea. “I’ve got a job to do here in New Jersey that’s much bigger than presidential politics and I could [sic] care less about any of that stuff.”

    “I have a job to do,” he added. “I’ve got 2.4 million people out of power, I’ve got devastation on the shore, I’ve got floods in the northern part of my state. If you think right now I give a damn about presidential politics then you don’t know me.”

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Chris Christie has a BIG heart.  He is a great leader.

    • jefe68

      This is how government should work. This is a crisis and it’s beyond partisan bloviating. Kudos for both President Obama and Governor Christie for being adults.I’m not a huge fan of Governor Christie but he did what the citizens of New Jersey hired him to do, be a good governor. 

      • TomK_in_Boston

        Yes, they are both doing what they should. Even tho Christie is a level above the crazy TeaOP types I’ve never been a huge fan either, but this is good.

    • JGC

      You will be glad to know Donald Trump is doing his part in the midst of this disaster (from Politico):

      Because of the devastating hurricane, the mogul tweeted that he is extending his offer to President Barack Obama to donate $5-million to charity if the president produces his college records and passport application by Thursday at noon, instead of Wednesday.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        A nice illustration of the TeaOP concept of essential services. The lives of the peasants depend on the whims of the Lord.

  • Marla Marcum

    If you want to know more about the past week’s round-the-clock Vigil to End Climate Silence, check out 350ma.org/vigil  

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Wonderful.  Also make certain we don’t silence skeptical scientists too.  Climate science is an immature and nascent field.


      • worriedabouttheplanet

        So long as we don’t ignore the overwhelming consensus in the name of listening to a very few. The stakes are way too high for that. 

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Quality science is not driven by consensus but by scientific method.  Consensus is simply a measure of group think and is being used for propaganda.

          • worriedabouttheplanet

            This is not a matter of employing the democratic fallacy. The consensus I speak of is among fully qualified researchers using standard methods. Consensus is not a scientific method, but it can be (and is in this case) informed by scientific method. You’re confusing the lack of absolute certainty (which is impossible in any science) with significant evidence to the contrary. 

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             ‘significant evidence’

            You need to define what you mean.

            - Are there man made CO2 emissions?  Yes

            - Has there been warming over the last 100 years?  Yes,  <1C although there is some further research required on UHIs.

            -Did the CO2 cause this warming? Unknown magnitude

            -Will further CO2 emissions increase the warming?  Unknown

            -Will going to ZERO CO2 emissions reverse the warming? Unknown

            There are many questions.  We should continue to study and refine the science.

            We should also continue to develop alternatives to fossil fuels and not only because of the climate but because of the geopolitical and economic risks.

  • Pingback: The Wrath Of Sandy | Clearing House for Environmental Course Material

  • JGC

    There are two interesting books pertinent to today’s discussion that you may want to find at your library.  The first is “The World Without Us”, by Alan Weisman, 2007.  Tom Ashbrook did an interview with Weisman on 23 Feb 2010. There is a chapter on New York City that sends chills up the spine. A few lines: ” Every day, (NYC Transit’s superintendents of Hydraulics and Hydraulics Emergency Response Schuber and Briffa) must keep 13-million gallons of water from overpowering New York’s subway tunnels. “That’s just the water that’s already underground,”notes Schuber.  “When it rains, the amount is…” Briffa shows his palms, surrendering.  “It’s incalculable.” …Add a nor’easter, and the surging Atlantic Ocean bangs against New York’s water table until…it backs up right into the tunnels, shutting everything down until it subsides. Should the ocean continue to warm and  rise even faster than the current inch per decade, at some point it simply won’t subside.  Schuber an Briffa have no idea what will happen then…

    The other book is”The Unthinkable-Who Survives When Disaster Strikes-and Why,” by Amanda Ripley, 2008.  A super, super book on risk assessment and response to natural and man-made disasters, which could motivate you to take the steps to think about how you could save your own life if disaster calls.  From the last chapter: “What I’ve always found,” says James Lee Witt, FEMA director 1993 to 2000, ” is that people will respond to meet a need in a crisis if they know what to do.”…(A private citizen, Troy Nicolini, organized the first tsunami drill in the history of California – on June 28, 2007. There were low expectations when the tsunami drill sounded at 6 pm…) Everybody (75% of the town) made it to the top in ten minutes, which is about all the warning they would get in real life…Nicolini plans to do the drill every year and expand it to other towns…”You’ve got to practice stuff that’s important…You have a plan, and you don’t have to worry.”  There was one sheriff’s deputy at the drill. A few people asked why there weren’t more.  Where was the fire department?  Where were the thundering trucks and flashing lights?  It was an excellent question, and the answer might have been the most important part of the drill.  The firefighters and police officers were absent by design.  Because in a real tsunami, they will not be there.  It will just be us, on our own, carrying one another to high ground. 

  • hennorama

    Romney’s “leadership” on display – he refuses to answer reporters’ numerous questions about FEMA this morning.
    “From the Romney pool report:

    TV pool asked Romney at least five times whether he would eliminate FEMA as president/what he would do with FEMA. He ignored the qs but they are audible on cam. The music stopped at points and the qs would have been audible to him.

    A follow-up report noted the specific questions Romney ignored, as he was collecting hurricane supplies following his event:

    “Gov are you going to eliminate FEMA?” a print pooler shouted, receiving no response.

    Wires reporters asked more questions about FEMA that were ignored.

    Romney kept coming over near pool to pick up more water. He ignored these questions:

    “Gov are you going to see some storm damage?”

    “Gov has [New Jersey Gov.] Chris Christie invited you to come survey storm damage?”

    “Gov you’ve been asked 14 times, why are you refusing to answer the question?”


    Perhaps Mr. Romney needs some lessons in candor from his good friend NJ Gov. Chris Christie.

    • Steve__T

      I’m waiting for him to declare Sandy a terrorist and say Obama has done nothing to stop her. 

      • hennorama

        I believe that Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity would be tasked with that, no?

        On a lighter note, from the Middle East’s version of “The Onion” comes this headline:

        “al-Qaeda splinter group claims responsibility for Hurricane Sandy”

        NORTHERN YEMEN: With Hurricane Sandy continuing to wreak havoc on the US, an al-Qaeda breakaway group in Northern Yemen this morning claimed that it was responsible for the freak tropical storm.”


        One should be sure to read their ‘About Us’ disclaimer before taking this as factual:

        “Launched in November 2010, The Pan-Arabia Enquirer is the Middle East’s premier source of satirical news, peeling back the multiple layers of hard news across the region to find the silliness at the heart of it all. This means that it’s ENTIRELY MADE UP and not intended, in any way whatsoever, to be taken as factual. So, please don’t take offence to anything we write, OK, because it’s just not worth it.”

    • William

       So Obama’s lies about the terrorist attack on 9-11 against our embassy is good leadership?

      • hennorama

        Interesting how you completely ignore the topic of my post – Mr. Romney not answering questions about FEMA.

        Good try.

        I guess this makes you an official member of the Limbaugh/Hannity/Priebus/Brietbart/Palin et al ad nauseam club now. Congratulations, I guess.

        • William

           Which is more important? FEMA or a terrorist attack? What is Obama’s latest story on that? Strange how he gets away with his stonewalling on that little issue huh?….

          I guess you are the lead cheerleader for this failed President. He did of course, come back from Orlando (or was told to come back) to answer the phone from Gov. Christie about this storm. Leading from behind again huh?

          • Laur5000

            It’s not a zero-sum game. FEMA and anti-terrorism measures are equally important to our nation’s livelihood and security.

          • Ray in VT

            If you’re one of the 6 or so million people who lost power because of the storm, then right now FEMA is probably more important to you.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            In Williamworld, the top story is “William still has electricity!”

          • hennorama

            Congratulations in your continued valiant efforts to change the subject. You get an E for effort.

            I must respectfully decline to engage you in your rhetorical quest, as I have no interest in your screed.

          • jefe68

            Really, this is your response to this disaster? You sir are the very definition of a bodily function that involves ones digestive system.

        • jerome_keith

           Although I agree that it looks bad for Romney not to respond to the reporters, it does seem that it’s a gotcha question.  If he says No he won’t cut FEMA, then he’s a hypocrite and a flip-flopper, but if he says Yes, you know that the next day’s headline will read “Romney advocates cutting FEMA in midst of crisis”.

          • Mike_Card

            Handling “gotcha” questions is part of the arena politicians have–at least tacitly, if not explicitly–agreed to play in.

            If they don’t want to play by the rules–releasing income tax returns, for example–shame on them.  Those are the rules; either belly up to the bar, or sit your chicken ass down.

          • hennorama

            One would reasonably expect Mr. Romney to have the ability and desire to defend his (supposedly) deeply held positions on reducing Federal involvement in the lives of ordinary Americans, right? At least I expect him to, especially since he is running for President of the United States.

            Mr. Romney was asked directly about FEMA and disaster relief during the Republican primaries in June 2011. Here’s the exchange:

            Excerpts from CNN’s New Hampshire GOP presidential primary debate on June 14, 2011:

            KING: What else, Governor Romney? You’ve been a chief executive of a state. I was just in Joplin, Missouri. I’ve been in Mississippi and Louisiana and Tennessee and other communities dealing with whether it’s the tornadoes, the flooding, and worse. FEMA is about to run out of money, and there are some people who say do it on a case-by-case basis and some people who say, you know, maybe we’re learning a lesson here that the states should take on more of this role. How do you deal with something like that?

            ROMNEY: Absolutely. Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction. And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better.

            Instead of thinking in the federal budget, what we should cut — we should ask ourselves the opposite question. What should we keep? We should take all of what we’re doing at the federal level and say, what are the things we’re doing that we don’t have to do And those things we’ve got to stop doing, because we’re borrowing $1.6 trillion more this year than we’re taking in. We cannot…

            KING: Including disaster relief, though?

            ROMNEY: We cannot — we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids. It is simply immoral, in my view, for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids, knowing full well that we’ll all be dead and gone before it’s paid off. It makes no sense at all.”


            In sum, he said disaster relief should be sent back to the states, or better yet, to the private sector. He described disaster relief as “…things we’re doing that we don’t have to do … And those things we’ve got to stop doing…” and borrowing for disaster relief as something “we cannot afford” and “…is simply immoral, in my view …”

            So yeah, I expect him to answer questions about FEMA.

          • PithHelmut

            Who cares what Romney thinks?

          • jefe68

            But he’s running for president of the US, and he said what he said. This has a lot of traction due to the history of the Republican party, in particular, GW Bush removing funding and down grading FEMA from  a Cabinet position and he cut it’s finding. A lot. He then appointed a crony to run it. The rest is history.

            In light of this it’s an issue.
            A big one.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            That says more about Romney’s previous claims re FEMA than about anything else.

            Not any reporter’s fault asking and writing about it. In fact, it’s their duty.

      • Mike_Card

        Not to mention Reagan’s refusal to protect the 249 Marines in Beirut.  Do you want to talk about the topic at hand?  Or are you just determined to be the turd in the punch bowl?

      • Gregg Smith

        The lack of outrage is astonishing.

      • jefe68

        You people are disgusting, really.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       How dare these reporters politicize a hurricane and tragedy.

      • hennorama

        Reporters will do what reporters will do. They aren’t running for office. Instead, reporters are tasked with asking questions in an effort to shed light on issues, and stand in stead for the general public.

        Reporters are expected to ask questions, and politicians are expected to provide answers. Clearly Mr. Romney failed in regard to this particular topic – FEMA. This is unsurprising, as any answer he might give would likely be negatively perceived.

        Of course, Mr. Romney is well known for providing answers on both sides of a wide range of topics. As I have previously remarked, it appears that his job creation plan consists of providing endless new opportunities for those who study anatomy, giving them a quest to determine exactly how many sides his mouth actually has.

        Perhaps his test marketers/focus groupers failed to provide Mr. Romney with the most popular response. One can only speculate, as Mr. Romney remains bravely silent on the topic of FEMA.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           Reporters never criticized Obama for campaigning during Isaac in 2008.

          • hennorama

            The reporters questions had nothing at all to do with whether or not Mr. Romney or Pres. Obama should be campaigning during SS Sandy or the aftermath. They were on the topic of disaster response and relief, and Mr. Romney’s statement that disaster relief should be sent back to the states, or better yet, to the private sector. Mr. Romney also has described disaster relief as “…things we’re doing that we don’t have to do … And those things we’ve got to stop doing…” and borrowing for disaster relief as something “we cannot afford” and “…is simply immoral, in my view …”

            It’s completely fair game to ask him about these statements and his current views on these topics.

  • ttajtt

    earth must have its seasons?  these seasons must be afflicted by what is not here naturally bond.   conflict in interests, cause vs variable, coast in argument and/or the fix.   gores green wall street economic methods are in style.  how are the green tea republic people doing?  we must slow down one time use…  

  • TomK_in_Boston

    Will the class war leaders like cantor and ryan demand offsetting budget cuts before any disaster relief? “I know you’re homeless, m’aam, but we can’t help you until we cut medicaid.” That has been their position in the past. Think they’ll hold off so close to the election?

    The current deficit-hysteria has given us the following:

    According to the “Budget Control Act”, Disaster relief funding “cannot exceed the average funding provided for disaster relief over the 10 previous fiscal years, excluding the highest and lowest funding years.”

    Geez, what happens if nature and global warming gives us an above-average storm? Well, the house would have to pass a bill with MORE GOVERNMENT SPENDING!!! Horrors!

    ps Hey! “Brownie”, W’s unqualified FEMA director who went catatonic during Katrina, has added his expert opinion:

    “Michael Brown, former President George W. Bush’s former FEMA director who was criticized for his slow reaction to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, said on Monday that President Obama may have acted too quickly on Hurricane Sandy this week.

    Brown said Obama’s Sunday press conference with Federal Emergency Management Agency officials was “premature” because the effect of the storm was not felt until a day later.”

    You tell ‘em, Brownie! Wouldn’t want government to get on top of the problem. You’re a good righty droid. Please, shout this to the voters as loud as you can.

    • hennorama

      “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.” —President George W. Bush, to FEMA director Michael Brown, who resigned 10 days later amid criticism over his job performance, Mobile, Ala., Sept. 2, 2005.”


      Considered to be #2 of the 50 Dumbest Bush Quotes of All Time

    • PithHelmut

      The oil industry should be sued to smithers for deliberately stopping alternative fuels and selling a substance that pollutes the environment and now threatens all life on the planet. They took out the oil from the ground, everyone’s oil, and profited from it handsomely while using the environment as its sewer (as McKibbin coined). Now the tables must turn. 

  • LoganEcholls

    It’s a tragedy that even with ocean bashing down our doors,  the politicians are all staying deadly silent on climate change.  What level of atrocity will it take for this to stop being a partisan political issue and start being a national security issue? 

    • PithHelmut

      They will probably bring climate change up at the next debate now that people are clamoring to hear them speak it. They didn’t have the balls to say anything up to a week ago but now they will. Curious to hear how they will essentially still say nothing. They’re probably at this moment strategizing on how to maintain the illusion that we can keep on drilling. after all they have to please their donors. The oil industry must be biting their fingernails knowing that once Americans get the epiphany that humans are responsible for runaway climate change, their beastly oil stocks will plummet. The illusion must go on!

      • JGC

        The next debate in 2016?  

    • jefe68

      It is a tragedy. Meanwhile in Europe or at least in nations that are taking the threat seriously they are working on solutions. The Netherlands is at the forefront, but then again they have a long history of dealing with a rising sea.

      They have designed houses that will float, that is act as boats in the event of a huge flood. Smart.

      In Japan they have engineered as much safety as they can into bridges and buildings. When I was in Tokyo about 8 years ago I was in an earth quake and the build rocked a little but nothing fell of of the shelves.
      When I was asking about this the next day I was shown the basement of this apartment building that had these huge shock absorbers and coiled springs and that entire building was designed to sway without damaging the structure. You see this on some bridges as well, huge shock absorbers. It’s not perfect, but it does save lives and minimizes damage. They have a lot of earthquakes.

  • LoganEcholls

    Power line solution is simple.  Make them underground like many newer communities on the West Coast.  Problem solved.  

    The only reason we don’t have them nationally is because power companies are too cheap to update the grid.  Most transformers (devices essentially made from paper and oil!) are operating a decade or more past their expiration dates.  

    • jefe68

      First off most if not all of the power lines for NYC are underground. I don’t think you are dealing with reality.
      The cost of doing this would be in the billions.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        And we’re dealing with a Congress who doesn’t even see the value in keeping roads, bridges and water mains in the repair they were forty years ago, let alone burying AC.

  • byrd4444

    It is suicidally foolish to not link this storm to human-caused global warming.  Yes, there are many cycles in nature and there have always been storms.  But yes, the 90 million tons of CO2 humans pump daily from below the ground into our single, thin air system is creating the heat trap that increases the water in the air and the severity of the dynamic reactions. That can’t help but contribute to making this monster storm and earth’s recent monster events. 

    Yet it is barely mentioned, and then it was dismissed as too controversial.  Such political timidity is killing us.  Unprecedented storms, floods, droughts, fires, species extinction, growing dead zones in our oceans – are tragically ignored rather than rile the deniers. 

    Letting the deniers drive the conversation is engaging in slow motion suicide.  The tobacco industry denied any link between cigarettes and any one death.  My mom was one of the half million per year who died painfully and early in part because of their deliberate denial.  Now, the coal/oil industry finances false doubt and denial blatantly.

    Skepticism is a part of science, but if the so-called skeptics are 2 – 3% of the scientific community, why are they given false equivalency, as if their sometimes highly paid objections are as valid as the 97 – 98% of the experts who agree our human carbon fuel habits are driving us to global warming. 

    To be fair, you should spend 97% of the time allowing actual climate scientists to explain how this is happening.  Taking one call from a denier and then sluffing it off is irresponsible.    

    • Gregg Smith

      It’s a hurricane, relax. I don’t mean to take lightly the damage and pain it has caused, my heart aches, but it’s not the first and it won’t be the last.

      • 1Brett1

        And yet you are so unadulteratedly sure that humans have no appreciably adverse effect on the environment…One could even accurately characterize such a mindset as smug. 

        While it might be incumbent upon those who would declare that human contributions play a role in climate change to produce substantiation, it is also the responsibility of the denier to give substance to his/her absolute opinions. 

        You appear to have no doubt that anthropogenic factors contribute nothing harmful to climatic conditions. You’ve expressed so in post after post over the time you’ve made your presence known on this forum. However, you not only produce no substantiation of your opinion, you refute what the majority in the scientific community have compiled to suggest growing consensus.

        The only real disagreement in the genuine scientific community seems to be the degree to which humans have had an impact on our global weather patterns. 

        A smarter man would at least claim uncertainty.

        • Gregg Smith

          I often wonder what people must be reading in my comments. I never said man had zero adverse affect on the environment. I said it’s not the first hurricane in history.

          • 1Brett1

            I see, so you just wanted people to hear you tell the world that this has NOT been the only hurricane in history! OKAY. Then you are right… 

            Do you know absolutely that the adverse effects humans have had on the environment have ever affected weather patterns?

          • Gregg Smith

            Yep, that’s what I wanted. It was pretty clear I thought.

            “Weather patterns”? Sure.

            This is a mild hurricane season. Are we going to cry AGW every time it rains… or snows… or gets hot… or cold.. of there’s a drought… or a tsunami? I just think it’s irrational but entirely predictable. 

            Now if you want to talk human influence, weather patterns, C02 levels, climate, satellite data, China, India, Kyoto, cap-n-trade, The Bronze age, volcanoes, ice ages, Phil Jones or the IPCC then thats a completely separate matter. 

            What do you propose we do to end hurricanes?

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Yes, that disclaimer that we don’t *know* for sure is tiresome. The fact is that ALL weather events occur within the current climate conditions, those conditions are known to be changing mainly as result of what we humans are doing.

      ALL weather events are a “result” of the climate. So, to the extent that a particular event (i.e. this latest storm) is stronger/bigger/worse/more extreme/etc. than we have seen before – is always attributable to changes in the climate.

      We may not be able to say WHY or HOW it is the way it is – but that doesn’t negate the direct connection between the weather event and the climate it occurs within.

      I just learned the term for this: Systemic Causation.



  • JGC

    Elapsed time between tweets from Karl Rove on solidarity with Hurricane Sandy victims/plea for donations to Red Cross (7:42 AM, 30 Oct) and new Gallup poll announcement in favor of Romney on early voter patterns (1:10 PM, 30 Oct): 5 hours 28 minutes.

    Politics never sleeps.

    • Ray in VT

      I am surprised that the gap was so large, quite frankly, given the 24/7 nature of the news and social media environment, plus the proximity of the election.

  • PithHelmut

    It’s amazing how well the technique of manufacturing doubt works. It’s spelled out in this document from the Union of Concerned Scientists and it is an illumination on the tricks used to keep smokers smokin’ and now to keep fossil fuels burnin’ while we essentially put all of earth’s species to death. That’s alarmist. And so it should be. If the melting of half of the Arctic in one person’s lifetime is not enough to be alarmed, I don’t know what is.
    Smoke, Mirrors and Hot Air:

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=696592396 Patrick Whitlatch

    I work for an ambulance company in South West Michigan.  Currently I’m waiting on the word from FEMA to head East with two ALS ambulances to help with the disaster response. They’ve already sent 160 ambulances, with at least another 100 on standby.  Also previous callers were asking about homeless people, not people to be made homeless by the storm, but people homeless before the storm.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Thanks for being ready to pitch in.

      (PS What does ALS mean?)

      • hennorama

        Don’t ask how I know this, but I do.  ALS stands for Advanced Life Support and these ambulances have both an EMT and a more highly trained paramedic to initiate care for and/or maintain treatment during transport. 

        This contrasts with a BLS or Basic Life Support ambulance which generally will have EMTs and not paramedics.

        Ambulance services dispatch different types of ambulances depending on the nature of the calls for service they receive.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    One way to get something positive out of this disaster would be to combine the repairs with an upgrade of the ancient public transport system in NY/NJ to state-of-the-art. This is a great time for government spending on such a project, with high unemployment and ultra-low borrowing costs, over and above the need to repair the damage. Fat chance, tho, with the TeaOP in the house.

  • ttajtt

    the rebuilding of this citys – high-tech like the jetson.   utopia page, the whole east coast.   i’ll wan’t my house to float, non-charge but abele to rail ride it… 

  • Tyranipocrit

    @Disqus.  NOt to petty but i have 13 like on my comment.  Why isnt on the first page of best ratings?  Conspiracy?  My points were too honest for you?  i might get people thinking?

  • Owen Shufeldt

    Being a geologist and an earth scientist myself, I am quite surprised and concerned at how Director Marks backed away from the caller’s accusations that it was “silly” to attribute recent changes in hurricane intensity and size to global climate change. He not only backed down, saying, “I don’t want to get into the global warming argument, I don’t think that is a fruitful argument,”  but seemingly agreed with the caller.
    Director Marks had a perfect opportunity and certainly has the expertise to explain to the caller and all listeners the difference between weather and climate. Weather is the state of the atmosphere at one specific place and time. Climate is a study of the generalized weather conditions over a long period of time. Therefore, we must be sure to emphasize that conditions like the deep freeze in Europe last year, droughts in multiple areas around the earth, and hurricane intensity are just localized factors that all relate to a broader global climate change related to warming of the atmosphere and sea surface because of anthropogenic influences.
    Sea level rise, shifts in the jet stream, melting ice caps, etc., are all significant problems related to human-induced global climate change. These are facts, and the scientists who study this for a living need to take the responsibility of relating this to the public to increase awareness and get the public involved in coming up with solutions to the immediate effects of climate change. We can not let this become an issue of “belief or disbelief.” You don’t believe in science, science is not a matter of dogma, it is a matter of facts; facts of which you either accept or do not accept.

  • soma4society

    @Owen:twitter . I was a little concerned about the NOAA director’s reticence to respond more directly to that caller as well. It may be emblematic of just how troubling the discourse surrounding climate change has become, thanks in large part to the propaganda and bullying campaign to undermine the science surrounding it. This anti-evidence, anti-science zeitgeist we find ourselves in (I’m speaking of here in the USA, primarily) is going to cost us dearly–in both lives and billions of dollars. In fact, some of the literature already suggests that our lack of action has caused us to pass the climactic “point of no return.” See, for example…


    I do, however, want to thank YOU, Tom, for *directly* confronting the caller about his qualifications to speak about climate change. We are in serious trouble when everyone fancies themselves an expert, and otherwise qualified individuals (or for that matter, journalists) do not stand up and call b.s. when those folks try assert authority they very likely don’t actually possess.”I read the research.” Right…you’ll pardon me if I don’t find this claim convincing.    

Sep 17, 2014
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson watches from the sidelines against the Oakland Raiders during the second half of a preseason NFL football game at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Friday, Aug. 8, 2014. (AP/Ann Heisenfelt)

The NFL’s Adrian Peterson and the emotional debate underway about how far is too far to go when it comes to disciplining children.

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Bob Dylan and Victor Maymudes at "The Castle" in LA before the 1965 world tour. Lisa Law/The Archive Agency)

A new take on the life and music of Bob Dylan, from way inside the Dylan story. “Another Side of Bob Dylan.”

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Jasmin Torres helps classmate Brianna Rameles with a worksheet at the Diloreto Magnet School in New Britain, Conn., Wednesday Feb. 22, 2012. (AP/Charles Krupa)

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