Year 3, Month 11, Day 20: Ch-ch-ch-changes…

The Rochester City-Times (NY) acknowledges Andrew Cuomo’s acknowledgement:

In an op-ed published yesterday, Governor Andrew Cuomo says that “extreme weather is the new normal” and that New York needs to “act, not react” to prepare for the events.

Cuomo’s article acknlowedges climate change, and touches on the human activities that are exacerbating it. He writes that the state needs to be smarter about where it locates power infrastructure, that way it avoids storm damage. He also writes that New Yorkers need to reduce their energy consumption, which would reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Otherwise, Cuomo stuck to what needs to be done to prepare for future storms. Mostly, that means infrastructure improvements and better infrastructure planning. New York needs to do this; damages from Superstorm Sandy are estimated at $30 billion.

Cuomo’s forming three committees to examine the problems and make recommendations. But because any changes are likely to be complex and expensive, I’m skeptical that any but the easiest changes will happen.

Indeed. Sent November 16:

Post- Hurricane Sandy, it’s no longer impossible for politicians to acknowledge the obvious fact that climate change is a threat to our security at all levels: individual, local, regional, national, and planetary. Governor Cuomo’s readiness to adopt what would have been a controversial position six months ago is evidence enough that the winds of change are blowing a little more heavily outside the walls of our politics.

But global warming won’t be put off with anodyne acknowledgements any more than a mugger will be dissuaded by a sympathetic gesture. The accelerating planetary greenhouse effect will turn very costly over the next few decades; our cities and states must start preparing now for the next superstorm, outrageous heat wave, or crippling drought.

Yes, it’ll be expensive. Perhaps it’s time to ask the fossil fuel corporations to contribute some of their $137 billion profits toward mitigating the damage their products have caused.

Warren Senders

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