"For us to say this is a once-in-a-generation, that it's not going to happen again, as elected officials that would be short-sighted. This city, this region, is very susceptible to coastal flooding. Part of learning from this is learning that climate change is a reality."
-- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo
In An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore showed us the possibility of superstorms and how, along with global warming one of these superstorms may one day flood a major U.S. city, New York City being one of them. Go back and find the book or rent the movie, and see the eerie similarity of how global warming was supposed to put sections of lower Manhattan underwater and what happened in reality a few days ago. Here's the problem: this was supposed to happen later in this century, not in 2012. Al Gore was predicting future events that seemed to belong in a Science-fiction movie, representing a future where sections of Manhattan flooded was just an accepted reality. Maybe it would happen gradually, and future citizens would have time to adjust to a partly-underwater Manhattan. We had no time to adjust to the new normal that packed a wallop of a windy punch, and lashed the Eastern seaboard with a furious blast that will be felt for years. If the new normal has citizens of the United States facing a 'Storm of the Century' every few years, then let's all accept the fact that the new normal has arrived, and shove aside the science deniers who are not interested in living in the real world.
Superstorm Sandy, the hurricane-turned-cyclone showed the type of havoc that nature's force and fury can do when magnified by global warming, and more superstorms will continue to do the same. Worldwide global climate shifts have caused superstorms, severe droughts, widespread flooding, grid-impacting power outages... and worse. We're not entirely sure what further catastrophes must happen to change the minds of climate science deniers, and frankly, we don't care. Smart and strong people using technology and science are going to rebuild our nation's infrastructure, figure out technical marvels to make our future world sustainable, and prepare us for the real world in which global climate shift is a reality, not uninformed people who want to live in a blissful state of denial.
And let's remove the word 'unprecedented' from our vocabulary when we speak about these superstorms. Since they are happening with more frequency, none of these extreme weather events are unprecedented any longer. To change the mindset of reality deniers will take some effort, but people everywhere should now be much closer to understanding the nature of the climate crisis we are living with.
So, enough with the lies, distortions, and misinformation on this topic. Can we all agree to face reality and accept that global climate patterns have shifted? The results are in. It's going to be a rough ride from here on out. So just stop kidding yourselves and trying to make others accept your lies. Don't deny reality. New York City was just pummeled by a storm large enough to cause it to grind to a standstill, knock out its lights, and yes, even change the minds of a few smart politicians. Now, let's change a few more minds.
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