As the water begins to recede and as businesses, families, and governments continue rebuilding efforts, public discourse surrounding Sandy's violent attack on the East Coast will broaden to larger issues pertaining to major weather events. Climate change will undoubtedly become a major piece of the discussion, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has already endorsed President Obama largely because of this issue alone.
Climate change is a topic that tends to come to the public's attention as a reaction to a weather event. In this way, climate change functions as a reactive issue. Simply put, our changing planet is not in our faces all the time. It is unlike a struggling economy, a foreign war, or a societal tension, and on a daily basis our doorsteps are seeing neither rising seas nor migrants looking for a place to stay. Climate change is subtler; yet, presumably the combination of a hurricane and a nor'easter will make us take a step back (for the time being).
It may be that the challenge of the future, when Sandy leaves the headlines, is to alter the perception that climate change is a reactive issue, and instead conceive of it as an active danger. The amount of financial, political, and social motivation needed to combat climate change is not easy to come by without tragic and frightening events such as Katrina or Sandy; however, in order to act in a preventative way, climate change must be seen for what it is: an evolving process that slowly but surely threatens the way humanity functions on a global level.
If we want to actively combat climate change, we must be convinced that the threat deserves action. Films such as Climate Refugees do just that. This SnagFilm details how climate change not only threatens coastlines and wildlife, but the huge increase in human migration will strain governments, food/water supplies, and energy resources. The potential for conflict stemming from overcrowding and resource depletion could be the major source of concern for future generations.
Watch and spread Climate Refugees to help bring the immanent danger of climate change to the forefront of our collective consciousness.