Not long after tropical storm Sandy hit the Jersey Shore, right wing radicals and prominent Republican Party members reacted with disdain or outrage over NJ Governor Chris Christie publicly showing appreciation to President Obama. Reporters on live TV reminded viewers that ‘experts tell us that climate change can not be identified as the cause of Superstorm Sandy,’ which led to still more outrage that the not-climate change thing even came up while people are suffering.
Just as Governor Christie knew he was doing the right thing for New Jersey, US citizens observing the brawl sensed that climate change could indeed be one factor behind the storm’s odd timing and high intensity; and, hence, that climate change could be partly to blame for the high levels of destruction.
With Governor Christie showing strong signs of making a Presidential run in 2016, you can bet your sand dune he won’t be making climate denial a campaign theme. That, unfortunately, also gives the media continued permission to live under the not-climate change bridge, from under which they can ask more silly troll questions, use false equivalency, or just avoid the subject.
More campaign-shaping impacts are coming.
The Philippines having just been engulfed by the ‘the largest tropical storm ever observed on earth‘ (winds clocked at 195 mph), discussion of foreign policy and the budget for foreign aid will likely cause not-climate change to make landfall in 2016 election debates.
The Subic Bay Philippines, US Navy Base is a large and important facility. The Philippines, with which we have a treaty to keep the base open, will certainly ask for help with post-storm cleanup and repair operations.
The global corollary of the Philippines superstorm might come up in US Presidential primaries, as a question: ‘to what extent should the US get involved in responding to weather-related catastrophes overseas?’
Shall we continue to paint forthcoming weather disasters as ‘not-climate’ related, so as not to appear liable and to avoid demands for a Superstorm Superfund, to be paid into by nations mainly responsible for building and detonating the carbon bomb?