Chris Christie Doesn’t Think Hurricane Sandy Could Have Been Caused by Climate Change

christie-If you thought Chris Christie might be one of the more reasonable ones on the right, think again. While at an event marking the rebuilding of the Jersey Shore boardwalk after Hurricane Sandy, Christie responded to a WNYC/New Jersey Public Radio question about how the state could have better prepared for the consequences of climate change with this:

Well, first of all, I don’t agree with the premise of your question because I don’t think there’s been any proof thus far that Sandy was caused by climate change. But I would absolutely expect that that’s exactly what WNYC would say, because you know liberal public radio always has an agenda. And so since I disagree with the premise of your question I don’t feel like I have to answer the rest of it.

The question was not baiting Christie by asking if Sandy was caused by climate change, but rather how he would prepare for more extreme weather activity in the future.

The federal government has warned transit agencies that severe hurricanes, increased precipitation, drought, and hotter days are effects of climate change, and has advised that “climate change impacts are here and will increase in the future.” Continue reading

On the Heels of Hurricane Sandy, Chasing Ice Heads to Theaters

Birthday Canyon, Greenland ice sheet

This year’s EMA Award winner for Best Documentary Film, Chasing Ice, may be more timely than ever. After Sandy devastated the East Coast, many are questioning what caused such a powerful storm to begin with. Many cite climate change as an obvious factor. One theory is that the storm was caused by this year’s record ice melt in the Arctic.

Chasing Ice is the story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. Within months of that first trip to Iceland, photographer James Balog conceived the boldest expedition of his life: The Extreme Ice Survey. With a band of young adventurers in tow, Balog began deploying revolutionary time-lapse cameras across the brutal Arctic to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers.

As the debate polarizes America and the intensity of natural disasters ramps up globally, Balog finds himself at the end of his tether. Battling untested technology in subzero conditions, he comes face to face with his own mortality. It takes years for Balog to see the fruits of his labor. His hauntingly beautiful videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. Chasing Ice depicts a photographer trying to deliver evidence and hope to our carbon-powered planet.

Watch the captivating trailer for Chasing Ice below. Continue reading

In Hurricane Sandy’s Fury, The Fingerprint Of Climate Change

Originally posted on The Huffington Post by Tom Zeller Jr.

Last month, Mike Tidwell, director of Maryland’s Chesapeake Climate Action Network and the author of the 2006 book The Ravaging Tide — which detailed the expected rise in extreme weather events that will come with global warming — received a pamphlet in the mail from his insurance company, Travelers. The full-color flier depicted a typical suburban home with a lashing storm looming on the horizon.

Federal disaster declarations are up, the pamphlet declared. Average winter storm losses have doubled since the 1980s. Thunderstorms last year caused over $25 billion in damages, more than double the previous record.

“That flier was astonishing,” said Tidwell. “I couldn’t remember ever getting anything like that before.”

The implication was simple: Given the bounty of scientific and statistical evidence now in hand, insurance companies can’t afford to dither over whether climate change is real — and really, neither can anyone else. Monday night, another multibillion-dollar weather disaster — the very sort that scientists have been predicting for years would increase in frequency and intensity as the planet heats up — struck the American East Coast. Roads and subways and homes flooded and lives were lost. Property damages from wind and storm surges could break records. Millions lost power.

With one week left before an historic election that, as it happens, has been roundly criticized for its utter lack of high-level discussion of climate change, the smooth functioning of democracy itself might well be undermined by the storm, with the potential for widespread power outages in some areas lasting 10 days or more — well beyond next Tuesday’s scheduled polls.

If ever there was a time for everyone to wake up, Tidwell suggested, it’s now. Continue reading